The delightful world of Michael Cera‘s movies brings awkward charm and comedic brilliance on the audiences’ screen. With a trademark casual yet formal demeanor, Cera has carved a niche for himself in cinema, leaving an indelible mark on audiences worldwide. From endearing coming-of-age tales to offbeat comedies, this Canadian actor’s filmography boasts an impressive range that resonates with both millennials and seasoned moviegoers alike.
Ever since he stole audiences hearts as the timid but lovable George-Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, Michael Cera has been a consistent fixture in the entertainment landscape. His knack for portraying relatable, introverted characters has translated seamlessly to the big screen. In recent years he has been working in shows such as Life & Beth and the newly released Command Z. With a brief appearance in the latest Black Mirror season and a scene-stealing role as Allan in this summer’s smash Barbie, Cera is officially back in the mainstream. Let’s take a look at his best movies with memorable performances from the cult classic Juno to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
10 Magic Magic (2013)
In Magic Magic, Michael Cera portrays Brink, an unsettling man traveling with a group of friends in Chile. As they embark on a remote vacation, Alicia (Juno Temple), begins to feel increasingly isolated and paranoid, especially due to Brink’s mysterious behavior, leading to a grippingly tense narrative that mixes reality and nightmare.
This psychological thriller marks Cera’s departure from his usual roles which adds an eerie and unsettling dimension to the film’s atmosphere. This became an experiment and a showcase for Cera’s range as an actor. The film may not be critically successful but it gave Cera a second collaboration with director Sebastian Silva with the quirky film Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus.
9 Paper Heart (2009)
In this unique mockumentary, Michael Cera stars opposite Charlyne Yi, playing fictionalized version of themselves, in a quest to understand love. Paper Heart also co-stars people playing themselves like Seth Rogen and Martin Starr while Jake Johnson plays director Nicholas Jasenovec.
Their on-screen interactions blur the lines between fiction and reality, exploring the nature of love in both scripted and unscripted moments. Playing a fictionalized version of himself, Cera’s deadpan humor and endearing interactions with Yi create a captivating and unconventional love story.
8 Gloria Bell (2018)
In Gloria Bell, a middle-aged woman, played by Julianne Moore, finds herself embracing newfound freedom after a divorce. As she navigates the complexities of her past and family relationships, she embarks on a romance that explores the joys and challenges of late-life love.
Michael Cera plays Gloria’s dull son, Peter. This role is a departure from his usual awkward characters. Here, Cera showcases his versatility and maturity as an actor. His supporting role here earns praise from critics.
7 Youth in Revolt (2009)
In this offbeat romantic comedy, Cera’s awkward and love-struck Nick Twisp creates an alter ego named François Dillinger to win the heart of the free-spirited Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). In a whirlwind of mischievous antics and desperate attempts to impress her and beat her boyfriend, Nick’s dual personalities lead him on a rebellious journey of self-discovery and first love.
The film also boasts an impressive supporting cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Zach Galifianakis, and Jean Smart. Cera’s take on the dual role makes this a unique coming-of-age film.Youth in Revolt‘s blend of humor and charm makes it an entertaining and quirky addition to Cera’s filmography.
6 Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
In Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Michael Cera plays Nick, a heartbroken musician, who meets Norah (Kat Dennings), a spunky girl, for an epic night in New York City searching for a secret concert. Amidst the music, misadventures, and romantic serendipity, they find an unexpected connection that leads to a memorable night.
The film weaves together music and romance in such a endearing way, capturing the late 2000s in a movie. Both characters might be frustrating and hard to believe at times, but both Cera and Dennings played them perfectly.
5 Molly’s Game (2017)
Based on a true story, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a former skier, starts running high-stakes poker empire, attracting celebrities, businessmen, and even the Russian mob. Directed by Aaron Sorkin, the film also stars Idris Elba, Kevin Costner and Succession‘s Jeremy Strong.
Cera takes on a supporting role in Molly’s Game, playing the mysterious Player X. Player X is said to be an amalgamation of high-profile actors that joined Molly’s poker games. Famous names like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck were said to have participated, but Tobey Maguire is alleged to be Player X.
4 The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
The Lego Batman was such a hit in The Lego Movie that The Lego Batman Movie was the immediate follow-up. Voiced by Will Arnett, Batman teams up with Cera’s endearingly enthusiastic Robin to save Gotham City from the Joker’s evil plans.
Cera lends his instantly recognizable voice to the nerdy Robin in this animated comedy. While this was Cera’s first feature as a voice actor, he has since lent his voice to Sausage Partyand Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.
3 Juno (2007)
The film follows the titular Juno, a whip-smart teenager played by Elliot Page, who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. The film was a critical and public success, with the film nominated for four Oscars and eventually winning one for Best Screenplay.
As the sweet and somewhat awkward Paulie who knocked Juno up, Cera showcases his ability to portray lovable characters in this heartwarming dramedy. The film explores themes of friendship, love, and growing up, with Cera’s authentic portrayal supporting Page’s starmaking performance.
2 Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)
In this action-packed comedy based on a comic book by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Michael Cera plays the titular Scott Pilgrim, a slacker and bassist in a garage band who must battle his new girlfriend Ramona Flowers’ (Mary Elizabeth-Winstead) seven evil exes to win her heart.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World‘s energetic and dynamic visuals courtesy of director Edgar Wright and Cera’s lovable portrayal make the film a cult classic despite bombing in its initial box office run. An animated series is currently in the works at Netflix and will bring back all the star-studded cast from this live-action film.
1 Superbad (2007)
In Superbad, high school seniors Evan (Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill) embark on a wild night to score alcohol for a party, leading to a series of hilarious and raucous misadventures. A smash during its release, the movie catapulted all the young actors, which includes Emma Stone and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (as the memorable McLovin) into stardom.
Filled with hilarious misadventures and heartfelt moments, Cera’s performance alongside the great ensemble cast shines, making Superbad an iconic teen comedy of the 2000s. The film also became a benchmark for subsequent teen comedies like Booksmartand Easy A.
KEEP READING: 9 Essential Michael Cera Performances To Watch After ‘Life & Beth’