The 10 Best Rooney Mara Movies

The 10 Best Rooney Mara Movies

Rooney Mara is an undeniably talented actor. For her relatively young age, she has had not only an impressive number of roles in general—but a significant amount of key roles in acclaimed films. She has worked with some of the most talented directors today, including Spike Jonze, Todd Haynes, David Fincher, Terrence Malick, Gus Van Sant and Steven Soderbergh. She has been nominated for many awards, including two Academy Awards (for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Carol) and two Golden Globes (the same). Indeed, she deserves much praise for her work so far, and fans can only hope that she continues to get more great roles and give great performances. Here are her ten best films to date.

Carol (2015)

Todd Haynes portrays an incredible, doomed mid-20th-century romance in Carol. Mara and Cate Blanchett both give career-high or career-near-high performances as the two lovers. Even in the year 2015, which had so many truly great films, it stands out among the rest as a piece truly noteworthy.

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Her (2013)

Spike Jonze’s beautiful and bizarre love story would be incomplete without Mara’s performance. Her character, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix)’s ex-wife, is the impetus for the entire situation he finds himself in, emotionally-speaking. It is one of the most gorgeous films of the decade.

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The Social Network (2010)

Years from now we may look back and declare The Social Network one of the greatest highs of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s respective careers. Here, like in Her, Mara is the foil to the central character. She gives perhaps the best performance in the entire film in spite of the fact that she takes up less than ten minutes of screentime.

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A Ghost Story (2017)

A Ghost Story is an interesting, unique take on grief and loss. Mara plays the widow of a recently deceased man who, donning a sheet with eye-holes cut out, is forced to share a space with her as she learns to move on from his passing. It is a unique and heartbreaking piece from David Lowery, the talented director behind Upstream Color.

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Song to Song (2017)

Song to Song is a dizzying film typical of Terrence Malick in this part of his career. It tells the story through mood and small interactions rather than any sort of specific act structure. Mara and her co-stars Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman play figures of varying social and financial standing in the Austin, Texas music scene. The film follows the complex relationships they form with one another in this dreamy film.

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Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Laika has built a reputation as one of the best stop-motion animators in the game. Rightfully so — Coraline and ParaNorman were both truly special films. Kubo and the Two Strings follows suit, telling the story of the son of a deceased samurai. Mara gives a great double vocal performance as highly-skilled twin assassins.

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Side Effects (2013)

Steven Soderbergh has long proven himself to be a master of both comedy and tragedy. Side Effects is the latter, telling the story of a clinically depressed woman (Mara), the drugs she takes and the ripples her actions have throughout the people around her, including her husband (Channing Tatum), and her psychiatrists (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jude Law). It is probably the tensest, unnerving film in Mara’s body of work.

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Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot brought Mara and Joaquin Phoenix back together. A man (Joaquin Phoenix) is left disabled as a result of his alcoholism. Blessed to have survived at all, he struggles to get better with the help of his girlfriend (Mara), his sponsor (Jonah Hill), and the healing power of creating art. Director Gus Van Sant delivers an uplifting recovery tale.

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Lion (2016)

Lion, based on a true story, details the life of an Indian boy who gets lost on a train, never to see his family again. He is adopted by an Australian family and as an adult (Dev Patel), he resolves to use the power of technology and his own memories to find his biological family from whom he was separated. Mara plays his girlfriend in the powerfully emotional film.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

After the success of The Social Network, director David Fincher also hired Mara to play the title character in his next project. Her name is Lisabeth Salander and her game is computer hacking. She is enlisted by an investigator, Mikael Blomqvist (Daniel Craig), in a search for a woman who has been missing for decades. Fincher delivers an exciting but haunting film from start to finish.

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