Epitomizing the early power of The Black List and what it can still do, “Juno” became an instant hit and cult classic upon release. Following Juno (Ellen Page) as she deals with an unplanned pregnancy with her friend Paulie (Michael Cera) and decides against an abortion, the film won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
2007 Black List – Written by Greg Mottola
Like “Juno,” “Adventureland” was well-respected overall, but has found increasing favor among comedy fans. The film rides the adventures of recent college grad James (Jesse Eisenberg) as he takes a lowly job at an amusement park and falls for his coworker Em (Kristen Stewart). It got nominated for Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards and offered not only a “Twilight” counter for Kristen Stewart, but also a showcase lead role for Jesse Eisenberg.
2007 Black List – Written by Ben Ripley
“Source Code” stars Jake Gyllenhaal as soldier Colter Stevens, who’s woken up to discover that he’s a part of a government experiment that places him in another body in order to solve a bombing. The film was both a critical and commercial success and for director Duncan Jones, it was proof that he wasn’t a one-hit wonder after “Moon.”
2009 Black List – Written by Chris Sparling
Some of the most impressive screenplays are ones that can captivate despite staying in the same location for its entirety. “Buried” does exactly that as it shows Paul (Ryan Reynolds), a truck driver in Iraq who’s woken up to discover that he’s been buried alive inside a coffin with only a lighter and a phone. The film was a gripping, one-man showcase for Reynolds.
2009 Black List – Written by Aaron Guzikowski
Taking a mental dive into the minds of distressed parent Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and troubled detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) as they search for Dover’s missing child, “Prisoners” was one of the most haunting films of 2013. Premiering at Telluride Film Festival, it helped bring director Denis Villeneuve to a wider American audience.
2009 Black List – Written by Aaron Sorkin
The Black List isn’t the usual venue for a writer like Sorkin, for any amount of time, but “The Social Network” was the runner-up on the 2009 list (behind the yet-to-be-produced Jim Henson biopic “The Muppet Man”). Chronicling the infamous origins of Facebook by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and the resulting accusations of intellectual property theft, the film is one of David Fincher’s best. Sorkin went on to win Best Adapted Screenplay.
2010 Black List – Written by Rian Johnson
After his first two features brought him to the edge of the mainstream, Johnson found his script for “Looper” on the Black List in 2010. Set in a world where the future sends criminals to the past to be killed by hired guns like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis), the 2012 film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Writer’s Guild and is one of the better sci-fi films of the 21st century.
2010 Black List – Written by JC Chandor
Financial crises are no strangers to fascinating screenplays as “The Big Short” showed last year. “Margin Call,” laying out a single day of a few investment bankers during the onset of the 2008 financial fall, found itself on the 2010 Black List and was an impressive debut for writer-director JC Chandor (“All is Lost,” “A Most Violent Year”).
2012 Black List – Written by Damien Chazelle
Chazelle’s second feature was a runaway success in 2014. Charting the progress of promising drummer Andrew (Miles Teller) as he encounters a thoroughly abusive Jazz instructer (JK Simmons), “Whiplash” not only won JK Simmons his first Oscar, but was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.