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Oppenheimer, Midsommar, Black Widow, and more of the best Florence Pugh Movies (so far)

Who doesn't love Florence Pugh? These are her best films

Florence Pugh in Midsommar.
Since she first emerged as an actress to watch in the mid-2010s, Florence Pugh has proven time and time again that she may be one of the best actresses working today. Over her relatively brief career as an A-lister, she’s taken on a wide array of different roles, and more than proven her skills at tackling a variety of different types of material, from great comedies to sharp thrillers. Pugh’s star may rise still further, but even already, there’s already plenty of great movies to choose from for a list of her best. These are the 10 we love most.

Little Women (2019)

Little Women
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson
Directed by Greta Gerwig
Tasked with playing one of the more famously unsympathetic characters in the history of literature, Pugh does something truly remarkable. Playing Amy, the bratty younger sister who ultimately falls for Laurie, the young boy who initially pines for Jo, Pugh turns Amy into a pragmatist who yearns for love and understands the limits placed on women in the world she’s inhabiting. It’s a wonderful, heartbreaking performance, and one that seems to fully embrace who Amy is in the novel, even as it updates her for the 21st century.

Midsommar (2019)

Genre Horror, Drama, Mystery
Stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper
Directed by Ari Aster
Although Midsommar is ostensibly a horror movie, it’s really a movie about the trauma of its central character, and about the indifference the men around her show to that trauma. Pugh gets the central role here and delivers an astonishing performance. When she accompanies her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to Sweden, they quickly find that they’re in the hands of a pagan cult. The movie’s twist, though, is the way the pagan rituals seem a much better fit for Pugh’s central characters than the indifferent, foolish men she flew in with.

Lady Macbeth (2016)

Lady Macbeth
Genre Drama
Stars Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton
Directed by William Oldroyd
The performance that first showed us just how talented Pugh could be, Lady MacBeth tells the story of a new housewife in the 19th century who finds herself married and then promptly confined to her home and bored out of her mind. After she begins an affair to pass the time, we come to see just how underestimated she is by those around her. Although this film has little to do with Shakespeare’s MacBeth, it’s nonetheless appropriately named and offered Pugh a chance to deliver one of the most head-turning performances we’ve seen in recent years.

The Wonder (2022)

The Wonder
Genre Drama, Mystery
Stars Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Tom Burke
Directed by Sebastián Lelio
An underseen gem from Netflix, The Wonder tells the story of a nurse who travels to the Irish Midlands in the 19th century to investigate a young girl whose parents claim that she hasn’t eaten in weeks. Quiet and meditative, Pugh’s performance as the nurse is a huge part of what makes the movie work, even as we come to understand what is really going on with this young girl. Pugh is never uncompelling, and The Wonder gives her a chance to do some of her best work, even with a character who is not particularly talkative.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Animation, Comedy, Family, Action
Stars Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek Pinault, Harvey Guillén
Directed by Joel Crawford
If Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is any indication, Pugh will likely have a long career in animated voiceover work. Playing Goldilocks, one of several characters on the hunt for a wish alongside Antonio Banderas’s titular character, Pugh is both funny and deftly humane in the part, frequently showing us that Goldilocks is not some villain who is out for the wish purely out of greed. Paired with Olivia Colman and Ray Winstone for most of the movie, the three of them make a meal out of every scene they get and are a wonderful complication to a pretty great animated film.

Fighting with My Family (2019)

Fighting with My Family
Genre Comedy
Stars Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost
Directed by Stephen Merchant
Although she’s great in basically every role she takes on, Pugh has tended to emphasize period dramas most heavily during the early part of her career. That’s what makes Fighting With My Family such a delightful deviation. In the film, Pugh plays an amateur wrestler who has aspirations to go pro but has to overcome her own complicated family in order to get there. The movie follows a fairly conventional sports movie formula (which has worked for many all-time great sports movies), but Pugh gives every moment the weight it deserves, and she’s paired throughout with everyone from Vince Vaughn to The Rock, who plays a version of himself here.

Don't Worry Darling (2022)

Don't Worry Darling
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Drama
Stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine
Directed by Olivia Wilde
Perhaps the most widely discussed movie of Pugh’s career to date, Don’t Worry Darling was viewed by many as a debacle because of all the behind-the-scenes drama around its release. When you look at the movie itself, though, what you’ll see is that, while it’s not perfect, it features a pretty excellent central performance from Pugh. Playing a housewife living in the middle of the desert who begins to question the very nature of her reality, the movie’s twist may or may not be interesting to you, but Pugh’s performance as a woman trying desperately to hold onto her sanity is plenty captivating on its own.
Don't Worry Darling | Official Trailer

Oppenheimer (2023)

Genre Drama, History
Stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Pugh takes a smaller role in Oppenheimer, but her performance as Jean Tatlock is crucial to the movie’s success. Jean, who was Oppenheimer’s gateway into communism and also the first great love of his life, looms large even after she stops appearing in the film. While Pugh doesn’t get a ton of time to develop Jean onscreen, she imbues every scene she gets with real weight, making it evident just how fascinating this woman was in her own right, even though her relationship with Oppenheimer didn’t work out.

Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz
Directed by Cate Shortland
It may not be one of the best Marvel movies, but it’s basically impossible to deny that Pugh is the best part of Black Marvel. Playing Natasha Romanoff’s kid sister, an assassin in her own right, Pugh gets all the best lines and moments here and is a more than worthy addition to what the MCU has to offer. Pugh also used Black Widow as an opportunity to prove that her charisma can translate to action roles and that she is more than capable of pulling off a light comedy when she needs to. It’s even more evidence that she’s great at almost everything.

Outlaw King (2018)

Outlaw King
Genre Action, History, War
Stars Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh
Directed by David Mackenzie
Telling the story of Robert the Bruce, the king of Scotland who was banished from his own land by the King of England, The Outlaw King may sound like a pretty male-oriented movie on paper. Fortunately, though, Pugh is a powerhouse and gets plenty of moments to shine playing Bruce’s wife, Elizabeth. As Outlaw King shows us, Elizabeth was a crucial confidant and advisor for her husband and is allowed here to be far more than simply the wife of the main character, which helps make Outlaw King a pretty great war movie.

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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