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The Best Charlize Theron Movies of All Time, Ranked

Updated March 17, 2021 6.7k votes 1.8k voters 137.9k views47 items

List RulesVote for what you think are the best Charlize Theron movies.

If you’re in the mood to marathon the best Charlize Theron movies of all time, you’ll want to start with the top-ranked films below. Since the mid-1990s, Charlize Theron has appeared in plenty of blockbusters, earning awards and accolades along the way. Her highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, and according to some sources, the lifetime gross of her films exceeds $1.3 billion.

Born in the Transvaal Province of South Africa, her childhood was certainly interesting. In 1991, her mother killed her father when he physical attacked both Charlize and her mother while drunk. Then for a time, Charlize went to Europe for modeling work while accompanied by her mother. After modeling in Europe, she trained at the Joffrey Ballet in New York before a knee injury forced her to reevaluate her career and start acting in Hollywood movies. It wasn’t until she was 19 that she went to Los Angeles by herself to find work in film.

Her debut on film was a non-speaking role in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, which was then followed by a supporting role in 2 Days in the Valley. From that point, she went on to star in hits such as The Cider House Rules and The Devil’s Advocate. Then in 2003, she won her only Academy Award to date, for the role of Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

So what are the best Charlize Theron movies of all time? Is it really Monster? See what fans have ranked as their favorite movies of hers below. If you think the best Charlize Theron role isn't at the top, then vote it up. Don’t see it listed? Then add it so that others can vote for it!

If you are a fan of Theron's dramatic roles, you might also enjoy our list of the best Sharon Stone movies and best Scarlett Johannson movies.

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    Monster

    Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci

    Character: Aileen Wuornos

    Awards: Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture

    Monster is a 2003 drama film about Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 for...  more

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  • 2
    265
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    Mad Max: Fury Road

    Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

    Character: Imperator Furiosa

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 action film directed by George Miller. In a post apocalyptic...  more

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    #37 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#493 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 3
    368
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    North Country

    Charlize Theron, Amber Heard

    Character: Josey Aimes

    North Country is a 2005 American drama film directed by Niki Caro, starring Charlize Theron,...  more

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    #8 of 90 The Best Docudrama Movies#42 of 72 The Best Movies About Lawyers

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    240
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    Atomic Blonde

    Charlize Theron, James McAvoy

    Character: Lorraine Broughton

    Atomic Blonde is a 2017 American action spy thriller film directed by David Leitch and written...  more

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    #32 of 97 The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked#4 of 51 The Most Exciting Movies About Female Assassins

  • 5
    214
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    Snow White and the Huntsman

    Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart

    Character: Queen Ravenna

    Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 American dark fantasy action film based on the German...  more

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    #35 of 77 The Very Best Fairy Tale Movies#447 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 6
    226
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    The Devil's Advocate

    Charlize Theron, Al Pacino

    Character: Mary Ann Lomax

    The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's...  more

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    #22 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#137 of 720 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 7
    157
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    The Cider House Rules

    Charlize Theron, Michael Caine

    Character: Candy Kendall

    The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John...  more

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  • 8
    225
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    The Italian Job

    Charlize Theron, Kelly Brook

    Character: Stella Bridger

    The Italian Job is a 2003 film directed by F. Gary Gray, written by Wayne and Donna Powers and...  more

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    #16 of 49 The Very Best Movies About Hackers#205 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • 9
    185
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    The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

    Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum

    Character: Britt Ekland

    This film is a 2004 British/American film about the life of English comedy actor Peter...  more
  • 10
    208
    60

    Sweet November

    Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves

    Character: Sara Deever

    Sweet November is a 2001 romantic drama film starring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron,...  more

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    #25 of 83 Great Movies That Take Place In Autumn#11 of 15 The Saddest Romance Movie Deaths That Make You Think Love Too Is Dead

  • 11
    155
    20

    Waking Up in Reno

    Charlize Theron, Penélope Cruz

    Character: Candy Kirkendall

    Waking Up in Reno is a 2002 American comedy drama film directed by Jordan Brady. The...  more
  • 12
    220
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    Head in the Clouds

    Charlize Theron, Penélope Cruz

    Character: Gilda Besse

    Head in the Clouds is a 2004 drama film written and directed by John Duigan. The original...  more

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    #24 of 48 Great Romance Movies Set During World War II#80 of 205 The Best R-Rated War Movies

  • 13
    143
    49

    Prometheus

    Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender

    Character: Meredith Vickers

    Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts and...  more

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  • 14
    104
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    The Legend of Bagger Vance

    Charlize Theron, Will Smith

    Character: Adele Invergordon

    The Legend of Bagger Vance is a 2000 American sports drama directed by Robert Redford and...  more
  • 15
    155
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    Young Adult

    Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt

    Character: Mavis Gary

    Young Adult is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman, from a screenplay...  more

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    #49 of 103 Great Quirky Movies for Grown-Ups#17 of 24 The Best Movies About a Midlife Crisis in Women

  • 16
    134
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    Hancock

    Charlize Theron, Will Smith

    Character: Mary Embrey

    Hancock, formerly known as John Hancock and Tonight, He Comes, is an superhero film directed...  more

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    #87 of 156 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made#95 of 116 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made

  • 17
    161
    28

    Celebrity

    Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Character: Supermodel

    Celebrity is a 1998 comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. The screenplay...  more

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    #753 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#42 of 60 The Best Woody Allen Movies

  • 18
    95
    22

    Mighty Joe Young

    Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton

    Character: Jill Young

    Mighty Joe Young is a 1998 Disney family film starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron and...  more
  • 19
    107
    26

    The Yards

    Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg

    Character: Erica Stoltz

    The Yards is a 2000 American crime film directed by James Gray. It was written by Gray and...  more

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    #5 of 7 The Best Movies Directed By James Gray#26 of 45 The Best Mark Wahlberg Movies

  • 20
    78
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    The Huntsman: Winter's War

    Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron

    Character: Queen Ravenna

    The Huntsman: Winter's War is a 2016 American dark fantasy action adventure film based on...  more

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    #78 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked#8 of 20 Movie Prequels Nobody Asked For (Or Even Needed)

  • 21
    68
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    That Thing You Do!

    Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks

    Character: Tina Powers

    That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written, directed by, and...  more

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    #568 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#48 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

  • 22
    88
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    Trial and Error

    Charlize Theron, Jennifer Coolidge

    Character: Billie Tyler

    Trial and Error is a 1997 release from New Line Cinema starring Michael Richards, Jeff...  more
  • 23
    69
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    2 Days in the Valley

    Charlize Theron, Teri Hatcher

    Character: Helga Svelgen

    2 Days in the Valley is a 1996 film directed by John Herzfeld that revolves around the events...  more
  • 24
    104
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    Æon Flux

    Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand

    Character: Æon Flux

    Æon Flux is a 2005 American science fiction spy action film directed by Karyn Kusama. The film...  more

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    #99 of 180 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies#73 of 100 The 95+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

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    In the Valley of Elah

    Charlize Theron, James Franco

    Character: Det. Emily Sanders

    In the Valley of Elah is a 2007 film written and directed by Paul Haggis, starring Tommy Lee...  more

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    #262 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#23 of 54 The Best Movies "Loosely" Based on True Stories