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Charlize Theron: 10 of the Best Movies Starring the Blonde Bombshell

From crime thrillers like 'Monster' to comedies like 'Long Shot'

Rising beyond her tumultuous childhood to become one of the most successful actresses of this generation, Charlize Theron has built a career for herself acting in some of the most celebrated movies of the last few decades.

Growing up in South Africa, by the age of 16, she earned herself a modeling contract that uprooted she and her mother from their home to Milan, Italy before making the jump to the United States where she trained at the Joffrey Ballet School.

Charlize Theron, 1996
Charlize Theron, 1996SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images

When injury sidelined her, acting was the next step. Her move to Los Angeles to pursue a life on the screen had a rough start, but her talent soon spoke for itself, and the 90s brought her gradual success and recognition, with her breakout film being 1997’s The Devil’s Advocate alongside Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino.

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Charlize Theron, 2024Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

From that point forward, Charlize Theron has acted in countless movies of diverse genres, winning accolades from Academy Awards to Golden Globes, proving that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Here, take a look at the 10 best Charlize Theron movies of her career.

Charlize Theron movies, ranked

10. Long Shot (2019)

This 2019 comedy/romance featuring Theron and Seth Rogen left us wondering why the blonde-beauty doesn’t try her hand at comedy more often!

Theron played Charlotte Field, a politician who decides she wants to run for president. When she reunites with the man she used to babysit, now a journalist (who also had a childhood crush on her), she decides to hire him as her speech writer.

As he gets to know her better to improve his speech writing, old feelings come to the surface for him and the two grow closer in this hilarious film.

9. Prometheus (2012)

An epic alien flick, Prometheus chronicles a team’s expedition to explore an alien species. What awaits them is a threat they never anticipated, that puts life on Earth as we know it at risk.

The ensemble cast features Noomi RapaceMichael FassbenderGuy PearceIdris ElbaLogan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron.

8. In the Valley of Elah (2007)

When Hank (Tommy Lee Jones) learns that his son has gone missing upon his return from serving in Iraq, he sets out to find him. Shortly after he embarks on his search, his son’s maimed body is discovered, leading him to the conclusion that there was more to his disappearance.

Hank teams up with a detective, played by Charlize Theron, who aids him in his search for the truth in this gripping tale.

7. Atomic Blonde (2017)

Charlize Theron shines in this action-packed thriller as an MI6 secret agent who utilizes her wide array of skills to retrieve a coveted list of double agents. However, this mission is no walk in the park — luckily, neither is she.

6. Bombshell (2019)

Nicole Kidman played the role of Gretchen Carlson in this 2019 film, the woman who sued Fox News founder Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. In doing so, she led accomplished Fox correspondent Megyn Kelly (played by Charlize Theron), as well as multiple other women, to come forward with their own stories.

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Margot Robbie also starred in the film as Kayla Pospisil, who, although not a real person, was said to be a composite character whose storyline was inspired by accounts from other women who came forward with their stories against Ailes.

5. Young Adult (2011)

Theron stars as Mavis, a writer of teen literature who returns to her hometown in the hopes of winning back her now married-with-a-kid high school ex-boyfriend (played by Patrick Wilson).

Her arrival doesn’t go how she had imagined, and wooing her old flame proves to be harder than she anticipated. Along the way, she befriends an old classmate.

4. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

A tyrannical war lord captures and enslaves survivors of an apocalypse in a desert fortress. Charlize Theron stars as Imperator Furiosa, a warrior who aids the leader’s five wives in their escape to freedom.

Along the way, she joins forces with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), as the group tries to escape the cruel Immortan Joe.

3. North Country (2005)

Theron stars as Josey Aimes, a single mom who moves back to Minnesota with her two children. Struggling financially, she’s encouraged to pursue a job at the local iron mine, as she’d make six times what she currently makes.

Although financially fruitful, Josey and her female co-workers are subject to near constant sexual harassment and abuse from their male counterparts. When her pleas for help and regulations fall on deaf ears, she files a sexual harassment lawsuit.

2. Tully (2018)

A mother of three struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood hires a night nanny to lighten her load and allow her to get some sleep each night. Hesitant at first, the young woman, Tully, proves to be a much-needed breath of fresh air, a major help to the overwhelmed mother and a friend all in one.

Tully is a look into the reality of motherhood, and Charlize Theron portrays all of the emotions of an overworked mother.

1. Monster (2003)

For her role in Monster, Charlize Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Theron stars as Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute who meets a woman (Christina Ricci) and falls in love. The two grow close and a relationship forms, but when Aileen vows to give up prostitution, it isn’t long before she learns how difficult it is to make a legitimate income as she doesn’t have many qualifications.

When she reverts back to her old ways, she resorts to a more sinister route to making ends meet.

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