10 best Jennifer Garner movies
Jennifer Garner was destined to become a romantic comedy darling ever since she first appeared on the scene back in the drama Washington Square at age 15. She’d go on to score a leading role in Dude, Where’s My Car? and the J.J. Abrams series Alias in the early 2000s, securing her status as a unique and lovable actress. After Alias, she really started to make a name for herself after playing a few leading ladies in some notable romantic comedies. She diversified her filmography since then, proving herself to be capable of all kinds of roles from romance to drama to comedy to a mix of all three. She’s come a long way since that role in the goofy Ashton Kutcher film: she’s now a Golden Globe winner, an Emmy nominee, and star of a couple Oscar-winning films, too.
Dallas Buyers Club
Jean-Marc Vallée’s breakout film, Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner as a team trying to help AIDS patients get the medicine they need in 1985 Dallas. McConaughey and Jared Leto’s performances were both praised extensively, but Garner brings a much-needed sense of heart to the film.
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One of two 2007 films to give Michael Cera a huge career boost, Juno stars Garner as one half of a couple who hopes to adopt the result of two teens’ unplanned pregnancy. Cera and Ellen Page are obviously great in the film, but Garner’s role is both complex and charming.
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The most recent film on the list, Love, Simon is an important and groundbreaking romcom about a high-schooler coming to terms with his identity. It was the first film produced by a major Hollywood studio to star a gay teenage protagonist, and Garner plays his mom. She brings a loving and accepting feel to a film with such a complicated and heavy subject matter.
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Wakefield is an interesting role for Garner: she’s Diana Wakefield, the wife to Bryan Cranston’s Howard Wakefield, who gets left behind when her husband has a nervous breakdown and decides to live in the attic. It’s a smart and deep film, and Garner is largely to thank.
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Catch Me If You Can
Garner’s role in this spectacular Steven Spielberg film is less important than some of her others, but that doesn’t make it any less good. The movie is a real trip, following a chase between an FBI agent and a criminal mastermind, and Garner plays a nice, small part in the grand scheme of it all.
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13 Going on 30
Easily her most charming role to date, 13 Going on 30 is an inventive and sweet film about a 13-year-old who wishes she was older. She’s transported forward in time to age 30 and given a chance to right certain wrongs in her life through some cosmic reverse-engineering. By seeing her future, she’s able to amend her past. She’s delightful and hilarious in the film, and it’s probably her most lighthearted and widely-known film role to date.
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It was surprising to see such a dramatic turn from Garner so early in her career, but it fits well within the context of her departure from Alias a year or two prior to the film. The Kingdom is one of Peter Berg’s earliest films, but it has all the signature elements: war, firefight, and up-close-and-personal action scenes. Garner’s part of a team of government officials trying to get to the bottom of a bombing at an American facility in the Middle East, and she’s as balanced and sturdy as ever.
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Dan Fogelman is now better known for his spearheading of NBC’s hit drama This Is Us, but he used to make quite a few dramatic comedies before the show came to be. One such dram-com is 2015’s Danny Collins. Following an aging rocker (Al Pacino) after he discovers a long-lost letter from John Lennon written to him, the film also features Garner in an important supporting role.
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Catch and Release
In what is basically a version of Four’s Company, Catch and Release sees Garner playing a woman grieving the loss of her fiancé while trying to move on with her life. She’s helped by her three friends (played by Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, and Sam Jaeger), all of which help her to overcome the secrets her fiancé left behind. It’s a sweet enough movie and Garner is perfectly cast.
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How innocent we were to the ways of Michael Bay when Pearl Harbor was released in the early 2000s. We had no idea what was to come from him, honestly, and his career seemed more promising then than it does now. Garner plays a nurse (Nurse Sandra, to be exact) alongside Jaime King, Catherine Kellner, and Kate Beckinsale.
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