Get Real (1999-2000)
Eisenberg got his first bit of in-camera action on TV show Get Real . The show had a pretty dedicated following, but it went the way of so many other beloved teen shows (think Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life ) when it was cancelled after only one season.
Jesse played Kenny, the youngest of the Green siblings. A pre- Princess Diaries Anne Hathaway played his older sister, and Eric Christian Olsen was older bro Cameron.
Social Skills? This one has vanished off the radar, with no DVD release planned, so we couldn't possibly comment.
Lightning: Fire from the Sky (2001)
Another TV project for Eisenberg: not some meteorologically unsound Discovery Channel doc but a feature in which he has a prominent role.
It's kind of a cheap twist on Twister , and it pairs the disaster movie action with some sub-Spielbergian father-son conflict. Tom (John Dukes of Hazzard Schneider) doesn't believe son Eric (Eisenberg) when he predicts a lightning-based disaster, and there's more to come...
Social Skills? As he's a teenage 'weather expert', we're doubting that his yearbook was overflowing with signatures…
Roger Dodger (2002)
Not an vehicle for the Beano trickster, ace little indie Roger Dodger was a smart battle-of-the-sexes comedy, and an ideal first movie role for Eisenberg's endearing awkwardness.
He plays Nick, a 16-year-old desperate for a bit of lady action (aren't they all?) who seeks out advice from his self-styled lothario of an uncle, Roger (Campbell Scott in a career highlight performance). Both guys learn a lot about the opposite sex (Isabella Rosselini, Elizabeth Berkeley, Jennifer Beals) in a long, incident-packed night.
Social Skills? At least he's trying to learn, even if his teacher isn't all he cracks himself up to be.
The Emperor's Club (2002)
Eisenberg was in starry company in this so-so prep school drama: Kevin Kline is the classics professor trying to instil some knowledge into a class that also includes Emile Hirsch and Paul Dano.
The title refers to a toga-wearing quiz that Kline's teacher hosts, in which the students compete to be crowned 'Mr Julius Caesar'. Watchable, but hardly a classic in the 'inspirational teacher' subgenre.
Social Skills? Well, in 25 years time Eisenberg's character looks like Patrick Dempsey, so presumably he ends up doing OK with the ladies.
The Village (2004)
Eisenberg continued to build an enviable CV, grabbing a spot in (the once respectable) M. Night Shyamalan's monsters-in-the-woods 'period' chiller.
Though, Eisenberg is the first to admit that he didn't exactly have the biggest role, telling MoviesOnline: "My grandmother saw it and asked me if she saw the wrong movie. I'm in it for no time". You can spot him as one of the younger members of the village.
Social Skills? Well, he gets involved with the games that involve mucking about at the boundaries of the forbidden woods, so he can't have been totally unpopular.
The Squid and the Whale (2005)
This Brooklyn-set tale of a family-dividing divorce really put Noah Baumbach on the map as a filmmaker. The underplayed comedy-drama scored multiple award noms across the board.
Eisenberg (kinda playing the Baumbach cypher in this semi-autobiographical tale) is Walt, the elder son of acrimoniously-separating Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney. Jesse tames his famously-spirally locks in a role that requires a subtle blend of pathos and shrewd comedy.
Social Skills? Sadly Walt spends most of the movie parroting his obnoxious, self-satisfied father.
It beggars belief that this blunt-fanged werewolf effort came from Scream -creators Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson: there's a couple of knowing laughs, neutralised by an over-abundance of lame CGI and, unforgivably, a total dearth of frights.
Eisenberg and Christina Ricci are siblings who get caught up in a convoluted werewolf drama. Done well, this could have been a mega-hit, but studio interference ended that hope.
Social Skills? Eisenberg's lycanthropy at least sees him ascend the social scale, attracting the school hottie and defeating the wrestling squad bullies.
The Education of Charlie Banks (2006)
Charlie Banks (Eisenberg) is a by-the-book, studious, academic type who earns a place at a top university. His pleasant campus lifestyle is disrupted by the arrival of thuggish bully Mick (Jason Ritter), a figure from his past.
During his stay, bad boy Mick lives Charlie's life, only better, impressing teachers, friends, and the girl he's been eyeing. Directed by Fred 'Limp Bizkit' Durst, this workmanlike drama never never exceeds expectations.
Social Skills? He's shown up by Mick, but he ends up learning a thing or two about himself.
The Living Wake (2007)
Eisenberg plays Mills Joaquin, the biographer (and rickshaw driver) to Mike O'Connell's deluded eccentric K. Roth Binew. The pair travel round setting up the titular funereal celebration for Binew, who has recently found out he only has a few days left to live.
This tiny indie was perhaps a little too obscure for mainstream tastes, but more welcoming than a simple plot summary suggests.
Social Skills? Eisenberg goes full-on dandy for the role, and it's pretty safe to say that his character doesn't quite conform to societal standards.
One Day Like Rain (2007)
Eisenberg continues with another role in a micro-indie that makes his previous quirk-work feel positively mainstream.
This is the story of a bored, teenage, Californian girl who has an epiphany about the imminent end of the world, and a looks for a way to save it via a bunch of weird experiments. It feels as if there's a decent idea here, but it happens to be hidden beneath layers of willful incomprehensibility.
Social Skills? It's all pretty irrelevant as this sub-Lynchian mess makes it impossible to discern (or care) what level of reality his minor character actually exists on.
The Hunting Party (2007)
This based-loosely-on-fact war drama stars Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Eisenberg as reporter, cameraman and journo on the hunt for war criminal 'The Fox' (a stand-in for Radovan Karadi).
Gere and Howard are the old pros when it comes to war coverage, and Eisenberg is on typically nervy, wisecracking form as a fresh-faced journalist. The film, which performed woefully at the box office, lacks the heft its serious subject matter deserves.
Social Skills? His privileged character gets to prove his mettle, with Eisenberg holding his own against Gere and Howard.
Adventure land (2009)
After short Some Boys Don't Leave , Eisenberg starred in Adventureland , one of the highlights of his short (but busy) career to date. He played James, a college grad who takes a job at a local theme park to save money for uni and travelling. Director Greg Mottola invests the coming-of-age tale with more genuine emotional beats than you'd expect, creating a nostalgic 80s setting that goes beyond the usual pisstakes of the era.
Social Skills? Eisenberg anchors the movie with a believable, awkward performance that steers well clear of caricature, as he learns valuable life lessons in the park's social microcosm.
Eisenberg continued his Somethingland winning streak with this superb zombie comedy directed by Ruben Fleischer (who's as adept with the action as he is with the laughs). Eisenberg played Columus, a dorky student on a post-zombie holocaust road trip.
On the way he teams up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigal Breslin), and the circumstantial family do their best to fight of the undead hordes. Roll on the rumoured Zombieland 2 !
Social Skills? The zombie holocaust actually does wonders for his self-esteem, confidence and love life.
Solitary Man (2009)
It's a slightly smaller role for Eisenberg in this comedy-drama, as he takes a backseat to Michael Douglas' ageing ladies' man.
Ben Kalmen (Douglas) is a womanising businessman whose family life has hit the skids because of his repeated thoughtlessness. When he accompanies the daughter of his current squeeze to a university open day, he meets student Daniel (Eisenberg), hangs out in his dorm, and shares some of his wisdom.
Social Skills? He must learn something from the lothario, even if it's just how not to act when you're over 60.
Holy Rollers (2010)
This drug drama hints that there's more to Eisenberg than the sarky geek. Holy Rollers , which has done the festivals and had a limited release in the US, is inspired by true events.
In late nineties Brooklyn, Hasidic Jew Sam Gold (Eisenberg) is recruited to work as a drug runner by the charismatic Yosef (Justin The Hangover Bartha). Sam shows a suprising aptitude for the trade, and he's torn between his faith and his lifestyle, his arranged marriage and his dealer's girl…
Social Skills? Though this is Eisenberg at his most confident, the character still gets himself into quite a pickle.
Camp Hope (2010)
Also known as Camp Hell , this religious horror is a bit of an anomaly on Eisenberg's CV, though thankfully he's been spared the mortification of this one receiving a wider release.
He appears pretty far down the cast list in this story of a zealous New Jersey Christian community, and the summer camp that they send their kids to. It seems that some kind of evil has found its way there this year, in this cheap-looking thriller.
Social Skills? Eisenberg was playing with fire here: he could have seen his years of hard work go down the drain after putting his name to this one.
The Social Network (2010)
Released in the UK this week, The Social Network is Eisenberg's highest profile lead to date. He plays Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher's superhyped dramatisation of the founding of the modern phenomenon.
Eisenberg is flanked by Justin Timberlake, Andrew Spider-Man Garfield and new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Rooney Mara.
This critically acclaimed hit boasts a script from Aaron Sorkin, and could well see some serious awards love when the season rolls round. Check out the Total Film verdict here .