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The 7 Best Miles Teller Movies To Watch If You Loved Top Gun: Maverick

If you loved him as Rooster, then these are must-watch films.

best miles teller movies
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Updating a beloved movie from decades ago with a mostly new cast of characters doesn't always work. But, it does if the film is Top Gun: Maverick, and if Miles Teller is involved.

The 35-year-old actor is central to the film's emotional core, starring as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, son of deceased Nick "Goose" Bradshaw. The latter was the best friend of Tom Cruise's character Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the original Top Gun movie. He went toe-to-toe with Cruise, withstood gravitational forces in a fighter jet that would knock anyone unconscious, and did so while rocking the hell out of a mustache. So if Top Gun: Maverick was your first time laying eyes on Teller, and part of you ached when his sly smile and piercing eyes left the screen, it's understandable because you were watching one of the best young actors of the last 10+ years.

Ever since he first appeared on the big screen in the 2010 film Rabbit Hole, Teller has demonstrated a range seldom seen from actors his age. He's played a soldier returning from war dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, a boxer fighting his way back into the ring after a nearly paralyzing neck injury, a serial bachelor trying to avoid love like the plague, and that's not even half of the roles he's played. Unfortunately, he's yet to get his first Academy Award nomination. But, by the looks of our list of the seven best Miles Teller movies, Oscar gold could be firmly in his future. But, for now, a proper Miles Teller binge should be in yours.

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Whiplash (2014)

Rabbit Hole may have been the film that started his big-screen career, but Whiplash is what made him a star. The then-teenage Teller starred as Andrew Neiman, an ambitious jazz drummer draining blood, sweat, and tears while enduring a verbally and emotionally abusive instructor named Terence Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons. The authenticity of Teller's performance is unmistakable. He was really playing the drums and professed in an October 2014 interview with Indiewire, "this movie for me was by far the closest I’ve come to life imitating art." Teller cemented himself as a leading man after his ferociously spellbinding climactic drumming performance at the end of the award-winning 2014 film, holding his own on-screen with a heavyweight like Simmons.

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War Dogs (2016)

If Jordan Belfort were peddling guns to the international armies instead of faulty stocks, The Wolf of Wall Street would be War Dogs. Directed by Joker director Todd Phillips, Teller stars opposite Jonah Hill as massage therapist turned arms dealer David Packouz, who gets kidnapped, arrested, lied to, and put through what is known as the "Triangle of Death" while helping a war he and the mother of his child are both against. Teller and Hill's chemistry jumps off the screen in every scene they're in together, and Teller plays David with a fish-out-of-water impressionability that perfectly balances Hill's portrayal of cutthroat dealer Efraim Diverol. It makes you wish they had more movies together.

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Thank You For Your Service (2017)

Teller portrays the silent battles conflicted characters fight internally, bubbling imperceptibly under the surface until it's too late, as well as anyone in recent memory, and Thank You For Your Service is a perfect example of this skill at work. Teller plays soldier Adam Schuman, who struggles to adjust to everyday life after returning home from a 15-month deployment in Iraq in 2007. Based on true events, Thank You For Your Service is a harrowing commentary on the nightmarish post-traumatic stress disorder veterans struggle with, and Teller's award-worthy performance makes their lived experiences painfully visceral for anyone who watches.

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Only The Brave (2017)

In the crushing true-life drama Only The Brave—his first movie with Top Gun: Maverick director Joe Kosinski—Teller plays Brendan McDonough, a drug addict delinquent looking to turn his life around to provide for his newborn daughter. To do so, he becomes a firefighter who's part of Arizona's Granite Mountain Hotshots.

A blonde-haired Teller plays his role to perfection in a dream ensemble cast that features Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, and Teller's Top Gun: Maverick co-star Jennifer Connelly. Teller spent time with the real-life Brendan McDonough, the only survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and brought an honest depiction of the survivor's guilt and trauma that comes with being a hero.

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That Awkward Moment (2014)

While a good portion of Teller's best performances are in dramas designed to rip tears from the eyes of the audience, he's also a more than capable comedic actor, as That Awkward Moment convincingly proves. Starring alongside Michael B. Jordan (Mikey) and Zac Efron (Jason), Teller plays a wisecracking bachelor named Daniel who agrees to stay single along with his two best friends until, you guessed it, love intervenes. The same magnetic charm that made his verbal jousting with Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick irresistible is present here as Teller crafts a lovable douchebag you root for as much as you revile.

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Bleed For This (2016)

Before Tom Cruise had him battling gravity in a fighter jet in Top Gun: Maverick, the Ben Younger-directed biopic Bleed For This put Teller's physical acting to its toughest test. Based on the true-life story of former world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, Teller plays the embattled boxer who won't give up on returning to the ring after suffering a severe neck injury resulting from a gruesome car accident. Teller trained obsessively to get into proper boxing shape and spent a large chunk of the film acting in a circular metal neck brace Pazienza used to regain movement of his neck following the accident. Teller delivers arguably his grittiest performance with workout montages and a tenacious spirit that would make Rocky Balboa proud.

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Rabbit Hole (2010)

This is the movie that started it all. Teller's first role in a feature film finds the then 23-year-old actor playing guilt-stricken teenager Jason, who drove the car that killed Howard "Howie" Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) and Rebecca "Becca" Corbett (Nicole Kidman)'s four-year-old son Danny. Of course, it's hard for anyone to stand out in a film with the likes of Kidman, Eckhart, Sandra Oh, and Dianne Wiest, who swallow the attention of any scene they're in. But, Teller showed glimmers of his future leading man talents acting opposite Kidman, at times matching her emotional command in a role that scored her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. He may not appear on screen for most of the film, but you don't want him to leave when he does.

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