American actress Julia Fiona Roberts was born on October 28, 1967. She has been a leading lady in everything from romantic comedies and dramas to thrillers and action flicks, making her one of Hollywood’s most bankable heroines. Six of her films have been in the top ten highest-grossing of their years and many of them have made over $100 million worldwide.
Together her blockbuster movies have earned nearly $3.8 billion worldwide. Among the many honors bestowed upon her are the Academy Award, the British Academy Film Award and three Golden Globes. The top 20 Julia Roberts films are listed below. Continue reading the article for more information.
Mary Reilly (1996)
It’s not Julia Roberts’ fault if this housemaid’s perspective on the Jekyll and Hyde narrative is dull; an Irish friend says “she gets away with kinda sorta sounding a bit Irish-ish.” The dull direction by Stephen Frears and John Malkovich’s uninteresting turn as the double agent doctor are to blame.
Dying Young (1991)
This romantic fable is about a rich man with leukemia who falls in love with his working-class caregiver and spoiler alert, they end up together. Well duh! Imagine Roberts as a model for a pre-Raphaelite painting. Director Joel Schumacher makes a visual treat for Roberts fetishists while ignoring the ethical implications of the scenario.
The kind of wonderful gush where you start out cynically mocking but end up blubbing is about a 10-year-old youngster with a rare facial defect who attends school and needs to learn to make friends and avoid bullies. Jacob Tremblay excels in the lead role and Julia Roberts is so touchingly nurturing as his mother that you may find yourself wishing she could be your own.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Roberts who was nominated for her first Oscar for her portrayal of a diabetic daughter says, “I’ll just have a kidney transplant, I’ll be fine.” In the meantime Hollywood’s biggest stars (Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine etc.) compete to provide the best southern belle impression in this chilling stag film.
August, Osage County (2013)
A member of a miserable family brought back together in Oklahoma after the alcoholic patriarch goes missing, Roberts goes head-to-head with a grandstanding Meryl Streep and manages to hold her own, earning her fourth Oscar nod. To the stage, Tracy Letts brought his play about interminable, bland honesty around the dinner table.
Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)
In the film Roberts portrays a woman who fakes her death to escape her abusive, towel-tidying husband. Once in Iowa, she meets a kinder guy and learns to wear baggy jumpers. Maybe Julia’s baggy jumper phase reaches its zenith in this domestic violence thriller with a horror movie atmosphere.
The Mexican (2001)
Forget about Brad Pitt as he plods around Mexico in quest of an antique pistol, the best parts of this ill-fated road movie/romcom/thriller involve Julia Roberts, playing Pitt’s angry girlfriend and the gay hitman (James Gandolfini, in top form), who kidnaps her on her way to Las Vegas.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Though she plays the skinniest food writer in film history, Our Lady of the Concave Stomach nonetheless wins our sympathies despite her immoral actions in an attempt to destroy her male friend’s engagement. There are three Burt Bacharach singalongs seven pratfalls and a zinger of a concluding line from Rupert Everett as Julia’s gay pal, all of which give this story of painful envy a frothy camp makeover.
Mike Nichols’s adaptation of Patrick Marber’s London-set drama features a cast that includes Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts (as a photographer). They frequently switch partners have (offscreen) sex and discuss adultery with brutal but not particularly intelligent honesty. Roberts’ look may be worth a thousand words but the crude speech is nonetheless stubbornly dramatic.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Roberts broke through in this charming female coming-of-age independent film set in a Connecticut coastal town centered on three Portuguese-American teenagers working at a pizza parlor. Annabeth Gish and Lili Taylor are also fantastic, but Roberts steals the show with her stunning basking shark teeth.
Charlotte’s Web (2006)
What you think you can keep yourself from laughing at Oprah Winfrey dressed as a talking goose or at Dakota Fanning taking home a piglet? Try again. I dare you not to get all misty-eyed watching this live-action adaptation of EB White’s children’s classic with Julia Roberts lending her voice to the eponymous spider.
The Normal Heart (2014)
All the ranting you’d expect from an HBO version of Larry Kramer’s play is present in Ryan Murphy’s film about the AIDS pandemic in 1980s New York, but it works. As a doctor trying to piece together information about the mysterious virus killing her patients Roberts shows a devastating display of furious wrath.
Tony Gilroy’s follow-up to Michael Clayton features Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in the roles of dueling corporate spies. There are worse things to do than watch two good-looking actors flash false smiles and have sex in fancy surroundings but after straightening out all the storyline twists and chronological juggling, you’re left with less than meets the eye.
The Pelican Brief (1993)
In this John Grisham thriller Roberts plays a law student who becomes the target of assassins after discovering a rather dull plot. Denzel Washington plays a reporter who aids her in eluding assassins, despite reports that he banned any relationships between characters of different races. Julia wears at least one oversized sweater but she could have used some Hitchcock-style flirting.
Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
In the penultimate picture from director Mike Nichols, Tom Hanks plays a real-life Texas congressman who, in the 1980s formed a shady relationship with a renegade CIA agent and a right-wing socialite to sell ammunition to Afghan freedom fighters. Roberts seems confident in her role as the prototypical Trumpette, crimping her blond hair and declumping her mascara with a safety pin while reciting statistics about SAMs.
Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Roberts blends in with the chill vibes of the rest of the actors in this sequel to Steven Soderbergh’s caper film, which has a plot as incoherent as a stock certificate or a Fabergé egg (who cares) and a soundtrack as ethereal as a tidal wave. Sit back and watch beautiful movie stars walk around Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. Mrs. Ocean (Roberts) is tricked into pretending to be Julia Roberts a famous movie star.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
In George Clooney’s directorial debut based on the mythomaniacal memoirs of Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) an American game show host who claims to have moonlighted as a CIA hitman, Julia Roberts has a blast playing a typical femme fatale. The film was adapted by Charlie Kaufman. One of those classic mistakes, a poisoned coffee cup switcheroo is the catalyst for the end of Julia and Sam’s romance.
Notting Hill (1999)
He owns a bookstore near Portobello Road and she’s a Hollywood celebrity. Similar to the other screenplays Richard Curtis has written, the plot here consists more of disconnected scenes than an unfolding story. But there are some enjoyable bits and Roberts (deftly underplaying a version of herself) and Hugh Grant are both really entertaining in this prosecco-filled romantic comedy.
Pretty Woman (1990)
On Hollywood Boulevard a sex worker and a multimillionaire fall in love when the latter pays for her to go dress shopping. Roberts in the role that made her famous and Richard Gere obviously impressed by this adorable popsy in thigh-high heels are the only reasons this harmful tosh works as a romantic comedy. She indeed walks like a truck driver but so does Garbo.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
In this biographical legal drama for which she earned an Academy Award for Best Actress Roberts displays perfectly calibrated cleavage as a foul-mouthed single mother fighting for the little people against corporate America. Erin is not always polite (not least to other women) but her abrasiveness is what makes her such a joy to watch and director Steven Soderbergh winds her up and sets her loose.
This concludes our list of the top Julia Roberts movies. Thank you for reading! Visit us here on Lee Daily to see even more of this type of content.
- 1 Mary Reilly (1996)
- 2 Dying Young (1991)
- 3 Wonder (2017)
- 4 Steel Magnolias (1989)
- 5 August, Osage County (2013)
- 6 Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)
- 7 The Mexican (2001)
- 8 My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
- 9 Closer (2004)
- 10 Mystic Pizza (1988)
- 11 Charlotte’s Web (2006)
- 12 The Normal Heart (2014)
- 13 Duplicity (2009)
- 14 The Pelican Brief (1993)
- 15 Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
- 16 Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
- 17 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
- 18 Notting Hill (1999)
- 19 Pretty Woman (1990)
- 20 Erin Brockovich (2000)