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Best Emma Stone Movies, Ranked


Emma Stone is one of the most successful and sought-after actresses currently working in the industry. After moving to Los Angeles at the age of fifteen to pursue her career in acting, it didn’t take too long for Stone to land her big break when she played the part of Jules in 2007 comedy, Superbad. While she has always been a brilliant actress, Stone’s 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 reunited with director Yorgos Lanthimos to create the dark comedy fantasy Poor Things, which is currently winning over critics. At the age of just 35, Stone has a back catalog of work most actresses could only dream of. She has worked with some of the biggest filmmakers around and has starred in some of the biggest movies in the world, with films ranging from instant classics to cult hits years later. With so many great titles under her belt, here’s a list of the top ten Emma Stone movies.

Update December 10, 2023: This article has been updated following the release of Stone’s most recent film, Poor Things, and where each title is streaming for your viewing pleasure.


10 The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

In Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, Stone plays Gwen Stacy opposite Andrew Garfield in the title role. Succeeding Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and acting as a reboot of the franchise, it tells the story of a young Peter Parker first discovering that he has special spider-like abilities. With his new powers, he must stop Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a scientist who has transformed himself into a human-lizard hybrid and is causing havoc across the city. Along the way, he also develops feelings for Gwen Stacy, the daughter of a police captain on the hunt for Spider-Man.

What Make It Great

Though certainly not the strongest Spider-Man film to date, The Amazing Spider-Man is far from the worst. This is largely thanks to the performances of both Stone and Garfield, whose onscreen chemistry and watchability help to give the film some much-needed charm. Furthermore, a good villain, a decent plot, and some clever direction make up for the film’s shortcomings, and stop it from feeling like a rehash of better movies.

Stream on Disney+

Related: Best Andrew Garfield Movies, Rankede

9 Cruella (2021)

Cruella

A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil. Starring Emma Stone.

Release Date
May 28, 2021

Rating
PG-13

Disney’s 2021 hit, Cruella, sees Stone take on the role of one of cinema’s most iconic villains; Cruella de Vil. An origin story, the film is predominantly set against the backdrop of the London fashion scene in the1970s, and follows a young Cruella as she slowly transforms into the Dalmation-hating baddie we know today. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker, Craig Gillespie, it also features a host of talented stars, including Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, John McCrea, and Mark Strong. Cruella received generally positive reviews from critics, with many praising Stone’s performance, as well as the production design.

What Makes It Great

While there’s certainly an argument to be made that Cruella is a classic case of style over substance, Stone’s central performance helps to give the film its emotional weight. She is magnificent throughout, imbuing the character with an eccentric charm and underlying vulnerability that adds a fresh dimension to the famous villainess. Combined with an equally dazzling performance by Thompson, whose chemistry with Stone is nothing short of electric, and you have an interesting and visually pleasing villain origin story that’s up there with the best.

Stream on Disney+

8 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

birdman

Birdman

Release Date
October 17, 2014

Rating
R

Birdman is a film you can watch a dozen times and still find something new every time you see it. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Alejandro González, it follows a once successful superhero actor whose career has taken a dive and so, in an attempt to get things back on track, he sets about writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway play. Michael Keaton plays the film’s lead, and Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, and Emma Stone all take on supporting roles. The film is noted for its technical achievements, specifically how the whole thing gives the appearance of being filmed in one long take. A critical darling, it went on to be nominated for a total of nine Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Stone, her first nomination.

What Makes It Great

Thanks to González’s magic touch, along with some creative editing and gorgeous cinematography, Birdman is a rare example of a highly ambitious film that manages to succeed in everything it sets out to do. The performances of Keaton, Norton, and Stone, in particular, are excellent and, though it is unlikely to appeal to the casual movie-goer, Birdman is deserving of all the praise and accolades that have been thrown its way since its release in 2014.

Stream on Max

7 Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Crazy Stupid Love

Crazy Stupid Love

Release Date
July 29, 2011

Director
Glenn Ficarra , John Requa

Rating
PG-13

Throughout her career, Stone has found herself taking on roles in a wide variety of genres. 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love marked the first time the actress took on a lead role in a rom-com. Starring a killer cast that also includes Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon, the film revolves around a middle-aged man named Cal (Carrell) who receives mentorship from a serial womanizer called Jacob (Gosling) regarding how to pick up women. Things become complicated, however, when Jacob starts dating Cal’s daughter, Hannah (Stone). The film also heralded Stone’s first collaboration with both Carrell and Gosling, two actors she would go on to work with again on equally successful projects.

What Makes It Great

Good rom-coms are hard to come by, but with its clever script and committed performances, Crazy, Stupid, Love, is up there among the best in the genre. With tones of great gags and iconic moments, as well as a healthy dose of heart, it’s a sweet yet entertaining watch that will have you hooked from the start. Though Stone shares the screen with some juggernauts of modern cinema, she still manages to stand out and perfectly complement the rest of the supremely talented cast.

Stream on TNT

6 Battle of the Sexes (2017)

The second collaboration between Stone and Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes tells the true story of a tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which quickly became the most-watched televised sports event. Surprisingly, it was Stone’s first time playing a real-life person and in order to prepare for the role, she met with King herself on numerous occasions. Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, the film garnered critical acclaim and was nominated for several awards, including Golden Globe nominations for both Stone and Carell.

What Makes It Great

Battle of the Sexes is undoubtedly a very good movie. It’s a compelling, dramatic, and uplifting sports drama complete with some nifty direction, witty dialogue, and an impressive score. However, what really makes it work is the quality of the two lead performances. Both Stone and Carrell are in top form here, with the two actors working in perfect harmony to convey the rivalry between their characters. Stone is determined, resilient, and bold, while Carrell is charismatic, sexist, and pained. It’s yet another example of Stone’s ability to help a film realize its full potential.

Rent on Prime Video

5 Easy A (2010)

easy a

Easy A

Release Date
September 16, 2010

Director
Will Gluck

Rating
PG-13

Easy A is somewhat of a milestone in Stone’s career, with the film marking her first role as a leading actress. In it, 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 school, with her reputation completely changing overnight. The teen comedy was directed by Will Gluck, and co-stars include Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Lisa Kudrow, Stanley Tucci, and Patricia Clarkson.

What Makes It Great

Despite being released in 2010, Easy A has all the hallmarks of the type of high school comedies that defined the late 90s and early 00s, such as She’s All That, Bring It On, and Mean Girls. In fact, many critics compared Stone to a young Lindsay Lohan, and it’s easy to see why. Like the Freaky Friday star, Stone displays an ability to confidently and capably carry the show, guiding the audience through Olive’s feelings and emotions and doing so in an endearing and humorous way. The film overall is an intelligent and zany watch that’s made even better by Stone’s involvement.

Stream on DirecTV

4 Superbad (2007)

Superbad

Superbad

Release Date
March 20, 2007

Rating
R

Over sixteen years after its initial release, Superbad is still as funny as ever. The coming-of-age comedy was the brainchild of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who loosely based it on their own teenage experiences, with the film revolving around two unpopular high school seniors who attempt to obtain alcohol in the hopes of impressing girls and losing their virginity. The film’s cast is made up of actors who have gone on to make big names for themselves in Hollywood, such as Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader and, of course, Emma Stone. In the film, which happens to be the actress’s feature debut, Stone plays Jules, the girl whom Hill’s character has a crush on.

What Makes It Great

With a hilarious script, laugh-out-loud moments, and a talented cast, Superbad is easily one of the best comedies of the the 2000s. It’s a raunchy and wild thrill ride of a movie that’s filled to the brim with vulgar humor and smutty hijinks. Though she would go on to have larger roles than this, Stone still manages to leave a lasting impression, and even in this early appearance, she demonstrates the sort of charm and relatability that would go on to define her as an actress. It’s an excellent film that has managed to stand the test of time.

Stream on DirecTV

3 The Favourite (2018)

the favourite

The Favourite

Release Date
November 23, 2018

Rating
R

Main Genre
History

Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite is a drama/comedy set in 18th-century England that centers on the rivalry between two cousins as they compete for the affection of the Queen. Stone plays Abigail, a young woman who arrives at Queen Anne’s (Oliva Colman) stately home in search of employment and, having made a good impression on the royal, soon finds herself acting as her Lady of the Bedchamber, as well as her lover. This causes tension with Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), the Queen’s confidante who holds deep feelings for her employer. The film garnered rave reviews from critics and went on to be nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for both Stone and Weisz and Best Actress for Colman, who ultimately won.

What Makes It Great

Like Lanthimos’s other works, The Favourite is enthused with a darkly comedic tone that sets it apart from other period dramas. Meanwhile, the story itself is a compelling one, with the whole film orchestrated in such a way that the audience’s allegiances shift without them even noticing. It’s intelligent, pleasing, and beautifully crafted, and features some truly stunning cinematography thanks to Robbie Ryan. Furthermore, the performances of the three leads are nothing short of magnificent, each one of them delivering some of the best work of their careers, and all helping to make this one of the best LGBTQ+ movies of all time.

Rent on AppleTV+

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

2 Poor Things (2023)

Read Our Review

The most recent entry in Stone’s filmography, 2023’s Poor Things sees the actress once again join forces with acclaimed director, Yorgos Lanthimos. A dark comedy with strong elements of fantasy, the movie tells the tale of a young Victorian woman named Bella (Stone), who is brought back to life as the result of an experiment performed by eccentric scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Defoe). Bella had committed suicide, but with a second shot at life, she sets out to see more of the world alongside a slick lawyer named Duncan (Mark Ruffalo). Since its premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, the film has been met with critical acclaim, with many singling out Stone’s performance.

What Makes It Great

Poor Things is a film unlike any other. It’s whimsical, twisted, and utterly bizarre, but, like Lanthimos’s other works, it’s not without depth. The film’s unique visuals and bold production design work hand-in-hand with its fairytale-like narrative, resulting in an oddball fantasy with as much substance as style. With more imagination and original ideas in its 140-minute runtime than in most director’s whole back catalogs, it’s a triumph of a film that is best watched on the big screen. Unsurprisingly, Stone absolutely devours the part of Bella, imbuing her with a quirkiness and child-like wonder that only she could pull off. It’s a spectacular performance and one that will no doubt bring the actress many award nominations.

Poor Things is currently playing in theaters

1 La La Land (2016)

La La Land

La La Land

Release Date
November 29, 2016

Rating
PG-13

Arguably 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 an aspiring actress and a jazz musician living in Hollywood, who try to make their big dreams a reality. While already fighting against the odds of making it big in the entertainment industry, Mia and Sebastian must also fight to make their relationship work and support one another through their separate journeys. It’s a romantic musical extravaganza that had everyone hooked when it was released back in 2016. Among the film’s 13 Academy Award nominations was a Best Actress one for Stone, which she ultimately won.

What Makes It Great

What’s there not to like about La La Land? With its infectiously catchy song, upbeat tone, and engaging story, the film is a throwback to classic Hollywood musicals that, nevertheless, offers a breath of fresh air amid the modern movie landscape. Chazelle, who is still comparatively young, is still yet to come close to repeating the success of this film, and it’s hard to imagine that he ever will. Without Stone and Gosling, however, the film simply wouldn’t work, with both of them delivering powerful performances and creating iconic movie characters. Here, they built on the chemistry they displayed in their previous two collaborations, and it’s simply a delight to watch. Stone has had the luxury of starring in many great films, but La La Land remains the best one of them all.

Stream on Netflix

Watch MovieWeb’s interview with Poor Things costume designer Holly Waddington.



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