Meryl Streep’s Ultimate Film List
Meryl Streep has become one of the most iconic actresses in movies. She has amassed 20 Oscar nominations and a dedicated following. Her willingness to speak up about politics have endeared even further to her fans and admires. Not every Streep movie is classic. To discover the best and worst of Streep’s cinema cannon, read on!
When Sons Murder: Before and After
This is a 1996 family-crime drama based of the novel of the same name by Rosellen Brown. Meryl Streep plays a doctor whose son is the prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend.
Liam Neeson plays Streep’s husband. The husband tries to cover up the son’s involvement. The Film Score (a score out of 100 that’s produced by combing the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes’ rating, IMDB rating, Metacrtic score, and Gracenot rating) was a sad 40.55.
Propaganda: Lions for Lambs
Robert Redford directed this 2007 drama about the War on Terror. Meryl Streep plays a journalist who worries she’s being used to perpetuate misinformation about the Afghanistan War.
The movie has lots of star power, featuring Tom Cruise, Michael Pena, and Andrew Garfield. But it’s Film Score is still a sullen 44.87.
A Chief Elder: The Giver
This 2014 movie comes from the widely adored book by Lois Lowry. In this adaptation, Meryl Streep plays the Chief Elder — the leader of the community.
Neither Streep, nor appearances by Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes, could help this movie. Richard Roeper gave it a C, and it’s Film Score is a disappointing 52.98.
Miss Mistress: She-Devil
Sue Seidelman directed this dark 1989 comedy. It’s about a wife (played by Roseanne Barr) who seeks revenge on her cheating husband and his mistress (played by Meryl Streep).
Streep considered playing the role of the wife herself. Though the movie has an average Film Score of 58.91, Streep’s performance was nonetheless nominated for a Golden Globe in 1990.
Down in Chile: The House of the Spirits
This epic, two-hour plus movie focuses on life during the military dictatorship in Chile. The 1993 movie is filled with stars. Meryl Streep plays a wife with psychic powers. Jeremey Irons plays her husband. Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, and Antonio Banderas also starred in this film.
Although the film won some awards in Havana and Germany, it didn’t receive any accolades from the Oscars or the Golden Globes. It’s Film Score is a shoulder-shrugging 60.4.
In this 2007 movie about the War on Terror, Meryl Streep plays a CIA boss who must deal of CIA analyst’s sharp dismay about the enhanced interrogation practices that he’s witnessing.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the conscientious CIA analyst. Reese Witherspoon plays the wife of a mistaken terrorist. As with Lions for Lambs, this movie didn’t do to well. Its Film Score is 64.57.
Marriage on the Rocks: Heartburn
In this 1986 Mike Nichols movie, Meryl Streep plays the famous writer and director Nora Ephron. Based off her semi-autobiographical novel, the movie follows Ephron’s stormy second marriage with the renown Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein. played by Jack Nicholson.
According to Roger Ebert, this Streep film is “a bitter, sour movie about two people who are only marginally interesting.” The Film Score isn’t sweet either: 64.73.
When the Wives of Patients Kill: Still of the Night
In this 1982 psychological thriller, Meryl Streep plays a glamorous, mysterious women who works at an auction house. A psychiatrist, played by Roy Scheider, falls in love with Streep’s character even though Streep’s character may have murdered one of his patients.
The film is viewed as an homage to Alfred Hitchcock, with Streep’s hair styled very close to Eva Marie Saint’s hair in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. However, this film does not have a very Hitchcock Film Score — 65.07.
Political Affairs: The Seduction of Joe Tynan
In this 1979 political drama, Streep plays a lawyer who has an affair with a married, ambitious senator (played by Alan Alda).
The filming of this movie occurred right around the time when Streep’s husband, the famous actor John Cazale, died. Streep says she able to get through the production due to the support of Alda. The Film Score for this movie is a dour 68.73.
Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady
In this 2011 movie, Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher, the controversial conservative who would become England’s first female prime minister.
The film is told mostly through flashbacks. Though it’s Film Score is 69.85, Streep was praised for her performance as Thatcher. She won Best Actress at the 84th Academy Awards.
In Love With a Young Man: Prime
In this 2005 romcom, Uma Thurman plays a woman pushing 40 who get involved with a 23-year-old Jewish painter. The painter happens to be the son of the woman’s therapist. Streep plays the therapist.
Despite a strong cast and a soundtrack that features Le Tigre and Rufus Wainwright, this movie was not such a success. It’s Film Score is a glaringly average 70.94.
Viva the Resistance: Plenty
This 1985 British drama was adapted from David Hare’s play. The movie focuses on a woman (played by Meryl Streep) and what she went through as a member of the French Resistance during World War Two.
Roger Ebert praised Streep’s performance, saying that she played her character with “great subtlety.” The Film Score, alas, is a mediocre 71.75.
Off Broadway: Mamma Mia!
The 2008 adaptation of the hit Broadway show of the same name stars Meryl Streep as single mother whose daughter is about to be married.
The daughter, played by Amanda Seyfried, invites three men from her mother’s past to her wedding in the hopes that one of them will reveal himself to be her actual father. The Film Score for this musical blockbuster is a not so boisterous 75.47.
Between an Ex and an Architect: It’s Complicated
In this 2009 movie, Meryl Streep is restaurateur with a very tangled love life. She’s carrying on an affair with her remarried ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) while the architect who is revamping her kitchen (Steve Martin) is falling in love with her.
The romcom was directed by Nancy Meyers, one of the most successful female movie directors in Hollywood. Though the Film Score is an average 77.19, the film was a box office hit, raking in over 219 million dollars.
Romance in NYC: Falling in Love
This 1984 romantic drama has Meryl Streep acting along side Robert De Niro. The two play married characters who encounter each other in New York City.
Soon, they begin to meet each for lunch and coffee. Will their romance blossom into love? The Film Score didn’t blossom that much: 79.98.
The World of Disney: Into the Woods
This 2014 Disney movie comes from Stephen Sondheim’s hit Broadway musical. In the film, Meryl Streep plays a hateful witch who puts a curse on a couple so that they can’t have any children.
Despite a ton of star power — Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, and Emily Blunt all have roles — the Film Score is only slightly above average: 80.89.
When a Horror Director Gets Sentimental: Music of the Heart
This 1999 movie was directed by the famous horror movie director Wes Craven. It was Craven’s only movie to receive any Oscar nominations.
The film centers on Roberta Guaspari (played by Meryl Streep) and her battle to bring music education into the public schools of New York City. The soundtrack featured NSYNC and Jennifer Lopez. The Film Score is not much to sing about: 83.08.
A Family Vacation In Trouble: The River Wild
In this 1994 thriller, Meryl Streep plays a river guide who takes her family on a white-water rafting trip. Streep’s character is having problems in her marriage. But soon, she’ll have bigger problems.
On the vacation, the family must confront a pair violent criminals (played by Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly). This thriller boasts of not completely un-thrilling Film Score of 83.36.
Yes, We Can: Hope Springs
Though faithful to one another, Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold Soames (Tommy Lee Jones) seek out a therapist to help them put some flame back in their marriage in this 2012 film.
The therapist is played Steve Carell. He asks increasingly candid questions about the sexual activity of the couple. The movie earned a Golden Globe, a People’s Choice Award, and a Film Score of 83.97.
Nasty Woman: August: Osage County
In this 2013 comedy-drama, Meryl Streep play an Oklahoma wife suffering from cancer and an addiction to pills. When her alcoholic husband disappears, Streep’s character summons her sister and daughters to her home.
Streep received an Oscar nomination for her delightfully savage performance. The movie has a all-right Film Score of 84.16.
Sister, Sister: Marvin’s Room
This 1996 family drama brings together two of cinema’s most treasured actresses: Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton. The two play feeding sisters who must put their hard feeling aside when Keaton’s character needs Streep’s character bone marrow.
In the middle of this sisterly feud is Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the trouble-making son of Streep’s character. Keaton was nominated for an Oscar and Streep was nominated for a Golden Globe. This movie has a fine Film Score of 85.82.
Social Justice Warrior: Suffragette
This 2015 feminist drama has Meryl Streep playing the political activist Emmeline Pankhurst. Pankhurst helped get women the right to vote in England. Time named her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.
In the movie, Pankhurst inspires a working-class mother (played by Carey Mulligan) to join the suffragette movement of the early 1900s. This movie has a strong Film Score of 85.9.
Female Foodies: Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron directed this 2009 comedy about Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams).
The film contrasts the life of the cookbook legend Childs with that of Powell, a blogger who is determined to cook all 524 of Childs’s recipes in one year. The Film Score for this food film is a tasteful 86.29.
Fashion Life: The Devil Wears Prada
This 2006 film takes viewers into the ruthless world of fashion. Anne Hathaway plays a sunny college grad who gets a job working for an infamously sharp fashion editor (played by Meryl Streep).
The film portrays the demands of the clothing industry and how even big-name fashion editors have their vulnerable moments. This film earned the pretty chic Film Score of 86.33.
Radio Days: A Prairie Home Companion
This 2006 ensemble film was the lost movie that Robert Altman would ever direct. It follows the behind-the-scenes intrigue of long-running radio show that might soon be canceled.
Meryl Streep plays a member of a singing group featured on the show. The cast also includes Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Kline. The Film Score is a hardy 86.51.
Dark State: The Manchurian Candidate
This this 2004 Jonathan Demme remake of the 1959 Rich Condon classic. Meryl Streep plays the scheming mother of an American politician who is being manipulated into become a vice presidential candidate.
The San Francisco Chronicle praised Streep’s performance, noting she has “the Hillary hair and the Karen Hughes attack-dog energy.” The film has a strong Film Score of 86.76.
Where Justice Is: Silkwood
Mike Nichols directed this 1983 biographical drama about the life whistleblower and labor activist, Karen Silkwood. After looking into misconduct at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant, Silkwood was killed in a mysterious car accident.
In the film Streep plays Silkwood. She received a Best Actress nomination for her performance. Despite receiving lukewarm reviews, the film has a Film Score of 87.07.
Back to Mommy: Postcards From the Edge
The 1990 comedy was also directed by Mike Nichols as well. It’s based off Carrie Fisher’s (the original Princess Leia) semi-autobiographical novel. Streep plays Suzanna Vale, a drug addict who try to get her life and her acting career back together.
Due to the studio’s insurance policy, Vale has to live with her mother, a loud and vain woman played Shirley MacLaine. Streep was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. MacLaine got a Golden Globe nomination. The film has a gold Film Score of 87.43.
Nouns and Priests: Doubt
In this 2008 drama, Meryl Streep plays a stoic, uncompromising nun who goes again a popular priest played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The viewer isn’t sure if Streep’s character is attacking the priest due to alleged child abuse or if it’s because he wants to loosen some of her school’s stringent ways. What is certain is that Doubt is an amazing movie with an awesome Film Score of 87.99.
Beyond England: Out of Africa
Based off of Isak Dinesen’s beloved book, Meryl Streep plays Baroness Blixen in this popular 1985 film. After getting involved in a marriage of convenience, Blixen finds true love in East Africa.
Blixen’s true love is Denys Finch Hatton, a big-game hunter played by Robert Redford. The film won seven Oscars. Streep was nominated but did not win the Oscar for Best Actress. The film carries a noble Film Score of 88.68.
Four Days: The Bridges of Madison County
Based off of the best-selling novel, this 1995 romance movie is about woman (played by Meryl Streep) who lives with her husband and family in an Iowa farm.
One day, Streep’s character meets a National Geographic photographer played by Clint Eastwood, who also directed the film. Their four-day affair transforms their lives forever. This picture has a steamy Film Score of 89.83.
Between Friends: Julia
This 1977 World War II biopic centers on the controversial playwright Lillian Hellman. Jane Fonda plays Hellman and Vanessa Redgrave plays Julia, Hellman’s friend who reportedly stood up to the Nazis.
Meryl Streep plays Ann Marie, a socialite fried of Hellman. Robert Ebert described the movie as a “fascinating story.” The film has a fabulous Film Score of 90.01.
Dead and On Trial: Defending Your Life
On the day he turns 39, a Los Angeles adman played by Albert Brooks dies in a car accident. In the afterlife, he finds himself and the life that he lead on trial. If he can’t properly explain the choices he made on earth, he may have to go back to earth and live all over again.
In the film, released in 1991, Meryl Streep plays Julia. Compared to the adman’s life, Julia’s is perfect. The film is whimsical and warm and has cozy Film Score of 90.91.
Survivor: Sophie’s Choice
In this 1982 Holocaust epic, Meryl Streep plays a mother who was forced to make harrowing, heartbreaking choice during her time at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Having survived, the mom comes to Brooklyn where she lives in a quirky boarding house with a writer from the south and a feverish lover played by Kevin Kline. This classic film has a legendary Film Score of 91.48.
Dingos Everywhere: A Cry in the Dark
This 1988 Australian drama is based of the ordeal of the Chamberlains. After their nine-week-old baby went missing from a campground, they couple had to prove they had nothing to do with their daughter’s death.
Streep plays the mother and Sam Neill plays the father. AFI name it the ninth best courtroom drama of all time. The film itself gave rise to the quote: “The dingo took my baby!” The movie has a dramatic Film Score of 91.62.
Three Women: The Hours
A 2002 film that crosses generations and professions, the Hours focuses on three women: the famous author Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), a midcentury housewife Julianne Moore, and modern-day New Yorker played by Meryl Streep.
Streep’s character is in love with poet dying of AIDS. The film’s Film Score is a lively 92.83.
Divorce on Film: Kramer vs. Kramer
One of the first movies to tackle divorce, 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer stars Dustin Hoffman as a workaholic adman and Meryl Streep as his wife who has just left him.
The movie reverses gender roles with Hoffman’s character fighting for custody of their children and Streep seeking the freedom to find herself and establish her identity. The film has an explosive Film Score of 93.76.
So Meta: Adaptation
Spike Jonze directed this 2002 twisty funhouse mirror metafilm about a writer, Charlie Kaufman, who is hired to write a screenplay for Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book, The Orchid Thief.
Nicholas Cage plays Kaufman and Meryl Streep plays Susan Orlean. Both Streep and Cage received Oscar nominations for their performances. At the 60th Golden Globes, Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance.The Film Score is 94.08.
Foxy: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Based of Roald Dahl’s famous children’s book, George Clooney does the voice of Mr. Fox and Meryl Streep does the voice of Mr. Fox’s wife, Felicity Fox in this modern day animation classic.
Directed by Wes Anderson and released in 2009, the stop-motion animated film offers an uncanny perspective on class, marriage, and labor. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2010 Oscars. The film has a foxy Film Score of 94.17.
Prey: The Deer Hunter
Michael Cimino’s 1978 movie about a group of Vietnam War soldiers was one of the first films to show how the war impacted soldiers once they returned home from the battlefield. The cast includes Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, and Meryl Streep.
Streep plays the girlfriend of one the soldiers who agrees to get married before he goes off to Vietnam. For her performance in this epic, Streep got her first Oscar nomination. This film has a Film Score of 94.62
In Woody Allen’s 1979 beautiful black-and-white odd to New York City, Meryl Streep plays Allen’s estranged lesbian wife who is writing a no-holds-barred memoir about their marriage.
The Washington Post praised the film’s “comic integrity,” while the Guardian named it the best Allen film of all-time. The film has a peerless Film Score of 95.76.
Source: Pretty Famous
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