Best Julia Roberts Movies, Ranked

Critically acclaimed actress Julia Roberts has had a tremendous career, starring in some of the most beloved movies from the past 30 years. She is a master when it comes to the rom-com, but has proven over the years that she is just as capable of starring in serious dramas, working with extremely talented actors from Tom Hanks to Meryl Streep and George Clooney. Her work is diverse, but the constant is that Roberts always gives a great performance.

The actress’s most beloved film to date is the 1990 romance/comedy from director Garry Marshall, Pretty Woman. Roberts plays Vivian Ward, a sex worker living in Los Angeles who becomes involved with a wealthy businessman named Edward Lewis, played by Richard Gere, and the two fall for one another. Her performance was incredible and brought her career to an entirely new level, earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Next, Roberts is set to appear in the upcoming Starz limited series Gaslit opposite Sean Penn, which details the infamous Watergate scandal, as well as a rom-com with Clooney. As we await further news on the series, here’s a look at Julia Roberts’ best movies, ranked.

Related: George Clooney Reveals Details of New Rom-Com with Julia Roberts

8 Ocean’s Eleven


One of the best aspects of Steven Soderbergh’s crime/comedy Ocean’s Eleven is its incredibly talented A-list cast. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Andy García, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, and Julia Roberts all star in this fan-favorite film that revolves around a hilarious and extremely entertaining heist. Ocean’s Eleven is the first installment of Soderbergh’s American heist film trilogy. The other two films involved in the trilogy include Ocean’s Twelve released in 2004 and Ocean’s Thirteen released in 2007. Roberts went on to star in the second film, but not the third due to the fact that the script didn’t allow for her character Tess Ocean to have a significant role in the plot.

7 Wonder


The film Wonder is a beautiful adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s novel about a boy born with physical deformities, who changes the lives of his family, friends, and classmates with his courage and compassion. Every day Auggie goes to schoo,l he battles being accepted by his classmates, and even though this is a family movie, it’s filled with scenes that are constantly tugging at our heartstrings. Jacob Tremblay stars in the film, giving an incredible performance alongside Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, who play his parents Isabel and Nate Pullman, respectively.

6 Erin Brockovich


Erin Brockovich was an extremely important role for Julia Roberts’ career, winning the actress her first Academy Award in 2001 for Best Actress. This drama/romance directed by Steven Soderbergh is based on the true story of an American legal clerk who discovered a coverup involving groundwater contamination that was severally affecting residents in California. Brockovich fought against the Pacific Gas & Electric Company despite her lack of education in law. This movie was also nominated for four other Oscars in addition to Roberts’ win, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (for Albert Finney), and Best Original Screenplay.

5 Closer


Julia Roberts stars as Anna in director Mike Nichols’ romance/drama Closer alongside Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, and Jude Law. The film was released in 2004 and follows two couples who fall in love, then out of love, and then everything in between. From purposefully hurting one another and getting bored with where they are in their relationships, the way these four characters treat each other is the primary focus of the film. Portman and Owen were both nominated for Oscars for in 2005 for their portrayals.

4 Charlie Wilson’s War


Tom Hanks is one of the most successful and acclaimed actors of his generation and has been a part of some of the greatest movies over the past thirty years. Watching him and Julia Roberts on screen together is magic in Mike Nichols’ drama Charlie Wilson’s War. Looking at Roberts’ career, it is noticeable that she has a tendency to work with certain actors and directors repeatedly. The chemistry and collaboration are evident in her work, which is one of the reasons why her films are so successful. Charlie Wilson’s War was very well received from the start, earning an 82% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Related: Best Tom Hanks Movies, Ranked

3 August: Osage County


August: Osage County is the story of three sisters played by Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson, who return home after the death of their father, only to be torn down by their harsh mother Violet, played by the great Meryl Streep. Streep received one of her 21 Academy Award nominations for her role in the film. John Wells’ drama/comedy is an adaptation from the play August: Osage County from playwright Tracy Letts.

2 Ben Is Back


Ben Is Back is one of Roberts’ most recent and acclaimed works to date. She stars as Holly Burns whose son Ben is a drug addict and recently returned home from college for the holidays. When Ben comes back home from school on Christmas Eve, the truth about Ben’s addiction is unveiled and Holly does everything in her power to help her son and keep him clean. Lucas Hedges plays Ben Burns, and gives one of the greatest performances of his career so far.

1 Pretty Woman


Coming in at number one on the list is Julia Roberts’ most iconic movie of all time: the 1990 rom-com Pretty Woman. Roberts plays Vivian Ward, a sex worker living in California who finds herself one night with an extremely successful businessman named Edward Lewis played by Richard Gere. What at first seemed like a mistake becomes a blossoming relationship and the two fall in love during this hilarious two-hour film. There are so many iconic scenes and quotes from the movie, like “She reduces him right back” and “Big mistake. Big. Huge.” — which are still referenced today. This movie is a rom-com classic and definitely a must-watch.


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Best Julia Roberts Movies, Ranked