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The Best Emma Thompson Movies

Updated November 7, 2019 3.0k votes 510 voters 45.5k views43 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Emma Thompson movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Emma Thompson's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Emma Thompson movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Emma Thompson movies will be at the top of the list. Emma Thompson has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Emma Thompson movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Emma Thompson films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Emma Thompson role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Emma Thompson performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

The Winter Guest and Brideshead Revisited are only the beginning of the films on this list.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Emma Thompson movies?" and "What are the greatest Emma Thompson roles of all time?"


  • 1

    Sense and Sensibility

    Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie


    Directed byAng Lee

    Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 British–American period drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel of the same name. Actress Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars as...  more

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  • 2

    Saving Mr. Banks

    Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell


    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 period drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Centered on the development of the 1964 Walt Disney Studios film...  more

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  • 3

    Love Actually

    Keira Knightley, Elisha Cuthbert


    Directed byRichard Curtis

    Love Actually is a 2003 British Christmas-themed romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate...  more

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  • 4

    Howards End

    Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter


    Directed byJames Ivory

    Howards End is a 1992 film based upon the novel of the same name by E. M. Forster, a story of class relations in turn-of-the-20th-century England. The film—produced by Merchant Ivory Productions as...  more

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  • 5

    The Remains of the Day

    Lena Headey, Anthony Hopkins


    Directed byJames Ivory

    The Remains of the Day is a 1993 Merchant Ivory film adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, Mike Nichols and...  more

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  • 6

    The Winter Guest

    Emma Thompson, Phyllida Law


    Directed byAlan Rickman

    The Winter Guest was British actor Alan Rickman's debut as a director, and stars Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson....  more

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  • 7

    Nanny McPhee

    Emma Thompson, Angela Lansbury


    Directed byKirk Jones

    Nanny McPhee is a 2005 British fantasy film directed by Kirk Jones. The film stars Emma Thompson and Colin Firth. Thompson also scripted the film, which is adapted from Christianna Brand's Nurse...  more

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  • 8

    The Song of Lunch

    Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman


    Directed byNiall MacCormick

    The Song of Lunch is a 2010 television adaptation of Christopher Reid's poem of the same name. It was directed by Niall MacCormick and stars Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Screened on 9 October 2010...  more
  • 9

    Last Chance Harvey

    Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson


    Directed byJoel Hopkins

    Last Chance Harvey is a 2008 British-American romantic drama film written and directed by Joel Hopkins. The screenplay focuses on two lonely people who tentatively forge a relationship over the...  more

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  • 10


    Directed byDavid Yates

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 fantasy film directed by David Yates, based on the novel by J. K. Rowling and the final film in the series. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron...  more

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  • 11

    Much Ado About Nothing

    Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington


    Directed byKenneth Branagh

    Much Ado About Nothing is a 1993 British/American romantic comedy film based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh who stars in...  more

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  • 12

    Brideshead Revisited

    Emma Thompson, Hayley Atwell


    Directed byJulian Jarrold

    Brideshead Revisited is a 2008 British drama film directed by Julian Jarrold. The screenplay by Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies is based on the 1945 novel of the same name by Evelyn Waugh, which...  more
  • 13


    Emma Thompson, Christopher Lloyd


    Directed byMike Nichols

    Wit is a 2001 American television movie directed by Mike Nichols. The teleplay by Nichols and Emma Thompson is based on the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same title by Margaret Edson. The...  more
  • 14

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe


    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The...  more

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  • 15

    The Children Act

    Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci


    Directed byRichard Eyre

    The Children Act is a 2017 drama film directed by Richard Eyre, based on the novel by Ian McEwan. As her marriage crumbles, a judge (Emma Thompson) must decide a case involving a teenage boy who is...  more
  • 16

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson


    Directed byDavid Yates

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The...  more

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  • 17

    Primary Colors

    John Travolta, Emma Thompson


    Directed byMike Nichols

    Primary Colors is a 1998 drama film based on the novel Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics, a roman à clef about Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, which originally had been...  more

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  • 18


    Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant


    Directed byJames Lapine

    Impromptu is a 1991 British-American period drama film directed by James Lapine, written by Sarah Kernochan, produced by Daniel A. Sherkow and Stuart Oken, and starring Hugh Grant as Frédéric Chopin...  more
  • 19

    Judas Kiss

    Emma Thompson, Carla Gugino


    Directed bySebastian Gutierrez

    Judas Kiss is a 1998 American crime thriller film that starred Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Roscoe Lee Browne, Carla Gugino, Simon Baker-Denny, Gil Bellows, Richard Riehle, and Til Schweiger. It was...  more
  • 20

    In the Name of the Father

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson


    Directed byJim Sheridan

    In the Name of the Father is a 1993 Irish-British-American biographical courtroom drama film co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, four...  more
  • 21

    Last Christmas

    Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding


    Directed byPaul Feig

    Last Christmas is a 2019 British romantic comedy film directed by Paul Feig. Working as an elf in a Christmas shop, a woman (Emilia Clarke) encounters a man (Henry Golding) who may be exactly what...  more
  • 22

    Peter's Friends

    Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson


    Directed byKenneth Branagh

    Peter's Friends is a 1992 British comedy film written by Rita Rudner and her husband Martin Bergman, and directed and produced by Kenneth Branagh. The film follows seven friends in an acting troupe...  more
  • 23

    Men in Black 3

    Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber


    Directed byBarry Sonnenfeld

    Men in Black 3 is a 2012 American 3D comic science fiction-action film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. It is the third installment in the Men...  more

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  • 24

    Imagining Argentina

    Emma Thompson, Antonio Banderas


    Directed byChristopher Hampton

    Imagining Argentina is a 2003 Spanish-British-American drama historical film written and directed by Christopher Hampton and starring Antonio Banderas, Emma Thompson, Leticia Dolera and Rubén Blades....  more
  • 25


    Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson


    Directed byMark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

    Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and...  more

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