Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Naomi Watts Movies Ranked

Unless you were some kind of Home and Away fanatic (in which case, you saw early appearances of Chris Hemsworth, Heath Ledger, and Isla Fisher on the Australian soap), or happened to catch her in the miniseries Brides of Christ, it seemed like Naomi Watts came out of nowhere when she delivered a commanding and unsettling lead performance in Mulholland Drive. And you’d be right in feeling so: The 10 years between that Aussie soap and David Lynch’s surreal masterpiece produced only bit parts for Watts in Hollywood, effectively making Mulholland her big debut and calling card.

One year later in 2002, Watts established her among the scream queen elite with The Ring, kicking off Tinseltown’s obsession with remaking Asian horror for years following. I Heart Huckabees and 21 Grams gave her further credit with the arthouse crowd, with the latter rewarding Watts with her first Best Actress Oscar nomination. Her second would come with gut-wrenching Indian Ocean tsunami disaster film The Impossible in 2012. In between noms, she would release her biggest movie (2005’s King Kong), and work with David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises), Michael Haneke (Funny Games), and Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar).

Watts, like apparently half of Hollywood A-listers, was also suckered into appearing Movie 43. Fortunately, Certified Fresh material in recent years like Birdman, St. Vincent, While We’re Young, and Chuck more than make up the difference. Her most recent film is also another Certified flick: Luce, an elevated drama that released in August.


Movie 43 (2013)

Adjusted Score: 7126%
Critics Consensus: A star-studded turkey, Movie 43 is loaded with gleefully offensive and often scatological gags, but it's largely bereft of laughs.
Synopsis: Twelve directors, including Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne and Brett Ratner, contributed to this collection of outrageous spoofs and stories. A... [More]


Dream House (2011)

Adjusted Score: 8004%
Critics Consensus: Dream House is punishingly slow, stuffy, and way too obvious to be scary.
Synopsis: Publisher Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits a lucrative job in New York to relocate his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan


Diana (2013)

Adjusted Score: 11176%
Critics Consensus: Naomi Watts tries hard in the title role, but Diana buries her efforts under a shoddy script and clumsy direction.
Synopsis: During the last two years of her life, Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) campaigns against the use of land mines and... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Hirschbiegel


Shut In (2016)

Adjusted Score: 6004%
Critics Consensus: Fatally undermined by a clichéd, confused plot and a total absence of thrills, Shut In wastes its talented cast -- and viewers' time.
Synopsis: Mary Portman (Naomi Watts) is a widowed child psychologist who lives in isolation in rural Maine. The horrific car accident... [More]
Directed By: Farren Blackburn

Adjusted Score: 22587%
Critics Consensus: Allegiant improves on previous entries in The Divergent Series on a few superficial levels, but they aren't enough to counteract a sense of growing boredom with a franchise that's gone on too long.
Synopsis: Tris (Shailene Woodley) escapes with Four (Theo James) to journey beyond the wall that encloses Chicago. For the first time,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke


Persons Unknown (1996)

Adjusted Score: 4874%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A security expert (Joe Mantegna) falls in with two sisters out to rob his clients, drug dealers with Colombian connections.... [More]
Directed By: George Hickenlooper


The Sea of Trees (2015)

Adjusted Score: 19550%
Critics Consensus: Dull, maudlin, and fundamentally empty, The Sea of Trees extinguishes the contributions of a talented cast and marks a depressing low point in director Gus Van Sant's career.
Synopsis: After traveling to Japan's Aokigahara Forest, a troubled teacher (Matthew McConaughey) meets a mysterious stranger (Ken Watanabe) who takes him... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant


Down (2001)

Adjusted Score: 4201%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After the elevators at a New York City skyscraper begin inexplicably malfunctioning, putting its passengers at risk, mechanic Mark Newman... [More]
Directed By: Dick Maas


The Ring Two (2005)

Adjusted Score: 28073%
Critics Consensus: Ring Two serves up horror cliches, and not even Hideo Nakata, the director of the movies from which this one is based, can save the movie from a dull screenplay full of absurdities.
Synopsis: A female journalist (Naomi Watts) must prevent evil Samara from taking possession of her son's (David Dorfman) soul.... [More]
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

Adjusted Score: 31806%
Critics Consensus: The Book of Henry deserves a few points for ambition, but its tonal juggling act -- and a deeply maudlin twist -- may leave viewers gaping in disbelief rather than choking back tears.
Synopsis: Single mother Susan Carpenter works as a waitress alongside her feisty family friend Sheila. Taking care of everyone and everything... [More]
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow


Stay (2005)

Adjusted Score: 30934%
Critics Consensus: A muddled brain-teaser, Stay has a solid cast and innovative visuals but little beneath the surface.
Synopsis: Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor), a psychiatrist, has a new patient, Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling), who claims to be suicidal. In... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster


3 Generations (2015)

Adjusted Score: 33615%
Critics Consensus: 3 Generations squanders a worthy premise on a thinly written story that focuses on dramatic signposts at the expense of genuine character development.
Synopsis: Hoping to get support from his mother (Naomi Watts) and grandmother (Susan Sarandon), a New York teen (Elle Fanning) prepares... [More]
Directed By: Gaby Dellal


Adore (2013)

Adjusted Score: 35478%
Critics Consensus: Naomi Watts and Robin Wright give it their all, but they can't quite make Adore's trashy, absurd plot believable.
Synopsis: Two lifelong best friends (Robin Wright, Naomi Watts) each begin a steamy affair with the other's son, but trouble begins... [More]
Directed By: Anne Fontaine


Le Divorce (2003)

Adjusted Score: 40927%
Critics Consensus: A mixed bag of uneven tones that feels flat.
Synopsis: While visiting her sister (Naomi Watts) in Paris, a young woman (Kate Hudson) finds romance and learns her brother-in-law is... [More]
Directed By: James Ivory


Tank Girl (1995)

Adjusted Score: 41310%
Critics Consensus: While unconventional, Tank Girl isn't particularly clever or engaging, and none of the script's copious one-liners have any real zing.
Synopsis: After a comet disrupts the rain cycle of Earth, the planet has become a desolate, barren desert by the year... [More]
Directed By: Rachel Talalay

Adjusted Score: 14659%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A politician's wife (Brenda Blethyn) and the mortician (Alfred Molina) who has secretly loved her for years plan to fake... [More]
Directed By: Nick Hurran


J. Edgar (2011)

Adjusted Score: 53240%
Critics Consensus: Leonardo DiCaprio gives a predictably powerhouse performance, but J. Edgar stumbles in all other departments with cheesy makeup, poor lighting, confusing narrative, and humdrum storytelling.
Synopsis: As head of the FBI for nearly 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes one of America's most-powerful men.... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

Adjusted Score: 50235%
Critics Consensus: It's sporadically amusing, and typically well-cast, but You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger isn't one of Woody Allen's more inspired late-period efforts.
Synopsis: Two married couples find only trouble and heartache as their complicated lives unfold. After 40 years of marriage, Alfie leaves... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen


Ellie Parker (2005)

Adjusted Score: 52396%
Critics Consensus: Despite some poignant commentary about struggling actors and Naomi Watts' inspired performance, Ellie Parker stutters in making the transition from short to feature length.
Synopsis: An aspiring actress from Australia, Ellie Parker (Naomi Watts), lives a hectic Hollywood lifestyle, perpetually trying to land the role... [More]
Directed By: Scott Coffey


Funny Games (2007)

Adjusted Score: 57211%
Critics Consensus: Though made with great skill, Funny Games is nevertheless a sadistic exercise in chastising the audience.
Synopsis: When Ann, husband George and son Georgie arrive at their holiday home they are visited by a pair of polite... [More]
Directed By: Michael Haneke


The Glass Castle (2017)

Adjusted Score: 63335%
Critics Consensus: The Glass Castle has an affecting real-life story and a hard-working cast in its corner, but they aren't enough to outweigh a fundamentally misguided approach to the material.
Synopsis: Based on a memoir, four siblings must learn to take care of themselves as their responsibility-averse, free-spirit parents both inspire... [More]
Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton


Demolition (2015)

Adjusted Score: 66339%
Critics Consensus: Demolition benefits from a stellar cast, even if their solid work isn't always enough to prop up a confused story that aims for profundity but too often settles for clichés.
Synopsis: Grieving investment banker Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) returns to work after losing his beloved wife in a tragic car accident.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée


Ned Kelly (2003)

Adjusted Score: 56437%
Critics Consensus: More depth about the legendary outlaw would be welcome, but as it is, Ned Kelly is a reasonably entertaining Western.
Synopsis: In the face of various underhanded maneuvers by local authorities, 19th century Australian bush ranger Ned Kelly (Heath Ledger) flees... [More]
Directed By: Gregor Jordan


Ophelia (2018)

Adjusted Score: 69130%
Critics Consensus: Flawed yet intriguing, Ophelia uses Hamlet as the starting point for a noble attempt to offer a misunderstood character long-overdue agency.
Synopsis: As a rebellious and motherless child, Ophelia is taken into Elsinore Castle by Queen Gerturde as one of her most... [More]
Directed By: Claire McCarthy

Adjusted Score: 67064%
Critics Consensus: The International boasts some electric action sequences and picturesque locales, but is undone by its preposterous plot.
Synopsis: Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) joins forces with New York prosecutor Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) to put an end... [More]
Directed By: Tom Tykwer

Adjusted Score: 69877%
Critics Consensus: I Heart Huckabees certainly isn't for everyone, but audiences attuned to its quirky wavelength will find a singularly brainy screwball comedy that refuses to pander.
Synopsis: Environmentalist Albert (Jason Schwartzman) enlists the services of "existential detectives" Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian (Lily Tomlin) to solve the... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell


Sunlight Jr. (2013)

Adjusted Score: 63821%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't offer much in the way of uplift, but Sunlight Jr.'s grim storyline is offset by Laurie Collyer's empathetic screenplay and strong performances from Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon.
Synopsis: Financial strain, an unplanned pregnancy and an abusive ex threaten the stability of a poor couple's (Naomi Watts, Matt Dillon)... [More]
Directed By: Laurie Collyer

Adjusted Score: 69841%
Critics Consensus: We Don't Live Here Anymore is often overly moody and grim, but it's made watchable by the strong performances for its four principal actors.
Synopsis: Married couple Jack (Mark Ruffalo) and Terry Linden (Laura Dern) are experiencing a difficult period in their relationship. When Jack... [More]
Directed By: John Curran

Adjusted Score: 72072%
Critics Consensus: The Assassination of Richard Nixon struggles to convey deeper meaning, but a fascinating true story and compelling Sean Penn performance are worthy compensations.
Synopsis: Samuel Bicke (Sean Penn) is a disillusioned salesman whose elaborate views of honesty and morality alienate him from society. He... [More]
Directed By: Niels Mueller


The Wolf Hour (2019)

Adjusted Score: 48896%
Critics Consensus: Naomi Watts gives it her all in The Wolf Hour, but it isn't enough to compensate for a film that spends too much of its runtime in search of a compelling story.
Synopsis: An unseen tormentor harasses a reclusive author as a citywide blackout triggers fires, looting and escalating violence during the Summer... [More]


The Ring (2002)

Adjusted Score: 77090%
Critics Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.
Synopsis: It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski


Inland Empire (2006)

Adjusted Score: 75571%
Critics Consensus: Typical David Lynch fare: fans of the director will find Inland Empire seductive and deep. All others will consider the heady surrealism impenetrable and pointless.
Synopsis: Nikki (Laura Dern), an actress, takes on a role in a new film, and because her husband (Peter J. Lucas)... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch


The Painted Veil (2006)

Adjusted Score: 79994%
Critics Consensus: Visually, The Painted Veil has all the trappings of a stuffy period drama, but Norton's and Watts's deft portrayals of imperfect, complicated characters give the film a modern-day spark.
Synopsis: Caught in an affair with another man (Liev Schreiber), a scientist's callow wife (Naomi Watts) accompanies her husband (Edward Norton)... [More]
Directed By: John Curran


St. Vincent (2014)

Adjusted Score: 85298%
Critics Consensus: St. Vincent offers the considerable pleasure of seeing Bill Murray back in funny form, but drifts into dangerously sentimental territory along the way.
Synopsis: Maggie (Melissa McCarthy), a struggling single woman, moves to Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Having to work... [More]
Directed By: Theodore Melfi


Mother and Child (2009)

Adjusted Score: 82753%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally veers into unnecessary melodrama, Mother and Child benefits from a stellar cast and writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's finely detailed, bravely unsentimental script.
Synopsis: The lives of three women have a commonality: adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) is a physical therapist who regrets that, as... [More]
Directed By: Rodrigo Garcia


Fair Game (2010)

Adjusted Score: 84952%
Critics Consensus: It struggles with the balance between fact-based biopic and taut political thriller, but Fair Game brims with righteous anger -- and benefits from superb performances by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
Synopsis: Wife and mother Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) has a double life as a CIA operative, hiding her vocation from family... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman


21 Grams (2003)

Adjusted Score: 86647%
Critics Consensus: Alejandro González Iñárritu deftly weaves an uncommonly structured narrative with panache in 21 Grams, a stylish, haunting drama full of fine performances.
Synopsis: In a film that plays with the idea of straightforward storytelling, a group of troubled people find that they are... [More]


The Bleeder (2016)

Adjusted Score: 85748%
Critics Consensus: Chuck is hit with a handful of sports biopic clichés but ultimately punches above its weight, largely thanks to a muscular performance from Liev Schreiber.
Synopsis: He was the pride of Bayonne, N.J., a man who went 15 rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali. But... [More]
Directed By: Philippe Falardeau


The Impossible (2012)

Adjusted Score: 89364%
Critics Consensus: The screenplay isn't quite as powerful as the direction or the acting, but with such an astonishing real-life story at its center, The Impossible is never less than compelling.
Synopsis: In December 2004, close-knit family Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona


Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Adjusted Score: 91486%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch


King Kong (2005)

Adjusted Score: 94837%
Critics Consensus: Featuring state-of-the-art special effects, terrific performances, and a majestic sense of spectacle, Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong is a potent epic that's faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original.
Synopsis: Peter Jackson's expansive remake of the 1933 classic follows director Carl Denham (Jack Black) and his crew on a journey... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

Adjusted Score: 91341%
Critics Consensus: Poignant and piercingly honest, While We're Young finds writer-director Noah Baumbach delivering some of his funniest lines through some of his most relatable characters.
Synopsis: Middle-aged filmmaker Josh Srebnick (Ben Stiller) and his wife, Cornelia (Naomi Watts), are happily married, but stuck in a rut.... [More]
Directed By: Noah Baumbach


Eastern Promises (2007)

Adjusted Score: 98097%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg triumphs again, showcasing the Viggo Mortensen's onscreen prowess in a daring performance. Bearing the trademarks of psychological drama and gritty violence, Eastern Promises is a very compelling crime story.
Synopsis: Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who is both ruthless and mysterious, has ties to one of the most dangerous crime families in... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

Adjusted Score: 106304%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
Synopsis: Former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is mounting an ambitious Broadway production that he hopes will breathe new life... [More]


Luce (2019)

Adjusted Score: 99784%
Critics Consensus: Luce brings a stellar ensemble to bear on a satisfyingly complex story that addresses its timely themes in thought-provoking fashion.
Synopsis: A liberal-minded couple are forced to reconsider their image of their adopted son after he writes a disturbing essay for... [More]
Directed By: Julius Onah

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