Julia Roberts is both America's Sweetheart and one of the most successful actresses of our time. From Steel Magnolias to My Best Friend's Wedding to Eat, Pray, Love, and Notting Hill, she's brought to life beloved characters and stories for over 30 years. Whether you rewatch a favorite or find something new, here are 44 Julie Roberts Movies and Why We Love them.
Julia Roberts' movie debut, Satisfaction, follows a group of rockers and their band, Mystery. As they perform their first show at a beach bar during summer, one member falls in love with the owner. They decide to pursue an opportunity to become famous in Europe but is it what they want?
2. Mystic Pizza
This cult classic movie is a coming-of-age film about three girls who work at a pizza parlor. But, it's not just for teenage girls either. This romantic comedy is one of Roberts' iconic performances. She portrays the character of Daisy Adare with such nuance that it almost feels like you're in her head.
3. Blood Red
Blood Red tells the story of a Sicilian family who left their home in Italy, move to California, and produce wine. However, the family struggles when a corrupt railroad tycoon targets their land after they refuse to leave.
Blood Red is the only film where she stars with her real-life brother, Eric Roberts, the father of Emma Roberts.
4. Steel Magnolias
A young beautician arrives in a small town and finds herself at the center of a group of friends who are battling life's obstacles and tragedies with humor and heartache. This beloved 80's classic is about the power of friendships. Roberts seriously nails her character in this film, showing all sides to Shelby and cementing a place for herself in Hollywood.
5. Pretty Woman
In one of Julia Roberts' most iconic roles, she stars as Vivian Ward, a high-class prostitute who falls in love with Edward Lewis (Richard Gere).
Julia Roberts' character was transformed from streetwalker to lady for an evening when she goes on a date with Edward Lewis. She must decide between staying with Edward and living luxuriously for the rest of her life or finding true love.
As the infamous necklace scene was being filmed, Julia Roberts laughed at Richard Gere's impromptu closing of the necklace on her fingers. However, the filmmakers liked it so much they decided to leave it in.
In Flatliners, five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment: to explore the realm of death. Their goal is to try to find out what happens in the few minutes after you die, but as they push themselves further with each subsequent near-death experience, their ambitions become more reckless until eventually there's no turning back.
7. Sleeping With the Enemy
In Sleeping With The Enemy, a young woman is terrorized by her husband, so she fakes her own death in an accident and moves to a small town. But her past is not so easily left behind because she's tracked down by her husband, who has followed closely on the heels of his own deceitful agenda. So naturally, he wants to get rid of any witnesses to what he did, including his wife, played beautifully by Julia.
Julia Roberts sparked controversy after she left Filmed in Abbeville, South Carolina Julia sparked controversy at the time when she called the area a “living hell” that was “horribly racist.”
8. Dying Young
In Dying Young, Julia plays Hilary O'Neil, a caretaker for a young man who is terminally ill. She slowly falls in love with him during their shared time together before he dies from blood cancer.
Julia Roberts' luscious red hair during the filming of Dying Young was mostly fake– her real hair was relatively short at the time.
Inspired by the success of Disney's Peter Pan, Sony Pictures releases their own adaptation that captures a more mature Peter Pan in conflict with Captain James Hook.
Peter and Tinkerbell, played by Roberts, return to Neverland with the help of the Lost Boys so that Peter can remember how to be Peter Pan to save his children from Captain Hook.
10. The Player
Although a Hollywood studio executive plots out all the “happy endings” in the movie scripts he works on every day, his own life goes through an unlikely coincidence of its own when he accidentally murders someone. Julia had a small cameo, where she plays herself, along with 64 other celebrities who played themselves in short roles.
11. The Pelican Brief
Based on the 1992 John Grisham novel, the film follows young law student Darby Shaw, played by Roberts, and reporter Gray Grantham, played by Denzel Washington. When two Supreme Court Justices are assassinated, Shaw uncovers the truth and is targeted for assassination. Grantham wants to publish her story, but everyone else wants her dead.
12. I Love Trouble
In the movie I Love Trouble, a train derailment sends two rival Chicago newspaper reporters on an investigative mission. After both reporters get set up but escape the attempt on their lives, they team up to solve the mystery of the train derailment.
A lot of tension may have existed between Julia Roberts and her co-star Nick Nolte during filming. Nolte would say that this was the worst movie he had ever done, while Roberts later said that it was one of the worst actors she has ever worked with.
13. Something to Talk About
In Something to Talk About, Roberts plays Grace, who is managing her father Wyly King's stable. After catching a family member in an affair, she begins questioning the authority of all the adults around her, leading to chaos among families she knows intimately.
14. Mary Reilly
Showing her acting versatility, Roberts plays Mary Reilly in the classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In nineteenth-century England, Roberts portrays a maid for the doctor who she believes is good-natured and rich but begins to show an evil shadow personality.
15. Michael Collins
Michael Collins was one of the most prominent leaders during Ireland's war for independence from British rule. It tells a story about his life and how he fought to establish an independent Irish state. Julia portrayed Kitty Kiernan in the movie, a young Irish woman who is torn between her love for Michael Collins and her married lover.
The historical epic Michael Collins was a project that almost never happened, according to director Neil Jordan. Enter Julia Roberts, whose star power ensured it made its way to the big screen.
16. Everyone Says I Love You
Starring next to Woody Allen, the film follows the lives and loves of couples living in New York City as they go through various stages of relationships, from newlyweds to divorcees.
The movie was filmed on location around Manhattan and Brooklyn, drawing attention for its cinematic beauty. However, Woody Allen did not tell his actors until after they signed contracts that the film would be a musical.
17. My Best Friend's Wedding
Julianne (played by Julia Roberts) is supposed to marry her best friend (played by Dermot Mulroney ) after a long-term promise that they'd marry each other if they were both still single at 28. Instead, three weeks before the wedding, she finds out he's marrying someone else and becomes jealous. The classic romantic comedy ensues.
Julia Roberts selected both Mulroney and Cameron Diaz for the other two lead roles in this film herself.
18. Conspiracy Theory
Jerry Fletcher (played by Mel Gibson) is a conspiracy theorist who quickly finds himself proved right by his own theories. Julie Roberts plays a Justice Department attorney who becomes involved in his life as she investigates her own father's murder.
19. Step Mom
In one of Roberts' most beloved 90's roles, she plays a photographer, Isabel, who becomes an unwelcomed stepmom. The film follows the family as the kids cope with the fact that their dad is dating Isabel, and the two moms reconcile parenting methods. With a heartbreaking twist, the film received accolades and award nominations.
20. Notting Hill
Notting Hill was one of Roberts' most famous roles, for a good reason. Roberts plays Anna Scott, a movie star who meets William Thacker (Hugh Grant), a simple bookshop owner. His life changes when he meets the biggest film star in the world. Spawning one of the most famous lines in cinema, she's “just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”
In one scene in Notting Hill (1999), Anna Scott is asked how much she made on her last film. The amount she was paid for her role—$15 million—happens to be the same as Julia Roberts' fee from that movie.
21. Runaway Bride
A different take on 90's romantic comedies, Roberts plays Maggie Carpenter, a woman who left several grooms at the altar, taking off without warning or serious reason, even on horseback. New York columnist Ike Graham (Richard Gere) tries to get his job back by writing a priceless follow-up piece to prove his original story about Carpenter.
22. Erin Brockovich
Julia Roberts won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as real-life hero Erin Brockovich. In this film, Roberts stars as an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant and helps to bring down the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
23. The Mexican
Jerry Welbach (Brad Pitt) is given two options in The Mexican. His mob boss tells him to either go on a Mexican mission or suffer the consequences. His girlfriend Samantha, played by Roberts, desires an end to his past relations with the mob, so he heads south to find a pistol to complete the job.
Julia Roberts met her now-husband, cameraman Daniel Moder, during the filming of this movie.
24. America's Sweethearts
American Sweethearts follows the lives of film stars on their press tour to promote their latest romantic comedy. A studio publicist, played by Roberts, scrambles in the midst of a nasty public breakup of the married movie stars while the director kidnaps their latest film's only print.
Julia Roberts famously turned down the title role for a supporting character in America's Sweethearts. Eagle-eye Scream Queen fans can see a young Emma Roberts in an uncredited role.
25. Ocean's Eleven
Oceans Eleven is an American heist comedy film filled with A-list actors and actresses. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. To pull it off, they need a great team of specialists who can either create or break into anything from high-tech alarm systems to the glass in front of the casino doors. Roberts plays Mrs. Ocean, Danny's on-again-off-again wife.
26. Grand Champion
Grand Champion is a children's story of a 13-year-old boy, Buddy, and his prize-winning calf, Hokey. They set out to become the National Grand Champion at the Texas Stock show, and people from all walks of life cheer them on as they make their way across Texas. Starring Julia's niece Emma Roberts, she plays a small supporting role.
27. Full Frontal
In Full Frontal, Julia Roberts stars as Francesca. Filmed in just one month, the film follows a group of characters over the course of one day as they prepare to attend a birthday party in Los Angeles.
28. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
This biographical spy film follows a fictitious game show host Chuck Barris and his double life. He had a public persona of the candid game show creator on Johnny Carson's couch, and behind the scenes, he was an agent for the C.I.A., trained to kill by night.
Pal George Clooney's directorial debut, Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore, agreed to work for $250,000, while Pitt and Damon appeared for free as a favor to Clooney.
29. Mona Lisa Smile
Katherine Anne Watson, played by Roberts, is delighted to have been granted a prestigious art history teaching position at Wellesley College in the 1950s. Her enthusiasm for the female students' potential sparks disapproving stares from the staff and unease in her colleagues, who are deeply rooted in traditional views of education and women's place in society. Refusing to conform, Watson remains resilient while continuing to push boundaries in her work as a teacher.
Roberts received $25 million for this role, the highest paycheck for an actress at the time.
Closer is based on the award-winning play, which was inspired by the Mozart opera Così fan Tutte. It follows four main characters with tough decisions to make that affect each of them in different ways. This movie isolates the four lead characters and strips them down, showcasing the best-in-class acting by major actors.
31. Ocean's Twelve
In this Ocean's Eleven sequel, Danny Ocean (Clooney) has pulled off one of the biggest heists ever and thinks it will be smooth sailing from then on. But soon, his friends Rusty Ryan (Pitt) and Linus Caldwell (Damon), who were also part of the heist, learn someone has other plans for them. The team, including Roberts as Mrs. Ocean, now with nothing to lose, must come up with a plan to get the money they spent back from around the world.
32. Charlie Wilson's War
Based on the book Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History, this film is based on the story of a U.S. Congressman and a CIA operative.
Featuring Charlie Wilson, played by Tom Hanks, and socialite Joanne Herring played by Roberts, one of his biggest conservative supporters of covert dealings in Afghanistan.
33. Fireflies in the Garden
In Fireflies in the Garden, The Taylor family is on the precipice of a major moment in their lives: their mom and matriarch is about to graduate from college, many years after raising her children. They're elated for their sacred day, but tragedy strikes. Roberts stars in a supporting role, while husband Moder is the lead cinematographer.
The film tells the story of two corporate spies trying to use one another to get what they want. Claire (Roberts) is a seasoned CIA operative and seductress who tempts Ray (Clive Owen), an MI6 agent.
To oppose one another, they each had to trust the other – hard if not impossible. But is it even harder for one of them to trust the other?
35. Valentine's Day
A handful of Los Angeles residents awaken Tuesday morning for Valentine's Day. What challenges await them? Will they find love by February 14th? Will Cupid win the day for all those in need of affection? A large ensemble star-studded cast drew large crowds to theaters in this box office smash.
36. Eat, Pray, Love
An adaptation of the best-selling beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert, the book's author. When Elizabeth realized that her marriage was not fulfilling, she decides to leave everything behind and find herself by traveling. First, in India, she learns the power of prayer. Then she travels to Italy, where she discovers true pleasure by eating local dishes in authentic ways and finally finding peace with true love in Bali.
37. Larry Crowne
Written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos, Larry Crowne follows Crowne (played by Hanks) as he gets fired from his long-time job due to a lack of a college degree. Enrolling in a community college, Roberts plays his instructor, also down on her luck and going through a divorce.
38. Mirror Mirror
Based on the fairy tale Snow White, Mirror Mirror is an adventure comedy that brings the Snow White legend to life. Snow White (played by a young Lily Collins) is the fairest in all of the land until she comes across the evil Queen (played by Roberts), who does everything she can to destroy Snow White's happiness.
39. August: Osage County
August: Osage County looks at the lives of four strong-willed women connected by blood but have grown up and spread apart. In the sweltering heat of August, the Weston family will be forced to reflect on themselves and their lives in Osage County, Oklahoma.
40. Secret in Their Eyes
Ray, an investigator, is confronted with the case of a missing girl and quickly realizes that this is his partner Jeess' (Roberts) daughter. After 13 years, the DA has agreed to reopen the case when a new lead is found. Despite having a lot of evidence to investigate, Ray tries everything he can to find out what happened. Meanwhile, Jess, disappointed with how justice is carried out in-law, decides to track down the killer herself.
41. Mother's Day
Similar to the film Valentine's Day, Roberts is part of a large A-List ensemble cast. This time, three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother's Day, with Julia Roberts playing Miranda, who has no kids and focuses on her career.
Julia Roberts' three children, Hazel, Phinneas, and Henry Moder, also appear in the film.
42. Money Monster
Money Monster is a thriller about economics and the media that reunite Clooney and Roberts. George Clooney is Lee, the host of “Money Monster,” a TV show where he advises callers on how to invest their money. When one investor loses all his savings after following George's advice, he forcefully takes over their studio. Patty (Julia Roberts) and Lee work against the clock to unravel a conspiracy at the heart of today's high-tech global markets.
Based on a New York Times bestseller, this film tells the inspirational and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a kid with facial differences. Roberts plays his loving and supporting mother, drawing accolades for her performance.
44. Ben Is Back
Ben is Back tells the story of a mother learning to let go of her son, who struggles with addiction. In addition, the film explores how drug addiction affects family and friends as well as the process of getting an addict help.
Julia Roberts stars as Linda, a mother who welcomes back her son Ben (played by Lucas Hedges) on Christmas Eve. But, unfortunately, she soon learns that he is still in harm's way during the 24 hours that will change their lives forever.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.
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