After making her MCU debut in the star-studded Eternals in 2021, Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie is currently preparing to play her iconic role as Maleficent for a third time. Balancing the mega-spectacle with a more dramatic turn, Jolie is also set to star in the family drama Every Note Played opposite Christoph Waltz. Both films are still awaiting official release dates.
With over 60 big and small screen credits amassed since her debut in 1982, Jolie has distinguished herself as one of the most talented and diverse performers of the past 30 years. But even the biggest Jolie fans might be surprised by the way her filmography is viewed by Letterboxd users.
10 Maleficent (2014) – 3.1/5
In a role seemingly tailor-made for her, Jolie has an absolute blast leaning into the wicked ways of Maleficent in the dark Disney fantasy franchise. Jolie also executive-produced the film, which says a lot about much she believed in the character fostering such a broad appeal.
The story follows the titular fairy who places a vengeful curse on the king’s daughter, Aurora (Elle Fanning), only to realize that Aurora may actually be the key to her own salvation. With high camp, kitsch, and complete command, Jolie elevates the material in ways that make Letterboxd user Evan say “Angelina Jolie’s performance is the only thing I really like about this movie.”
9 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – 3.1/5
The combustible chemistry between Angelina Jolie and her future husband Brad Pitt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith is undeniably palpable. Like watching two movie stars genuinely fall in love on screen, the entertaining fusion of romance, comedy, and brutal action is second to none.
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Directed by Doug Liman, the movie tracks a mundane married couple going through the motions of their tiresome bond. But when the two discover that each is a secret assassin hired to kill one another, a hilarious domestic quarrel turns into a high-octane salvo of violence.
8 Eternals (2021) – 3.1/5
From Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, Eternals may be a more contemplative character-driven Marvel movie than comic book fans are used to seeing, but the acting among the diverse cast is beyond reproach. Jolie takes a supporting part in a larger ensemble but still makes a lasting impression as the superhuman Thena.
The movie depicts the origin of Eternals and how they went on to shape the history of civilization as mysterious immortals. While many on Letterboxd mock the movie, anakinspidey says “this was a love letter to heroes as a whole and proves that no matter who you are, there is a hero for you to relate and connect to.”
7 Hackers (1995) – 3.2/5
A mid-90s techno-thriller made as the internet began to take off, Hackers concerns a group of illegal computer hackers who expose a virus that could create massive environmental destruction. Now seen as more of a guilty-pleasure cult favorite, Jolie sears the screen as Kate aka Acid Burn, a caustic-witted badass who is much cooler than her hacking cohorts.
Utterly dated and anachronistic by today’s standards, the film proves how far computer technology has come in the past 25 years or so and how tenuous the trends are in the tech industry.
6 Foxfire (1996) – 3.4/5
One of Jolie’s best and underrated roles comes in Foxfire, a compelling tale of friendship, rebellion, and the consequences of four friends who come together to confront their sexual harasser. Jolie plays Legs Sadovsky, a mysterious drifter who rallies four young women to stand up and fight back against their abusive teacher.
While many on Letterboxd poke fun at Jolie’s character in the film, Andi gives an honest assessment, adding “it’s always refreshing to see more realistic depictions of friendship between girls in movies. Quite touching.”
5 Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) – 3.4/5
Jolie voices the role of Tigress for a second time in Kung Fu Panda 2, which continues the heroic exploits of Po (Jack Black), the lovable Dragon Warrior who must defeat his childhood enemy, Shen (Gary Oldman) while confronting his past in the process. With stunning visuals to go with a slapstick brand of humor, Jolie is perfectly cast as a ferocious feline with a tender touch.
With no shortage of love on Letterboxd, James perhaps puts it best by stating “great sequel that isn’t afraid to tell an even more emotionally rich story than its predecessor.”
4 Changeling (2008) – 3.6/5
Directed by the great Clint Eastwood in one of his most underrated movies, Jolie gives one of her most riveting yet understated turns in Changeling, a disturbing mystery about Christine Collins, a woman searching for her missing 9-year-old son in 1929 Los Angeles. When the L.A.P.D. find and return to her an imposter who looks identical to her boy, Christine takes on the establishment while starting her own investigation.
Based on a true story, Jolie plays the part with unsettling mystery and heartfelt pathos at once, slowly revealing her own systemic oppression, psychological scapegoating, and a male-driven effort to keep her quiet. It’s one of her best performances in one of her best films.
3 Kung Fu Panda (2008) – 3.6/5
The heartfelt underdog story of the mega-popular 2000s DreamWorks Animated movie Kung Fu Panda continues to resonate among moviegoers everywhere, thanks in large part to the comedic chemistry among its star-studded cast. Jack Black owns the role of Po, a bumbling, ill-fitted reluctant hero pressed into action as the protector of the Valley of Peace.
For her part, Jolie leads Po’s Furious Five as Tigress, a tough, badass, yet nurturing kung fu master who does not suffer fools easily. It’s rare but always a treat to see Jolie play outright comedy or hear her voice animated characters, with Kung Fu Panda proving she can do both to the highest degree.
2 Gia (1998) – 3.8/5
Jolie gives a tour-de-force performance in the 1998 HBO movie Gia, in which she portrays the real-life fashion supermodel Gia Carangi, a tragic figure who succumbed to AIDS after sharing heroin needles with fellow users. With every emotional color painted onscreen, the rise and fall of the ingenue show Jolie at her bravest and most unforgettable.
In addition to exploring the tolls of celebrity, being sexually fetishized in mainstream culture, and the ultimate price fame can cost, the movie allows Jolie to register every human emotion. As such, she won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie.
1 Girl, Interrupted (1999) – 3.9/5
It only seems fitting that Letterboxd has named Angelina Jolie’s Oscar-winning performance as her best film to date. Indeed, James Mangold’s Girl, Interrupted explores how mental health was viewed and treated during the 1960s and the lasting consequences institutionalization can have on certain patients.
Told through the eyes of Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder), a real-life woman sent to a mental hospital for swallowing a bottle of pills with vodka, where she is immediately diagnosed with a personality disorder. Susanna soon strikes a bond with the cunningly manipulative woman named Lisa (Jolie), who runs the asylum with her domineering personality. Jolie won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her fearless scene-stealing turn.
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