From romances to dramas to comedies, Julia Stiles is one of those names that I am sure you have heard of once or twice. From starring in some iconic teen rom-coms to appearing in Emmy-winning shows, Stiles has continued to show just how versatile she is as an actress.
But, with a career that spans multiple decades, there are so many projects to pick from. Here are some of the best Julia Stiles movies and TV shows that are available streaming right now, or available to rent.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
One of the first movies Julia Stiles was ever in was 10 Things I Hate About You. This iconic rom-com starring Stiles and Heath Ledger tells the story of two sisters, where one is forbidden from dating until the older gets her own boyfriend. This, in turn, leads to a scheme in order to win the older sister’s heart so that the younger can be free to date.
Based off Shakespeare's comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, there’s a reason as to why everyone often remember Julia Stiles from 10 Things I Hate About You. While the 10 Things I Hate About You cast is wonderfully talented in many ways, including the late Heath Ledger, there’s just something about Julia Stiles in this film that makes me want to re-watch. She’s so good as Kat, and I wish I could see her in a remake or a reboot of the film now.
Save The Last Dance (2001)
This iconic dance film follows the story of Sara, a girl who had big dreams of getting into Julliard but after a failed audition and the death of her mother, she ends up moving away from that altogether. Now, living in Chicago, she starts a whole new life and her passion for dance is renewed - through hip hop.
Save the Last Dance is a great dance movie, but Julia Stiles in the lead is really what makes it so great. I love dance movies and always adore the idea of people breaking down in the middle of a busy street for some dance sequence - it’s the main reason I love the Step Up series - but Julia Stiles' acting really makes this dance movie feel so much more realistic and heartwarming than it could have been. She really gave this film her all, and the fun dance moves are perfect.
The Prince And Me (2004)
In this romantic-comedy, The Prince and Me, Julia Stiles stars as Paige, a normal college student who is pre-med. However, her life is turned upside down when she is pursued by a boy, who is actually a prince in disguise.
I know, that premise sounds goofy as heck, but for fans of early 2000’s rom-coms, this was one of the teen films to watch and it was because of that great chemistry between Julia Stiles and Luke Mably. It may not be a critical favorite, but it’s certainly one of the fan’s favorite films. And, if you just ignore those sequels that Stiles isn’t even in, it’s a good, stand-alone film.
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
In this drama film, Mona Lisa Smile, we follow Katherine Watson, a graduate student who ends up taking a teaching position at Wellesley College, which at the time was a private liberal arts college just for women. When she discovers that most of her students already have everything memorized, she decides to teach them about modern art and try and change their lives for the better instead of just looking to get married.
Julia Stiles stars as Joan Brandwyn, one of Katherine’s students who has big dreams of becoming a lawyer. While the rest of the Mona Lisa Smile cast is great, I especially loved Stiles' and Roberts' interactions, as their story was one of the more eye-capturing moments and made you want to root for her students to be successful.
The Omen (2006)
If you’re looking for a horror film with Julia Stiles, check out The Omen. This remake of the original 1976 film of the same name follows an official from America who ends up realizing that his son, after several instances of horror, might be something evil that none of them ever could have imagined - the Devil incarnate.
While I will always prefer the original The Omen over this, as I am a mega horror movie fan and know it just might be getting a prequel, I can appreciate this film for the acting, mainly from Julia Stiles. I feel that her performance here showed that she should do more horror movies because I genuinely enjoyed her presence and made this remake more fun to watch.
Bourne Film Series (2002 - 2016)
As I mentioned before, Julia Stiles is a versatile actress, which means action is right up her alley, too. For the first three Bourne films - as well as the fifth one - she portrayed Nicky Parsons, a technician for the CIA that is tasked with helping and hunting down Bourne.
For The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason Bourne, Stiles played this pivotal role, one that truly cemented her as an action actress and showed that she is capable of many different kinds of projects. Her character was so essential to the story that she was actually included in the Universal Jason Bourne attraction, showing how much the fans love Nicky. If you’re looking for a way to see Julia Stiles as a badass, this is it.
Dexter, for eight seasons, was a huge hit for Showtime, telling the story of Dexter Morgan, a seemingly normal man with a dark secret - he’s a serial killer who takes out menaces to society. However, over time his secret starts to get exposed to more and more people, and cracks begin to form in his carefully crafted fake life.
Julia Stiles, during Season 5, portrayed Lumen Ann Pierce, someone whom Dexter initially was going to kill, but ended up working with - and eventually, formed a romantic relationship with. And damn it, I wanted to see more of her. Julia Stiles was only in Dexter for one season (but it helped change her mind about doing TV) and yet, after binge-watching this show, her character was one of the few side characters I remember so well, because her acting was phenomenal and her chemistry with Michael C. Hall was off the charts. It’s no wonder she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for her recurring guest role.
Between Us (2012)
Want to know what happens when two couples who are completely on the rocks and self-destructive reunite for a night in New York? Bad things, that’s what happens, and that’s the premise of Between Us, starring Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, David Harbour, and Melissa George.
I love a good drama, and Between Us is one of those where I feel like I’m in the living room of these characters’ homes and watching all this go down in front of me. I really enjoyed Julia Stiles and Taye Diggs together as a couple, but having all four of these actors working alongside each other, in such well-directed scenes, made it all the more entertaining. It’s not one of Stiles’ biggest hits, but I needed to include it, as not enough people know about this movie.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
In this Academy Award-winning film, Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of two very broken individuals who become frenemies and decide to help out each other with their respective goals - but over time, as their relationship evolves, they learn they might need to change their intentions if they ever want to see the other again.
Silver Linings Playbook is an absolutely fantastic film. Not only is it a great representation of mental health issues and how it affects not only the person but the people around them, but the cast is just phenomenal too, including Julia Stiles. While much of the focus of the movie was on Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (as it should be), Julia Stiles as Veronica, the sister of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence’s character) was so beautifully portrayed.
She perfectly captured what it’s like as a family member to be watching someone they love going through something like this, and I personally think that it’s one of her best performances so far. If you haven’t watched this film, please do. You won’t regret it.
Riviera (2017 - 2020)
Next up, we have Riviera, a television series that Julia Stiles starred in for three seasons. This drama tells the story of Georgina, a woman who is living the dream until her billionaire husband is killed in a yachting accident. Suspecting that there’s something else going on, Georgina ends up finding out way more than she bargained for, realizing that her husband’s death may have been a planned murder.
As mentioned before, I am a huge drama person, and this is one of those shows where I could pop a bag of popcorn and sit down for hours watching this mystery play out on my TV screen. Julia Stiles is so good in her leading role as Georgina, and carries the story incredibly throughout its three seasons. It’s addicting, engrossing, and entertaining in all the right ways.
Last but not least, we have Hustlers. This dramedy/crime film tells the story of a group of strippers who try to steal money by slipping drugs into the drinks of CEOs and stock traders when they visit their club, and then using all their credit cards.
Julia Stiles played Elizabeth, a journalist who interviewed each of the strippers about their experience. As one of only a couple of characters in this film who isn’t stripping or scamming people, Elizabeth captivated me, because it felt like she was the one who was telling the story of these women, who all worked together and showed how complicated crime can sometimes be.
Her part is very interesting and serves a real purpose, and Stiles captured my attention the moment she appeared on the screen. The whole Hustlers cast is freaking talented as hell, but Julia Stiles was the perfect addition.
I’m sure that over the next couple of years, we’ll only get to see more of Julia Stiles and her great acting career, but until then, these are some of her best roles - now, if you don’t mind me, I’m going to go and re-watch all of Dexter again.
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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!