From drama and horror to musicals and comedy, actress Emily Blunt has made it clear that she has a wide range of skills under her belt. Her acting ability has earned her roles in dozens of movies, not to mention multiple awards and nominations, including six Golden Globes, one of which she won for her role as Natasha in the BBC drama Gideon’s Daughter. Before Blunt even made her way to the silver screen, the British tabloid Evening Standard named her “Best Newcomer” after her debut performance in the play The Royal Family.
From there, Blunt made her transition to film in 2004’s My Summer of Love, and since then, has become a household name in the movie business. Whether appearing as the haughty assistant in The Devil Wears Prada or the wholesome musical sequel Mary Poppins Returns, Blunt has a long line of work behind her. Her latest appearance in Oppenheimer has gotten some of the best reviews of her career, and it also landed Blunt her first Academy Award nomination as she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. 2024 will be a big year for Blunt as she will star in two summer movies, Free Guy with fellow Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling and IF, directed by her husband John Krasinski, where she will be one of the many stars lending her voice. Here are Emily Blunt’s best movies, ranked.
Update January 28, 2024: In honor of Blunt’s Academy Award nomination for the role in Oppenheimer, this article has been updated by Soniya Hinduja with more details on Blunt’s best performances.
12 The Young Victoria (2009)
Blunt starred as Queen Victoria in the 2009 period drama The Young Victoria. A remake of the 1963 film of the same name, the movie tells the story of the aforementioned queen. Inheriting the throne at the age of 18 with no experience whatsoever, we see the young queen navigating the intricacies and responsibilities of her new role. As if the pressures of the job weren’t enough, her relationship with her German cousin Albert also faced disapproval.
Royal Romance For The Ages
Director Jean-Marc Vallée wanted The Young Victoria to be as historically accurate as possible, from the facts down to the costumes. As for Emily Blunt, her transformation from a young princess to a confident Queen Victoria is utterly breathtaking. Because this was Blunt’s first role in a period drama, something Blunt would become well known for. She landed Golden Globe and Satellite Award nominations for Best Actress. Though the movie only made roughly $31 million on a $35 million budget, it won nine out of its 24 nominations. Rent on Apple TV
11 My Summer of Love (2004)
Adapted from a novel of the same name written by Helen Cross, My Summer of Love is not only Emily Blunt’s debut feature film but also her first R-rated movie. In the British drama, she starred as Tasmin, a young upper-class woman who has just been suspended from boarding school. After an encounter with Natalie Press’ working-class character, Mona, Tasmin finally finds company. Despite their contrasting backgrounds, their dysfunctional families and growing affection led to an intense summer of romance.
Emily Blunt And Her Breakthrough Role
In her very first role as a precarious teen, Blunt showcases the kind of sensual and vulnerable energy that introduces her acting prowess and resonates deeply with fans. Director Paweł Pawlikowski films the captivating drama with a minimalist aesthetic and lets the background score and the chemistry between Blunt and Press take over. The movie was nominated for multiple awards and ended up winning a BAFTA. Having premiered almost 20 years ago, the film will always be known as the jump-start to Blunt’s prosperous career in drama. Rent on Apple TV
10 Jungle Cruise (2021)
Blunt and Dwayne Johnson took on the leads of Jungle Cruise, a Disney film based on the popular theme park attraction similar to Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. Blunt played Dr. Lily Houghton, an adventurous botanist, martial artist, and expert lock-picker. She and her brother team up with a wisecracking skipper named Frank Wolff, played by Johnson, and together, they navigate the Amazon jungles in search of an ancient tree with unprecedented healing powers. Meanwhile, they are being pursued by mysterious figures who seek immortality.
A Star-Studded Swashbuckling Romp
In Jungle Cruise, Blunt is an absolute joy as the headstrong and equally humorous Dr. Lily. The movie is an epic throwback adventure, and it pays homage to classic films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Mummy by being equally fun and entertaining. Director Jaume Collet-Serra makes sure the film retains Disney’s magic laughs and visuals. Despite the film having been released to theaters amidst the pandemic, it still made 20 million dollars more than its budget and earned Blunt a nomination for a People’s Choice for Comedy Movie Star of 2021. While the film left the door open for a sequel, no word has been made about it, although Blunt and Johnson both seem eager to want to make it happen. Stream on Disney+
Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element.
Release Date July 30, 2021
9 Into the Woods (2014)
In 2014, Blunt reunited with Meryl Streep for this musical adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 stage production, Into the Woods. The two starred alongside a renowned cast, including Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and James Corden. The twisted fairy tale mashup sees The Baker (Corden) and The Baker’s Wife (Blunt), a cursed couple that wants to have a child. When the witch proposes to lift the curse in exchange for four objects she needs, the couple ventures into the dark to retrieve those items for her.
Enjoyable Musical-To-Film Adaptation
Even though it created a buzz back in the day, we can’t help but feel this remains an underrated musical adaptation. Directed by Rob Marshall, the musical fantasy film has an enchanting effect on the viewers, bringing the tone of the original Grimm fairy tales that is certainly more adult while also still playing on the more Disney version of these characters. While Steep dazzles as the mischievous Witch, Blunt also impresses us by welcoming a bit of humor into her performance. Into the Woods won a Satellite Award for Best Ensemble Cast and also earned Blunt a nomination for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. Stream on Disney+
8 The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Though not her debut film, many people first saw Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada as Emily Charlton, the malicious assistant to Miranda Priestly, played by the legendary Meryl Streep. She shared most of the screen with Streep and Anne Hathaway’s Andy Sachs, an aspiring journalist who landed a job at a prestigious magazine in New York. Both Hathaway and Blunt have the most excruciating jobs in the world, and while the former was a star in her role, it was Blunt who captivated fans with unrequited sass and memorable one-liners, including, “I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight,” and “I refuse to be sick. I’m wearing Valentino for crying out loud.”
Biting Fashion Satire That Still Holds Up
As the assistant training another to work for the most intimidating on-screen boss, Blunt brought both a humorous, anxiety-laden life, as well as genuine warmth to her background character, making one of the best parts of the movie. Props to writer/director David Frankel for balancing the film’s razor-sharp with moments of self-reflection where the characters are allowed to bond. The world of fashion still feels as terrifying as it did in The Devil Wears Prada. Blunt’s role is so iconic she essentially reprises her role for a fun joke cameo in 2011’s The Muppets as the assistant of Missy Piggy. A modern classic? You betcha! Stream on Max
7 Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
After Into the Woods, Blunt and director Rob Marshall worked together again on this sequel that premiered over 50 years after the original. Blunt took on the role Julie Andrews made famous as the beloved babysitter Mary Poppins. Set during the era of the Great Depression in London, it follows the Banks family’s life having halted after the devastating death of Jane Banks, Michael’s wife. But soon, their magical nanny is sent to them to watch over the children. She injects the home with her wild imagination and brings back joy and wonder, bit by bit.
Magic Meets Music In This Incredible Sequel
Apart from Blunt playing the iconic Mary Poppins, the movie starred Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks and famous songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda starred as Jack, a modern interpretation of Bert from the 1964 film. For her grace, poise, and magic, the movie Mary Poppins Returns earned Blunt her fifth Golden Globe nomination, as well as her second SAG Award nomination. The film also had grand production values and a series of toe-tapping musical numbers. With how iconic a role Mary Poppins is, stepping into Julie Andrews’s shoes is daunting and almost impossible, but if anyone was ever going to do it, it was Blunt who captured the magic that audiences loved about the character, and if the movie can be said to work at all, it is because of Blunt’s incredible performance. Stream on Disney+
6 Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Blunt joined Tom Cruise for the sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow. In the movie, Cruise’s character, Major William Cage, has no experience in combat. But when he is unceremoniously thrown as the man responsible for saving the day during a global alien invasion, he not only combats extraterrestrials but also discovers that after dying, he wakes up and relives the same day again and again, à la Groundhog Day. During one of his lime loops, he encounters a celebrated hero of the battle of Verdun, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who asks him to find her again.
Sci-Fi Action With A Progressive Twists No One Saw Coming
Who knew that a time loop premise could turn into such a riveting blockbuster? Blunt’s Sergeant Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow may be a supporting character on paper, but she is the one who trains Cage to use his daily repetition to win the war against the alien invaders, contradicting the typical male commander narrative. Blunt said it’s typically the woman holding the hand of the man as he leads her to safety, but she wanted to do the opposite. Entertainment Weekly called it “the most feminist summer action flick in years.” It showed an impressive side of action from the actress, earning her an award for Best Female Action Star from the 2014 Alliance of Women Film Journalist Awards. Fans have been awaiting a sequel for over a decade now, and hopefully, with the news that Tom Cruise has set up a new deal at Warner Bros., that will happen sometime soon. Stream on Hulu
5 A Quiet Place (2018)
Blunt and her husband, John Krasinski, worked together on a film that Krasinski directed. A Quiet Place takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the two struggle to raise their children after extraterrestrial creatures invade Earth. While these alien monsters are blind, they are hypersensitive to sound, which means even the slightest drop of a pin would call death upon them. Krasinski plays Lee Abbott, who does everything to protect his wife Evelyn and their children as the stakes keep getting higher and higher.
Krasinski’s Direction Amplifies The Terror
In one of her finest recent roles, Blunt plunges into harrowing motherhood, radiating every scene with as much grace as ferocity. Krasinski showcases his talent behind the camera as well as on-screen, turning the slow-burn narrative into sheer horror perfection. The film is known for being close to silent, as there are only around 25 lines of dialogue in the entire runtime. A sequel was released in 2021, and not only are both certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but both have acquired hundreds of millions at the box office against a two-digit million-dollar budget. Stream on Netflix
4 A Quiet Place Part II (2020)
In 2021, John Krasinski directed the sequel to his Hollywood horror sci-fi thriller A Quiet Place. And since his character is killed off in the first film, this time he stayed in the director’s chair and made Blunt’s performance even better. In the aftermath of his death, the remaining members of the Abbott family leave their safe haven and face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival with a newborn in hand. A new addition to the cast is Cillian Murphy’s Emmett, who is reluctant to take Evelyn and the kids at first but he eventually transforms into a caring and empathetic lead.
A Sequel That Adds Value To The Original
A Quiet Place Part II is a direct continuation of the original, and it sheds light upon Day One when the extraterrestrial first made contact with the human population. In the stunning follow-up, Blunt’s performance is massively better, and she easily takes the lead in being a sufficient matriarch who will fight anything to save her children. Bigger scares and intimate scenes make the movie even more engaging and edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The star of the film, however, is Millicent Simmonds, whose grit leads to new discoveries. Impressive on every creative level, A Quiet Place II is a rare sequel that’s better than the first. Stream on Netflix
A Quiet Place: Part II
Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
Release Date May 28, 2021
3 Looper (2012)
The Rian Johnson time travel action thriller Looper is a very underrated film. And Blunt plays a fantastic character that definitely stands among her best. We won’t explain the plot as it’s fairly complex to do so in a couple of lines. All we’ll say is that it involves time-traveling hitmen from the year 2044 who are hired to end lives in the past. Blunt plays Sara, a mother who lives on a farm with her son Cid, who’s apparently a key player in the future. Sara’s fierce attitude is enough to consider this one of Blunt’s most badass performances.
Visionary Sci-Fi That Deserves More Praise
Often compared to Terry Gillian’s 12 Monkeys and Duncan Jones’ Moon, Looper spins a very complicated and brainy time-travel yarn that fans and critics have lauded endlessly. Alongside the seasoned Bruce Willis and the talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who enhance the complexity of the plot across different eras, is Emily Blunt, who delivers a fierce portrayal of a mother, one that is grounded against the more sci-fi setup of the film. Johnson weaves a multi-layered gem, and each plot twist pulls you deeper into the gorgeously shot film. Overall, the film is a standout in the genre. Rent on Apple TV
Release Date September 26, 2012
2 Sicario (2015)
In Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, Blunt plays Kate Macer, a special forces agent who, after a botched mission, gets hired to capture the leader of a Mexican drug cartel. The thing is, the methods used will be everything but conventional, and Macer’s morals are far too honest to join the dark side. As they plunge into the mission, their virtues blur, and Kate finds several enemy forces closing in on her, with each having agendas of their own.
One Of The Best Thrillers Of The Decade
With Sicario, Villeneuve gave us one of the action genre’s most compelling heroines. As Macer, Blunt is nothing if not spectacular as she explores her own limits as an agent and as an actor. Every shot of the film bleeds with an unmatched intensity that makes the movie a much deeper story than any average flick in the genre. The ending is an extraordinary scene that features Blunt in the best performance of her career. Do you want to see good filmmaking? Try the “crossing the border” scene in Sicario. The film proved so successful that it created a franchise, with a third film currently in the works. Stream on Prime Video
Release Date September 17, 2015
1 Oppenheimer (2023)
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer takes place in the creeping shadow of the Second World War, and it features Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer, the wife of the famous scientist who created the atomic bomb and who’s accused of being a communist in the film. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer is seen wrestling with the bomb’s power as well as its implications for humanity. In the midst of witnessing the first atomic test explosion and changing the face of the war forever, Blunt’s performance is crucial to add balance to the film.
A Historical Epic Captured With Precision
Sure, Oppenheimer is all about the viscerally committed Cillian Murphy and the exacting direction of Christopher Nolan. But as a foil for the stirring discussion, the movie also sheds light upon pivotal and complex figures in the lead character’s life. Blunt immerses herself into the role of a steadfast partner who shares Oppenheimer’s burden as Katherine. She represents the volatile spirit of a household that was everything but traditional. If there’s one thing we could have asked Nolan, it is to be a bit more Blunt in the final cut. She’s absolutely outstanding, and her interview scene during the hearing will have fans applauding her strength and intelligence. After years of being one of the best actresses working, Blunt’s role in Oppenheimer has finally gotten her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and it is a well-deserved and long-awaited nomination. Rent on Apple TV
Release Date July 21, 2023