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The 10 Best Laura Dern Movies, Ranked

From action to drama and dinosaurs, this actress can do it all! 

Award-winning actress Laura Dern has surely left her mark on Hollywood. With 99 movies and TV credits to her name, she has certainly done it all, ranging from things like the thrilling Jurassic Park to the heart-wrenching drama Marriage Story and the classic Little Women. She also recently starred in Taylor Swift’s music video for her song “Bejeweled.” All reason enough to look at her entire repertoire and rank the ten best Laura Dern movies out there. 

Laura Dern poses with her Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 2020.
Laura Dern poses with her Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 2020. FREDERIC J. BROWN / Contributor/Getty

Dern was born on February 10, 1967 in Los Angeles, California. She was married to singer-songwriter Ben Harper from 2005 to 2013, and the duo share two children. For her work, she has received over 108 award nominations and 60 wins. Keep scrolling to learn which role resulted in her first Oscar and which one got her this close! 

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10. Jurassic World Dominion (2022) 

In the epic finale, Dern reprises the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler for the first time in nearly 30 years. During this action-packed adventure, Sattler teams up with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to help save the world and its people from the dangerous dinosaurs that now live among them.

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9. Wild at Heart (1990) Laura Dern movies

This thrilling tale follows ex-inmate Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) as he reunites with his girlfriend Lula Fortune (Dern). Soon after, though, Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe) tricks Ripley into robbing a store, which lands him back in jail and away from Lula. What follows is a battle of strength, love and hope. 

8. Fault in Our Stars (2014) 

Dern takes on more of a supporting role in this heartbreaking teen drama about a 16-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) as she falls in love with fellow patient Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort). Dern plays Hazel’s mother and delivers a breathtaking performance. It also reunites her with Dafoe. 

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7. October Sky (1999) Laura Dern movies

This is one of Dern’s more underrated projects. In it, she helps teach Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) to become a famous rocket scientist against his coal-mining father’s wishes. Fans of Good Will Hunting will love this one. 

6. The Tale (2018) 

The Tale is a thrilling film with an unforgettable performance by DernShe plays Jennifer Fox, who is returning home to deal with the traumatizing ghosts of her past. But can she decipher fact from fiction? It’s a key question that’s explored. 

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5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Laura Dern movies

In the much-awaited sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Dern plays the small but mighty rebel Vice-Admiral Holdo. On-screen, she interacts with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega), delivering a refreshing and empowering performance. If only she hopped aboard the Millennium Falcon and picked up a Lightsaber!

4. Wild (2014) 

Starring alongside Reese Witherspoon, Dern out did herself here. The story itself follows Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon) after she has a mental break due to her mother’s (Dern) death and decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail without any formal training. Now, she will have to work to survive and hope the wilderness doesn’t kill her. Dern’s work in this film earned her an Oscar nomination. 

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3. Jurassic Park (1993) Laura Dern movies

The first in a billion-dollar franchise, Dern really shines as she embarks on a journey to see what the world would be like if dinosaurs came back. Thrilling, captivating, and filled with loveable characters, this film marked the start of an empire, and Dern’s stellar performance is definitely a part of that incredible success. 

2. Marriage Story (2019) 

Heartbreaking, honest, and real, Laura Dern’s performance in Marriage Story was simply unforgettable. She stars as lawyer Nora Fanshawe, who represents and helps Nicole Barber (Scarlett Johansson) through a difficult and exhausting divorce from Charlie Barber (Adam Driver). This film won Dern her first Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2020. Not only was she the only person from the film to win one, it also reunited her with Driver, whom she starred in Star Wars: The Last Jedi with.  

1. Little Women (2019) Laura Dern movies

Based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, this blockbuster hit follows the March sisters as they try to navigate life during and after the Civil War. Dern stars as Marmee March, a warm and caring character who shows viewers how important it is to love one another. Saoirse RonanEmma WatsonFlorence PughEliza ScanlenTimothée ChalametChris Cooper, Meryl Streep and more star. It was directed by Greta Gerwig and was nominated for six Oscars. 

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