When it comes to some of the queens of rom-coms, Julia Roberts is a name that always comes to mind, because of some of her classics such as Pretty Woman or My Best Friend’s Wedding. However, over her time in the acting industry, Roberts has proven just how capable of an actress she is, from dramas to action films to fantasy.
With a career that spans several decades, here are some of Julia Roberts’ best movies and how you can stream them right now.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
First up on the list, we have Erin Brockovich, a biographical legal drama about a real-life woman who played a major role in a major lawsuit against PG&E, which led to one of the largest settlements ever in a direct-action lawsuit.
The film is a brilliant time from start to finish, with a story that will truly captivate you. Erin Brockovich was actually nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Julia Roberts - which she ended up winning, so if that’s not enough for you to think this is one of Roberts’ best movies, I don’t know what is. She truly shines.
Pretty Woman (1990)
You want a classic romantic comedy? Check out Pretty Woman. This classic film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere is all about a prostitute who is hired to be an escort for a wealthy man for a week, but over this time, they end up falling for each other.
I feel like when a lot of people think of Julia Roberts, this is one of the first films that you think of, and honestly, for good reason. Her and Richard Gere’s chemistry is some of the best you will ever see in a romantic comedy, and their love story doesn’t feel forced at all. The whole entire movie is filled with hilarious moments, cute love scenes, and Julia Roberts rocking this role. There are so many amazing behind-the-scenes facts about this movie.
Now this is a fantasy movie I think all of us can get behind. In Hook, Peter Pan is all grown up and has forgotten about the magic of Neverland, but when his children are stolen from him by Hook, he must return back to the magic to not only save his family but become a better person.
Hook is hands down one of my favorite fantasy movies from when I was a kid, and a big thanks is to the amazing cast. Not only is Julia Roberts freaking awesome as Tinker Bell, giving the fantasy character a whole new personality that I never would have expected, but everyone else shines as well, from Dustin Hoffman as Hook to Robin Williams as Peter Pan. Hook is so much fun and I think you’ll enjoy it too.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Let’s get ready for another rom-com, shall we? In My Best Friend’s Wedding, two best friends years ago made a promise that if they weren’t married by 28, they would marry each other. When the man is set to marry someone else, she realizes that she’s been in love with him her whole life - and now, takes it upon herself to win him over before his wedding.
Man, this is one of my favorite romantic comedies, just for the fact that Roberts stars in it. She is so phenomenal in the role of Julianne Potter that I often consider it one of her best roles. The ways in which she tries to win Michael (played by Dermot Mulroney) back are some of the wackiest moments, and truly make the movie so much fun. Side note - Cameron Diaz as Kimmy was also a stellar pick and I love her scenes with Roberts. They should have been in more movies together before Diaz retired.
Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
Another romantic comedy that Roberts rocks. Eat, Pray, Love, based on the novel of the same name, is about a woman who is feeling unfulfilled in her life, so she sets out on a long journey to three separate countries - Italy, India, and Bali - in order to eat, pray, love, and find herself.
While this film isn’t as good as the book (as someone who has read it), I can say that I still feel Roberts did amazing in this movie for the role she was given. She captures the essence of Liz Gilbert well and really shows what it’s like to go on this adventure all by yourself, mixed in with some beautiful cinematography of these astounding countries.
Notting Hill (1999)
Guess what? We have another rom-com. Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts, shows just what it’s like when one moment can change your life, and that’s the case of William Thacker, a man who owns an unsuccessful bookshop on Notting Hill, and has a chance encounter with one of the most beautiful women in the world, a famous actress, who walks right through his door.
Notting Hill is an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, and that’s thanks in part to Julia Roberts great acting alongside Hugh Grant. These two created such a great romantic comedy that made me smile, laugh, cry, and everything else in-between. If they ever decided to make a sequel to this movie, I would be 100% in.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
This comedy-drama film is one of the movies that gave Roberts her fame. Steel Magnolias is all about the bonds of friendship, and what it means to a group of women in a small, Southern town, and how it affects them when one of their own passes on.
Roberts, at this time, wasn’t the huge star that she would become later on, but even watching Steel Magnolias now still astounds me as to how she didn’t become super famous earlier, as she is great in this role and her range is amazing. Heck, the whole cast is - it’s certainly one of Sally Field’s best movies, but now, I can fully say it's one of Roberts’ best films as well.
Moving onto a great drama film, we take a look at Stepmom. Starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, this film tells the story of a divorced couple who are struggling to co-parent their kids, but life doesn't get any easier when a new woman enters into her ex-husband’s life, and changes everything she ever knew.
There was a rumor going around back then that Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts were feuding while on set, but that turned out to be just a lie. And honestly, thank goodness, because these two women were fantastic together. I could re-watch stepmom anytime because of both Roberts and Sarandon’s acting skills, as they rock their roles and really show what it’s like when someone new starts to enter into the life of your children.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Another romantic comedy, let’s go. Mystic Pizza, starring Julia Roberts, is all about the titular pizza place called Mystic Pizzeria in the town of Mystic, and three waitresses who have a special bond together, mainly following them during one particular summer that changes their lives forever.
This is another one of those movies that truly outdid itself and showed off how skilled Julia Roberts was at acting before she became a huge star. I loved her character, Daisy, and her relationship with Charles feels like one that anyone could relate to. Also, that pizza was looking so damn good throughout this movie and I really want to try it. Crap, I’m hungry now.
August: Osage County (2013)
August: Osage County is a drama that demonstrates what it’s like for a dysfunctional family to come back together. After years of being apart, the Weston family is forced to reunite again after a crisis pops up, bringing them all back to the home they grew up in in Oklahoma, as well as the mother who raised them.
Julia Roberts is Barbara in this film, the eldest daughter of the main character and I connect with her heavily in this movie. You can see from a mile away that she feels so much pressure as the oldest, and how much she had to grow up at such a young age because of her family’s issues. Also, she stars alongside a queen of cinema herself, Meryl Streep, and these two truly have some awesome scenes together.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Last but not least, we have Ocean’s Eleven, a heist/action film that is so much fun. This movie, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts, follows two friends who end up planning a heist to steal several millions of dollars from a casino owner with a personal relationship to them.
To be honest, thank God that George Clooney convinced Roberts to join in on this movie, because I can not imagine anyone else playing her role in Ocean’s Eleven. Her role as Tess Ocean was outstanding and her scenes with Clooney were top-tier. I could practically feel the sexual tension oozing from the screen and it made me want to watch so many more movies of them together. Good thing it seems like they’ll be teaming up again soon, so maybe I’ll get my wish.
Roberts is still making movies even now, so who knows? This list might get changed up with some of her new movies coming out. But until then, I know I can always count on these movies and their stories, alongside Roberts’ great acting.
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A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.