Mandatory Staff Picks: The Best Charlize Theron Movies (Including ‘The Old Guard’)
Charlize Theron is a criminally underrated actress. She proved her chops early on with an Oscar-winning performance as a serial killer in 2003’s Monster, yet most of her roles since have failed to require the gravitas that she could so clearly bring to the silver screen. Still, even when starring in blockbuster popcorn flicks or ridiculous comedies, Theron brings her all to every part and helps us escape through her cinematic characters and their stories. As her next big role (in Netflix’s The Old Guard) approaches, we rounded up her 10 best films so far. Here’s hoping Hollywood gives her meatier parts in the future. We know she’s capable of so much more.
Cover Photo: Netflix
While the subpar script of this biopic-like film gave its cast little to work with, Charlize Theron expertly embodied conservative news anchor star Megyn Kelly, who came forward with sexual harassment accusations against FOX network mogul Roger Ailes.
9. 'That Thing You Do!'
In this musical comedy written and directed by Tom Hanks, Theron played Tina Powers, the girlfriend of a drummer. It was her first mainstream feature film and Hanks has taken credit for "discovering" Theron.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
8. 'The Road'
This adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's critically acclaimed novel of the same name featured Theron in a supporting role as a woman with no name living in a dystopian future.
Photo: Dimension Films
In this Diablo Cody dramedy, Theron perfectly depicts the messy emotional and physical state moms find themselves in following the birth of a child. Her character, Marlo, struggles to adapt to becoming a mother for the third time, but things change drastically (or do they?) when her husband hires a night nanny.
6. 'Young Adult'
In another Diablo Cody feature, Theron is whip-smart, sexy, and a little bit bitter as Mavis, a teen book ghostwriter who returns to her small Minnesota hometown to try to win back her (now married) high school sweetheart.
5. 'The Old Guard'
Based on a graphic novel, this Netflix original fantasy/action flick finds Theron at the helm of a team of immortals who fight crime.
4. 'The Italian Job'
Theron kicks butt as Stella, the daughter of a safecracker killed by his partner in crime, in this slick revenge caper.
3. 'Atomic Blonde'
Theron showed off some serious fighting skills as ruthless M16 spy Lorraine Broughton in this fast-moving action thriller.
2. 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
In this gritty thrill ride, Theron commanded the screen as pitiless war captain Imperator Furiosa.
We saved the best performance (of a very bad person) for last. Theron won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of real-life prostitute-turned-serial-killer Aileen Wuornos. You'll barely recognize Theron, which is a testament to her ability to transform and disappear into a character when the role is worthy.
Mandatory Best of 2019: Ranking the 10 Greatest Actresses of the Year
Visit the Mandatory Shop for great deals on your very own Mandatory merch.