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Best Emma Stone Movies, Ranked

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Emma Stone is one of the most successful and sought-after actresses currently working in the industry. At the age of thirty-three, the actress already has an Academy Award win and several nominations under her belt. She moved to Los Angeles at the age of fifteen to start auditioning and pursue her acting career, and although she originally wasn’t landing too many roles, things quickly turned around when she got the part of Jules in Superbad.

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While Stone has always been a brilliant actress, her career was taken to a new level in 2017 when she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Mia in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. Most recently Stone worked on the Disney film Cruella which was just released in 2021, and we are eager to see what the actress’s next film has in store. Stone has such a wide range of films where she delivers the utmost commitment and authenticity in every role she plays. Here are ten of Emma Stone’s best movies, ranked.

Related: Emma Stone Says Little Mermaid Villain Ursula Should Get Her Own Movie

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The Rocker is a musical comedy from director Peter Cattaneo that was released in 2011. This film is hilarious and stars the incredible Rainn Wilson, Emma Stone, Teddy Geiger, and Josh Gad. While this movie is a smaller budget film that brought in roughly eight million dollars at the box office the amount of talent in the film is what makes it spectacular. Wilson and Stone are so brilliant at what they do, The Rocker is worth watching just for them.

In 2021 Disney released Cruella, a wildly glamourous look into the making of one of the world’s most fashionable Disney “villains.” Stone took on the challenge of playing the one and only Cruella alongside a cast full of extremely talented actors such as Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, John McCrea, and Mark Strong. This film was very well received and has already earned a handful of industry awards nominations. Stone has agreed to a Cruella sequel that is set to release sometime in 2023.

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Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man where Andrew Garfield plays the extremely loved characters Peter Parker and Spider-Man. This superhero has dominated the box-office worldwide for years now and fans keep coming back to see each new adaption of the story from Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man, and most recently Tom Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home​​​​​​ which recently became one of the top eight highest-grossing films of all time.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a classic rom-com with a killer cast starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Julianne Moore. This is Stone’s first collaboration with Carrell and Gosling who she would later go on to work with in Battle of the Sexes and La La Land (respectively). The movie follows a recently divorced man named Cal (Carell) who is getting an extreme makeover and lesson in dating from a much smoother and more experienced bachelor played by Gosling.

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This film marks a milestone in Emma Stone’s career and became a breakthrough role for her as it was her first time as a leading actress in a film. Easy A is a teen rom-com released in 2010 and was directed by Will Gluck. Stone plays Olive, a cookie-cutter teenager who has a clean reputation for playing it safe. When she decides to tell a little lie about her crazy weekend, the rumor spreads like wildfire throughout the high school and her reputation shifts completely.

Related: 10 Totally Forgotten About Teen Comedies That Are Actually Good

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Even nearly fifteen years after its initial release Superbad is still as funny as ever. With a hilarious screenplay from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and a cast filled with so many comedy stars from Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone, Bill Hader, and Martha MacIssac. Superbad has received extreme praise over the years and has been recognized as one of the best comedies from the 2000s.

In an effort to fight for equal pay, this Emma Stone and Steve Carell collaboration tells the true story of a tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs which quickly became the most-watched televised sports event. Battle of the Sexes was directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton and was released in 2017. The film earned both Stone and Carell Golden Globe nominations for their work in the movie.

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The Favourite is a drama/comedy directed by Yorgos Lanthimos with an all-star cast including Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone. From Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Favourite all of Lanthimos’ films are brilliant and filled with madness in the best way. The Favourite received major critical acclaim and was nominated for ten Academy Awards ultimately taking home the Oscar for Best Actress for Olivia Colman’s portrayal of Queen Anne.

Birdman is a film you can watch a dozen times and still find something new in it every time you see it. It is a brilliant film and a true testament to what a genius filmmaker and director Alejandro González Iñárritu is. Michael Keaton stars in the film as Birdman himself alongside Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Amy Ryan. The film went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

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Related: Here Are The 7 Best Movies About Having An Existential Crisis

Arguably Emma Stone’s most loved and well-known role to date is that of Mia in Damien Chazelle’s musical/comedy La La Land. The film tells the story of two young artists trying to make their big dreams a reality in Hollywood. While already fighting against the odds and the rarity it is to make it big in the entertainment industry these two characters, Mia and Sebastian, are also fighting to make their relationship work and support one another through this journey. Stone and Gosling’s chemistry is electric, and this is undeniably one of the most important roles of Stone’s career as it made her an Oscar winner in the category of Best Actress.

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Here's What Makes Luca a Groundbreaking Pixar Movie

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Pixar Animation Studio has been responsible for the birth of some of the most popular—and best—movies in Western animation. They expeditiously rose to prominence after introducing full-length computer-animated films into theaters while establishing the tone of their brand. Pixar created original in-house content that would spark a reinvigorated cultural adoration for animation and inspire generations of future artists. Titles such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, and countless others have served as staples in modern animated media.

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Luca follows the coming-of-age of shape-shifting Luca Paguro and is vastly inspired by director Enrico Casarosa’s youth spent on the Italian seaside. The sea monster teen is privy to a deeper understanding of personal identity while caught between worlds. It was Cararosa who said that Luca “pays homage to Federico Fellini and other classic Italian filmmakers, with a dash of [Hayao] Miyazaki in the mix too.” The film indulges itself in lush Mediterranean landscapes and the warmth of Pixar’s rich sentimental value without having to rely on redundancy. Here’s what makes Luca a groundbreaking Pixar movie.

Related: Luca Is Now Streaming for Free on Disney+

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Pixar has settled into the idea that their storytelling must tackle daunting issues in order for their movies to become memorable: embarking on cross-ocean adventures, competing in the World Grand Prix, and saving the world from supervillains who are bitter with vengefulness. Luca, however, prefers to appreciate the wonders of small-scale storytelling. There’s no humanity at stake, no world’s end on the brink of collapse, and no grand moral conflict that strings tension through the film. The film, instead, refines itself to a small-scope, domestic plot. Its intimacy within itself is where it finds its heart. Other Pixar titles face impossibly large threats; Luca proves that there’s no need for over-ambition in order to be good.

In comparison to past Pixar pictures, there would be a significant amount of screen time dedicated to the underwater metropolis of the sea monsters in order to capture the perspective of the species that keep themselves hidden away from humans. There would be a sprawling exposé that would go to great lengths to make sure that not only Luca and the Paguro family would be introduced, but so would the rest of the deep-sea society. Luca does none of that. Instead, there is utmost attention given to its character writing. While there is screen time devoted to the Paguro family, it doesn’t dominate the focal points of the film. There is no larger, interconnected Pixar multiverse that forces itself into the film. In place of such greater grand schemes that feel almost impossible to accomplish, there is the lighter feel of domestic values. The abandonment of world-building is an essential element that gives Luca its more atmospherically minimalist feel.

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Wall-E, Soul, and Inside Out have permitted room for personal resonance and have proved themselves to be incredibly introspective. Luca fixates on the coming-of-age of its titular character as he explores life outside the ocean. There’s not as much teenage angst or hormonal outburst as there is the want to embrace the understanding of oneself on a deeper level. Luca himself is torn between worlds as a sea monster and a human, and wrestles with the desire to exist in both. He grapples with his obligations to his family and the want to live on land. He is faced with the reality of making a choice and asked to determine what is best for himself. One scene details Luca’s mother worrying over how he’ll only be accepted as a human; his grandmother replies, “Some people, they’ll never accept him. But some will. And he seems to know how to find the good ones.”

Disney is notorious for queer-baiting across its media and remains guilty of upholding its misleading trend of promising queer representation during a movie’s promotional tour, but ultimately reneging on that promis. Luca refuses to label any relationships in the film, consequentially blurring the lines between platonic and romantic intentions between Luca and Alberto. In fact, Cararosa took action and squashed any theories that the two boys at the heart of the film were to be romantically involved, and said “I was really keen to talk about a friendship before girlfriends and boyfriends come in to complicate things.” The director’s dismissal of a queer romance influencing the film altogether did not, however, extinguish common LGBTQIA+ tropes working their way into the film and from LGBTQ+ viewers from drawing personal connections to the story. The main theme of “being an outcast” resonates with the idea of closeted queer people concealing their own identities. Despite the cautionary tale of facing rejection due to his sea monster form, Luca “comes out” by venturing on land. His kinship with Alberto, another sea monster teen, acts as a sense of visibility.

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The unconfirmed queer narrative discusses self-acceptance despite the fear of being ostracized. The film concludes on an uplifting note of the human community accepting Luca for who he is overlooking the prejudice of the hatred of sea monsters (which can be coded as homophobia). After the truth behind Luca and Alberto’s identities are revealed to the others, their right to exist isn’t questioned. Any assumption of how “sea monsters” act, behave, or are portrayed, is erased. This can relate directly back to the LGBTQIA+ community’s right to be conventionalized, even if some identities may face stereotypes and misunderstandings.

Related: Pixar Employees Reported Feeling ‘Demoralized’ After Disney Dumps Luca & Soul to Streaming

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Luca‘s most striking significance that first meets the eye is not the queer allegory that lies beneath its surface, but the unconventional art style behind it. The traditional ultra-realistic animation style that Pixar has defined its brand by is not found here. Cararosa was adamant that Luca was to take on a more “artistic, illustrated feel.” Effects supervisor Jon Reisch said “We started with what we knew and what we were most comfortable with, in this more physically-based world where we come from—so all of the simulation tools had this sense of physics and motion that really wants to result in this more photorealistic look.” There are no doe-eyed women with exceedingly long lashes and thinned waistlines, no unrealistically obtainable proportions or near-perfect body shapes are being depicted—the style is cartoonish, but not satirical.

Japanese 2D animation styles were also credited as heavy influences when bringing Luca to life. Cararosa reflects on his time watching Japanese animation while growing up in 1980s Italy. He explained the direct impact that the diversity in animation left on him when playing with how Luca would ultimately look. “Woodblock prints—beautiful simplifications of reflections, for example—are intriguing and appealing,” the director said. “They seem to inspire much of the Japanese animation and watercolors I admire, so we spent a lot of time looking at that.” Animation Supervisor Mike Venturini said that Pixar had to develop specialized technology in order to achieve a hybrid art style that broke their previous mold. In order to accomplish a new means of illustration for the film, the team was asked to reconsider their traditional approach.

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Director of photography David Bianchi contributes to the sense of creativity behind Luca: “It still feels like a CG film, but you can sense the hand[s] of the artists touching it.” The teams of artists behind the film source medieval descriptions of sea monsters as the inspirations for the aquatic forms of its fish people. At the same time, there’s a contraction from Character Art Director Deanna Marsigliese. “I also wanted to stay true to their decorative origins. You’ll notice beautiful, irregular scale patterns as if carved by hand,” she said, “You’ll see different kinds of facial fins, scalloped crests, sharp spines and webbing, and curlicues within the tails. And as our sea monsters age, these features only grow bigger and bolder. They’re beautiful creatures, and combined with their iridescence and gorgeous colors, could pass for pieces of costume jewelry.”

The unusual, distinct look of Luca is as purposeful as it is impactful. Its non-conforming design contributes to its nonconforming approach to Pixar, even though it falls beneath the studio’s banner. The noteworthy choice to alter the presentation of the film gives the animation syndicate the opportunity to thematically and artistically take themselves out of their comfort zone, recognizing that they can achieve more through boldness.

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Here Are Some of the Best Cinematic Historical Dramas

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It’s important to remember the past. Our history is what makes us who we are today, as people, as a society, and as a world. As the activist Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Indeed, without the past, we are nothing. A painful past tells us that we can endure anything and come out stronger than before. Meanwhile, a happy past gives us hope that life can be good. It tells us to fight for the things we love.

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Many historical dramas have emerged in television recently, but have always been prominent in the world of cinema. These include movies of hope, love, loss, and betrayal, with both painful and happy pasts. They show us what can happen when someone has a dream and fights for it, no matter the cost. Therefore, we can look at these historical masterpieces and be inspired.

This historical musical tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a criminal trying to redeem himself from his past mistakes while trying to survive the uprising in Paris in 1832. Unlike most musicals, Les Misérables is a tragedy, with many of the main characters meeting their demise. Yet, despite the sad tones of the movie, Les Misérables feels more inspirational, than devastating. It reveals the power of selfless love and redemption. Above all, it dares us to dream and follow our hearts, as embodied in the lyrics to its memorable song, “I dreamed a dream in times gone by. When hope was high and life worth living.”

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Little Women is a semi-autobiographical novel loosely based on the lives of author Louisa May Alcott and her three older sisters during the 19th century. It is a coming-of-age story, but more than that, it’s a story about family, love, and the friendship between the March sisters as they brave the turmoils of life. It’s easy to see why there have been so many remakes made over the years and this story is timeless and heartwarming. This 1994 version stars Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, Kirsten Dunst, and Susan Sarandon, and, along with Greta Gerwig’s 2019 iteration, is one of the best.

Related: Best Movies Based on Classic Literature

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Prepare for epic battles and tearjerker moments as you follow the Scottish warrior William Wallace as he leads his people in a rebellion to free Scotland from England in Braveheart. As the story is based on the life and death of William Wallace, many viewers will know the tale and the gut-wrenching (and gut-removing) ending. However, Braveheart feels anything but predictable. This includes its heartbreaking ending with the execution of Wallace, which was toned down for the film, as his actual means of death may have been too graphic to show on screen, even with the movie’s already R rating.

Learn the true(ish) story of British author Jane Austen and the hardships she faced that helped shape her novels. In Becoming Jane, Austen (Anne Hathaway) dreams of writing and freedom, but her financially unstable parents have another idea. They wish her to wed for wealth and security. However, Jane knows that such a marriage would be the end of her happiness. Shortly after her parents’ proposal, she falls for the dashing and penniless Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy) who encourages her to follow her dreams. While many romance stories are predictable, Becoming Jane does not feel quite as stereotypical to its genre, as it seems Jane herself does not know which path she’ll take. In addition, the film may end on a positive note, but there is no happily ever after marriage for Jane, who is now ironically known for her romance novels.

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During the American Revolution, farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) lives a peaceful life and doesn’t want to join the fight. However, after the senseless murdering of his son by a British officer, he joins the cause for America’s freedom. After his oldest son enlists in the army and is captured by the British, Benjamin abandons everything he previously knew about war and forms a new regiment of Carolina patriots. With their help, he will risk everything to save his son and his country. The Patriot beautifully captures the struggles of Benjamin Martin and depicts how war rips families apart.

Related: These Are the Best Revolutions Depicted on Film

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Grab your tissues for this World War II film, which follows the incredible true story of the events of May 1940. Under Hitler’s orders, Germany advances on France, trapping thousands of Allied soldiers on the beaches of Dunkirk. Nearby, villagers and townspeople rally together to help rescue over 330,000 French, British, Belgian, and Dutch Allied soldiers. Director Christopher Nolan tells the story through the use of action, utilizing minimal dialogue and background music in a bold and untraditional move. Yet, it works, and it’s impossible to imagine Dunkirk unfolding any other way.

12 Years a Slave is based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free Black man who was kidnaped and forced to work as a slave for a dozen years. In the film, violinist Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor), is happily married and living with his two children in New York. He travels to Washington, D.C., where two white men have promised him work as a musician. However, once he arrives, they drug him and sell him as a slave. For 12 years Solomon fights for his life and freedom until he is finally reunited with his family in New York in this emotionally visceral, haunting masterpiece.

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Hidden Figures takes place during the early stages of the U.S. space program and follows three intelligent Black women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson who start employment at NASA. The women find themselves up against segregation and sexism as they try to perform their work. However, all that changes as the staff at NASA discover how truly brilliant the women are as they contribute to one of the greatest achievements in space history, the launching of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Hidden Figures is an uplifting movie that inspires us to defy the odds to reach our true potentials.

Schindler’s List is one of many masterpieces by legendary director Steven Spielberg who filmed the movie in black and white to capture the documentary footage of the era. Additionally, viewing the movie in black and white makes it feel darker and more sinister. In Schindler’s List, Polish businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), purposefully employs and tries to help Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. Yet, helping the Jews means risking his life and career and treading carefully with the Nazis who are always watching.

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Titanic tells the story of two young lovers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) ripped apart by the tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15th, 1912. While the characters in Titanic are fictional, the story does try to include some historical facts, such as how the ship broke into two pieces (although, that’s now questioned), the band playing on until the very end, and the lifeboats going out half empty. However, Titanic is rather long (3 hours and 14 minutes to be exact) and would have been a stronger movie if the plot happened in present day instead of memory flashbacks. Otherwise, the story is a masterpiece with brilliant chemistry between its two leads, and one that truly transports the audience back to a dramatic historical moment.

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