There are some legendary people who are known in Hollywood, actors whose careers have spanned decades, that everyone knows about. One of those people is Meryl Streep. In my opinion, she is the undisputed queen of the film industry, with a record twenty-one Academy Award nominations. But, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would debate me on that.
From the beginning of her career, to some of her latest entries, Meryl Streep has kept going strong. In honor of one of her newest movie coming out soon on Netflix, Don’t Look Up, here are some of the best Meryl Streep movies that are currently streaming right now, or available to rent.
The Iron Lady (2011)
The biographical drama, The Iron Lady is about the life and career of Margaret Thatcher, a British politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the longest time in the 20th century, and was also the first woman to hold the office.
Margaret Thatcher was a strong woman in her position and worked her way up in the world, becoming one of the most influential political figures during her time. Only one of the best actresses ever could play someone like her - and Meryl Streep killed it. Winning an Oscar for her role, Streep perfectly portrays the politician, from the beginning of her career all the way to the end. I could re-watch this film over and over for her iconic work. Most certainly one of the best movies on Amazon Prime.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.
In this comedy based on the novel of the same name, The Devil Wears Prada follows Andy, a young woman who wants to make it as a journalist in New York City, so she applies for a job as an assistant for the fashionable Miranda Priestly. However, being her personal assistant is far more involved than she ever thought it would be.
Look, I love Meryl Streep in dramatic roles. But, even I have to admit that she kills it in this role (and is comically scary) as Miranda Priestly. I mean, just watching her in the movie makes me feel insecure about how I look, and she’s not even a real person. The Devil Wears Prada cast in general is full of stars, but Meryl Streep is the one who stole the show.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Next up, we have the movie musical, Mamma Mia!. Here, a bride-to-be is trying to find her real father to walk her down the aisle, but in doing so, brings back plenty of memories for that one special summer her mother had all those years ago.
Meryl Streep in musicals is something I wish we got more of. While I did love her in both Into the Woods and Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of The Prom, I will always love her the most in Mamma Mia! for one specific reason. Streep always does so many dramatic roles, but Mamma Mia! is the first role where she genuinely looks like she is carefree and just having a fun time. While she’s not in the sequel as much, I still love to see that smile along her lips and hear her laugh, especially when she sings “Dancing Queen.”
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Bit of a change in tone from our last pick, but next up is Sophie’s Choice. In this WWII drama, Meryl Streep stars as Sophie, a Polish immigrant with a dark secret from her past, who shares a Brooklyn boarding house with her lover, Nathan, and a writer.
Meryl Streep is phenomenal in her role. Winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice was well-deserved. I’ll be honest - this movie is one of those where you only need to see it once, but it will change you for the rest of your life. It’s heartbreaking, acted to perfection, and beautifully tragic. If you’re a film buff, Sophie’s Choice is a movie you must see.
Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
Moving on, we have Kramer vs. Kramer. This brilliant courtroom drama follows the story of a couple and their divorce, how it impacts their young son, and the evolution of their relationship and views on parenting, together and apart.
Fun fact - Kramer vs. Kramer was the first Meryl Streep film I ever saw, and boy what a great one to start out on. Meryl Streep (who, again, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) is fantastic, alongside her onscreen ex-husband, Dustin Hoffman, who also won for Best Actor. I think what I like the most about Kramer vs. Kramer is that it feels very realistic, touching on several social issues that are still relevant to this day, such as the idea of gender roles in a relationship, a work-life balance, single parenting, and more.
Julie & Julia (2009)
Julie & Julia is a biographical comedy-drama, contrasting the life of famous chef, Julia Child in the early years of her career, and New Yorker Julie Powell, who wants to cook all 524 recipes from Child’s cookbook over the course of a year, a challenge that ended up making her a published writer.
This movie is an absolute delight. Really. I could re-watch Julie & Julia many times and still never get tired of it, just because it’s such a great story. Both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are brilliant in their roles, but what takes the cake is the true difference between their lives, and how they intersect near the end. Plus, if you want to see some really good food, this is your movie.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
I bet you didn’t think you’d see an animated film here, but here we are. In Fantastic Mr. Fox, we follow the titular character, whose habit of stealing things gets his family and his community in danger when they are hunted down by three farmers.
Wes Anderson movies are great, in my opinion. They’re always so colorful and full of life, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my favorites, and one of the great stop motion movies as well. Meryl Streep, who voices Felicity Fox (Mr. Fox’s wife) has such a lovely voice that fits the character perfectly, and the rest of the voice cast is wonderful as well. It’s a simple story, but a great one nonetheless, and one you should definitely watch if you haven’t yet.
Out Of Africa (1985)
Next up is the romantic drama, Out of Africa. This critically acclaimed movie is based on the book of the same name, and follows the life of Karen Blixen, who established a plantation in Africa. It shows her complicated life involving her husband, her true love, the war, and everything else.
Out of Africa is just another one of those great movies Meryl Streep rocked in. Her portrayal of Karen, the author of the book, garnered her another Oscar nomination, and the movie itself won both Best Picture and Best Director, along with five other awards. I feel that out of most of her films, this is one of the few that doesn’t get talked about as much, but it deserves as much praise as others on this list.
Meryl Streep nabbed another Oscar nod for this one. Doubt takes place in a Roman Catholic elementary school, led by Sister Aloysius. But, when she finds out that Father Flynn is paying too much attention to the school’s only black student, she decides to take it upon herself to investigate Flynn’s behavior.
Now this is a true drama, from start to finish. Doubt is an amazingly acted masterpiece of a movie that tells a thrilling story. Meryl Streep in the lead role as Sister Aloysius was the perfect choice. My favorite scenes of hers were most definitely with Philip Seymour Hoffman. You could feel the tension in the room when those two were in it.
The Post (2017)
Starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, The Post tells the story of the journalists at the Washington Post, who are trying to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers, and their struggles to get everything available to the public to expose the government.
The Post is an amazing film for many reasons. Both Hanks and Streep are great, but the whole cast is phenomenal as well, with the likes of Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Alison Brie, and many others stealing scenes. Steven Spielberg directed The Post and created a truly riveting tale about a real-life story, with an amazing cast.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Death Becomes Her is about rivals who are fighting for the affections of the same man, and drink a magic potion that promises eternal youth but causes unpleasant side effects.
While Death Becomes Her didn’t have the best reviews back then, it’s become a very popular cult film now, with praise for its pioneering in CGI, and the acting abilities of the main three leads, Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. Again, Meryl Streep is the queen of drama, but seeing her in something like a black comedy and killing it just shows the versatility this amazing actress has. Also, I wish she and Hawn were in so many more movies together - they are hilarious.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Next up, we have The Deer Hunter. In this war movie, we follow a trio of Russian-American steelworkers, whose lives were forever changed after their involvement in the Vietnam War.
This was Meryl Streep’s first Academy Award nomination, and one that is very well deserved. She was fantastic in her role as Linda, as was the rest of the cast. I mean, with big names like Robert De Nero, Christopher Walken and more, the film has to be good, and trust me The Deer Hunter is one of the best war movies out there. Anyone who likes that genre of film should love it.
The Bridges Of Madison County (1995)
Lastly, we have The Bridges of Madison County. This romantic drama, directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of war bride Francesca Johnson, who lives with her husband and kids on a farm in Iowa, but when she meets National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid, her life changes forever.
I mean, how can you get more iconic than Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood in the same movie? I really like The Bridges of Madison County. It capitalizes on the passion of romance and the intense feelings couples have when they are first together, and how that distracts them from real life and their duties. Eastwood and Streep have amazing chemistry, and mold a love story for the ages.
I can’t wait to see what this amazing actress does next, but until we get updates on Don’t Look Up or any 2022 movies, I’ll just sit back and re-watch some of Meryl Streep’s best films. Today feels like a Devil Wears Prada kind of day.
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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