Scarlett Johansson

Best Scarlett Johansson Movies, Ranked

Scarlett Johansson is one of the most in demand actors today. Here's a look at her best movies, ranked.

Scarlett Johansson is one of the most successful actors today, and she has played a part in some of the most successful films and franchises of recent memory. After beginning her career as a child actress, Johansson found critical acclaim in films such as The Horse Whisperer and Sofia Coppola’s introspective Lost in Translation. From there, her career continued to soar, and she continued her success from childhood into adulthood. Johansson initially made a name for herself as an ingénue in several Woody Allen films, like Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point, before making a foray into the mainstream with her roles as Black Widow in the MCU franchise.

Though her time as Black Widow has come to an end, Johansson is still very much part of the Marvel family. Alongside her MCU success, Johansson has garnered acclaim for her more serious work, most recently securing Oscar nominations for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress (for Netflix’s Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit, respectively). Here are Scarlett Johansson’s best movies, ranked.

9. Girl with a Pearl Earring

Peter Webber’s adaptation of Tracy Chevalier’s novel (which was itself inspired by the Johannes Vermeer painting of the same title), Girl with a Pearl Earring was released in 2003 and was the second of two breakout roles for Johansson alongside Lost In Translation. Johansson plays Griet, a servant at the home of Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth) who is the subject of the famous painting. It’s a strong breakout role for Johansson, and although her dialogue is limited, she is very expressive in her acting, showcasing her strong talent at the beginning of her career.

8. Lucy

Scarlett Johansson has made a name for herself through starring in several high budget action films, and 2014’s Lucy was no exception. The story follows Lucy, a woman who develops the ability to use all parts of her brain at maximum capacity after a drug is absorbed into her bloodstream. After obtaining these superhuman powers she becomes somewhat of a superhero and fights against the scientists that are responsible for her condition. Lucy was extremely successful at the box office and is a great example of Johansson as strong lead in an action-packed film.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Johansson gave an undeniably strong performance in 2008’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She starred alongside Penélope Cruz, who ended up receiving an Oscar for her role, however, Johansson’s performance was just as strong. Johansson plays Cristina, who finds herself at odds with Cruz’s character after they sleep with the same man. Her performance is believable as the carefree character, and she performs it without surrendering to clichés.

The Other Boleyn Girl

Scarlett Johansson starred alongside Natalie Portman in 2008’s The Other Boleyn Girl, directed by Justin Chadwick. Portman plays Anne Boleyn and Johansson is her sister Mary. The film depicts their competing affections for King Henry VIII (Eric Bana), and has been critiqued for its historical inaccuracy. Nevertheless, Portman and Johansson give compelling performances and exude strong chemistry with each other.

Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson joined the MCU as Black Widow back in 2010 in Iron Man 2. Since then, the character has appeared in several more additions to the MCU universe, most recently in her (only) solo film Black Widow. This movie picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and sees Natasha Ramanoff reunited with her sister, Yelana (Florence Pugh) as they set out on a journey of reconnecting with the family they once knew. Black Widow was very well received by critics, and finally gave more depth to the character of Natasha Ramanoff. Johannsson confirmed this would likely be her last time playing the role, and Black Widow is certainly a strong send-off.

Lost In Translation

Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation was released in 2003 and was a huge critical success, winning best screenplay and being nominated for best picture at the Oscars. Johansson was only 19 at the point of the movie release, and she delivers a performance far beyond her years. Johansson plays Charlotte, and Bill Murray is Bob Harris. The pair is in Tokyo and find escape from their foreign surrounds in an unlikely relationship with each other. Lost In Translation remains an excellent film which stands the test of time.

Jojo Rabbit

2019 was a strong year for Johannsson as she received nominations in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories in the same year. Her Best Supporting Actress nomination came for her work in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. Roman Griffin Davis portrays the titular character, and Johansson plays his mother, who is hiding a Jewish girl during World War II Germany. The film is satirical and daring and presents Johansson in a different, comedic light.

Under the Skin

Johansson gave one of the strongest performances of her career with 2013’s Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s 2013 sci-fi drama. Johansson plays Laura who is an extra-terrestrial who has disguised herself as a human female and lures men to another dimension where they are used as meat. Johansson gives a performance void of emotion, and it’s a challenge which she succeeds in, pulling off such an emotionless character without making it seem deliberate.

Marriage Story

Johansson continued to receive acclaim for her performances in 2019 when she starred in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story alongside Adam Driver as a couple going through a turbulent divorce. Marriage Story focuses on the all too familiar story of a breakdown in a couple’s relationship, and Johansson’s character has several dramatic scenes alongside Adam Driver’s where they discuss all the resentment, they hold against each other. Both actors are able to express their acting abilities in their purest forms, and Johansson’s performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

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