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Helen Mirren’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked According to IMDb

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Helen Mirren’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked According to IMDb

Dame Helen Mirren has had a long and varied career, resulting in numerous awards, mass amounts of critical praise, and a longstanding legacy as one of the most iconic English actresses. Of her many accolades, she is the only performer to have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting (Academy Award, Emmy, and Tony) in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Even outside of her award-winning roles, she has been a part of a wide variety of blockbuster films like The Fast and the Furious franchise and the upcoming Shazam: Fury of the Gods.

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With such an expansive and varied career and filmography lasting over 50 years, it can be daunting to scope out exactly which performances and films are the best from Mirren’s repertoire. While no individual list could be considered a definitive list of Mirren’s best films, especially considering her career is still active and thriving, sites like IMDb are a great way to achieve a public consensus.


10 ‘The Prince of Egypt’ (1998)

IMDb Score: 7.2/10

The Prince of Egypt follows the famous biblical story of Moses and Ramses. With Ramses born from royal blood and Moses being an adopted orphan with a hidden past, the two brothers grow up as best friends but soon find themselves divided as they become adults. As Ramses soon becomes the ruler of Egypt and Moses becomes the voice for the common people, their struggle soon becomes one that will forever impact the world.

Mirren provides the voice of Queen Tuya in the film, the mother of Ramses and the adoptive mother of Moses. In the beginning act of the film, when Moses is sent adrift in a basket, Tuya is the one to find the young baby and chooses to raise him as her own son. A great deal of Moses’ kindness and loving nature can be attributed to the kindness that Tuya shows Moses throughout his life.

9 ‘The Queen’ (2006)


IMDb Score: 7.3/10

The Queen follows the heartbreaking and behind-the-scenes story of Queen Elizabeth II and then Prime Minister Tony Blair following the shocking death of Princess Diana. The two are forced to make a compromise and understanding, as while the event was a deeply personal time of mourning and loss for the queen, the country needed a statement and a sign of public mourning.

Mirren’s standout performance as the lead Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen is one of the most notable and recognizable performances in her career. The level of personability and humanity that she is able to provide to one of the most recognizable and well-known public figures of the modern era is highly commendable. Her performance is the absolute highlight of the film and one of the major reasons the film received widespread accolades upon release.

Helen Mirren in 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'
Image via Amblin Entertainment

IMDb Score: 7.3/10

The Hundred-Foot Journey follows the story of an Indian family who travels across the globe and moves to France and opens their own Indian food restaurant. As they soon learn to find out, they have opened their restaurant directly across the street from a famous Michelin-starred restaurant run by the cold and calculated Madam Mallory. While the two restaurants are initially at odds with one another, the two soon begin to learn to be more personal with one another and accept the differences and similarities between them.

Mirren plays the role of Madam Mallory, the owner of the Michelin-star French restaurant and the initial enemy and competitor to the newly opened Indian restaurant. As we learn more about her character and why she is so hostile to other restaurants and protective of her own restaurant, we start to understand and appreciate Mallory and her losses.

7 ‘Eye in the Sky’ (2015)

Helen Mirren in Eye in the Sky

IMDb Score: 7.3/10

Eye in the Sky is a behind closed doors high stakes War Thriller that follows the split-second decision-making behind a drone strike over Kenya. Both United Kingdom military officers and an American drone pilot are in constant communication leading up to an investigation into terrorist subjects that soon transforms into a possible assassination.

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Mirren plays one of the key leads in the film, Colonel Katherine Powell of the United Kingdom military. While in direct communication with both the drone pilot and her UK military colleagues, she acts as the mediator and middle ground between the morality of the tough decision at hand. Mirren’s performance heightens the tension and power of this thriller and helps bring home the realism and travesty of the heartbreaking yet realistic situation at play.

6 ‘Woman in Gold’ (2015)


IMDb Score: 7.3/10

Woman in Gold is a biographical drama that follows the story of Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish refugee who would get into a legal battle against the government of Austria. The film tells the story of her decade-long legal battle against Austria in order to reclaim a painting of her aunt that was stolen by the Nazis right before World War II. With help from her young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (played by Ryan Reynolds), the legal battle reaches as high as the United States Supreme Court.

Mirren plays the lead of Maria Altmann, and provides a level of emotional honesty and vulnerability that is required for such an intimate and personal story being told. Altmann’s story is one that is filled with injustice and anger, and it takes a determined and strong performance like the one Mirren gives to really bring home these distraught feelings of betrayal.

5 ‘Excalibur’ (1981)

Helen Mirren as Morgana le Fay.

IMDb Score: 7.3/10

Excalibur is an epic medieval fantasy film that retells the legends of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. The film chronicles Arthur’s life from his humble beginnings when he obtains the sword from the stone up until his search for the holy grail and his eventual death.

Mirren plays the iconic Morgana le Fay in the film, the primary antagonist and sorceress looking to get her revenge against Merlin. It’s rare to see Mirren in such a fantasy villain role, especially earlier in her career, but she absolutely commits to the role and delivers a standout performance that is one of the best in the film.

4 ‘Trumbo’ (2015)

Helen Mirren is next to Bryan Cranston looking at him while he stares down in Trumbo

IMDb Score: 7.4/10

Trumbo is a biographical film that follows the life of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, as well as the infamous 1940s witch hunt that ends up halting his career. Trumbo was one of many Hollywood writers who defied the rules set in place by the anti-communist HUAC committee, and he soon after became blacklisted from Hollywood for his views. Trumbo soon joins a group of underground writers, writing films in secret to continue working without being subject to the blacklist.

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Mirren plays the role of actress Hedda Hopper in the film, acting as one of the key supporters and members of the HUAC committee that wants to preserve the blacklist rulings. She is one of the key industry figures that display disapproval towards Trumbo’s views, and whose writing helps sensationalize the backlash against him.

3 ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’ (1989)

The Cook, The Thief

IMDb Score: 7.5/10

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover is an X-rated crime drama art film that follows Georgina Spica, the wife of a violent gangster and owner of the Le Hollandais restaurant. Despite living and dealing with her abusive criminal husband, Georgina is soon able to find solitude and comfort in a kind-hearted regular guest at the restaurant named Michael. As her affair is soon discovered by her husband, she soon has to go into hiding in order to avoid his wrath.

Mirren plays the role of Georgina in the film, acting as one of the 4 lead characters referred to in the title of the film. The film is overall a much more intense and unique experience of a film compared to the rest of Mirren’s filmography, but her fragility and honesty on display are paramount to why the film is so well regarded to this day.

2 ‘O Lucky Man!’ (1973)


IMDb Score: 7.6/10

O Lucky Man! is an absurdist British social satire that follows the numerous adventures of a young coffee salesman in modern Britain. The film acts as a commentary and allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism as our lead coffee salesman Mick Travis learns that he has to abandon his principles in order to succeed.

Mirren plays the role of Patricia in the film, a gorgeous young woman that Travis becomes infatuated with, and eventually ends up working for her father. In one of Mirren’s earliest roles, it’s a role that is quite distinct and unlike any other, playing a young quick-witted love interest for our main hero.

1 ‘The Long Good Friday’ (1980)


IMDb Score: 7.6/10

The Long Good Friday is a British gangster film that follows the story of Cockney crime boss Harold Shand (played by Bob Hoskins), a gangster with great aspirations in the late 1970s. He has a distinct plan of getting the American Mafia to help bankroll his transformation of an area of London into a future Olympic Games venue location. Things soon start to go wrong as a series of bombings begin targeting his empire, and quick to assume there’s a mole in his midst, Shand quickly sets out to eliminate the traitor.

Mirren plays the role of Victoria in the film, Shand’s girlfriend, and acts as a decisive and reliable influence over Shand’s methodology and perspective. The Long Good Friday would end up being one of the major films that placed Mirren on the map as an actress, thanks in part to her tremendous portrayal of the character of Victoria.

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