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When I think of child actors, I have some of the fondest memories of them appearing in my favorite films and TV shows, from classics like Home Alone to Netflix series like Stranger Things. Some of those child actors turned into full-fledged movie stars, like Selena Gomez, Macauley Culkin, Daniel Radcliffe, and more, but one of the many I always think of first is Drew Barrymore.
An actress whose career has spanned decades, she has appeared in some of the most iconic films, like Scream, E.T., and so many others. If you’re looking for the best Drew Barrymore movies that are streaming right now, look no further than here.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
In this classic Steven Spielberg film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial tells the story of Elliot, a young boy who befriends a stranded alien on Earth, and now makes it his mission to get E.T. back home to where he belongs.
Drew Barrymore’s first-ever role was in E.T., and there’s a reason why her career blew up afterwards. Not only was she adorable in the film, but her character is memorable and important to the plot, creating a wonderful sequence of moments that anyone can recall - including that famous scream at E.T.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
In this version of the classic fairy tale, Ever After: A Cinderella Story has no magic, or fairy godmothers, or anything in between. Instead, it features a young woman in the Renaissance era, wanting to find a new life for herself, and needing to somehow save her own future from her evil family.
I personally love this version of Cinderella. While I do love the live-action Disney version, this one feels entirely more real, like something that very well could have happened in the past. Drew Barrymore was the perfect person to cast in this role, as she brings a certain charm to the character that I don’t think a lot of other adaptations have. And, the dresses and scenery are to die for, as well.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
In The Wedding Singer, Robbie Hart is a suburban wedding singer who gets dumped at the altar by his fiancee. He meets Julia, who he thinks is engaged to the wrong guy, and falls in love with her. Now, it’s up to him to make Julia realize how horrible her fiance truly is, and to convince her to be with him.
There’s a reason why Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were in a couple other films together after this one. Their chemistry is some of the best romantic chemistry I’ve seen in a comedy, by far. They’re also so incredibly funny together, with some fun moments that will make you snicker and laugh so much that you’ll find yourself wanting to watch the film again for its jokes. Plus, the love-story is genuine - and the end scenes are worth the wait.
Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Charlie’s Angels is the captivating crime-fighting trio, who are the masters of disguise, martial arts, and the spy work. When a devious mastermind ends up getting them tangled into a plot that will hurt others, they, along with their sidekick, work together to take down the bad guys.
Let’s talk about Charlie’s Angels for a second - iconic. That is the best word to describe this cast. While we can appreciate the newer version, I will always love this cast. I mean, not only is Drew Barrymore a kick-ass spy, but her other co-stars, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, are goddess spies as well. Bill Murray also adds an exciting comedic kick to the film, making it such an entertaining viewing experience. Can they be my crime-fighting angels again? Definitely one of the best movies on Netflix.
Boys On The Side (1995)
In this comedy drama, Boys on the Side follows three friends, played by Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, and Mary-Louise Parker, who are on an adventurous cross-country road trip together.
I know that from the premise the movie sounds sort of plain, but I do think Boys on the Side has a certain charisma that a lot of other road-trip films don’t have. The three lead actresses have great chemistry and make you feel like you’re in the car on the road trip with them. There’s also a great story with a lot of heart that will most likely make you cry near the end, but I won’t say anything else. Just give this one a shot.
50 First Dates (2004)
In this romantic-comedy, 50 First Dates follows Henry, a womanizing marine veterinarian who ends up falling for an art teacher named Lucy, but when he discovers that she has amnesia and forgot him a day later, he resolves to win her over on a new date, again and again.
I told you - Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore just can’t be beat. Their chemistry is just perfect and I will always be down to sit on a couch and watch them be in a film together. While I don’t think it was as good as their previous film together, I do believe that with the two of them on screen, they make anything work, and they do that very well with this film.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Set in 1988, the psychological thriller Donnie Darko follows Donnie, a troubled teenager who narrowly escapes a strange accident, and ends up having visions of Frank (a figure in a rabbit costume), who keeps telling him that the world is going to end in less than a month, and gets Donnie to commit crimes.
I do think that Donnie Darko is a bit of a brain-buster the first time you watch it, but that’s why it’s so good. It really makes you think and wonder what’s real and what’s not. While Drew Barrymore’s role was small in the film, it’s not hard to get wrapped up in her performance. Plus, the Donnie Darko cast is stacked with stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, and more. Honestly, one of the best movies on Amazon Prime.
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Never Been Kissed is a popular romantic-comedy about Josie Geller, a 25-year-old, insecure copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times, who has never been in a real relationship. However, when one of her undercover assignments leads to a possible romance, it sends her life for a spin.
This is definitely one of my favorite Drew Barrymore-led films. There’s something so sweet about the way she acts as Josie. She’s so innocent to the world but learns lessons throughout the film about love and what that means, even at the age of 25. She also just has great chemistry with the rest of the cast, especially David Arquette and Michael Vartan.
Going The Distance (2010)
Another romantic-comedy, Going the Distance tells the story of a young couple who fall in love during one summer in New York City, trying to keep a long-distance relationship alive as she heads home to San Francisco.
Let me just say that the way they portray a long-distance relationship in Going the Distance feels very accurate, especially to someone who’s been in one, so you’ll most certainly feel that the story is relatable in many ways. But, both Drew Barrymore and Justin Long work very well as a couple, while also keeping up the comedy constantly. There are also so many stars, like Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Jason Sudeikis from the Ted Lasso cast, and many others. Give it a shot if you haven’t seen it yet.
Big Miracle (2012)
Big Miracle is a drama that is based on the 1989 book, Freeing the Whales. This film talks about the real-life story of Operation Breakthrough, a 1988 international effort to rescue grey whales trapped in the ice near Point Barrow, Alaska.
I do love seeing Drew Barrymore in comedies, but I have to admit that watching her in dramas like this is always a fun time because she’s excellent in them as well. Her, alongside other stars like John Krasinski, Kristin Bell, and more, bring a new story from page to screen that’s not only satisfying, but a great family drama that takes you deep into the sea.
Miss You Already (2015)
Ya’ll wanna cry and laugh? Because that’s what Miss You Already does perfectly. In this comedy-drama, we follow two best friends, who have known each other all their lives, and what happens when their friendship is put to the test when one of them begins a family, and the other falls ill.
Okay, why aren’t Drew Barrymore and Toni Collete in more films together? They are absolutely phenomenal and I truly do believe their friendship, from the beginning of their story to the very end. Trust me - this movie does not shy away from wanting to make you cry, and these two give great performances that went way under the radar. You can give it the praise it deserves now.
The beginning of an iconic horror series. Scream tells the story of Sidney Prescott, a teenager who lost her mother a year before a killer begins to target the girl and her friends by using horror films, taking them through a deadly game.
I think all of us know that Drew Barrymore wasn’t in the film for that long - she was literally just the opening sequence. But, that sequence is probably one of the most well-known opening sequences in film history, in my opinion. Anytime I think of Scream, I always think of either Matthew Lillard, or Drew Barrymore - and for me, nine times out of ten, it’s the latter. Even for the small amount of time she was in the film, she made an impact, and it will forever be a huge part of movie history, along with the work of the rest of the Scream cast.
Drew Barrymore truly does have some awesome films to watch, from fantasy movies to dramas that will squeeze your heart. Whatever the case, you'll most certainly be entertained with whatever you pick.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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