Photo by Sony Entertainment
Margot Robbie has had a meteoric rise to fame, and we’re loving every moment.
After only four or so years in small movie and television roles, she quickly became a household name in 2013 with roles in Richard Curtis’s
About Time and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. By the time 2015 rolled around, she was famous enough to play a bit part in The Big Short as herself.
Now, in 2019, her status as a superstar is cemented. She plays
Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s and continues her role as Harley Quinn in at least two more entries to the DC Extended Universe, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood The Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Until those films hit wide audiences, here are her ten best films to date.
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10. 'Suicide Squad' (2016)
Suicide Squad is a bizarre footnote in modern American film. With its great deal of reshoots, Suicide Squad was estimated to have cost as much as a shocking 800 million dollars. Based on the comic book team of criminals of the same name, its reception was more or less mixed, with Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn noted but not lauded. What is even more bizarre is what comes next: The Suicide Squad in 2021, directed by James Gunn. It is not to be a sequel, yet most of the cast—including Robbie—are reprising their roles. It is shaping up to be quite an interesting picture.
9. 'Focus' (2015)
Focus is an entertaining film from the filmmakers behind Crazy, Stupid, Love, I Love You Phillip Morris and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Will Smith plays a highly skilled confidence man while Robbie plays a fledgling con artist. In a predictable but nonetheless enjoyable turn, the two become romantically involved. Yet, by nature of their business, they struggle to trust one another. Focus comes together to be a light and entertaining film with low stakes and funny-enough writing.
8. 'The Legend of Tarzan' (2016)
The Legend of Tarzan uses contemporary film technology to re-adapt the classic story by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a man raised by gorillas in the jungle for live-action. Though the animated Walt Disney adaptation may have its various strengths worth noting, this newer adaptation brings together a star-studded cast including Alexander Skarsgard as the titular hero, Robbie as his love interest Jane, as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou and Jim Broadbent. For any fan of Burroughs’s story, it is worth a watch.
7. 'Mary Queen of Scots' (2018)
Mary Queen of Scots brings a long-dead family drama to the silver screen. Saoirse Ronan plays the titular monarch of Scotland, while Robbie plays her cousin Elizabeth, the Queen of England. The Catholics of England recognize fellow Catholic Mary as their queen, which threatens Elizabeth’s power over her own subjects. The film sees the fallout of the tension between the two queens and how it would impact the two nations for generation after generation.
6. 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' (2017)
Easy to confuse with the Ewan McGregor vehicle from 2018 called
Christopher Robin, the 2017 biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin leans more on reality while the former leans more on nostalgia for the old Disney movies. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as Winnie the Pooh creator A. A. Milne and Robbie as his wife, Daphne. We see how their lives are impacted by both of the World Wars as well as how the wide success of the books became a point of tension with their son, for whom the book character is named.
5. 'I, Tonya' (2018)
I, Tonya tells the story of Tonya Harding, the ice skater turned pariah when her main competitor Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver) was seriously injured by an assailant connected to her on-and-off significant other Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). Robbie wholly commits to the unique character of Harding.
4. 'The Big Short' (2015)
The Big Short is a film meant to inform viewers about those who caused and those who predicted the 2008 financial crisis. Adam McKay—former Will Ferrell collaborator—uses his comedic sensibilities to make it entertaining in spite of the fact that complex financial and real estate laws aren’t particularly interesting. Robbie’s role is a sort of joke in and of itself. McKay, being aware of the boring nature of the story, shoots Robbie as herself explaining banal but evil investment concepts like subprime mortgages from a gaudy bath tub.
3. 'Z for Zachariah' (2015)
Robbie shares the screen in
Z for Zachariah with only two others: Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine. The three play the survivors of a mass extinction event. Her character finds herself creating a rift between the two men and threatening their delicate existence together. It has a remarkably small scale, expecting most of the film’s strength to come from its talented trio of actors, who deliver in a satisfying way.
2. 'About Time' (2013)
About Time is your standard British rom-com, albeit with a fantastical twist. Domhnall Gleeson’s Tim finds out an inherited ability to turn back the clock in his own life. Robbie plays an attractive friend of his sister’s whom he tries to woo—with minimal success.
1. 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (2013)
Not only is Margot Robbie’s role in
The Wolf of Wall Street substantial, it is also one of the best late-era works of one of America’s most talented filmmakers. Martin Scorsese crafts a great film long after his peak should have ended. Like Goodfellas and Casino before it, he shows his unmatched skill in the biographical picture genre. She plays Naomi Lapaglia, the second wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s titular wolf, Jordan Belfort.