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The Best Margot Robbie Movies, Ranked


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The delightful and brilliant Margot Robbie has starred in and produced multiple blockbuster hits throughout her colorful and so far relatively short cinematic career, captivating and charming audiences in the process. Since her small screen debut in 2008 on the Australian soap opera Neighbors, the actor has steadily increased her screen presence in both TV shows and films before nabbing her international breakthrough role in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 Oscar-nominated picture, The Wolf of Wall Street. The dark comedy went on to become a stepping stone in the star’s ever-growing popularity and talent, as she went on to achieve widespread recognition with appearances in films like Z for Zachariah, Mary Queen of Scots, and Bombshell.

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Her performance as the off-kilter yet endearing Harley Quinn in David Ayer’s 2016 superhero flick Suicide Squad further propelled Robbie as an acting force to be reckoned with, cementing her status as a movie star. She became so popular and admired that all Adam McKay had to do was feature her in one great scene of The Big Short, explaining mortgages and sub-prime loans (in a bathtub), for the internet to blow up.

The dynamic actress garnered further acclaim as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in the biopic I, Tonya, and appeared in director Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, portraying the late actress and model Sharon Tate. More recently, she’s dazzled in 2022’s Babylon and won over audiences as the titular character in the box office smash hit Barbie, alongside Ryan Gosling as Ken.

She produced that massive Barbie film as well (which became the highest-grossing movie of 2023, making $1.5 billion), a jewel in Robbie’s crown as one of the most interesting producers today (she’s also produced Saltburn, Promising Young Woman, and Birds of Prey, along with the TV series Maid, Dollface, and Mike). With such a long run of great performances and productions under her belt, these are Margot Robbie’s best movies and performances so far. Take note — one of the most undervalued components of Robbie’s career is her ability to play a villain (or at least someone with immensely compromised ethics) without an audience completely realizing it (Suicide Squad, I, Tonya, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Terminal, Birds of Prey, Focus).

16 Goodbye Christopher Robin

The biographical film Goodbye Christopher Robin revolves around the life and career of A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh. It stars Domnall Gleeson as Milne, while Robbie takes on the role of the writer’s wife, Daphne. Directed by Simon Curtis from a script by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the story is set across both World War I and World War II, as well as the time in between, and primarily focuses on the relationship between Milne and his son, Christopher Robin.

Margot Robbie Continues to Deconstruct Villains

Robbie essentially plays the villain here, but she does so with the same analytical verve she displays when she always portrays a villain, transforming what could be a clichéd performance into something complicated and emotionally rich. As Christopher’s mother, she is spiky, strict, unsympathetic, and ultimately doesn’t buy into her husband’s dream. It is rare to see Robbie play someone so unlikable, but as with her other roles, she throws herself into it, and the film is better for it.

Rent on Prime Video

15 About Time

About Time

About Time

Release Date
September 4, 2013

Runtime
123

Richard Curtis’ sci-fi rom-com About Time was one of Robbie’s first film roles. The film was released in cinemas in 2013, meaning Robbie was only 23 at the time. Starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams, it tells the story of Tim, a twenty-something old man who discovers that all the men in his family, including himself, are able to travel in time and change what happened in their own past. He, therefore, utilizes these abilities to improve his love life, which leads to him meeting McAdams’s Mary.

A Good Film with a Small Margot Robbie

Robbie plays the role of Charlotte, a friend of Tim’s sister, who he develops a crush on. Though it is only a small part, it’s a fun one, and there’s certainly evidence here of the leading lady she would become.

Rent on Apple TV​​​​​

14 Terminal (2018)

terminal

Terminal

Release Date
May 10, 2018

Director
Vaughn Stein

Runtime
90

Vaughn Stein’s convoluted film Terminal is a neo-noir that tells the story of a group of characters made up of assassins, a teacher, and a janitor at a train terminal. There is a murderous plan or two afoot, but who really has the upper hand? The film stars Robbie in the company of Simon Pegg, Max Irons, and Mike Myers, but struggled to find an audience at the box-office.

Another Complicated Twist on Villains

Robbie’s year after her life-changing role in I, Tonya, was prolific. From cameos to voice-acting, she did everything. Her role in Terminal was one of two important performances. Although the film wasn’t well received by everyone, Robbie is the best thing about it. Her exploration of villainous femme fatales is taken one step further in Terminal, where she delivers a grounded twist on what we had already seen in 2016’s Suicide Squad.

Stream on Tubi

13 Suicide Squad

For the 2016 DC Comics superhero extravaganza Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie joins a star-studded ensemble cast including Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis to bring the beloved comic characters to life on the big screen. Robbie famously portrayed the lively and fascinating supervillain Harley Quinn and spent six months preparing for the monumental role by learning boxing, gymnastics, aerial silk training and how to hold her breath underwater for five minutes.

A Bad Film with a Big Margot Robbie

The actress described the electrifying Quinn as one of the Squad’s most manipulative members and her relationship with the Joker as being “completely dysfunctional,” and that Quinn is “mad about him – like, literally, mad. She’s crazy. But she loves him. And it’s a really unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship. But an addictive one.” Robbie’s performance in the film was heralded as its greatest asset in an otherwise messy disaster of a film.

Watch on Prime Video

12 Focus

Focus

Focus

Release Date
February 25, 2015

Director
Glenn Ficarra , John Requa

Runtime
104

The always entertaining Will Smith and Margot Robbie teamed up to headline the 2015 crime dramedy Focus, which follows career con artist Nicky Spurgeon as he takes ambitious femme fatale Jess Barrett under his wing and teaches her the craft. Famed sleight-of-hand artist Apollo Robbins served as a consultant for the picture, with Robbie learning how to pickpocket from the self-described gentleman thief.

Despite mixed reviews for the dramedy itself, Smith and Robbie’s on-screen chemistry garnered appreciation from critics, and the duo would once again join forces for 2016’s Suicide Squad. The New York Times praised the actors, writing: “Mostly, it is fun to watch Will Smith and Margot Robbie, and to marvel at whatever divine or evolutionary miracle concentrated so much charisma in the two of them.” Robbie was nominated for the Rising Star Award at the British Academy Film Awards for her captivating portrayal of the inexperienced but aspiring grifter.

Margot Robbie’s Underrated and Sexy Femme Fatale

Focus followed Robbie’s performance in Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The result is a film that may feel secondary when compared to others on the list, but it has one great element in it: a star on the rise. Robbie’s role overshadows everything else in the film. It’s often referred to as a femme fatale film, but her performance is just too wholehearted to categorize. Focus is romantic, ambitious, and very underrated, and while Smith’s participation helps, this is Robbie’s show from start to finish.

Watch on Max

11 Bombshell

Fox News Movie

Bombshell

Release Date
December 13, 2019

Runtime
108

Jay Roach’s 2019 drama Bombshell is based upon the accounts of the women at Fox News who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and features a gifted cast including Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie. For the engrossing picture, Theron and Kidman portrayed real-life journalists Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, respectively, while Robbie starred as the composite character Kayla Pospisil. To prepare for the film, Robbie watched the Fox News shows she imagined Kayla would enjoy and created a fake Twitter account, so she could observe the performative opinionated tweeting of “young millennial conservative girls.”

Bombshell debuted to mostly positive reviews, with specific praise for Theron and Robbie’s compelling performances as the ambitious and determined women; the pair both earned Academy Award nominations for their roles. The Hollywood Reporter proclaimed, “The actors throw themselves into their roles with terrific zeal, enlivened by the often blunt dialogue and issues at stake.”

A Searing Dramatic Performance

Robbie’s Kayla embodies the all-too-familiar figure of a woman entering into an industry run by corrupt men. Kayla’s slow realization of what she’s “supposed” to do in order to find success is only possible due to Robbie’s ability to subtly materialize courage in the middle of chaos. This is one of her best dramatic performances, but unfortunately, the political divisiveness of the subject has probably kept a lot of viewers away from Bombshell.

Rent on Apple TV

Related: Margot Robbie’s 10 Highest-Grossing Movies of All-Time

10 Z for Zachariah

Based on the Robert C. O’Brien novel of the same name, 2015’s sci-fi drama Z for Zachariah centers on an emotionally charged love triangle between two men and a woman who may be the last people on Earth following a disaster that wiped out most civilization. Appearing alongside Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie stars as nuclear apocalypse survivor Ann Burden, who lives a rural life on her family’s valley farmstead but finds her secluded existence disturbed by the separate arrival of two mysterious men.

Robbie adopted an Appalachian accent for the film and joined the project just five days before production began after Amanda Seyfried dropped out of the role. The actress grew up on her grandparent’s farm in rural Queensland and, despite such little time to prepare, felt right in her element.

A Profoundly Complex Woman of Faith in a Love Triangle

Z for Zachariah puts Robbie at the center of a triangle. Ann’s religious upbringing stays pristine in the midst of chaos, and everything that happens is given a religious meaning by her conservative and optimistic views. Robbie’s performance doesn’t call for the typical religiously hysterical woman, but something much more profound, realistic, and relevant. This is probably Robbie’s most under-seen performance, but it’s highly rated by critics.

Stream on Tubi

9 Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

Release Date
December 7, 2018

Director
Josie Rourke

Cast
Angela Bain , Richard Cant , Guy Rhys , Thom Petty , Saoirse Ronan , Izuka Hoyle

Runtime
125

For Josie Rourke’s 2018 historical drama Mary Queen of Scots, Margot Robbie portrayed Queen Elizabeth I opposite Saoirse Ronan’s depiction of the titular ruler of Scotland. The film depicts Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, culminating in Mary being condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution. Robbie was intimidated by the hefty role and almost didn’t appear in the drama, having told Entertainment Weekly: “That history of portrayals was definitely something that ran through my mind many times. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified, and I initially passed on the role.”

Margot Robbie Gets Regal

Though the film was met with mixed responses by critics who criticized the historical inaccuracies, both Robbie and Ronan’s performances were met with widespread praise. Robbie’s natural beauty and ability to embody regal confidence makes her a natural fit here in a film that’s very insightful about the emotions behind competition and envy.

Watch on Prime Video

8 The Wolf of Wall Street

The esteemed Martin Scorsese directed the 2013 Oscar-nominated crime comedy The Wolf of Wall Street, featuring a ridiculously talented cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, and Margot Robbie. The movie is based on entrepreneur and convicted felon Jordan Beflort’s memoir, and recounts his career as a stockbroker in New York City and how his firm, Stratton Oakmont, engaged in rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street, ultimately leading to his downfall.

At a very young age, Belfort became fascinated with stocks and ultimately figured out a way to commit fraud in Wall Street, corrupting a system that made him a billionaire. Robbie’s breakthrough role as Naomi Lapaglia, the wife of Belfort, earned rave reviews from critics and audiences alike; the actress revealed that during the audition process, she improvised a slap on DiCaprio during a fight scene that effectively led to her winning the part. The Wolf of Wall Street was a knockout at the box office, and Robbie’s performance was singled out by many critics.

A Star Is Born

This was Robbie’s breakout role in Hollywood, and naturally, it’s filled with memorable moments. Robbie’s Naomi is a chaotic woman who knows very early on that her husband is no saint. This provides Robbie with an opportunity to make the character compelling and morally corrupt. How Robbie wasn’t nominated at the Academy Awards that year is beyond understanding.

Watch on Paramount+

Related: Why Margot Robbie Should Work With Marin Scorsese Again

7 Asteroid City

Margot Robbie has a small but pivotal role in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. In the film, she plays the actress that was cast as Steenback’s (Jason Schwartzman) deceased wife in a stage show that was cut. In a clever joke, the only time the audience originally sees her is in a photo, but then towards the end of the film, she has a very sweet, touching scene with Steenback talking about how her role was cut and has now moved onto another play. They both recite the dialogue they would have shared on screen together in the context of the film.

A Tiny Little Gem of Rare Brilliance

It is funny and a great meta use of Margot Robbie. Casting a major star like her in a role that is jokingly cut from the production, but is still used for a moment of great emotional catharsis, is a stroke of brilliance. Margot Robbie’s role proves there are no small parts.

Watch on Prime Video

6 The Suicide Squad

the suicide squad

The Suicide Squad

Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.

Release Date
August 5, 2021

Runtime
2hr 12min

2021s The Suicide Squad (not to be confused with the previously mentioned Suicide Squad) marked Robbie’s third outing as anti-heroine Harley Quinn. Directed by James Gunn, the film set out to right some of the wrongs of the previous attempt after the 2016 version received generally a generally mixed response from critics and fans alike. Violent, over-the-top, offbeat, and hilarious, The Suicide Squad is everything the first one should’ve been. This one sees the titular team of supervillains travel to the fictional island of Corto Maltese in order to destroy all evidence of a giant alien starfish known as Starro.

An Actor Gets a Second Chance

While in the first iteration, Robbie was the best aspect of an otherwise disappointing film, here (as with her solo film, Birds of Prey), the actress gets to show off what she can do when she’s given a decent script and actually interesting characters to work off of. It isn’t often that an actor gets a second chance to play the same role in a film that’s not a sequel, and Robbie capitalizes on the opportunity in every possible way.

Watch on Netflix

5 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Notorious visionary Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the 2019 dramedy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is set in 1969 Los Angeles and centers on a fading television actor and his stunt double as he strives to recapture fame and success in a rapidly changing film industry. The events coincide with the looming threat of the Tate Murders, and according to Tarantino’s tagline, features “multiple storylines in a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.”

Robbie poignantly portrays movie star Sharon Tate and was the director’s only choice to play the late actress; to prepare for the emotionally-driven role, the vibrant performer met with Tate’s family and friends, watched all of her films, and read the autobiography by Tate’s then-husband Roman Polanski. Sharon’s sister Debra had reservations about the project, but after visiting the set and meeting the cast, changed her opinion.

A Megical Meditation on Cinema and a True Star

While Robbie may portray the real-life actress who was brutally murdered by the Mansons, Tarantino bends history his way, and we get to see Tate as a young woman who survives her dream of making it big in Hollywood. Robbie’s performance isn’t exactly huge in the film, as not much screen time is dedicated to her character, but there’s enough of it to make it a breakthrough in her career. Watching her as Sharon Tate watch a Sharon Tate film in a small movie theater is a haunting, beautiful, and unforgettable meditation on the transformative power of cinema.

Stream on Hulu

4 Birds of Prey

For Cathy Yan’s female-driven 2020 superhero flick Birds of Prey, Margot Robbie once again stars as the crazed criminal and all-around spellbinding Harley Quinn, this time acting as a producer as well. Robbie was determined to make a female ensemble action film and spent three years developing the project with her production company, making a concerted effort to hire both a female screenwriter and director.

The picture was a critical success, with reviewers praising its fast-paced action sequences and Robbie’s charmingly quirky portrayal of the beloved DC character. Birds of Prey won the award of Best Blockbuster Film by the Hollywood Critics Association; a sequel and Black Canary solo spin-off are currently in the works at HBO Max.

Margot Robbie Gets Complete Freedom

Robbie has always played a great Harley Quinn. However, her first appearance in the Suicide Squad films were just a preamble for what she would do in Birds of Prey. Here, thanks to her creative control behind the scenes, she’s given complete freedom, and it’s amazing. She’s staggering, hilarious, scary, and undoubtedly original when giving life to a character that always feels about to explode. Either with anger or love, Quinn is a ticking time bomb, believable only through the performance of a talented actor who feels tailor-made for the role. Her performance made it one of the best films in the DCEU.

Stream on Netflix

Related: Best Movies & TV Series Produced by Margot Robbie, Ranked

3 Babylon

Babylon

Babylon

Release Date
December 23, 2022

Runtime
3hr 9min

Damien Chazelle’s period tragicomedy Babylon received polarizing reviews when it was released in cinemas in 2022. Featuring an all-star cast including Robbie, Brad Pitt, Jean Smart, and Diego Calva, it chronicles the rise and fall of several characters during the early years of Hollywood in the 1920s. While some praised the film, many others didn’t share the sentiment, especially audiences.

A Divisive Film with a Dramatic Performance You Need to See

Robbie’s performance, however, was universally well-received. Robbie gives life to Nellie LaRoy, a self-declared star who rises to the top, but she falls quickly from grace given the constant change in Hollywood’s policies and priorities. Her performance is equivalent to Chazelle’s style of directing: frenetic and impactful. She is one actor in a sea of performers in the large ensemble cast of Babylon, but Robbie shines above everything because she manages to convey the classic trope of a rotten starlet corrupted by Tinseltown.

Stream on Prime Video

2 Barbie

Barbie

Barbie

Release Date
July 21, 2023

2023’s Barbie is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. Released on the same day as Christopher Nolan’s tonal opposite, Oppenheimer, it formed one half of an internet craze known as Barbenheimer that saw both films smashing box office expectations. However, the film, which follows the fictional doll (Margot Robbie) as she travels to the real world after experiencing an existential crisis, is remarkable in its own right. As hilarious and fun as it is, it’s also poignant and transgressive; Barbie is a rare movie that lives up to the hype. And a large part of that is down to Robbie’s performance in the central role.

Despite a large cast of familiar faces, including Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Helen Mirren, and Michael Cera, Robbie never lets herself become swamped. She carries the whole film, and does so with heart and excellent comic timing. There has been a lot of speculation around whether Robbie will be nominated for an Academy Award for her work in Barbie. If so, it would be her third nomination.

Margot Barbie Changes Hollywood

Robbie’s whimsy approach to Barbie is anything but a failure. She hits the right spot with a film that no one believed in at first, but Gerwig designed it in great detail in order to fascinate audiences fascinated with the Mattel IP, as well as those who simply went to see a film about “talking dolls” and got so much more out of it. Robbie is not only a performer but a producer whose faith in the concept is visible through a committed performance as the doll who realizes who she is, but most importantly, who she wants to be.

Stream on Max

1 I, Tonya

i tonya

I, Tonya

Release Date
December 8, 2017

Runtime
121

The 2017 biographical sports film I, Tonya is a dark comedy with an impressive cast of cinema elite including Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney, and follows the life of figure skater Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan. Robbie starred as Harding and produced the picture; she met with the infamous athlete and spent several months learning rigorous skating instruction with choreographer Sarah Kawahara. I, Tonya premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews, with critics lauding Robbie’s powerhouse performance of Harding.

I, Tonya Is a Meta Masterpiece with Margot at Her Best

One of the best rise-and-fall biopics in recent history, I, Tonya almost creates a parallel between Robbie and the ambitious, talented rising star she portrays. Robbie’s performance isn’t a shallow collection of tropes and mischief, considering how peculiar the real Tonya Harding is. Robbie uses Gillespie’s stage of tragedy and comedy to deliver a character that didn’t deserve the scrutiny but also misbehaved in the worst possible way.

Few actors have been able to portray true-life characters with a shady reputation with so much versatility, and Robbie achieves this without so much effort. It’s without a doubt her single best acting performance in a career that will surely grow in future years. The dynamic star earned an Academy Award nomination for the role and won Best Actress in a Comedy at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

Stream on Max

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