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Best Actresses of the 21st Century

In June 2012, imdb.com posted its list of 25 Best Actresses of the 21st Century. Any glaring omissions? Anyone on it who shouldn’t be? Anyone need to move up or down? What makes an actress either worthy of your list or unworthy of this list? For your favorites, please describe their best performances. For your least favorites, please explain their shortcomings. If you want to deal only with the top ten or pick and choose, that’s fine too. Extra love for anyone who can explain, sanely, why Tilda Swinton’s not on this list – for her Broken Flowers performance alone (c’mon, you didn’t know she was in the film ’til the credits, right?) – gets an e-high five.

1. Helena Bonham Carter
2. Natalie Portman
3. Meryl Streep
4. Renée Zellweger
5. Sandra Bullock
6. Nicole Kidman
7. Hilary Swank
8. Emma Stone
9. Cate Blanchett
10. Jennifer Lawrence
11. Gwyneth Paltrow
12. Scarlett Johansson
13. Kate Hudson
14. Mila Kunis
15. Anne Hathaway
16. Amanda Seyfried
17. Keira Knightley
18. Kristen Stewart
19. Julia Roberts
20. Milla Jovovich
21. Noomi Rapace
22. Octavia Spencer
23. Rachel McAdams
24. Dakota Fanning
25. Drew Barrymore

  • I feel like Viola Davis should've been included. She always brings such dignity and emotional weight to her roles. – Emily Deibler 5 years ago
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  • I agree. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • I have never thought of Anne Hathaway as one of the best actresses of any century. I think her acting is one of an intermingling between trying too hard and arrogance. – sydneelarson 5 years ago
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  • One test of an actor is how she looks when playing opposite a great actor. For Hathaway the obvious challenge was The Devil Wears Prada with the incomparable Meryl Streep, one of my favorites, and I think Hathaway was fine. Who knows, maybe working with Streep is playing basketball with Bill Russell, who made his teammates better. A case in point, regarding Streep, might be Kevin Kline's fine performance with Streep in Sophie's Choice. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • I also agree that Viola Davis should have been included in this list, definitely since Emma Stone (nothing against Emma because I love her and she has had some great performances) has made top 10. – NyeMaxwell 5 years ago
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  • I feel that Mila Kunis isn't deserving of this list. She isn't a terrible actress, but I don't see her as one of the best. – Jai Modo 5 years ago
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