Arts & Culture

The 13 Best Meryl Streep Movies of All Time

A look back at the Hollywood legend's famed film roles.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES
Comments

Over the course of her nearly 50-year career, Meryl Streep has captivated audiences with her riveting on-screen presence, earning her three Academy Awards and over 30 Golden Globe nominations, eight of which she won. From waitressing to pay her way through school at Yale at the age of 26 to becoming one of the most renowned actresses of her time, Meryl Streep has demonstrated what it means to work your way to the top.

Here's a list of Streep's best work on the big screen.

1. The Deer Hunter (1978)


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Watch Now: Amazon Video

In this legendary war drama, Streep stars as the girlfriend of a steelworker (played by Christopher Walken) and the love interest of another man (Robert De Niro) who are both preparing to leave for Vietnam. Her performance was so striking, it earned Streep her first Academy Award nomination, and though she didn't win, the film signified that Streep was well on her way to Hollywood superstardom.

2. Manhattan (1979)


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Hailed as one of the best films Streep has ever been a part of—even though she only has about four minutes of actual screen time—Manhattanfollows the love triangle between a high school girl, a twice-divorced television writer, and his wife, who left him for a woman.

3. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Watch Now: Amazon Video

Kramer vs. Kramer handles the topic of divorce in a way no film like it had before. While Streep's character could have been easy to hate, her achingly real performance won Streep her first Oscar.

4. Sophie's Choice (1982)


A tearjerker, Sophie's Choice sees Streep playing a Holocaust survivor forced to choose between two lovers. Streep's mournful, powerful performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

5. Silkwood (1983)


Streep stars as Karen Silkwood, a woman who works at a processing plant in Oklahoma and draws attention to the fact that she and her co-workers are being exposed to high levels of radiation. In a role that deviates from her typically sensitive characters, Streep's performance is both hilarious and haunting.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

6. A Cry in the Dark (1988)


Watch Now: Amazon Video

In this fact-based film, Streep plays a mother accused of killing her own child. While the movie could have easily been dismissed as a mockable take on a true story, casting Streep as the lead role transformed it into a heart-wrenching drama about a grieving mother's struggle.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

7. Defending Your Life (1991)


Watch Now: Amazon Video

Charming, funny, and incredibly real, Streep's character Julia is a shoo-in for getting into the pearly gates of heaven. She absolutely steals the show in this film about a man caught in limbo who must defend the life he lived on Earth in order to get in heaven.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

8. Death Becomes Her (1992)


Watch Now: Amazon Video

An outrageous and effect-heavy dark comedy, Death Becomes Her is decidedly different from Streep's other works. Shallow, vindictive, and vain, Streep's character showcases her comedic side as she battles her frenemy, played by Goldie Hawn, on their quest for eternal youth.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

9. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)


Watch Now: Amazon Video

The Notebook has nothing on Streep's passionate performance as a midwestern housewife having an affair with a traveling photographer, played by Clint Eastwood. The film follows two soul mates who met at the wrong time, making for a surprisingly sweet love story.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

10. One True Thing (1998)


Watch Now: Amazon Video

If ever there was a movie to watch with your mom, this is the one. Streep plays a mother dying of cancer whose estranged daughter Ellen comes home to care for her in her last days. In the time they spend together, Streep’s character Kate reveals glimpses of her true self to Ellen, ultimately bringing them closer together.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

11. Adaptation (2002)


Watch Now: Amazon Video

Streep plays real-life journalist Susan Orlean, whose best-selling book is being adapted into a movie by a frustrated screenwriter (Nicolas Cage.) Her performance earned Streep a Golden Globe and marked her 13th Oscar nomination.

12. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Watch Now: Amazon Video

In this book-based film, Streep shines as Miranda Priestly, a terrifying fashion editor whose blasé attitude and judgmental expression leave her new personal assistant, Andy (Anne Hathaway) shaking in her Louboutins. Never has Streep come off as more frighteningly powerful, creating an unforgettable pop culture icon.

13. The Post (2018)


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

In her latest on-screen work, Streep plays journalist Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of The Washington Post. As Graham races to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that span the course of four U.S. presidencies, Streep puts on a superb performance that rivals even some of her best work.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

Comments
View More Articles About:
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Chanel Vargas
View Other Articles From Chanel Vargas
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
Master these pronunciations and you'll never think twice again.
 
Share
San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang remembers his roots and gives back to his hometown.
 
Share
Photographer Douglas Kirkland remembers the shoot fondly: "It was just myself, the camera, and Marilyn."
 
Share
Nonoo is a good friend of Meghan Markle's-and there's a good chance the Duchess will make an appearance at the ceremony.
 
Share
Rachel Green would no doubt approve of these dresses, blazers, and tops.
 
Share
Not only does it inform the cast’s performances, but its stripping down of the play’s setting to its barest elements underscores the universality and timelessness of its message.
 
Share
These are the six pieces you need to cop this season.
 
Share
It turns out that most of these emblematic charmers are jewelry timepieces.
 
Share
The modern property, which is a combination of two units, was designed by famed architect Claudio Silvestrin.
 
Share
The palace staff treated Harriet the monkey to a scone, and sent it home with a new corgi friend.
 
Share
You can’t miss out on one of the country’s longest-running trade fairs.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US