If you're a fan of the sci-fi genre, you know it wouldn't exist as it does today without Sigourney Weaver. Not only has she had acclaimed roles in science fiction movies, but she's also been featured in rom-coms and thrillers. Her impressive resume is a testament to her range and ability as an actress. Here are our top picks that feature her best performances.
1. Alien (1979)
Sigourney Weaver plays Ellen Ripley, the warrant officer aboard the spaceship Nostromo, who becomes the sole survivor of an attack by a deadly extraterrestrial creature. This iconic sci-fi horror film, directed by Ridley Scott, launched Weaver's career and earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
2. Holes (2003)
Based on the novel by Louis Sachar, the film follows a young boy named Stanley (Shia LaBeouf) who is sent to the detention center, where he and his fellow inmates are forced to dig holes as punishment. Sigourney Weaver plays the villainous warden of a juvenile detention center in this family-friendly comedy-drama. Her performance as the cruel and manipulative warden is a highlight of the movie.
3. Aliens (1986)
In the sequel to the original Alien film, Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Ellen Ripley. This time, Ripley is recruited by a team of Marines to return to the planet where the alien creature was first encountered, as they have lost contact with the colony of settlers that was established there.
4. Ghostbusters (1984)
Sigourney Weaver plays Dana Barrett, a cellist who becomes possessed by a demonic spirit in this classic sci-fi comedy directed by Ivan Reitman. Weaver's performance as the possessed Dana, who becomes a key figure in the Ghostbusters‘ battle against the supernatural, is both funny and chilling.
5. Working Girl (1988)
In this romantic comedy-drama directed by Mike Nichols, Sigourney Weaver plays the ruthless boss of a Wall Street investment firm. Working Girl follows a secretary named Tess (Melanie Griffith) who aspires to climb the corporate ladder and takes on her boss's identity to close a major deal. Weaver's performance as the conniving and cutthroat boss earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
6. The Village (2004)
Sigourney Weaver plays Alice Hunt, a member of a small community living in an isolated village surrounded by woods that are rumored to be inhabited by dangerous creatures. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the film is a psychological thriller that explores themes of fear and deception. Shyamalan detractors unfairly slate this movie, but it's a hidden gem in his hit-or-miss filmography, made all the better by Weaver's touching performance.
7. Avatar (2009)
In the 2009 hit Avatar, Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Grace Augustine, a scientist who leads a team of researchers on a mission to study the alien planet Pandora and its native inhabitants, the Na'vi.
8. Galaxy Quest (1999)
Sigourney Weaver plays Gwen DeMarco, a former TV actress who played a communications officer on a sci-fi TV series. When she and her fellow cast members are mistaken for real space adventurers, they find themselves embroiled in a real-life space adventure. Weaver's role in this cult classic sci-fi comedy is funny and satirical.
9. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
In The Cabin in the Woods, Sigourney Weaver is the director of the organization responsible for a sinister ritual requiring a group of young adults to spend a weekend in a remote cabin, where they are subjected to a series of deadly horrors. Directed by Drew Goddard, the film is a meta-horror that deconstructs the tropes of the genre.
10. Copycat (1995)
In Copycat, Sigourney Weaver plays a criminal psychologist named Helen Hudson, who becomes the target of a copycat serial killer. The film, directed by Jon Amiel, is a psychological thriller showcasing Weaver's range as an actress.
11. Heartbreakers (2001)
Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play a mother-daughter duo of con artists who travel the country swindling wealthy men out of their money. Weaver's character, Max, plays the role of the seductive and alluring woman who marries the men, while Hewitt's character, Page, poses as her daughter and catches the men's attention.
12. Baby Mama (2008)
Sigourney Weaver plays the head of a surrogacy agency in this comedy about a successful businesswoman named Kate (Tina Fey) who hires a working-class woman named Angie (Amy Poehler) to carry her baby. Some Weaver fans may be rolling their eyes at my inclusion of Baby Mama on this list, but Weaver's role as the icy and unscrupulous agency head takes this movie into outrageously funny territory. They don't make comedies like this anymore.
13. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
The Year of Living Dangerously is about a journalist on the job as a foreign correspondent when he starts having an affair with the assistant to the British diplomat in Indonesia, Jill Bryant (Weaver). But as the movie goes on, the politics of the situation are greater than the two could ever guess.
14. A Map of the World (1999)
A Map of the World sees Weaver return to a more dramatic role after her character's life falls apart when her friend's child is involved in an accident that happens on her property and she's arrested for the events. She has to fight the the abuse charges and face the community she once held so close.
15. Dave (1993)
In this romantic comedy, Weaver plays the First Lady of the United States, who is thrust into a strange situation after her husband has a stroke while having an affair with an aide. Now, his body double is in his place, and she has to pretend this man is her husband… but he actually might be a better fit for her than her own husband.
Jaimee Marshall is a writer who hails from the suburbs of Philadelphia but has spent the past few years living abroad in Australia. She considers herself a bit of a movie buff with a knack for horror and clever sci-fi flicks. When she isn't watching or writing about movies, she's probably either posting political memes, cooking vegan food, or being active. She covers entertainment news, and reviews films and television for Wealth of Geeks. You can also catch her deep dives on sociopolitical issues at Evie Magazine, Katie Couric Media, and Her Campus or watch her appearance on Popcorned Planet, where she discusses heated issues like due process in our current social climate.