Anne Hathaway is one of the most popular and acclaimed actresses in the industry. Everyone has watched at least one of her many movies, and her evolution over the years made audiences fall completely in love with her. The actress has been connected to the entertainment industry from a very young age, and took her first steps by performing in different stage plays.
In 1999, she landed her first major gig: a role in the Fox television series Get Real, where she shared the cast with Jesse Eisenberg, Jon Tenney, and Debrah Farentino. Although this project did not last as long as expected, Hathaway didn’t have to wait long to secure the role that would make her world-famous, Mia Thermopolis in Disney’s The Princess Diaries. Following her film debut, she appeared in a few other teen productions before eventually transitioning to films and shows aimed at a much more mature audience, making a name for herself with the 2006 hit The Devil Wears Prada and rising through the ranks with each of her projects.
Throughout her career, Hathaway has abundantly proven her tremendous versatility to play any kind of role across all genres, ranging from dramas to rom-coms and from children’s films to animated or superhero flicks. Her work in film and television has earned her many accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the 2013 musical film Les Misérables, in which she was also capable of showcasing her impressive singing voice.
The actress has managed to headline blockbusters with millionaire revenues as well as hit independent films, displaying her skills in each one of them, which makes the audience eagerly await her new projects whenever she announces them. Here is a look back at the actress’s best films, ranked by Rotten Tomatoes score.
10 The Devil Wears Prada — 75%
The Devil Wears Prada is one of the most important films in Hathaway’s career, as it was the one that catapulted her to stardom and established her as an up-and-coming leading lady. This 2006 movie by David Frankel is based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel of the same name, and follows Andy, an aspiring journalist and recent graduate, who lands a job as co-assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine. This huge opportunity comes with one even bigger problem: Andy has no interest in fashion whatsoever, something that will make it difficult for her to fit in at this new job.
This dramatic comedy was well reviewed for the cast’s performances, most notably for Meryl Streep, Hathaway, and Emily Blunt, and quickly became a box-office hit, grossing $326 million worldwide. Interestingly, Hathaway was not the first choice to play Andy Sachs, but the actress was so determined to get the role that she ended up landing it.
9 Nicholas Nickleby — 78%
2002 marked the release of Nicholas Nickleby, a film written and directed by Douglas McGrath and inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. In this production, Charlie Hunnam is Nicholas, a young man from a well-to-do family, whose life falls apart after the death of his father, the provider for him, his mother, and sister. Faced with this tragedy and mounting debts, the Nicklebys are forced to move to London with one of their wealthy uncles, and Nicholas is sent to work as a tutor at an institute run by ruthless people, from which he will do everything he can to escape.
Nathan Lane, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Bell, Anne Hathaway, and Alan Cumming are some of the actors joining Hunnam in this period comedy-drama. In Nicholas Nickleby, Hathaway plays Madeline Bray, an artist who eventually becomes the main character’s love interest.
8 Girl Rising — 80%
Girl Rising is a 2013 documentary film directed by Richard Robbins that is part of a global action campaign pushing for girls’ education worldwide. It features the stories of nine very different girls from a variety of countries, but with one thing in common: they all face many difficulties in overcoming cultural barriers while pursuing an education that could be life-changing.
These stories were written by authors from each girl’s home country, and narrated for the documentary by leading industry figures. Hathaway was one of the actresses who gave voice to these stories along with Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Selena Gomez, and Chloë Grace Moretz, to name just a few.
7 Colossal — 81%
In Colossal, Hathaway plays Gloria, an unemployed writer with a drinking problem, whose normalcy is put to the test when her boyfriend breaks up with her and kicks her out of their apartment. As she returns to her hometown looking for some stability, she stumbles upon the news that there is a giant creature rampaging through Seoul, and, before long, she realizes that, in some curious way, she seems to be connected to this creature. This young woman has a short amount of time to figure out what is going on and find a way to stop her actions from destroying the world completely.
This sci-fi comedy from Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo, recipient of rave reviews, also stars Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, and Tim Blake Nelson.
6 Rachel Getting Married — 84%
Rachel Getting Married is a film by Jonathan Demme that premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 2008 to great critical acclaim. It follows Kym, a young woman in rehab who heads back to her hometown for a few days to attend her sister’s wedding. This reunion will not be too smooth for anyone, as Kym’s history and her past self-destructive behavior will make it very difficult for her to integrate with her family again, sparking a series of confrontations between them all.
Hathaway stars in this production that earned her her first Academy Award nomination, alongside Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Debra Winger, and Tunde Adebimpe. Rachel Getting Married garnered many accolades and rave reviews, mostly for the cast’s performance and the director’s work.
5 The Dark Knight Rises — 87%
In 2012, Christopher Nolan wrapped up his successful and acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, a film that became the highest grossing of his productions, reaping over $1 billion worldwide. Christian Bale returns to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman, who must emerge from anonymity once again, now to face two cunning villains, Catwoman and Bane, who is threatening to bring Gotham City to total destruction.
Joining Bale in The Dark Knight Rises are Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Initially, the decision to cast this actress for the role was met with backlash from fans, although Hathaway proved to be the right woman for the job.
4 The Cat Returns — 88%
The Cat Returns follows Haru, a young girl who saves a cat from being run over by a truck on her way home from school. But this is no ordinary feline: the cat turns out to be Lune, Prince of the Cat Kingdom. In gratitude for saving this animal’s life, Haru is invited to spend some time in the Cat Kingdom, where she is offered many gifts and even marriage, but all she really wants to do is run away to avoid being turned into a cat.
This 2002 Japanese animated film was directed by Hiroyuki Morita, based on the Manga of the same name by Aoi Hiiragi. Haru is voiced by Chizuru Ikewaki in the original language, and by Hathaway in the English dubbing.
3 Eileen — 88%
Eileen is one of the latest films in Hathaway’s repertoire, premiering at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. This psychological thriller film by William Oldroyd is inspired by Ottessa Moshfegh’s 2015 novel and features performances by Thomasin McKenzie and Hathaway in the lead roles. Eileen is set in the 1960s and follows a quiet young woman working at a juvenile detention facility whose life is completely disrupted by the arrival of the facility’s new counselor, Dr. Rebecca St. John. Eileen quickly falls under Rebecca’s spell, something that draws her closer and closer to her, unaware that by doing so she will become embroiled in a very dark and dangerous situation.
2 Brokeback Mountain — 88%
2005 marked the release of Brokeback Mountain, a romantic drama by Ang Lee that in a very short time turned into a blockbuster and landed its place among the classics of cinema. This production, inspired by Annie Proulx’s short story of the same name, follows the love story of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, two cowboys who first meet working together for a summer and then part ways, building their lives with other people but never forgetting each other.
Brokeback Mountain grossed $178 million worldwide, and won, among other accolades, the Academy Award for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this production, joined by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway, who plays Lureen, Jack’s wife.
1 Dark Waters — 89%
With a score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, the 2019 film Dark Waters is, so far, Hathaway’s highest-rated production. This Todd Haynes film is inspired by the true story of Robert Bilott’s case against DuPont, and follows the corporate defense lawyer as he fights to bring down the chemical manufacturing corporation after finding out that DuPont has been polluting a town and its residents for years.
Mark Ruffalo stars in this acclaimed film as Bilott ,and is joined by Hathaway as his wife Sarah Barlage Bilott, as well as Tim Robbins, Bill Camp and Victor Garber. Dark Waters earned, among other accolades, the Environmental Media Award for Best Feature Film and a Best Actor nomination for Ruffalo at the Satellite Awards.