Emma Stone’s 10 Best Movies

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  04 Sep 2015 

She’s only a few years past legal drinking age, but Emma Stone has already been wooed by Jonah Hill, voiced a homo erectus teen, and battled zombies — her second appearance as Gwen Stacy in Marc Webb’s rebooted Amazing Spider-Man saga, so now seems like a pretty good time to take a look back at some of the brighter critical highlights from her growing list of film credits.

actors
10 Gangster Squad
imdb
rating

6.8

Gangster Squad (2013)

Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Gangster Squad. With a fact-based screenplay inspired by the LAPD’s efforts to take down notorious scofflaw Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) and a terrific cast bolstered by the presence of some of Hollywood’s hottest young actors (including Stone, Ryan Gosling, and Anthony Mackie) as well as a handful of savvy vets such as Nick Nolte and Josh Brolin, this should have been a crime thriller for the ages; alas, the movie’s fate seemed doomed from the start. A public shooting whose details bore an unfortunate similarity to an event in the plot prompted a four-month delay that ended up exiling the movie to the January graveyard — which was just as well for critics, the majority of whom found it to be underwritten and excessively violent. Still, if you’re looking for a gangster flick with old-fashioned morals, you could do worse; as Dave White wrote for Movies.com, “Here, the good guys win, the bad guys earn their comeuppance, the dames look pretty and the dopey dialogue shoves a grapefruit in your face and shuts you up.”

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Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and — if he has his way — every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop… except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.

actors:
Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen   Ryan Gosling as Sgt. Jerry Wooters   Emma Stone as Grace Faraday   Josh Brolin as John O'Mara   Nick Nolte as Bill Parker   Giovanni Ribisi as Conway Keeler   Josh Pence as Darryl Gates   Frank Grillo as Jimmy reagan   Anthony Mackie as Coleman Harris   Robert Patrick as Max Kennard   Michael Peña as Navidad Ramirez   Mireille Enos as Connie O'Mara   Sullivan Stapleton as    Holt McCallany as Karl Lockwood   Wade Williams as Rourke   James Landry Hébert as Mitch Racine   Ambyr Childers as Milk Skinned Blonde   Mick Betancourt as Detective Sgt. Will Hendricks   Mac Brandt as Bruiser   Brandon Molale as Jimmy 'Bockscar' Knox   Michael Papajohn as Mike 'The Flea'   Jeff Wolfe as Giovanni Vacarezza   Anthony Molinari as Lorenzo Molinari   Austin Highsmith as Patty   Neil Koppel as Max Solomon   Jack McGee as Lt. Quincannon   James Carpinello as Johnny Stomp   Troy Garity as Wrevock   Austin Abrams as Pete   John Aylward as Judge Carter   Dennis Cockrum as Elmer Jackson   Jack Conley as Sheriff Biscailuz   Yvette Tucker as Carmen Miranda   Derek Mears as Bridge Goon   Jonny Coyne as Grimes   Eva La Dare as Dancer  

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9 The House Bunny
imdb
rating

5.5

The House Bunny (2008)

Comedy, Romance

It sounds like the kind of movie that should star a Wayans brother in drag: The House Bunny follows the bubbly adventures of an exiled Plaboy Playmate (Anna Faris) who latches onto a gaggle of unpopular sorority sisters and ends up learning a lot — as well as teaching her new friends a few things — about life, love, and self-respect. With a plot that mashes up a gender-reversed Revenge of the Nerds against any coming-of-age comedy you could mention, it’s no surprise that The House Bunny failed to woo many critics, but largely thanks to its immensely appealing cast, the movie has become something of a cult favorite over the last few years; as far as Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek was concerned, it “gets the difference between being openhearted and empty-headed.”

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Sexpot Shelley Darlington lives comfortably at the Playboy Mansion, until a jealous rival gets her tossed out on her tail. With nowhere else to go, she winds up at Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority. The seven socially inept Zetas will lose their house unless they can attract more pledges; to do that, they need to learn the ways of makeup and men from an expert.

actors:
Anna Faris as Shelley   Emma Stone as Natalie   Kat Dennings as Mona   Hugh M. Hefner as Hugh Hefner   Christopher McDonald as Dean Simmons   Beverly D'Angelo as Mrs. Hagstrom   Rumer Willis as Joanne   Kiely Williams as Lilly   Tyson Ritter as Colby   Katharine McPhee as Harmony   Colin Hanks as Oliver   Sarah Wright as Ashley  

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8 The Rocker
imdb
rating

6.2

The Rocker (2008)

Comedy, Music

Given how adroitly Rainn Wilson embodied the spirit of incompetence-fueled arrogance during his run as Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office, asking him to play a freakishly intense man-child in The Rocker must have seemed like a great idea on paper. And actually, Wilson’s performance is the least of this 2008 comedy’s problems — he, like the rest of the cast (including Stone as a member of the teen band Wilson’s character ends up drumming for after he’s fired, Dewey Finn style, from the group he founded), does exactly what he’s asked to do. Unfortunately, no one’s asked to do enough to differentiate The Rocker from similar (and funnier) comedies; as Elliott Noble pointed out in his lukewarm review for Sky Movies, “Essentially covering the same playlist as Jack Black’s School of Rock, The Rocker is a good-natured, live-the-dream lark in which the one-liners score hits but the slapstick continually misses.”

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Rob "Fish" Fishman is the drummer in '80s hair metal band Vesuvius. He's unceremoniously booted as the group signs a big record deal, is out of the music world for 20 years - and then receives a second chance with his nephew's band.

actors:
Rainn Wilson as Robert 'Fish' Fishman   Josh Gad as Matt Gadman   Christina Applegate as Kim   Emma Stone as Amelia   Teddy Geiger as Curtis   Jeff Garlin as Stan   Jane Lynch as Lisa   Jason Sudeikis as David Marshall   Will Arnett as Lex   Howard Hesseman as Gator   Fred Armisen as Kerr   Bradley Cooper as Trash   Lonny Ross as Sticks   Jon Glaser as Billy   Jane Krakowski as Carol   Samantha Weinstein as Violet   Demetri Martin as Kip   Aziz Ansari as Aziz   Ellie Knaus as Erica   Laura DeCarteret as Amelia's Mom   Steve Adams as Amelia's Dad  

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7 The Croods
imdb
rating

7.3

The Croods (2013)

Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Family

Given Nicolas Cage’s track record, you could tell someone he and Emma Stone co-starred in a movie in which they played characters named Grug and Eep and had to contend with prehistoric creatures, and it would be perfectly logical to ask whether the film in question was an intentional comedy. Happily, The Croods boasts plenty of genuine laughs to go along with its colorful animation, thanks to a sweet story about a caveman patriarch (Cage) whose willful daughter (Stone) spurs an adventure into the outside world. A massive worldwide hit and eventual launchpad for a new DreamWorks Animation franchise, it is also, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Colin Covert, “the kind of rib-tickling, emotionally satisfying, universally appealing effort that gives computer animation a good name.”

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The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world's first family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures -- and their outlook is changed forever.

actors:
Nicolas Cage as Grug (voice)   Emma Stone as Eep (voice)   Ryan Reynolds as Guy (voice)   Catherine Keener as Ugga (voice)   Cloris Leachman as Gran (voice)   Lil Mirkk as    Clark Duke as Thunk (voice)   Chris Sanders as Belt (voice)   Randy Thom as Sandy (voice)  

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6 The Amazing Spider-Man
imdb
rating

7.0

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Outside the Sony Pictures offices, very few people truly believed the Spider-Man franchise really needed a reboot in 2012, but we got one anyway. Fortunately, even if it couldn’t escape the familiar confines of a character mythology that had only recently been explored in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man had a few things going for it — including an impressive cast that boasted Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans, and as Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) doomed young love interest Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone. Without such dependable stars, it’s questionable whether audiences would have been quite as willing to shell out for another return to Spider-Man’s roots; as it was, the Atlantic’s Christopher Orr spoke for many of his peers when he wrote, “The Amazing Spider-Man is considerably more fun — and, yes, even touching — than so premature a reboot had any right to be.”

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Peter Parker is an outcast high schooler was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance—leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

actors:
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man / Peter Parker   Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy   Rhys Ifans as The Lizard / Dr. Curt Connors   Denis Leary as Captain Stacy   Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben   Sally Field as Aunt May   Irrfan Khan as Rajit Ratha   Campbell Scott as Richard Parker   Julianne Nicholson as Mary Parker   Embeth Davidtz as Mary Parker   Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson   Max Charles as Peter Parker (Age 4)   C. Thomas Howell as Jack's Father   Jake Keiffer as Jack   Kari Coleman as Helen Stacy   Michael Barra as Store Clerk   Michael Barrack as Store Clerk   Leif Gantvoort as Cash Register Thief   Stan Lee as School Librarian   Andy Pessoa as Gordon   Hannah Marks as Missy Kallenback   Kelsey Chow as Hot Girl   Kevin McCorkle as Mr. Cramer   Barbara Eve Harris as Miss Ritter   Andy Gladbach as Physics Nerd   Ring Hendricks - Tellefsen as Physics Nerd   Danielle Burgio as Nicky's Girlfriend   Tom Waite as Nicky   Keith Campbell as Car Thief   Steve DeCastro as Car Thief Cop   Jill Flint as Receptionist   James Chen as olice Officer   Mark Daugherty as OsCorp Intern   Milton Gonzalez as Rodrigo Guevara   Skyler Gisondo as Howard Stacy   Charlie DePew as Philip Stacy  

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5 The Help
imdb
rating

8.1

The Help (2011)

Drama

Adapted by writer-director Tate Taylor from Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller, The Help looks at ’60s Southern racism through the eyes of young journalist Skeeter Phelan (Stone), whose youthful idealism spurs her to mount a writing project that gives local maids an opportunity to expose their systematic mistreatment at the hands of the upper class — and which ultimately wreaks all manner of havoc in the relationships in and around Skeeter’s own family. A $211 million global smash, The Help picked up four Academy Award nominations, including a Best Supporting Actress win for Octavia Spencer, and enjoyed a largely positive critical response. “The movie isn’t perfect,” admitted Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman, “it sometimes shows its stitching. But mostly it’s a stirring salute to subjugated women who hold their heads high.”

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Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.

actors:
Emma Stone as Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan   Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark   Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson   Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly Holbrook   Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote   Mike Vogel as Johnny Foote   Allison Janney as Charlotte Phelan   Sissy Spacek as Missus Walters   Chris Lowell as Stuart Whitworth   Ahna O'Reilly as Elizabeth Leefolt   Anna Camp as Jolene French   Cicely Tyson as Constantine Jefferson   Aunjanue Ellis as Yule Mae Davis   David Oyelowo as Preacher Green   Dana Ivey as Gracie Higginbotham   La Chanze as Rachel  

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4 Crazy, Stupid, Love.
imdb
rating

7.4

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Comedy, Drama, Romance

A year after breaking out in the high school comedy Easy A, Stone graduated to more adult rom-com fare with Crazy, Stupid, Love. Playing the slightly neurotic target of a Lothario (Ryan Gosling) whose suave exterior masks unsuspected sensitivity, Stone added a layer of adorable sweetness to the dark drama in the movie’s other storyline, which follows a middle-aged bachelor (Steve Carell) on his adventures through his unwilling re-entry to the dating pool after discovering that his wife (Julianne Moore) wants a divorce. Neither of its plot strands are particularly original, but the cast is charming, and as Bob Mondello joked for NPR, “In a genre where outright imbecility generally prevails, a film investigating craziness and stupidity qualifies as a cut above.”

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At fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream-good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his "perfect" life quickly unravels. Worse, in today's single world, Cal, who hasn't dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth. Now spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, the hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome, thirtysomething player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling).

actors:
Steve Carell as Cal   Julianne Moore as Emily   Ryan Gosling as Jacob   Emma Stone as Hannah   Marisa Tomei as Kate   Kevin Bacon as David Lindhagen   Analeigh Tipton as Jessica Riley   Joey King as Molly   Crystal Reed as Amy Johnson   Jonah Bobo as Robbie Weaver   Liza Lapira as Liz   Josh Groban as Richard   Jenny Mollen as Lisa   Richard Steven Horvitz as Lowe's Employee   Beth Littleford as Claire Riley   Christian Pitre as Waitress with Check  

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3 Easy A
imdb
rating

7.1

Easy A (2010)

Comedy

By the time Easy A came out in 2010, Emma Stone was a few weeks away from turning 22, and as a genre, the teen comedies that inspired director Will Gluck seemed just as dated as his star. But as it turned out, Stone could still play a fairly convincing high school student, and Gluck’s gleefully referential script — which openly paid homage to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, among other John Hughes classics — helped breathe new life into a story that re-imagined Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter one more time. Starring Stone as teen misfit Olive Penderghast, Easy transplants the source material’s tale of misguided morality to a modern high school ruled by a popular prude (Amanda Bynes) whose vengeful gossip inspires Olive to take rumors into her own hands. Effectively serving as Stone’s leading-lady coming-out party, Easy A scored with audiences as well as critics like ReelViews’ James Berardinelli, who decreed that it “belongs in the company of Election, Heathers, and Mean Girls — all motion pictures that have outlived their theatrical lives because they have unique voices and use them to say something.”

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After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne's in "The Scarlet Letter," which she is currently studying in school - until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

actors:
Emma Stone as Olive Penderghast   Stanley Tucci as Dill Penderghast   Amanda Bynes as Marianne   Cam Gigandet as Micah   Lisa Kudrow as Mrs. Griffith   Malcolm McDowell as Principal Gibbons   Penn Badgley as Woodchuck Todd   Patricia Clarkson as Rosemary Penderghast   Dan Byrd as Brandon   Thomas Haden Church as Mr. Griffith   Alyson Michalka as Rhiannon   Juliette Goglia as Eighth Grade Olive   Johanna Braddy as Melanie   Stacey Travis as Marianne's Mom   Jake Sandvig as Anson  

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2 Superbad
imdb
rating

7.6

Superbad (2007)

Comedy

Watching Superbad, you can kind of tell that co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote their first draft of the screenplay when they were 15 — and that’s a good thing. Relying more heavily on sharp R-rated humor than gratuitous T&A, the movie follows the increasingly desperate efforts of graduating pals Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) to score at a party being thrown by the popular girl (Emma Stone) that Seth secretly pines for; of course, this being a teen comedy, just getting to the party turns into a horrific (and hellaciously funny) ordeal that includes a pair of incompetent cops (played by Rogen and Bill Hader) and the most memorably incompetent fake ID in recent cinematic history (sported by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who will forever hear cries of “McLovin!” whenever he steps out in public). “Even if Superbad‘s not much more than a teen comedy, it’s the best teen comedy to come out in at least a decade,” argued Paste Magazine’s Sean Gandert. “There’s no shame in that.”

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High school best buddies are facing separation anxiety as they prepare to go off to college. While attempting to score alcohol for a party with help from their fake ID-toting friend, "McLovin", the guys' evening takes a turn into chaotic territory.

actors:
Jonah Hill as Seth   Michael Cera as Evan   Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fogell   Bill Hader as Officer Slater   Seth Rogen as Officer Michaels   Martha MacIsaac as Becca   Emma Stone as Jules   Aviva as Nicola   Joe Lo Truglio as Francis   Kevin Corrigan as Mark   Clement Blake as Homeless Guy (Obdachloser)   Erica Vittina Phillips as Mindy   Joe Nunez as Liquor Store Clerk (Mitarbeiter Getränkeladen)   Dave Franco as Greg (Soccer Player / Fußballspieler)   Marcella Lentz-Pope as Gaby   Scott Gerbacia as Jesse   Laura Seay as Shirley   Roger Iwami as Miroki   Clint Mabry as Prosthetic Leg Kid (Kind mit Beinprothese)   Stacy Edwards as Evan's Mom (Evans Mutter)   Mark Rogen as Father with Bat   Charlie Hartsock as Good Shopper Cashier   Donna Hardy as Old Lady   Charley Rossman as Good Shopper Security   Carla Gallo as Period Blood Girl   Ben Best as Quince Danbury   Jody Hill as Tut Long John Silver   Kevin Breznahan as Patrick Manchester   David Krumholtz as Benji Austin   Mousa Kraish as Billy Baybridge   Nicholas Jasenovec as Coffee Fairmount   Martin Starr as James Masselin   Keith Loneker as Wild Bill Cherry   Matt McKane as Kane Cloverdale   Lauren Miller as Scarlett Brighton   Peter Salett as Tiger Greendragon   Rakefet Abergel as Muffin Selby   Brooke Dillman as Mrs. Hayworth   Michael Naughton as Gym Teacher   Steve Bannos as Math Teacher   Casey Margolis as Young Seth   Laura Marano as Young Becca   Matthew Bass as Vagtastic Voyager   Aurora Snow as Vagtastic Voyage Girl #1   Jenna Haze as Vagtastic Voyage Girl #2   Ted Haigh as Bartender   Michael Fennessey as Bus Driver   Brian Huskey as Elementary Principal   Clark Duke as Party Teenager #1   Stephen Borrello IV as Party Teenager #2   Naathan Phan as Party Teenager #3   Pamella D'Pella as Teacher  

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1 Zombieland
imdb
rating

7.7

Zombieland (2009)

Comedy, Horror

With the number of zombie movies that have been released, any new entry in the genre really has to do something different in order to stand out — and that’s just what Ruben Fleischer did with Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson as a cynical survivalist prowling post-outbreak America in search of a Twinkie, Jesse Eisenberg as a college student whose meek exterior masks a surprisingly effective zombie killer, and Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as a pair of sisters who join them on their journey to a California amusement park that’s rumored to be zombie-free. Toss in one of the most excellent celebrity cameos in recent memory, and it all added up to a $100 million hit — and the movie Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel described as “the funniest zombie movie since Shawn of the Dead, funnier even than Fido” as well as “a 28 Days Later played for laughs — lots of them, endless jokes, one-liners and sight gags.”

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Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn't have fears. If he did, he'd kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they're about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other.

actors:
Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee   Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus   Emma Stone as Wichita   Abigail Breslin as Little Rock   Bill Murray as Bill Murray   Amber Heard as 406   Derek Graf as Clown Zombie   Justin Price as Sprint Zombie  

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