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Kirsten Dunst Movies, Ranked: 10 of the Luminous Star’s Greatest Roles

From teen movie classics to arthouse tragedies this actress has done it all

Ever since she broke out as a child star in the ’90s, with roles in movies like Interview With the Vampire, Little Women and Jumanji, Kirsten Dunst has been one of Hollywood’s most radiant performers. With her blonde hair, blue eyes and distinctive, adorably dimpled smile, Dunst possesses the perfect blend of girl-next-door appeal and classic movie-star glamour, and she has a stunning range, with memorable performances in everything from nostalgic teen comedies to emotionally devastating indie films. Here’s a ranked list of our favorite Kirsten Dunst movies that best capture her singular charisma and skill.

10. The Power of the Dog (2021) Kirsten Dunst movies

Kirsten Dunst with her real-life husband, Jesse Plemons, in The Power of the Dog (2021)Netflix

The Power of the Dog is a gorgeously shot Western that digs deep into the many contradictions of this classic genre. Dunst plays Rose Gordon, a mysterious woman who owns an inn in Montana and marries George Burbank, a wealthy rancher.

George is played by Jesse Plemons, Dunst’s real-life husband, and the chemistry between the two actors jumps off the screen. Dunst received her first Oscar nomination for this role — an honor that was long overdue.

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9. Interview With the Vampire (1994)

Kirsten Dunst in 'Interview With the Vampire' (1994)
Kirsten Dunst in Interview With the Vampire (1994)Warner Brothers/Getty

Dunst first gained recognition for her performance as Claudia, the young charge of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, in this 1994 gothic horror blockbuster. The preteen Dunst made the cutest vampire we’ve ever seen, and she held her own among a cast of established A-listers.

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8. Spider-Man (2002)

Spiderman and Kirsten Dunst in a scene from the film 'Spiderman', 2002
Kirsten Dunst in Spider-Man (2002)Columbia Pictures/Getty

Years before superhero movies became the cultural juggernaut they are today, the early ’00s Spider-Man trilogy won over audiences around the world. Dunst plays Mary Jane, Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s (Tobey Maguire) love interest, and it’s impossible not to root for the couple (who can forget their romantic upside-down kiss in the rain?).

7. Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

Kirsten Dunst and Denise Richards smiling in pageant in a scene from the film 'Drop Dead Gorgeous', 1999
Kirsten Dunst and Denise Richards in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)New Line Cinema/Getty

This mockumentary take on small-town beauty pageants wasn’t a big hit, but it’s become a cult favorite for its campy performances and playful satire. Dunst plays Amber, a working-class teen beauty queen who tap dances, works in the local morgue after school (making for some very funny visuals) and dreams of being a news reporter like her hero Diane Sawyer. While Dunst’s role could be a shallow stereotype, she fills it with offbeat charm.

6. Bachelorette (2012)

Lizzy Caplan, Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher in 'Bachelorette,' 2012
Lizzy Caplan, Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher in Bachelorette (2012)@tlntv/Instagram

Bachelorette features one of Dunst’s most underrated performances. In this dark comedy about a catty group of longtime female frenemies celebrating a bachelorette party, Dunst is deliciously mean, making us cringe and laugh at the same time.

5. Dick (1999) Kirsten Dunst movies

Kirsten Dunst in 'Dick,' 1999
Kirsten Dunst in Dick (1999)Hulton Archive/Getty

Dick, which centers on two teen girls who inadvertently become “Deep Throat” during a school trip to the White House, offers a hilariously inspired spin on one of the biggest political scandals of all time.

Dunst and her costar, Michelle Williams, have an irresistible comic rapport and rock all kinds of totally groovy ’70s outfits. It’s a blast to watch Dunst and her onscreen BFF go on a slapstick journey from regular teens to pivotal political figures, all the while maintaining their daffy energy.

4. Marie Antoinette (2006)

Kirsten Dunst in 'Marie Antoinette,' 2006
Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette (2006)@sofiacoppola/Instagram

All hail the Queen! Sofia Coppola’s sumptuous period piece walks a tightrope between a glamorous high-fashion photoshoot and a vulnerable female coming-of-age story, and Dunst’s performance eloquently shows how Marie Antoinette went from naive teen to legendarily haughty royal.

While some critics took issue with the film’s intentional anachronisms, Dunst’s fresh, of-the-moment energy manages to do the impossible by making the 18th-century Queen feel — dare we say — relatable (albeit spectacularly dressed).

3. Bring It On (2000)

'Bring It On,' 2000
Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On (2000)@ 2000sfashionista/Instagram

The comedy Bring It On, which centers on a rivalry between two high school cheerleading teams, is one of the most beloved teen movies of the aughts. Dunst plays Torrance Shipman, an ambitious cheer captain whose one-liners (“This is not a democracy, it’s a cheerocracy,” anyone?) are just as sharp as her moves on the court. Conveying teen queen energy while also being hilarious and likable is a delicate balance, and Dunst makes it look absolutely effortless.

2. Melancholia (2011)

'Melancholia,' 2011
Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia (2011)@filmhafizasi/Instagram

Melancholia is a difficult watch, but it features the actress in her most unforgiving and powerful role, making it one of the essential Kirsten Dunst movies. She plays Justine, a newlywed suffering from severe depression and awaiting the end of the world.

The apocalypse becomes more and more literal as the film progresses, and Dunst’s portrayal of the ravages of mental illness is crushing — and all the more so when you consider the teen movie roles she got her start in. Dunst told Entertainment Weekly I had so much in me to give to that role,” and it shows, making for a truly fearless performance.

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1. The Virgin Suicides (1999) Kirsten Dunst movies

'The Virgin Suicides,' 1999
Kirsten Dunst in The Virgin Suicides (1999)@sofiacoppola/Instagram

The Virgin Suicides, a ’70s period piece about five beautiful, enigmatic and ill-fated sisters, marked a turning point in Dunst’s career. At just 16, Dunst already had years of experience as an actress, but in the role of Lux Lisbon, the most rebellious and flirtatious of the sisters, Dunst had to channel more mature and complex emotions than she did in previous roles.

The actress had a kindred spirit in first-time director Sofia Coppola, and would become a muse to the filmmaker, starring in two more of her films, Marie Antoinette and The Beguiled. 25 years after it was released, The Virgin Suicides remains a singularly dreamy yet despairing work, with Dunst its poignant anchor.

Read on for more about actresses who started out as teen stars!

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