Kristen Stewart catches a lot of heat from film critics these days. Critical pursuits stem mainly from her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight series, the vampire-based fictional tale that gathered a cult following in the early 2000s. She is also known for having a stagnant and somewhat stiff persona on screen. In hindsight, however, perhaps this is what makes her such a great actress. She is awkwardly relatable while still being able to hold her own in each role that she lands.
Speaking of these gigs, Stewart is set to star in the refurbished Charlie's Angels alongside Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott, and Elizabeth Banks. People have already voiced their doubts and concerns about the casting choice, but a look back at Stewart's most iconic roles should put a damper on their doubt. Here are Kristen Stewart‘s most iconic movie roles, ranked.
While the Twilight series is far from her breakout role, it did put her in the spotlight for a while. She seemed to fit the bill perfectly for the character who is described as a reserved, clumsy plain Jane. Whether it was the more mature audience's distaste for the story at large for Stewart's way-too -convincing awkward performance, she has seen a lot of hate for her betrayal in this role. Yet, there is still a decent pack of viewers who think that she pulled off a character expertly.
The filming of Adventureland coincides with Stewart's Twilight schedule. However, in this movie, she seems to put on a more realistic veneer. She plays a carnival worker, Em, who introduces James (Jesse Eisenberg) to his new summer job. While still holding fast to her maladroit persona, Stewart’s performance in this film is a step up from her portrayal of Bella in the Twilight series. Maybe it’s the lack of vampires and werewolves that helps to win audiences over for this movie, but this 1980s college-age student is explicitly more preferable to the vampire-lusting teenager.
Stewart may have made some strange decisions in her career, but In the Land of Women isn’t one of them. She plays opposite Meg Ryan as her daughter, Lucy. She serves as a pivotal axis that allows the lead character, Carter (Adam Brody), to learn from a woman’s perspective. Stewart handles the role well, especially in regards to the complicated situations that the movie touches on such as her mother's breast cancer diagnosis and her father's extramarital affairs.
In 2016, Stewart picked up the role of Elizabeth Travis in the film Certain Women. Set in smalltown America, it follows the intertwining lives of three women, all of which reveal their personal struggles. Stewart plays a lawyer who teaches at a night school where she meets the other characters and forms a formidable bond. It's emotionally revealing, and Stewart's engrossing presence is really telling about her range as an actress.
Stewart has been acting since she was about 11 years old. One of her starring roles had her appearing alongside the likes of Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Jodie Foster. Panic Room came out in 2002 as a classic thriller tale of a mother-daughter pair with nowhere to run after their new home is invaded by burglars. She was young at the time, but her role in this film is on par with her superiors.
The role of a Guantanamo Bay prison guard also seems to suit Stewart perfectly. Her emotionless and standoffish guise really sits well with her character, Amy Cole. The military drama presents Cole in a unique situation, as one of the only female personnel to be stationed at the tightly secured prison. Stewart effortlessly digs into her emotional depth, highlighting the misogynistic ways of her character's peers. Audiences witness her struggles as she befriends one of the prisoners while remaining dutiful to her job despite the harsh circumstances set for the prisoners.
Stewart appears briefly in Into the Wild as yet another awkward teenager. This time, however, she plays the role of a promiscuous, albeit still childlike, 16-year-old. It’s an all-too-real representation of this general age group, and Stewart puts on a performance that is delightfully real. The film its self has positive reviews and is even considered "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you’re looking for one of her most recent performances, the film Lizzie just came out in 2018. She plays the Irish housemaid, Bridget, who finds herself in an unprecedented romantic relationship with Lizzie Borden. This true story of Lizzie Borden takes place in 1892 after the mysterious death of her mother, stepmother, and father. Lizzie Borden had always been remained the chief suspect of the ax murders, though she was never convicted. Stewart's character helps to paint an alternate perspective and proves that she's unencumbered in the roles that she chooses.
The 2014 film is Still Alice stars Julianne Moore and Stewart, with Julianne Moore winning an Oscar for Best Actress for her title execution. Moore's character, Alice, is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and audiences reveal as they watch her struggle to hold onto her memories. Stewart supports the film in her role as Alice's young, sulky daughter, Lydia. It’s a heartbreaking tale that slowly breaks down both characters emotionally and physically.
Clouds of Sils Maria is probably the film that earns Stewert the most consistent praise. In this film, she plays Valentine, who is a personal assistant to an actress named Maria. Valentine helps bring forward a captivating experience as she helps her employer real-live her glory days by reenacting the play that made her famous. The story explores their female relationship and the complexities of Hollywood culture.
Stewart almost always serves as one of the more prominent characters in any film she appears in. This is true for her film, Personal Shopper, where she plays Maureen, a shopper for a Paris elite. Her brother dies from a heart condition, one that they share, and she attempts to reach out to him. The two siblings had always considered themselves to be mediums and make a promise to reach out to each other that if one of them were to die. The juxtaposition between Maureen's world helps to create a psychological thriller that has audiences reeling from beginning to end.
Speak is only Stewart's sixth acting credit, but, even at such a young age, she proved that she could hold her own. After a dramatic sexual assault experience over the summer, Stewart's character, Melinda, has to face her peers as she enters high school. She becomes mute, refusing to speak to anyone about anything. Her silence does not go unnoticed, and she receives further isolation from her peers, which deepens the impact of the event. Stewart's character is more prominently displayed through her emotions and physical direction rather than her dialogue, which helps to bring out the story and its subsequent emotion even better.