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The Evolution of Jesse Eisenberg

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.

Zombieland (2009)

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 .