Reese Witherspoon has been gracing us with her onscreen presence for as long as most of us have been alive. The forever youthful actress is one of the most versatile stars in Hollywood. She can make us laugh out loud in Legally Blonde, lend her voice to fun animated movies like Monsters vs. Aliens, and earn an Academy Award for Walk the Line.
When someone has a filmography as long as Reese Witherspoon's, it makes people wonder about her best work. What is the best choice when you want to see Witherspoon at her best? The consensus over at Rotten Tomatoes has their opinion, but we're looking towards everyday people. Here are her top 10 movies based on the votes left by users on IMDb.
10 Water For Elephants (6.9)
The list begins with one of Reese Witherspoon's more dramatic turns. Released on April 22, 2011, Water for Elephants saw her star alongside Robert Pattinson, who was fresh off of his breakout role in The Twilight Saga. This marked a chance for Pattinson to show off his true acting chops.
Witherspoon played Marlena, the wife of a circus ringmaster who falls in love with Jacob (Pattinson), a former veterinary student working for them. Some of the reviews felt that the two leads lacked chemistry. But even with that, the film was well-received in almost every other category.
9 Wild (7.1)
Throughout her storied career, Reese Witherspoon has been nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award twice. The second time came for 2014's Wild. This film was based on the true story of a woman who embarked on a 1,100 mile hike on the Pacific Coast Trail.
Witherspoon didn't take home the Oscar, but many feel this is the best acting she has ever done. As incredible as the performance is, there is a lot more to like about Wild. Her co-star Laura Dern was also nominated for an Oscar, while the direction and screenplay were both praised.
8 Sing (7.1)
Though this film has the same score as Wild, it gets a slight nod for one reason — over 120,000 users have reviewed Sing compared to just over 112,000 for Wild. This animated film was an opportunity for Reese Witherspoon to show off her voice acting and singing abilities.
Witherspoon played Rosita, a pig with 25 children who chases her dream by entering a singing competition. This 2016 movie was beloved by families and became Witherspoon's highest-grossing film of all time, as it raked in $634.2 million. She also performed extensively on the popular soundtrack.
7 Election (7.2)
For many viewers, 1999 was the year when they were introduced to Reese Witherspoon. With both Cruel Intentions and Election, it was a key time for her career. It is Election that gets the nod here, which ultimately earned Witherspoon a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
This MTV production told the story of overachieving Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) as she entered her school's student body race. In her way stood a popular social studies teacher (Matthew Broderick), who was hellbent on ensuring sure she lost. It is a dark comedy that features witty writing and strong acting.
6 The Man In The Moon (7.4)
The big screen debut for Reese Witherspoon came in 1991. At the young age of 14, she starred as Dani Trant. Director Robert Mulligan admitted that casting someone with zero acting experience for such a role was a risk, but explained that she ended up being a marvelous fit.
The Man in the Moon is considered to be one of the better coming-of-age stories in recent cinema history by most who have seen it. Love, heartbreak, and death are just some of the things this film deals with. Witherspoon showed the world how talented she was and it worked as a preview for how strong her career would be.
5 The Good Lie (7.4)
Here we have another one of Reese Witherspoon's lesser-known films. The Good Lie only has a little over 25,000 user votes on IMDb since its release in 2014. However, the overwhelming majority of those are positive. Some of the reviews called the film both entertaining and insightful, while others appreciated the emotions it made them feel.
The Good Lie takes place during the Second Sudanese Civil War. It follows a group of refugees who arrive in Kansas City, Missouri and have their lives changed by an employment agency counselor (Witherspoon). Though she has top billing, the story is more about the refugees than Witherspoon's character.
4 Mud (7.4)
In 2013, Reese Witherspoon took on the role of Juniper in Mud. It is currently the best-reviewed movie of her career according to Rotten Tomatoes, with a 97% rating. The IMDb scale has it a bit lower, but it is still considered to be very good. The real star of Mud is Matthew McConaughey, who plays the titular character.
The film tells the tale of two young boys who meet Mud, a fugitive, and help him escape the clutches of those hunting him down. Mud's goal is to get to his girlfriend, Juniper. Though Witherspoon isn't the focal point of the story, it can be argued that she steals the scene whenever she's onscreen.
3 Pleasantville (7.5)
The concept behind 1998's Pleasantville was one of the more intriguing of its time. In it, a pair of twin siblings from the 1990s end up trapped in a 1950s television show where all the inhabitants are annoyingly perfect. Their knowledge of future culture influences and changes the seemingly idyllic '50s life around them.
Reese Witherspoon portrayed Jennifer, one of the twins, along with Tobey Maguire's David. They were joined by talents like Jeff Daniels, William H. Macy, Joan Allen and Marley Shelton. Along with the acting of most of the cast, the originality and plot were applauded.
2 American Psycho (7.6)
Considering this film's cult classic status, it might be surprising to realize that a lot of people forget Reese Witherspoon is even part of the cast. American Psycho is one of the most twisted and unsettling films ever created. Released in 2000, it follows a psychopathic investment banker who goes on a violent killing spree.
It was one of the movies that vaulted Christian Bale into superstardom thanks to his chilling performance as Patrick Bateman. In this outstanding film, Witherspoon has a small role as Bateman's fiancée, Evelyn Williams. She does well with what she's given, but we all know that this movie is held in the high esteem that it is because of Bale's work.
1 Walk The Line (7.8)
Rounding out this list is the movie that earned Reese Witherspoon her Best Actress Oscar. In 2005, Witherspoon took on the difficult task of playing the incredible June Carter in Walk the Line. Based on the life of the iconic Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), this film also found itself nominated for several other Academy Awards.
Witherspoon was unbelievably great. She watched footage of June Carter to get her voice right and spent six months learning how to sing. At one point, Witherspoon got so nervous about having to sing in front of a live audience that she nearly had her contract with the film terminated. We're thankful that she didn't because the performance we were treated to was something truly special.