Our favourite Charlize Theron movies

In honour of her birthday!

By Tegan Mouton

Our favourite Charlize Theron movies

Charlize Theron

She’s the Bombshell from Benoni and it’s her 45th birthday! In honour of South Africa’s very own superstar we rounded up our 10 favourite Charlize Theron movies. (Admittedly the list comprises of most of her newer work but we are ‘95 babies after all).

The Italian Job

This 2003 heist movie (a remake of the 1969 original) features Theron as Stella Bridger a safe and vault expert who gets involved in a high-stakes heist to avenge the murder of her master thief father. The movie cemented her as an action movie star, and she recently revealed that she was expected to complete an extra six weeks of driving training compared to her male counterparts, making her determined to outdrive them all, something we think she did pretty well.

The Cider House Rules

This 1999 film based on the 1985 novel of the same name stars Charlize Theron as Candy Kendall, a woman torn between her head and her heart, aka her beau Wally (Paul Rudd) and the man she’s having an affair with, Homer (Tobey Maguire). Set during World War II, she’s not the main feature of the film but her storyline definition packs an emotional punch. Plus, check out those eyebrows.

Monster

An obvious entry to the list, Theron was almost unrecognisable as she dove into the dark role of prostitute and serial killer Aileen Wuornos for the film that would eventually earn her her first Academy Award. This 2003 true crime drama saw the actress undergo an intense transformation and break our hearts as she portrayed the dark series of events that made Wuornos turn to murder after being repeatedly abused at the hands of men.

North Country

Another emotionally powerful performance from the actress, North Country is inspired by the legal court case of Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Company, the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in the United States and a landmark ruling resulting from the bravery of Lois Jenson, a mine worker. Theron plays Josey Aimes, based on Jenson, who took on the institutional sexism and blatant sexual harassment women working at a Northern Minnesota mine had to endure daily. Her performance saw her nominated for the 2006 Best Actress Academy Award.

Young Adult

This 2011 dark comedy film earned Theron a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of narcissistic Mavis Gary, an alcoholic ghost writer of a series of young adult novels. Unhappy with her life, Mavis heads back to her Minnesota home-town to win back her high school boyfriend Buddy, despite him being married and recently having welcomed a baby. She really nailed the hot mess, love-to-hate character.

Mad Max: Fury Road

I was genuinely surprised at how much I loved this 2015 Australian post-apocalyptic action film, largely as a result of Theron’s very out there performance as hardcore one-armed rebel Imperator Furiosa. In fact, I’m still not over the fact that she’s been recast for George Miller’s prequel film focusing on the character, something the actress even said was “hard to swallow” and “heartbreaking”. On the upside, I guess this means she doesn’t need to shave her head again?

Tully

This 2018 comedy drama film saw Theron team up with director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody (the team behind Young Adult) once again. The film follows the relationship between Marlo (Theron) an exhausted and struggling mother of three and her new young and energetic nanny Tully (Mackenzie Davis). This story packs a lot of heart and has an interesting twist ending. Theron’s commitment to the role was admirable as she gained around 20kg to play the part and subsequently struggled with depression as a result of the necessary lifestyle changes that came with it.

The Long Shot

This 2019 comedic gem is Theron’s first romantic comedy and we are here for it. She plays U.S. Secretary of State Charlotte Field who is working hard towards a run at the presidency, but then reconnects and falls in love with her former neighbour (Seth Rogen), who becomes her speech writer. Rogen and Theron are an unlikely couple, something the movie pokes fun at, but they have an easy and sweet chemistry that makes this movie sparkle. We also love the reverse-Pretty-Woman angle the movie takes.

Bombshell

Easily one of her best films to date, Theron earned another Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her role in 2019’s Bombshell. The film stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie as women affected by the Fox News sexual harassment scandal that outed CEO Roger Ailes as a sexual predator. Theron disappeared expertly into the role of real-life journalist Megyn Kelly, and I mean that literally since the prosthetics she wore make her look scarily like the real Kelly.

The Old Guard

The actress’s most recent film, Netflix’s adaptation of The Old Guard graphic novel, shows that the actress doesn’t shy away from physically intensive superhero roles even though she’s 45 years of age. Meanwhile I’m 25 and can hardly walk up the stairs without feeling out of breath. The story follows a group of centuries-old immortal warriors who discover a new recruit while also facing a serious threat in the form of an eccentric Zuckerburg-type billionaire villain.

This film is amazingly rich in story and character depth, and the action sequences are really enjoyable, so it’s great to see that Netflix has set it up for a sequel. Which means we’ll get to see Theron kick butt as Andy / Andromache of Scythia again soon, yay!

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