10 best Charlize Theron movies
South African actress Charlize Theron is one of the rarest types in Hollywood: she can do action, comedy, drama, she can do small-budget indies or big-budget blockbusters, she can play the leading role or she can pick up the slack in a supporting part. She is inimitable and this shines through in countless films.
With that being said, we’re going to try and count them anyway. There are a bunch of her roles that jump out of her filmography and demand to be recognized for her artistic range, her ability to be a team player, and her sheer talent as an actress.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Charlize Theron’s Furiosa is largely why this sequel/soft reboot performed so strongly. She is tough, she is unrelenting, she is driven. Her performance in this Oscar-winning George Miller vehicle is nothing short of all-out, petal-to-the-metal fun. As a matter of fact, her role was so praised there was talk of a spinoff film centered entirely around Furiosa. While there’s no telling whether that’ll happen or not, one thing’s for sure: her character holds up against plenty of rewatches.
So much more than just a female John Wick, Theron’s Atomic Blonde is filled with so many spectacular action sequences it’s hard to keep track. There should be ten of these films by now, they’re so great. Not only does she deliver when it comes to the hand-to-hand combat scenes, but she also keeps the momentum going through each twist and turn the story takes. It’s the perfect role for her, and I can’t wait for her to take on more roles like this.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Even though we just hear her voice in this stop-motion animated feature from the always-great Laika Studios, Theron’s contributions to this film are countless and essential. She leads Kubo in such a way that her presence would be missed if she were not in the leading role she plays. While she doesn’t do very much voice acting, her role in this film makes you wish she would.
To tell the story of America’s first female serial killer, Charlize Theron makes herself almost completely unrecognizable. She looks weathered, worn, destroyed by the ways of the world and driven, through awful circumstances of her life, to kill. The performance is spectacularly unsettling and uniquely her own. It’s a role deserving of the praise she received.
One of 2018’s most well-received indies, Tully stars Charlize Theron as an overworked mom in need of a release. She plays the part as if she were really living the life of the character, and her skills as an actress are largely what set this movie above being just a regular ol’ indie.
Hey, who knew that Cormac McCarthy actually isn’t all that unfilmable? This adaptation of one of his most popular and most complex novels features Charlize Theron in a supporting role of sorts, but that doesn’t make the performance any less memorable at all. The film’s a lot easier to digest than the book, and it’s nice to see Theron take part in it.
Like Tully, Young Adult has Charlize Theron playing a character different than most—one that requires an understanding of a life someone who has spent a lot of time in Hollywood might not understand. The sheer humanity she brings to the table is what helps her carry this film to greatness—plus, its success is likely what led to the creation of Tully. Writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman are responsible for both.
The Fate of the Furious
It’s not often we see Charlize Theron in a blockbuster, but hopefully that changes after her talent in the eighth Fast and Furious film. While some were lukewarm toward this installment, I found it to be one of the strongest in the series so far (partly thanks to Charlize, to be sure). I think it’s great she decided to take on this role, especially because it’s not necessarily Oscar bait like one might expect an actress like her to be concerned with.
The Italian Job
In the same way that Atomic Blonde, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Fate of the Furious show off Charlize Theron’s knack for action, The Italian Job shows us that this is not something new for her. Released in 2003, a whole decade before her recent string of blockbusters, Charlize nails the female lead in this action/heist remake. Seeing her in this film, it’s easy to understand why she could act in films like Atomic Blonde and Fate of the Furious later on down the line.
Charlize Theron, apart from acting, has no problem making herself out to be an activist. That’s why her performance in North County, the story of one of the first successful sexual harassment cases in the United States, is so important to her and her filmography. She, along with the rest of the very strong cast of this film, end up producing something really important with this film.