5 Best & Worst Angelina Jolie Movies
"Gia" is an HBO television movie based off supermodel Gia Marie Carangi's life, and it was one of the breakout roles for Jolie's career. She won a Golden Globe and SAG Award by portraying the tragic drug addict who once had the world. Gia died at 26 due to HIV complications after struggling through a heroin addiction, and she was also a famous fashion model who rose very quickly through the industry. Jolie looked absolutely stunning in this film, but it was not her beauty that won the critics over. It was the haunted vulnerability in her eyes. Gia goes through a variety of passionate emotions in her love affair with Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her uncomfortable place in the spotlight, which is something Jolie can very well understand in her own life. Jolie communicates this well through the screen so that it stops being her playing a role, and it appears more like watching a very beautiful train wreck.
As vivacious sociopath Lisa Rowe, Jolie rose to steal this movie from Winona Ryder as the real star. The movie is based on a book of the same name about a young girl named Susanna (Ryder) who checks herself into a mental hospital and works through her issues by reflecting on the other girls around her. Jolie plays one of the girls in the hospital who is magnetic and draws the loyalty and interest of the others around her, yet is cruel and vicious when the mood strikes her. She talks Susanna into breaking out of the hospital, which turns into a tumultuous and dangerous adventure where one of their fellow inmates commits suicide after Lisa mentally berates her. Jolie is as compelling in this role as her character is in the story, making it very easy for a viewer to believe why Susanna could be sucked in to someone so clearly unstable. The audience wants to love her too even when she's evil (especially when she's evil!), and Jolie rightfully won the Best Supporting Actress that year at the Oscars.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
This movie got a large amount of public notice for reasons outside of the film itself, and that had a great deal to do with Jolie herself. Everyone knows now about the married Brad Pitt falling for her while filming, and it is not difficult to understand why. As Jane Smith, Jolie is beautiful, intelligent, charming, and able to kick some serious butt! The two starred in this film as assassins who are married and do not know that the other one is competition. Six years of lies unravel, and they either have to kill one another or go on the run. This was a blockbuster hit that leaned upon special effects, great action sequences, and the undeniable chemistry of their leading duo. Jolie already had a great deal of star power, but this movie shot her even farther into the position of box offfice diva. Jolie mixed comedy, action and romance seamlessly in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
The Bone Collector
Based off a crime novel by Jeffery Deaver about a quadriplegic detective Lincoln (Denzel Washington) hunting a serial killer, Jolie played the tough cop Amelia who becomes Lincoln's partner on foot. This intensely creepy thriller kept audiences on the edge of their seat while they worried about the safety of the main characters when the bone collector himself goes after Lincoln. There are some that say Jolie's main power is in her beauty, but in this movie it is downplayed to make room for a strong, charismatic character who is believable and easy to connect with. With an incredible actor like Washington as a co-star, anyone would have to step up and prove their talent, and Jolie does so without appearing to bat an eyelash. While some consider this movie cliche and cookie-cutter crime, the performances of the major actors and the sharp writing gives it a particularly strong edge.
A Mighty Heart
Adapted from the book by Mariane Pearl, the widow of American journalist Daniel Pearl, this movie is a painful and raw look at a wife's agony after her husband is kidnapped in Karachi. Pearl was beheaded on film by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh after being held for ransom against America. This is not the story of Daniel, however, but Mariane who was heavily pregnant at the time and desperate to get her husband back. Jolie transforms herself into the fierce but despondent Mariane, eliciting emotion in even the hardest of hearts. The film was hit with a great deal of anger due to Mariane being biracial and Jolie not entirely fitting that part of the interracial couple, but Mariane stood up for her choice. Jolie was her decision because she felt the actress was right for the part at heart, and she really did appear to be connecting to the agonizing and heartbreaking role. Nominated for several acting awards, but ignored by the Oscars, this is nevertheless one of the most daring roles Jolie tried.
A box office failure and critically mocked, this Oliver Stone production about Alexander the Great was probably trying to draw from the "Gladiator" success of historical biopic, but it fell very short. Colin Farrell starred as the title character, and Jolie played his furious, vengeful foreign mother Olympias. She hates his father Philip II and plots his assassination so her son will be in power, which succeeds brilliantly. Jolie does appear to have fun in this movie in her lovely Grecian gowns and with snakes wrapped all around her body, but her slightly incestuous crazy Olympias was not enough to make up for this mind numbingly boring movie. It could have been Farrell's acting, or that ridiculous blonde wig, or Stone's general directing and pacing, or a little bit of everything ... but Jolie should've just opted out of this "masterpiece."
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
This movie was creatively interesting since it was shot in the "digital backlot" fashion with actors filmed and then placed on a CGI background. It was shot in a washed over black and white coloring and had a good cast in Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. It managed to rake in more than its budget, but hardly more than it hoped. It was considered visually pleasing and humorous, if generally forgettable. Jolie's part was especially irritating considering she was in the film for 10 minutes. She was interviewed and boasted as a star of the movie, but only filmed for three days and thus was barely more than a random footnote sporting an eye patch and a grin. Jolie was an amusing cameo and looked to be having fun, but faded out of the memory like the rest of the movie.
Life or Something Like It
What if you only had seven days to live, asks the tagline for this movie. The answer is: "probably not go and see you." Jolie stars in this romantic comedy as a journalist named Lanie who will do anything to get to the top, even if she has to claw her way there. In an interview with a homeless man who is said to be a prophet, he tells her that she will die in seven days. At first she thinks nothing of it until his other prophecies come true, and she starts to go through the five steps of death. This movie attempts to be more than a typical comedy but in a clunky, unbelievable way. It is not just about the romance -- although she has it with her dense fiance Cal and the womanizer Pete -- but deciding what life is really worth. And who exactly decided that Jolie would have 50's hair as bright as cotton candy? Anyway, in the end it was uninspiring by trying too hard to be inspiring, and one had to wonder why the ambitious Lanie would really give up all she had worked for because 'some guy' needed her to.
Gone in 60 Seconds
Again with the radioactive hair! Nicolas Cage stars as a car thief who has to steal 50 cars in one night to save his little brother, and Jolie plays his girlfriend/lust object. There seriously is nothing more to this movie than that. Car chases. Pretty cars. Sex in cars. What drew Jolie to be in a movie where all she had to do was lie sexy on the hood of a car with radioactive hair is unknown, but it was surely a waste of her talent and her time.
There are two minutes of extra footage that had to be taken out of this movie so it didn't get an NC-17 rating. This sexually graphic movie stars Antonio Banderas as a Cuban businessman who convinces an American woman named Julia (Jolie) to come to his home and marry him. His bride looks nothing like her pictures, but he does not seem to be displeased with the sexpot Jolie, and the two spend enormous amounts of gratuitous time on screen being naked. Not that anyone with a pair of eyes would mind seeing either of those actors naked, but the story got lost fairly quick amidst the lust. Oh right, there was a story. Julia isn't who she says she is, and there is betrayal and violence and it is all very melodramatic. Perhaps if they spent more time making the characters relatable and interesting rather than just physically attractive it could have worked, but most of the time the 'tense' scenes were just ridiculously funny instead. This movie is a prime example of why critics can say Jolie is just a pretty face.
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Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer
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