The best Margot Robbie movies
Margot Robbie is exploding in Hollywood. Over the past few years, the ethereally gorgeous actress has worked with Martin Scorsese, been nominated for an Oscar, and immortalized a comic book villain. In the near future, Robbie will be starring as Sharon Tate in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It is a testament to how talented she is. Also, rumor has it that Sony is courting her to play their live-action Barbie. This is a testament to how beautiful she is. Beautiful & talented is often hard to come by in Hollywood, and that is why Margot Robbie has quickly climbed to A-list level.
Robbie had a small role in Richard Curtis’s About Time and a few other TV projects. However, most people were introduced to her when she lit up the screen in The Wolf of Wall Street. Since then, she has had many great roles. Some are serious and show her range as an actress. Some are ridiculous and exhibit her status as a screen siren. Unfortunately, Just like any actress in the industry, there are times she was wasted. A few times she was given the thankless role of the wife/love interest (Focus, Goodbye Christopher Robin, The Legend of Tarzan). But, many other times she owned her characters and truly shined.
Here are the best roles of Margot Robbie’s career.
Ann Burden in Z for Zachariah (2015)
It is surprising that Z for Zachariah did not get more attention. It is a post-apocalyptic drama where nuclear fallout has dashed the world. In a small Adirondack valley protected from the poison air, Ann (Robbie) has sustained herself. Then John (Chiwetel Ejiofor) arrives. Later, Caleb (Chris Pine) arrives. There is no apocalyptic imagery other than the lack of other people. What there is is a poignant drama about these three people. There is friendship, camaraderie, love, jealousy, and even deception. Margot Robbie is wonderful as Ann. She is a strong, self-reliant woman who doesn’t have time for the affections and envy of these two men. It provides a lot of tension and excitement. Directed by Craig Zobel, Z for Zachariah is a solid acting exercise by all three stars, but especially Robbie.
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Herself in The Big Short (2015)
Adam McKay’s dramedy about the 2008 housing disaster was an incredibly unique film. In order to explain the complex mortgage economics, he often used cutaways of celebrities, playing themselves. By far, the best of these cutaways involves Margot Robbie in a bubble bath. This is Robbie owning her sex symbol status. It is a hysterical way to make sure people pay attention to the explanation of subprime mortgages. Who is going to look away from Margot Robbie in a bubble bath? No one!!
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Tanya Vanderpoel in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is an outstanding film about Kim Baker. Kim is a New York journalist whose life sends her toward a three-month assignment covering war-torn Afghanistan. This film belongs to Tina Fey 100%. However, Margot Robbie’s role of Tanya Vanderpoel is crucial to the development of Kim Baker’s character. Tanya is a seasoned veteran British war journalist. She knows the ins and outs of the job and what it means to be a woman in the patriarchal Middle East. Tanya’s immediate friendship and mentorship for Kim adds plenty of levity and support for the fish-out-of-water. This exchange in the film is priceless, and Robbie’s delivery is perfect:
Tanya: Because you’re what, I mean, you’re like, a seven, a six, seven in New York? Here, you’re a nine. Borderline ten. It’s called “Kabul Cute.”
Kim: What are you here, like a 15?
In WTF, Robbie really proves that she has great comic timing and functions as a character actress just as well as a leading lady. That isn’t easy to do.
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Annie in Terminal (2018)
This mess of a movie is as if the filmmakers were out to emulate a Richard Kelly film. They succeed at that admirably. It is pretty, with goofy but intriguing performances, and it all operates with a severe secret that you know will be revealed so you stay on board. Margot Robbie is front and center as Annie. She is a manipulative, depraved waitress that always seems like the smartest person in the room. Simon Pegg’s dying English teacher is helpless against her charm. She is an irresistible seductress toward Dexter Fletcher’s assassin character. There are also several subplots about infiltrating a mercenary group and the odd omniscience of Mike Meyer’s janitor role. It all adds up to a convoluted mess, but that is no fault of its star. Robbie has the charisma and magnetism that no matter how confused and lost you might become, she is worth hanging in there.
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Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016)
Say what you will about David Ayer’s ridiculous mashup of DC’s villains, it was better than Justice League. Sure, the story is shallow and Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress is a terrible antagonist, but two things saved this film. That is Margot Robbie and Will Smith, reuniting after there pairing in 2015’s Focus. Will Smith does everything he can to bring some gravitas and morally acceptable villainy to his Deadshot. However, it is Robbie as Harley Quinn that steals the entire show. Every scene she is in is funny, magnetic, and enticing. Harley Quinn has such jubilant insanity that you are amazed the role didn’t get away from Robbie. You won’t quite buy her utility in a group where a man can’t miss a gunshot, a man can control fire, and a walking alligator. Come on, she carries a bat and a gun. But Robbie is so good that somehow you believe she is imperative to the team. As if her craziness is the catalyst that holds these bad guys together.
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Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Margot Robbie’s performance in The Wolf of Wall Street effectively jumpstarted her career. Martin Scorsese has a knack for writing incredibly strong female characters in his macho male-oriented dramas. Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas, Sharon Stone in Casino, Vera Farmiga in The Departed, and then Robbie. She plays Naomi with such confidence that she goes blow for acting blow with the stellar Leonardo DiCaprio. Such manic energy, such depravity, and such machismo are being thrown around the screen. However, it takes a special kind of actress to reign in her man and use her feminine wiles as a weapon to keep him in line. That vulgar scene, where she tempts Jordan with her nakedness, only to deny him and reduce him to a prostrating child. That is where she became a star.
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Tonya Harding in I, Tonya (2017)
That moment that Tonya lands her jump and the Euphoria pours from Margot Robbie’s expression. That is where she solidified her first Oscar nomination. In 2017’s I, Tonya, Robbie runs the gamut of emotions like a seasoned veteran. At times, her Tonya is hysterically trashy and pitiful. Other times, she is inspiring and passionate. However, most importantly, she can be naive and tragic, which becomes the focal tone of the film. Robbie owned her role of Tonya completely. She never slipped into caricature and treated her and her story with the deepest of respect. It doesn’t matter that she didn’t walk away with the Best Actress statue in 2017. Those final scenes where she is stripped of her right to skate was some of the greatest acting of the entire year.
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