Kirsten Dunst’s Best Dramatic Movies, Ranked

Kirsten Dunst is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. Her career has spanned across all genres including comedy, horror, and drama. She has received Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Primetime Emmy Award nominations throughout the years and received the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for her performance in Melancholia. Dunst has a sheer talent and a fierce persona on camera. She showed, at a very young age, with Interview With The Vampire, that she was destined to be a performer. Most recently, Dunst earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in The Power of the Dog, available on Netflix. She received rave reviews and audiences and critics are eager to see what this talented actor does next.

Celebrating her 40th birthday This week, Dunst was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, but eventually moved to Los Angeles as a child. Her modeling / acting career began at the age of three and, as a teenager, she rose to fame appearing in movies like Bring It On and The Virgin Suicides. Since then, Dunst has conveyed her sheer talent with the many dramatic roles that she has taken on. When it comes to cinema, Dunst has proved that she can give stellar performances in dark, and sometimes scary, roles. Dunst is a force to be reckoned with, and one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. She has worked with several prominent directors such as Lars Von Trier and Jane Campion. Let’s look at her best dramatic movies, ranked.

Related: The Power of the Dog: Did Peter Save His Mother to Spite Himself?


8 Little Women

Little Women was adapted from the beloved classic novel of the same name. It tells the story of the March sisters navigating love and life during the Civil War era. Dunst takes on the role of Amy March and, at just 12 years old, delivers a fine performance. She was endearing from beginning to end and perfectly encapsulates the smart, ambitious personality of the character. At the same time, her chemistry with the rest of the actors was top-notch.

7 Interview With The Vampire

In Kirsten Dunst’s breakout role in the movie Interview with the Vampire, she plays a young girl named Claudia who is transformed into a deadly vampire. She acted opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt and was an absolute scene-stealer in her dark role. Dunst showed the world that she could hold her own working with two A-list actors. As the character ages, Dunst conveys the misery of being trapped in a child’s body. She proved, with this role, that she was destined for great things.

6 Melancholia

In Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, Dunst plays Justine, a character who is suffering from severe depression. Dunst’s performance is flawless from beginning to end, giving an honest depiction of mental illness. At the same time, she conveys the fear and dread of the apocalyptic circumstances that she and the rest of the characters are in. Dunst received a Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

5 Midnight Special

In Jeff Nichols’ science fiction film, Midnight Special, Dunst plays Sarah Tomlin, the loving mother of a boy (Jaeden Martell) from another dimension. Sarah works with her ex-husband Roy (Michael Shannon) to transport their son across the country as the US Government and a religious cult are chasing them. Dunst gives a stellar dramatic performance depicting a heart-broken, yet caring, mother.

4 Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures tells the remarkable true story of three Black women struggling against racial prejudice while accomplishing great things at NASA in the 1960s. Dunst plays a cold supervisor named Vivian Mitchell who clashes with Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer). Although it is a supporting role, Dunst makes it her own and creates a subtle, yet strong, performance. In the end, Dunst’s character does change for the better, giving her character a good arc.

Related: Best Kirsten Dunst Movies, Ranked

3 The Beguiled

One of the few women nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, based on the novel of the same name, tells the story of a group of school girls who take in a wounded soldier (Colin Farrell) during the Civil War. Before things go very sideways, Dunst begins a romantic relationship with the soldier. Her character is lonely, depressed, and desperate for a new life. Dunst gave a powerful dramatic performance filled with emotion in this thought-provoking film. Dunst has fantastic chemistry with Colin Farrellas well as the other actors.

2 The Power Of The Dog

Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dogwas a fine achievement in cinema, telling a dramatic western story set in 1925 Montana. Dunst plays Rose Gordon, a widow who marries George Burbank (Jesse Plemons) only to be tormented by his cruel brother, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch). Dunst is flawless in every frame and we watch her character struggle through depression, fear, and alcoholism. Dunst earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

1 The Virgin Suicides

Sofia Coppola’s feature directorial debut was a stunning achievement. The film tells the story of a group of boys who become obsessed with the sheltered Lisbon sisters. Dunst plays Lux Lisbon, who is desperate to break free from her overbearing parents. She gives a fantastic performance as a sheltered girl navigating life and love. At the same time, she conveys the mental toll that her life has on her. The film sparked the working relationship between Dunst and Coppola.


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