Drew Barrymore is one of the unfortunate byproducts of the dark side of Hollywood. From a young age, she had to survive and live independently through exceedingly dark childhood events. Even still, she rose from her place and created wonderful movies in her adulthood that matched and even exceeded what she did as a child star.
These are the 22 best Drew Barrymore movies ranked from the most impressive must-watches to the ones near the middle of the pack for her lengthy career. From beloved rom-coms to slasher flicks, she’s done it all. But these are the best Drew Barrymore movies you should watch right now.
1 – The Wedding Singer (1998)
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are an unstoppable duo. Their few appearances together in movies are some of the best in their careers. This hilarious rom-com about a broken and jealous man who falls in love with a woman who could get married soon is a real treat.
Sandler and Barrymore have such incredible chemistry with one another, and this movie does enough to go beyond the cliche to be entertaining, fresh, and a must-watch, even if you aren’t a rom-com fan.
2 – 50 First Dates (2004)
Barrymore and Sandler reunite in, once again, one of the best movies in both of their careers. Despite the two stars falling in love again, this movie does more than enough to justify its existence. It balances the heartfelt, emotional, and ridiculous aspects of a man who has to repeatedly make a girl who forgets every day fall in love with him.
Like the best Drew Barrymore movie, this film is a must-watch rom-com that is at the peak of the genre.
3 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
This is where it all began for Drew Barrymore. As a very young girl, she starred in this movie as Gertie and immediately shot through the ranks of Hollywood to instant stardom. There is a reason this whimsical and stunning Steven Spielberg film is a classic, even if it played a role in setting Barrymore on an unfortunate path in childhood.
4 – Donnie Darko (2001)
Strange, hilarious, and often disturbing at times, there is nothing quite like this tale of a teen learning about his powers after being in an accident. It is a cult classic for a reason, with Jake Gyllenhaal particularly giving a fascinating and trippy performance that must be seen.
5 – Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
Drew Barrymore is a phenomenal choice for Cinderella, and this unique take on the fairy tale story sees her as a girl named Danielle. With a fun cast, cute riffs on the storyline, and actors committing to their roles, this is one of the best non-animatedCinderellastories.
6 – Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (2021)
Powerful and impeccable in its pacing, this is how to make a documentary about a classic animated character and comics star like Charlie Brown. The intelligent way it integrates interviews with stars like Drew Barrymore alongside a new animated plot is terrific.
7 – Scream (1996)
Spoilers for those who haven’t watched it yet, but there is nothing in horror history like Drew Barrymore’s initial scene in this film. That initial slash from the famous Ghostface murderer is iconic and a masterpiece, empowered by Barrymore’s commitment to the otherwise far too short of a role.
8 – Grey Gardens (2009)
The incredible performances of Barrymore and Jessica Lange anchor the story of this complicated family. The drama is intense, and the characters carry a sometimes complicated storyline.
9 – Whip It (2009)
Barrymore has been known to expand her talents beyond acting, which is the case with her directorial debut here. This movie is an impressive first attempt, starring her and other talented cast members like Elliot Page, Kristen Wiig, and more. This coming-of-age drama is realistic, heartfelt, and even often funny.
10 – Altered States (1980)
Though it may not be the movie that put Drew Barrymore on the map, this was among her earliest films. As a young child, she played a supporting role in this depressing, dark, and captivating look at a scientist who experiments on himself to alter his reality forever.
11 – Charlie’s Angels (2000)
This remake of the beloved 1970s TV series is a win. Though it might struggle to be anything but predictable, there’s no denying that Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu are impeccable as the eponymous trio of spy girls. The action is killer, and the laughs don’t miss the mark.
12 – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
This strange and well-acted biography drama balances its tension and comedy well, turning the unusual and perhaps even disturbing life of the game show producer Chuck Barris. George Clooney also shows he can do more than act, wonderfully directing this flick full of stars.
13 – Curious George (2006)
This feature film animated version of the classic children’s book is a beautiful rendition of the story. The characters, including George himself, are fantastically brought to life, and it is helped along by the talented cast of Barrymore, Will Ferrell, Eugene Levy, and more.
14 – Olive, The Other Reindeer (1999)
Despite its older style, the 2D animation holds up surprisingly well with its adorable creatures, including Olive herself. Played brilliantly by Barrymore, the songs are fun, and the storyline is perfect for the holidays. This is one of the best and most underrated holiday family flicks.
15 – Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
Unfortunately, fans don’t get to see Barrymore in more musicals like this one. This lovable and charming musical follows a family and the chaos ensuing as each of them deals with their own personal drama amidst an upcoming marriage in the family.
16 – Boys on The Side (1995)
Heartfelt and far too underrated, this is a beautiful look at the lives of three women on a cross-country journey together. Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore are particularly showstoppers as they deal with the harsh hands that life has dealt them.
17 – Wayne’s World 2 (1993)
Barrymore has a minor role in this sequel to the beloved Mike Myers film. This movie falls into the pit of many sequels in having a hard time being worth watching. It loses some of the edge and laughs of the first, making it a watchable but inconsistent follow-up.
18 – Charlie’s Angels (2019)
The new generation of a trio of spy girls is a bit better than some might expect. The performances from the leads are solid, and the action is decent enough. This is likely helped by Barrymore’s producer credit on this film she doesn’t actually star in.
19 – Titan A.E. (2000)
At the time of its release, this was one of the most visually stunning animated family films. It has stood the test of time well, but its story and characters don’t do the likes of Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore justice. It is still worth watching for its engaging environments and set pieces.
20 – Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
This sequel loses much of the appeal and fun of the original. The three leading ladies return and are excellent as ever, but this movie struggles to justify its existence with a paper-thin plot and only middling action.
21 – Batman Forever (1995)
Barrymore briefly appeared in this much-maligned Batman film as the side character Sugar. While she is a fine addition to the cast, there’s no denying that even Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey cannot lift this troubled film high enough.
22 – Firestarter (1984)
Early in her career, Barrymore took a sharp genre turn into full-on horror. This adaptation of the Stephen King novel follows Barrymore as a girl who is the result of two parents who were child experiments. Her fire powers lead to chaos and the hunt for her.
Though the premise is solid, the execution is a mess, minus its surprisingly good effects.
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