What Are Julia Roberts' 10 Best Movies?

The 10 Best Films Starring the 'Pretty Woman' Oscar Winner

From Mystic Pizza to Pretty Woman to Erin Brockovich to Duplicity, Julia Roberts remains one of America's most popular actresses, even as she has slowed down her appearances in films after giving birth to twins in 2004. Looking back on her career, here are 10 of the best performances by Julia Roberts over her nearly 30-year career.

Though it wasn't a film role, an honorable mention goes to Roberts' performance as a wheelchair-bound HIV doctor in The Normal Heart, an HBO movie that garnered her an Emmy nomination.

Julia Roberts first appears to be the pampered wife of a well-to-do loving husband (played with evil intensity by Patrick Bergin), but we quickly learn appearances are most definitely deceiving. Knowing full well she'll never by able to escape her abusive marriage, Roberts fakes her death, moves out of the area, and tries to start over with a new name and a completely blank slate. Unfortunately, her psychotic husband picks up on a clue that indicates she's not actually dead and he becomes obsessed with finding his supposedly deceased wife.

Roberts is fantastic as the abused wife who discovers a resource of strength when she's pushed to the edge.

This is undoubtedly Julia Roberts' most memorable romantic role, and she received her second Oscar nomination for her performance. Roberts plays a hooker with an extensive knowledge of cars and great dental hygiene. ​Richard Gere co-stars as the knight in shining armor who rescues her from her life working the streets. Every woman wanted to be Roberts after seeing this film, and now -- over 25 years after its release -- the film is still one of the most-quoted romantic comedies ever made.

This sexy ensemble drama is loaded with terrific performances including ones from Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman. An intense look at relationships, love, and lust, ​Closer earned Owen and Portman supporting actor and actress Oscar nominations and features Roberts in her least sympathetic role to date.

Julia Roberts won her first (and, so far, only) Academy Award for her riveting portrayal of a real-life feisty single mother who nearly single-handedly took on a corporate giant and helped families win a complex class action suit. Roberts brings Brockovich's story to life with compassion, humor, and an earthy realism.

Julia stars with Dennis Quaid and Kyra Sedgwick in this film about love, infidelity, family relationships, and horses. There are some absolutely wonderful performances by the film's co-stars, including Gena Rowlands as Roberts and Sedgwick's mother, and Robert Duvall as the father who puts horses ahead of his daughters' happiness. It may not be Roberts' most famous film outing, but it's one of her more enjoyable to watch.

06
of 10

'My Best Friend's Wedding' (1997)

My Best Friend's Wedding
TriStar Pictures

Best friends Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) and Michael O'Neil (Dermot Mulroney) make a pact to marry if they're still single at age 28. Guess what age Julianne's about to turn? Cameron Diaz co-stars as Michael's fiancée who has the unenviable task of competing with Julianne for Michael's love.

Sparks ignite onscreen between two romantic comedy veterans, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, which helped Notting Hill earn three Golden Globe nominations as well as $363 million worldwide during its theatrical release. One of my personal favorite scenes ever in a feature film is from this romantic comedy/drama -- and if you've seen the movie, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Julia Roberts looks so young and fresh, and that hair! Mystic Pizza was a sleeper hit when it was originally released in October 1988, and continues to be a fan favorite. The film served notice that Roberts was destined to be a major Hollywood star.

Steel Magnolias features a fine ensemble cast, intelligent writing, and an entertaining, though highly emotional, storyline. Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts and Sally Field headline the talented cast in this female buddy movie with a heart. Roberts received her first Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in this film.

Roberts received her fourth (and most recent) Oscar nomination for her performance in this adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Roberts portrays a member of an extremely dysfunctional Oklahoma family whose lives are filled with scandal, secrets, and sleaze. The film's ensemble cast includes Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, and Julianne Nicholson.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick