Winona Ryder’s acting credits have tapered off significantly in recent years, partly due to the rise of popular younger actresses and partly due to quirky off-screen behaviors (ie. shoplifting). However, at her best, Ryder is a talented actress who has delivered some high-quality work.
Based on the her most compelling characters, strongest film plots and top acting performances, the following is a list of best Winona Ryder movies, along with some additional titles included at the end for you to consider. Feel free to add a comment below if you want to speak on behalf of another title!
Girl, Interrupted is a biographical drama from Director James Mangold, in which Ryder stars as title character Susanna Kaysen, based on the woman’s book documenting her real-life 18-month mental hospital stay. Ryder delivered excellently in this role, which either allowed her to leverage her eccentric and quirky persona, or perhaps contributed to its expansion.
Directed by Michael Lehmann and co-starring Christian Slater, Heathers is the ultimate cult classic for anyone who ever despised high school clicks. Perhaps it is due to them all being named “Heather,” but good-girl Veronica (Ryder) has grown tired of her snobby clique. Her desire to break free turns deadly when she falls for sociopath J.D. (Slater). Despite her starring role in Beetlejuice in the same year, it was this film that really catapulted Ryder to the forefront of the acting scene in the late 80s.
Following her success in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice in 1988, the director included her in his breakout film, Edward Scissorhands, in 1990. Johnny Depp, who received a Best Actor Oscar nomination, is brilliant in his portrayal of the title character who is left with scissors for hands after a botched surgical procedure. For her role as Kim, Edward’s girlfriend, the then strawberry-blonde Ryder also received award recognition, including a Best Actress Saturn Award.
Other best Winona Ryder movies deserving of consideration include (in descending chronological order): Homefront (2013), The Iceman (2012), Star Trek (2009), The Last Word (2008), Mr. Deeds (2002), The Crucible (1996), Reality Bites (1994), Little Women (1994), Bram Stroker’s Dracula (1992), Mermaids (1990), Beetlejuice (1988), Lucas (1986)
Let the debate begin. Do you know of other top Winona Ryder movies? Post a comment and share your personal favorites!