Julia Roberts Films: A Ranking of Her Best Movie Roles

Julia Roberts is a Hollywood icon whose career has spanned over three decades, leaving an indelible mark on the world of cinema. Rising to prominence in the late 1980s, she quickly became one of the biggest stars of her generation, a status she continues to hold well into the 21st century. With a career that has endured for approximately 35 years, Julia Roberts has showcased her incredible talent in a wide range of films, from romantic comedies to intense dramas, and everything in between. In this article, we will delve into her illustrious filmography and rank her top 10 performances, celebrating the versatility and enduring appeal of this remarkable actress.

Who is Julia Roberts?

Before we delve into the list of her best films, let’s take a moment to get to know Julia Roberts better. Julia Fiona Roberts was born on October 28, 1967, in Smyrna, Georgia, USA. She comes from a family with artistic inclinations, as her parents were both actors. This early exposure to the world of entertainment likely played a role in shaping her career path. Julia Roberts is renowned not only for her acting prowess but also for her radiant smile and charismatic screen presence. Over the years, she has earned numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Actress.

She made $20 million for her Oscar-winning role in Erin Brockovich and became the first actress to breach the $20 million salary mark. Julia Roberts’ other notable salary was $300,000 for Pretty Woman.

Between film salaries and endorsements, she easily earns $20-$40 million per year.

Julia Roberts’s Career and Impact

Julia Roberts’s journey in the entertainment industry began in the late 1980s, and she quickly made a name for herself with her talent and charm. Her breakout role came in 1988, and since then, she has continued to captivate audiences with her performances. Even in recent years, with films like 2022’s “Ticket to Paradise” and the upcoming 2023 release “Leave the World Behind,” Julia Roberts remains a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

10. ‘Mystic Pizza’ (1988)

“Mystic Pizza” may not involve fantasy or pizza in the way one might expect, but it offers an enjoyable coming-of-age story set in Mystic, Connecticut. Julia Roberts played one of the main characters, marking one of her early successes in the film industry. While the film treads familiar ground for romantic dramedies centered on young people, its overall charm and comfort factor make it worth watching.

9. ‘August: Osage County’ (2013)

“August: Osage County” delves into the chaotic lives of the Weston family during a tumultuous family gathering. This darkly funny dramedy explores serious themes and boasts outstanding performances from a stellar cast, including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. While the intensity of family drama may be overwhelming for some, those who appreciate its potential for entertainment value will find this film a rewarding experience.

8. ‘Steel Magnolias’ (1989)

“Steel Magnolias” is renowned as one of the most famous tearjerkers in cinematic history. It masterfully combines moments of sadness with comedy, revolving around the bonds formed by the women who frequent a beauty shop and face life’s hardships together. Julia Roberts earned her first Oscar nomination for her role in this film, alongside an impressive cast that includes Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, and Daryl Hannah.

7. ‘Notting Hill’ (1999)

Richard Curtis, a prolific writer of romantic comedies, penned “Notting Hill,” a film that strikes a balance between humor and heartfelt moments. Starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the movie tells the story of an unlikely romance between a world-famous actress and a bookstore owner. While it adheres to typical rom-com conventions, “Notting Hill” is undeniably entertaining, even if it leans into occasional sappiness.

6. ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (2002)

“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” stands out as one of the underappreciated gems of 2002. Directed by George Clooney and featuring a noteworthy cast, including Julia Roberts, this film tells the story of Chuck Barris, a game show host who claimed to be a CIA assassin. The movie skillfully navigates its wild premise, creating a darkly comedic “biopic” that keeps viewers guessing and entertained.

5. ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)

Julia Roberts’s early career was marked by three standout films, with “Pretty Woman” being the most significant. This classic romantic comedy, which centers on the unlikely romance between a young prostitute (Roberts) and a millionaire (Richard Gere), became a cultural phenomenon. While it may not have aged perfectly, its enduring appeal is undeniable, making it a formulaic yet captivating movie.

4. ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ (2001)

“Ocean’s Eleven” revitalized the 1960 film of the same name with an ensemble cast of Hollywood A-listers, including Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, and Elliott Gould. This classic heist film follows a daring plan to steal $150 million from Las Vegas casinos and the meticulous preparations involved. The film’s adherence to a proven formula results in an exhilarating and enjoyable cinematic experience.

3. ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ (1997)

In “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” Julia Roberts portrays a food critic who attends the wedding of a close friend, only to realize her own feelings for him. The film subverts some rom-com tropes while embracing others, making it an engaging watch for both rom-com enthusiasts and skeptics. Its straightforward yet somewhat daring premise sets it apart and contributes to its entertainment value.

2. ‘Closer’ (2004)

While “Closer” might initially seem like a romance-centered film, it quickly dispels that notion. Directed by Mike Nichols and featuring an exceptional cast, including Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen, the film explores the complexities of relationships and infidelity. “Closer” is a difficult-to-watch yet undeniably powerful movie, showcasing some of Julia Roberts’s finest work.

1. ‘Erin Brockovich’ (2000)

At the pinnacle of Julia Roberts’s filmography stands “Erin Brockovich,” a gripping real-life story that captivates with its authenticity and grit. In this film, Roberts delivers a standout performance as the titular character, a single mother who uncovers a cover-up in her community and embarks on a mission to expose those responsible. “Erin Brockovich” is a testament to the power of a strong central performance, offering an inspiring and well-acted cinematic experience that ranks among Julia Roberts’s best.

In conclusion, Julia Roberts’s illustrious career is punctuated by remarkable performances that have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema. From romantic comedies to intense dramas, her versatility as an actress is evident in her body of work. While these ten films represent some of the highlights of her career, they are just a glimpse into the enduring legacy of one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. Julia Roberts’s talent, charisma, and enduring appeal continue to captivate audiences worldwide, ensuring her place in cinematic history.

American actress Julia Roberts has a net worth of $255 million.

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