Johansson's breakout role was as the slightly more normalized girl Rebecca opposite Thora Birch's confirmed eccentric Enid in this dark and pointed graphic novel adaptation. Her chemistry with Birch was terrific, and it's a shame the two have yet to reunite onscreen in the ensuing years...
Playing something of a stand-in for director Sophia Coppola, Johansson plays a recent college graduate whose relationship to her photographer husband is strained. Enter Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a famous movie star who she bonds with over drinks and winds up having some adventures with in Tokyo. This is the movie that cemented her reputation as a star-in-the-making. She earned her first Golden Globe nomination for the film.
She stretched her dramatic chops as a sexy-but-unstable seductress in Woody Allen's England-set thriller. Her Nola turns out to be such a headcase that Jonathan Rhys Meyers' character has to resort to murder to prevent her from ruining his family life and connections. This was the first of three successful outings with director Allen for her, and earned her another Golden Globe nomination.
Inheriting the role from Emily Blunt, who had to drop out of Iron Man 2 at the last minute, Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. superspy Black Widow) has become a signature role for Johansson and proved that she is an action star to be reckoned with. She has so far played the role in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War and the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War! Hopefully one day the character will get a solo film of her own as well.
The directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt casts him as a working class Italian Jersey dude who hooks up with the wealthy Jewish American Princess Barbara (Johansson), who forces him to go a month without sex in order to date her. Johansson has a ball with the role, laying the accent on thick, and really loses it emotionally when she finds out Jon is addicted to pornography.
Once again Johansson found luck replacing an actress, though this time she took over the voice role of an artificial intelligence system opposite Joaquin Phoenix from Samantha Morton in post-production. The film went on to garner praise from critics and earned writer/director Spike Jonze an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
In perhaps the biggest departure of her career, Johansson took a bold choice to portray an alien who seduces and kills Scottish men in Jonathan Glazer's critically-hailed film. Although she has yet to get an Oscar nomination under her belt, this film did earn her an award for Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.
Teaming with action maestro Luc Besson, Johansson scored the biggest solo success of her career in this sleeper action hit where she plays a woman who accidentally absorbs a drug that unleashes the full capacity of the human mind... including superpowers!
Johansson worked with the Coen Brothers for the second time after 2001's The Man Who Wasn't There, this time playing a loose parody of Golden Age Hollywood actress Esther Williams. Her hilarious scenes opposite Jonah Hill and great underwater choreography are a highlight of this all-star comedy.
After working with director Jon Favreau on Iron Man 2 and Chef, she re-teamed with him a third time to provide the voice of Rudyard Kipling's famous hypnotic snake in this mostly computer-generated "live-action" film that proved to be a global smash at the box office.