Evangeline Lilly became a household name with her first leading role as Kate Austen in the ABC sci-fi adventure drama Lost. She has since become a massive success in Hollywood.
Lilly's credits include several installments in blockbuster franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Hobbit. With her career flourishing, she'll be appearing in other prominent titles in the future, and her next venture is a voice role in the Israeli animated historical drama movie Legend of Destruction.
She's appeared in 17 movies; we'll rank them all from best to worst in this piece.
1 – The Hurt Locker (2008, Directed by Kathryn Bigelow)
War thriller The Hurt Locker follows an explosive ordnance disposal team in the Iraq War as insurgents target them. The movie focuses on how they psychologically react to the stresses of being on the frontline.
Jeremy Renner leads the film as Sergeant First Class William James, giving an Oscar-nominated performance. The ensemble supporting cast includes Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Guy Pearce, and Lilly. Lilly plays Connie James, William's ex-wife, in what amounts to an extended cameo. Everyone performs superbly, which makes The Hurt Locker so good. It's action-packed, intense, and great-looking. It received nine Academy Award nominations, winning six, including Best Picture and Best Director.
2 – Avengers: Endgame (2019, Directed by The Russo Brothers)
Thanos erased Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne, AKA the Wasp, from existence when he snapped his fingers at the end of 2018's superhero offering Avengers: Infinity War. Therefore, Wasp went missing most of its sequel, Avengers: Endgame. The film chronicles the efforts of the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies as they attempt to reverse the Mad Titan's actions. When they succeed, the Wasp reappears in the epic climactic battle and the aftermath.
Lilly conveys Wasp's enthusiasm to be part of the Avengers brilliantly in the final battle and contributes positively to an outstanding collective performance by the cast. Endgame's ensemble includes Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Paul Rudd. It's an exciting, suspenseful, action-packed, great-looking movie that received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
3 – Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018, Directed by Peyton Reed)
Evangeline Lilly's first reprisal of her role as Hope van Dyne came in the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The film follows van Dyne as she works with her fellow eponymous character, Scott Lang, and her father, Hank Pym, to rescue her mother, Janet van Dyne, from the Quantum Realm.
The charisma Lilly brings magnificent and effortless charisma to her first leading role in the MCU. It rivals Paul Rudd's as Lang, which is a huge compliment. Ant-Man and the Wasp also stars Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, David Dastmalchian, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Randall Park, and Laurence Fishburne. The impressive cast helps to make the movie charming, funny, and entertaining from beginning to end. The action is terrific, and the visual effects dazzle.
4 – Ant-Man (2015, Directed by Peyton Reed)
Ant-Man marked Evangeline Lily's MCU debut as Hope van Dyne. She's the primary support to Paul Rudd's eponymous character as he helps to defend Hank Pym's Ant-Man shrinking technology from the nefarious Darren Cross and plots a dangerous heist.
The concept of the Ant-Man character sounds ridiculous, so this film surprised many people when it turned out to be excellent. Its cast is mainly the same as Ant-Man and the Wasp, with Corey Stoll and an Anthony Mackie cameo the main differences. Ant-Man is a tense, action-packed, hilarious film that looks great, and its talented stars give delightful performances.
5 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013, Directed by Peter Jackson)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an epic high fantasy adventure based on J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit. It's the second installment in The Hobbit trilogy and a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It follows the eponymous Bilbo Baggins as he accompanies dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
This movie's outstanding cast includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Evangeline Lilly, who plays the elven chief Tauriel. She gives a layered performance as the young (by elf standards) but experienced character. The excellent cast helps The Desolation of Smaug to reinvigorate a franchise that faltered with its predecessor. It received three Academy Award nominations for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects but won none.
6 – Little Evil (2017, Directed by Eli Craig)
The supernatural horror comedy Little Evil tells a story about a man who suspects his new stepson is “a little evil” after realizing the kid may be responsible for two mysterious suicides. The man learns the boy is the Antichrist and may have to die to prevent an apocalypse.
It stars Owen Atlas as Lucas, the Antichrist, with Adam Scott as his stepfather, Gary Bloom, and Lilly as his mother, Samantha Bloom. They make a fantastic trio with fabulous chemistry, and their enthusiastic supporting cast includes Bridget Everett, Clancy Brown, and Sally Field. Little Evil is a funny, intelligent, charming, and deliciously violent take on the story of Satan's spawn, with lots of hilarious cursing.
7 – Crisis (2021, Directed by Nicholas Jarecki)
The crime thriller Crisis has an impressive ensemble cast, including Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Lily-Rose Depp, Kid Cudi, Martin Donovan, and Lilly. With a backdrop of the opioid epidemic, the film follows the intertwining stories of an undercover cop, a university researcher, and a drug-addicted grieving mother.
Hammer plays the undercover agent, Jake Kahane, Oldman plays university professor Tyrone Brower, and Evangeline Lilly plays Claire Reimann, the addict grieving the loss of her son. The equally talented supporting cast ensures the film is worth watching. A questionable script makes Crisis uneven, but its stars buoy it, resulting in an intense, gripping, and provocative viewing experience.
8 – Real Steel (2011, Directed by Shawn Levy)
Real Steel is a sci-fi movie based on Richard Matheson's 1956 short story “Steel,” initially published in the The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and later adapted into a 1963 Twilight Zone episode. It follows a former boxer who, with his son, builds and trains a mechanical fighter to fight in his sport, which robots now compete in.
It stars Hugh Jackman as former boxer Charlie Kenton, Dakota Goyo as his son Charlie, and Lilly as Bailey Tallet, a gym owner who's Charlie's former coach and his love interest. They all perform well, and Goyo deserves special praise for a mature performance. Real Steel has exciting action, a great look, and packs an emotional punch. It received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
9 – The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies (2014, Directed by Peter Jackson)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies rounds off a largely disappointing trilogy that peaked with the middle installment. Evangeline Lilly rejoins the regular cast as the elven chief Tauriel, reprising her role from The Desolation of Smaug, as the story concludes with the eponymous Bilbo Baggins and his allies engaging in a war against an array of enemies and attempting to prevent the Lonely Mountain from tumbling into the hands of a powerful rising dark force.
Evangeline Lilly does well, as do her A-list co-stars, and The Battle of the Five Armies entertains with a dark, energetic, engaging, action-packed spectacle and comes to a satisfying conclusion. It doesn't meet the expectations of its epic billing, though, as the battle scenes are too long, and sometimes the whole thing is messy. It received one Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing but failed to win.
10 – South of Heaven (2021, Directed by Aharon Keshales)
South of Heaven follows a paroled convict who attempts to give his terminally ill childhood sweetheart the best year of her life after a long stint in prison for armed robbery. Jason Sudeikis plays convict Jimmy Ray, and Lilly plays Annie Ray, his dying lover.
It sounds like a charming film, and, in parts, it is, but it devolves into a violent thriller that undermines the initial premise. Sudeikis gives a surprisingly good performance as a ruthless killer, and Evangeline Lilly is a devastatingly convincing cancer patient. While South of Heaven has some entertaining scenes, it's so implausible that it's ridiculous, which is a shame. It's a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be.
11 – Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023, Directed by Peyton Reed)
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has the dubious distinction as the lowest-rated movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It follows the eponymous characters, played by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, and their family to the Quantum Realm, as they accidentally end up there and have to face off against Kang the Conqueror.
A bad MCU film is still watchable by most people's standards, and Quantumania has entertaining moments. Its problems are that it's too busy and overstuffed with characters, some of whom are too ridiculous to take seriously. It looks terrific, and Jonathan Majors makes an excellent addition to the regular Ant-Man cast, giving a starring turn as Kang. It falls short because it doesn't have the spark of the best installments in the franchise, and some of the action is drab.
12 – Freddy vs. Jason (2003, Directed by Ronnie YU)
A crossover between the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, Freddy vs. Jason, pits the iconic slasher villains Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees against each other. It follows a group of teenagers as they find themselves embroiled in the conflict after Freddy resurrects Jason to instill fear into the inhabitants of Elm Street so he can regain his powers.
It stars Robert Englund as Krueger, Ken Kirzinger as Voorhees, and Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Chris Marquette, Lochlyn Munro, Katharine Isabelle, Zack Ward, and Kyle Labine as some of their helpless victims. Lilly has a mere walk-on role as a high-school student. Freddy vs. Jason has a ludicrous plot but makes a dream come true for horror fans. It has blood, frights, humor, and witty dialogue to spare.
13 – The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003, Directed by Jim Fall)
The Lizzie McGuire Movie stars Hilary Duff in the role that made her a star and follows her eponymous character on her graduation trip to Rome.
It has a supporting cast including Adam Lamberg, Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd, Jake Thomas, and Alex Borstein, who's the best thing about it. Evangeline Lilly has an uncredited cameo as a police officer and does fine. The Lizzie McGuire Movie is benign and agreeable without ever excelling. Fans of the show will enjoy it, but the best others can hope to do is tolerate it and occasionally laugh at the silliness.
14 – Afterwards (2008, Directed by Gilles Bourdos)
Afterwards is a psychological drama based on Guillaume Musso's 2005 novel Et après. It tells a story about a newly divorced New York City lawyer who died as a child but returned to life and focuses on his unsettling experience of meeting a doctor who claims he can sense when certain people are about to perish.
It stars Romain Duris as lawyer Nathan Del Amico, John Malkovich as Joseph Kay, the doctor, and Evangeline Lilly as Claire, Nathan's childhood sweetheart who recently divorced him. Lilly and Malkovich perform well, but Duris gives a wooden performance as the lead and Afterwards is an otherwise messy movie. We can smell the unearned pretentiousness despite it not being a patch on the book.
15 – Stealing Sinatra (2003, Directed by Ron Underwood)
The first movie Evangeline Lilly starred in is the television film Stealing Sinatra. It tells the story of the 1863 kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr. by the businessman Barry Keenan. David Arquette stars as Keenan, Thomas Ian Nicholas plays Frank Sinatra, Jr., James Russo plays Frank Sinatra, and William H. Macy plays Keenan's co-conspirator John Irwin. Macy is the best thing about the film.
Stealing Sinatra has enjoyable moments, but not for the right reasons. It's a goofy film with exaggerated characters, with Sinatra, Jr. presented as a hapless sap. Kidnapping isn't something to take lightly, but this plays out like a farcical comedy. It's one to avoid.
16 – The Long Weekend (2005, Directed by Pat Holden)
Canadian comedy The Long Weekend follows two brothers with conflicting priorities for a weekend. Ed Waxman wants to save his troubled advertising career by meeting a deadline, while Cooper wants to help his stressed-out sibling get lucky with the ladies.
It stars Brendan Fehr as Ed and Chris Klein as Cooper. Their comedic chemistry and timing just don't work. The jokes in The Long Weekend are juvenile and crude, which means a section of people will enjoy it, but anyone with a yearning for sophistication will hate it. Evangeline Lilly's role is minor as Simone, a supermodel killed in a car accident off-screen whose body appears in one scene in a coffin.
17 – White Chicks (2004, Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans)
Calling a movie dreadful sounds mean, but we can't find much nice to say about the comedy film White Chicks. It's about two Black FBI agents who go undercover as women using whiteface to protect a pair of hotel heiresses from becoming the next victims in a string of high-profile kidnappings.
It stars Shawn and Marlon Wayans as FBI agent brothers Marcus Anthony II and Kevin Copeland. The supporting cast includes Jaime King, Frankie Faison, Lochlyn Munro, and John Heard. Evangeline Lilly makes an uncredited cameo as a party guest; she should be thankful for that. White Chicks received nominations for five Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, which is no surprise. It's a silly film with lowbrow humor, offensive material like sexism and racism, and poor performances.
Editor in Chief, Wealth of Geeks & Media Decision
Paul Rose Jr has been a Journalist and TV News Producer for MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Paramount.
Currently, in addition to his management duties, he manages the Associated Press syndication program for The Insiders network.
Paul is the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and has worked as a SEO for Small Businesses Trainer, Forensic Analyst, Train Conductor, and Licensed Financial Principal, among many other things.
He owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes.
When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.