(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
For most actors, a movie like Leon: The Professional would be the peak. For Natalie Portman, it was just the beginning.
She followed up her breakthrough debut as the lil’ assassin with three more Certified Fresh films: Heat, Beautiful Girls, and Everyone Says I Love You. Science-fiction projects gave her first brushes with Rotten ratings (Mars Attacks!) but also global stardom (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace), giving her the clout to work with the biggest name directors; people like Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited), Milos Forman (Goya’s Ghosts), Wong Kar-Wai (My Blueberry Nights), and Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), the last of which nabbed her the Best Actress Oscar.
Portman has also increasingly worked directly behind the camera in recent years, first with her own directed segment in New York, I Love You, and then the feature-length A Tale of Love and Darkness. That came after Portman was absent from the screen a few years following mildly compelling if safe turns in two Thor movies. But she’ll be back in a revamped starring role with Thor: Love and Thunder, directed by Taika Waititi and set for 2022. Before then, we’re celebrating her birthday by looking at all of Natalie Portman’s movies with Tomatometers, ranked!
Adjusted Score: 16.14%
Critics Consensus: The Summoning (Planetarium) looks out on a constellation of potentially brilliant ideas, but proves fatally unable to find its focus.
Synopsis: Paris, at the end of the 30s, Laura and Kate Barlow are two young sister fortune-tellers, just finishing their European… [More]
Adjusted Score: 20.382%
Critics Consensus: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan finds writer-director Xavier Dolan flailing at profundity with a technically assured drama that never makes sense of its own ideas.
Synopsis: A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces about the written correspondence he once… [More]
Adjusted Score: 25.757%
Critics Consensus: Natalie Portman gives it her all, but it isn’t enough to overcome Lucy in the Sky’s confused approach to its jumbled story.
Synopsis: In LUCY IN THE SKY, Natalie Portman plays Lucy Cola, a strong woman whose determination and drive as an astronaut… [More]
Adjusted Score: 26.797%
Critics Consensus: The symbolism in this cinematic metaphor on conflicts in the Middle East becomes so overbearing that it’s hard to care about the characters or their plight.
Synopsis: A Jewish-American woman still reeling from her breakup with her Spanish-Israeli fiancée hits the road with a middle-aged Israeli woman,… [More]
Adjusted Score: 32.558%
Critics Consensus: Big budgets and costumes in service of scatalogical jokes may seem funny on paper, but in execution this is a highly monotonous romp that registers only occasional laughs.
Synopsis: Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and… [More]
Adjusted Score: 32.338%
Critics Consensus: Ornate costumes and a talented cast can’t make up for Ghosts’ glacial pace and confused plot.
Synopsis: “Goya’s Ghosts” is a sweeping historical epic, told through the eyes of celebrated Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Set against the… [More]
Adjusted Score: 38.032%
Critics Consensus: Poor script and messy plot undermines the decent cast.
Synopsis: Pregnant 17-year-old Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) runs away from her Tennessee home toward the bright lights of California, accompanied by… [More]
Adjusted Score: 39.685%
Critics Consensus: Like many anthologies, New York, I Love You has problems of consistency, but it isn’t without its moments.
Synopsis: Some of the world’s most-respected directors align forces to pay tribute to the city of the New York in this… [More]
Adjusted Score: 41.796%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium’s title is much more fun that the film itself, as the colorful visuals and talented players can’t make up for a bland story.
Synopsis: Set in a magical toy shop which affords adults the opportunity to retain a child’s sense of magic and wonder… [More]
Adjusted Score: 39.648%
Critics Consensus: Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow deliver fine performances in The Other Woman, but they’re muted by Don Roos’ clumsy direction and cluttered, melodramatic script.
Synopsis: Natalie Portman (BLACK SWAN, STAR WARS) lights up the screen in this frank, funny, and heart-wrenching adaptation of bestselling author… [More]
Adjusted Score: 44.462%
Critics Consensus: Jane Got a Gun flounders between campy Western and hard-hitting revisionist take on the genre, leaving Natalie Portman’s committed performance stranded in the dust.
Synopsis: Natalie Portman stars in this western concerning a woman who has to defend her home against a group of outlaws…. [More]
Adjusted Score: 48.321%
Critics Consensus: Though it features some extravagant and entertaining moments, The Other Boleyn Girl feels more like a soap opera than historical drama.
Synopsis: Two ferociously ambitious sisters, Mary and Anne Boleyn, are rivals for the bed and heart of the 16th century English… [More]
Adjusted Score: 48.973%
Critics Consensus: As visually sumptuous as it is narratively spartan, Terrence Malick’s Song to Song echoes elements of the writer-director’s recent work — for better and for worse.
Synopsis: In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples–struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and… [More]
Adjusted Score: 53.779%
Critics Consensus: Knight of Cups finds Terrence Malick delving deeper into the painterly visual milieu he’s explored in recent efforts, but even hardcore fans may struggle with the diminishing narrative returns.
Synopsis: Knight of Cups follows writer Rick (Christian Bale, The Fighter, American Hustle) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los… [More]
Adjusted Score: 50.026%
Critics Consensus: Though well filmed, My Blueberry Nights is a mixed bag of dedicated performers working with thin material.
Synopsis: After a rough break-up, Elizabeth sets out on a journey across America, leaving behind a life of memories, a dream… [More]
Adjusted Score: 54.199%
Critics Consensus: It benefits from the presence of Natalie Portman and director Ivan Reitman’s steady hand, but No Strings Attached doesn’t have the courage or conviction to follow through on its ribald premise.
Synopsis: In this comedy, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) are life-long friends who almost ruin everything by having sex… [More]
Adjusted Score: 62.931%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy — albeit visually dazzling — start.
Synopsis: In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick-turned-pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making… [More]
Adjusted Score: 56.795%
Critics Consensus: It has a dark sense of humor and a refreshing lack of sentimentality, but like its title character, Hesher isn’t really interested in going anywhere.
Synopsis: Loud music. Pornography. Burning **** to the ground. These are a few of Hesher’s favorite things. And they are what… [More]
Adjusted Score: 58.588%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton’s alien invasion spoof faithfully recreates the wooden characters and schlocky story of cheesy ’50s sci-fi and Ed Wood movies — perhaps a little too faithfully for audiences.
Synopsis: This quirky science fiction comedy is a characteristic feature by iconoclastic director Tim Burton, known to moviegoers for Beetlejuice, Edward… [More]
Adjusted Score: 72.517%
Critics Consensus: Intriguing albeit flawed, Vox Lux probes the allures and pitfalls of modern celebrity with intelligence, visual style, and an assured Natalie Portman performance.
Synopsis: VOX LUX, A 21st Century Portrait, begins in 1999 when teenage Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a violent tragedy. After singing… [More]
Adjusted Score: 68.859%
Critics Consensus: It plays more like a traditional melodrama than the Susanne Bier film that inspired it, but Jim Sheridan’s Brothers benefits from rock-solid performances by its three leads.
Synopsis: Jim Sheridan’s film, adapted from Susanne Bier’s 2004 movie, concerns Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire), a Marine who receives orders… [More]
Adjusted Score: 66.699%
Critics Consensus: The strong chemistry between Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman as a mother and daughter trying to make a fresh start in L.A. helps to elevate Anywhere But Here above its occasional forays into melodrama.
Synopsis: Mona Simpson’s acclaimed novel comes to the screen in an adaptation directed by Wayne Wang. Tired of her life in… [More]
Adjusted Score: 72.464%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although they’re once again undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.
Synopsis: The second prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy takes place ten years after the events depicted in Star Wars:… [More]
Adjusted Score: 77.22%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth… [More]
Adjusted Score: 74.021%
Critics Consensus: Closer’s talented cast and Mike Nichols’ typically assured direction help smooth a bumpy journey from stage to screen.
Synopsis: Set in contemporary London, a story of passion, drama, love, and abandonment involving four strangers–their chance meetings, instant attractions and… [More]
Adjusted Score: 76.8%
Critics Consensus: The well-crafted Cold Mountain has an epic sweep and captures the horror and brutal hardship of war.
Synopsis: Inman, a Civil War Confederate soldier, is seriously wounded in battle before heading home to North Carolina to his pre-war… [More]
Adjusted Score: 73.864%
Critics Consensus: A Tale of Love and Darkness suggests greater things for debuting writer-director Natalie Portman — even if its reach slightly exceeds her creative grasp.
Synopsis: A Tale of Love and Darkness is based on the memories of Amos Oz, growing up in Jerusalem in the… [More]
Adjusted Score: 77.949%
Critics Consensus: Pivoting on the unusual relationship between seasoned hitman and his 12-year-old apprentice — a breakout turn by young Natalie Portman — Luc Besson’s Léon is a stylish and oddly affecting thriller.
Synopsis: As visually stylish as it is graphically violent, this thriller directed by Luc Besson concerns Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a 12-year-old… [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.002%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta’s political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta takes place in an alternate vision of Britain in… [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.392%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: The epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the mystical realm of Asgard. At the… [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.895%
Critics Consensus: A likable, infectious musical, Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You is sometimes uneven but always toe-tapping and fun.
Synopsis: Featuring a soundtrack filled with beloved “standard” songs such as “Just You, Just Me” and “My Baby Just Cares for… [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.231%
Critics Consensus: A warm, thoughtful dramedy about male insecurity, Beautiful Girls is buoyed by an excellent cast – particularly Natalie Portman in a stunning early role.
Synopsis: A high-school reunion in a snowy New England town brings together a band of former classmates who go from tavern… [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.661%
Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant — if still a bit uneven — conclusion.
Synopsis: George Lucas draws the Star Wars film series to a close with this dark sci-fi adventure which sets the stage… [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.897%
Critics Consensus: Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky’s bold direction — and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman.
Synopsis: A psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet, BLACK SWAN stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a… [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.359%
Critics Consensus: Delivering a quirky spin on familiar twentysomething tropes — with a cannily-placed soundtrack — Garden State has enough charm to mark a winning debut for first-time director Zach Braff.
Synopsis: Andrew Largeman shuffled through life in a lithium-induced coma until his mother’s death inspired a vacation from the pills to… [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.358%
Critics Consensus: Though Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share but a handful of screen minutes together, Heat is an engrossing crime drama that draws compelling performances from its stars — and confirms Michael Mann’s mastery of the genre.
Synopsis: A successful career criminal considers getting out of the business after one last score, while an obsessive cop desperately tries… [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.297%
Critics Consensus: Paris Je T’aime is uneven, but there are more than enough delightful moments in this omnibus tribute to the City of Lights to tip the scale in its favor.
Synopsis: Twenty acclaimed filmmakers from around the world look at love in the City of Lights in this omnibus feature. Paris,… [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.173%
Critics Consensus: Jackie offers an alluring peek into a beloved American public figure’s private world — and an enthralling starring performance from Natalie Portman in the bargain.
Synopsis: JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen… [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.741%
Critics Consensus: Annihilation backs up its sci-fi visual wonders and visceral genre thrills with an impressively ambitious — and surprisingly strange — exploration of challenging themes that should leave audiences pondering long after the end credits roll.
Synopsis: Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva… [More]