10 best Kristen Stewart movies
There may not be another actor as talented as Kristen Stewart who is as quickly dismissed because she had a series of bad roles at the start of her career (no one else except Robert Pattinson). Stewart’s performances throughout the Twilight Saga were less than great, that’s undeniable. But, it’s important to note that she has gotten significantly better in the years since leaving these controversial and universally panned films.
After Twilight came to an end, who could blame Stewart for wanting to try new roles for a change? Turns out, these different roles made all the difference and proved her competence as one of the greatest actors of the 21st century so far. Not convinced? Below is a collection of some of her best roles. Check them out and decide for yourself.
Clouds of Sils Maria
Kristen Stewart costars in this 2014 drama with Juliette Binoche and Chloë Grace Moretz, but she is ultimately the one who shines the brightest among the three. As a film star (Binoche) struggles to reprise her role in a revival of the play that initially launched her career, Stewart plays her assistant throughout her slow descent into self-destruction.
Stewart’s second feature with Oliver Assayas (the first being Clouds of Sils Maria) puts her front and center. A strange little ghost story of sorts, Stewart plays the titular personal shopper who refuses to leave Paris until she comes into contact with her twin brother who died in Paris years earlier. It’s creepy, complicated, and mysterious, and it’s one of her best performances to date.
Costarring with Laura Dern and Michelle Williams, Stewart plays one of three women whose lives intersect in a small town in America. All three characters are blazing trails in their own respective ways, and writer/director Kelly Reichardt really lets each of them shine for that very reason (but especially Stewart, who plays a young lawyer).
Into the Wild
Based on the infamous true story that you may or may not have had to read in high school, Into the Wild’s feature film adaptation stars Emile Hirsch as a picture perfect college graduate with everything to lose. He donates his entire savings account to charity and heads, well, into the wild. Stewart plays a teenager who falls for him for a brief period, but her relatively small part is enough to make a big impression in the midst of her Twilight years.
Another film based on a true story, Still Alice follows Julianne Moore as Alice Howard, a mom who starts to lose her memory at a relatively young age. Stewart plays her troubled and confused daughter who struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mom’s mind. She nails the role, and it even earned her a few award nominations.
Released before the world knew she would become Bella Swan, Speak tells the brutally honest and incredibly troubling story of the life of high school freshman Melinda Sordino. Kristen Stewart plays the part with dignity and confidence and grace, all of which are important to keep in mind as you watch her play a character who faces so much adversity.
Released the same year as Clouds of Sils Maria and Still Alice, rounding out a great series of films, is Camp X-Ray: the story of the detention facility on Guantanamo Bay called, as the title suggests, Camp X-Ray. The film is deep and dramatic and hard to watch at times, but Stewart’s stoicism is the perfect match for her character.
Believe it or not, Stewart is essentially a child actress. The 2002 film Panic Room is one example of her talent at such a young age. Directed by David Fincher with his typical expertise for suspense, the film tells the story of a mother and daughter who seek refuge in their home’s panic room as robbers enter their house in search of riches.
This 2009 indie comes from Greg Mottola, the director of Superbad. Stewart stars with the equally awkward Jesse Eisenberg as two carnival employees during the summer after their college graduation in 1987. It’s a charming movie, and Stewart plays her sarcastic and entertaining character with real talent.
Again starring Eisenberg and Stewart, this time in much different roles, is American Ultra. While it received mixed reviews at its release, it has real potential to be a cult classic of sorts in a few years. Stewart plays the girlfriend to Eisenberg’s stoner-turned-killing machine. The movie is entertaining enough, due largely to Stewart and Eisenberg’s chemistry on-screen.