After getting her start on the Australian soap opera scene, Margot Robbie has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most beloved and recognizable stars. She has played both real-life historical figures (Sharon Tate, Tonya Harding, Elizabeth I) and iconic fictional characters (Harley Quinn, Jane Porter, Flopsy Rabbit), and worked with such legendary auteurs as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Her star will only continue its meteoric rise as she moves into producing, working behind the scenes – especially on the DC Extended Universe — to eradicate the male gaze from blockbuster cinema. These are her best movies so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
UPDATE: 2022/09/29 14:24 EST BY SHAWN S. LEALOS
Margot Robbie returned to the big screen in David O. Russell’s 2022 release Amsterdam, and it might be one of her biggest chances for both a critical darling and possible awards consideration. Joining forces with Christian Bale and John David Washington, and surrounded by a massive supporting cast of award-winning actors, Robbie is taking a huge step outside her role as Harley Quinn in the DCEU. However, it is nothing new, as she has seen awards come her way by playing real-life personalities like Tonya Harding and worked in one of Martin Scorsese’s best films of the last two decades, showing her talent is more than just portraying a comic book character.
14/14 Focus (2015) – 56%
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Margot Robbie starred as a femme fatale alongside Will Smith’s veteran con artist in Focus, a crime caper with elements of romantic comedy and thriller. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the movie is an exercise in style over substance, but that style is so sumptuous in emphasizing the glitz and glamour of the criminal underworld it portrays that it’s hard to complain.
The movie is certainly entertaining, and Smith and Robbie are well-matched stars. Focus wasn’t a huge hit, but it was also far from a box office bomb, raking in over $150 million worldwide on a budget of $50 million.
13/14 Mary Queen of Scots (2018) – 62%
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Although it wasn’t a runaway box office smash, and it didn’t get the recognition it deserved, Mary Queen of Scots was a fascinating historical drama — a riveting two-hander, focusing on the relationship of two monarchs. Saoirse Ronan plays the title character, the Queen of Scotland, while Margot Robbie co-stars as her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
The movie chronicles the conflict between England and Scotland that raged throughout 1569, a historical period often referred to as “the Rising of the North.” The screenplay by Beau Willimon is as compelling as his other project about a political skirmish, House of Cards.
12/14 Peter Rabbit (2018) – 63%
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This blend of live-action and computer animation brought Beatrix Potter’s literary legacy to life last year. James Corden stars as the title protagonist, with Margot Robbie appearing alongside him as the voice of Flopsy Rabbit. Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne round out the live-action cast, with Sam Neill playing dual roles as the live-action Mr. McGregor and the animated Tommy Brock.
It’s not a masterpiece, but it is agreeable family fun. With a worldwide box office haul of over $350 million, Peter Rabbit was a surprisingly big financial success, leading the studio to greenlight a sequel.
11/14 Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) – 64%
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Perhaps the lesser-known of the two Christopher Robin movies to hit theaters in the past couple of years, Goodbye Christopher Robin tells the true story of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne and his family. Whereas Ewan McGregor played the fictional Christopher Robin as an adult, still hanging out with talking animals, this movie was about the real Christopher Robin, A.A. Milne’s son.
Two different child actors play Christopher at different ages throughout the film. Domhnall Gleeson played Milne and Margot Robbie co-starred as Milne’s wife, Daphne de Sélincourt. The movie wasn’t a huge hit, but it did receive warm reviews.
10/14 Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021) – 67%
* Stream now on Netflix
Margot Robbie returned for Peter Rabbit 2, the 2021 sequel to the family-friendly kids movie from 2018. Much like the first movie, Robbie is back as Flopsy Rabbit, Peter’s sister who ends up tagging along for his wild escapades. The movie ended up as a huge improvement on the first.
While the critical scores for both movies were average and only four points apart, the audience loved the second movie, giving it an 89% positive rating compared to the 56% from the first. Critics said it should make fans of the original happy and audience members said it was energetic, funny, and colorful.
9/14 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) – 68%
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This little-seen comedy-drama was released a few years ago, and sadly, it sort of came and went without making much of a splash. It’s the story of journalists who are stationed in Afghanistan in 2003, reporting on the war, adapted from Kim Barker’s memoir.
Make no mistake though, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot takes its subject matter as seriously as it takes its title, which is the NATO alphabet spelling of “WTF.” Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey stars in the movie as the fictionalized Kim Baker, while Margot Robbie appears alongside her a BBC News reporter that she becomes friends with.
8/14 Bombshell (2019) – 68%
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Bombshell was supposed to be an awards-centric movie. The movie was based on the real-life story of the women at Fox News who exposed CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. The trio of leading actresses was top-notch, with Margot Robbie joined by Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman. However, despite the cast, the movie left critics lukewarm.
Praise went to all three women for their performances, with both Theron and Robbie picking up Oscar nominations. However, the biggest complaint was that the story only scratched the surface of the story and revealed some of the more sensationalistic moments, but didn’t dig deeper into the dark nature of the actual incident.
7/14 About Time (2013) – 70%
* Stream now on Starz
Richard Curtis returned to the particular brand of British romantic comedies that he helped to cultivate with a sci-fi bent. About Time stars Domhnall Gleeson as a regular guy looking for love who discovers that the members of his family have the ability to travel through time.
If he goes into a cupboard or a quiet room, closes his eyes, and thinks about it, he can transport himself to a different time. Rachel McAdams plays the woman that he falls in love with, Bill Nighy plays his dad who can also time-travel, and Margot Robbie plays a friend that he used to have a crush on.
6/14 Birds Of Prey (2020) – 79%
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When Harley Quinn first appeared in Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn, she was one of the few things about the movie that critics praised. That all changed when she returned to the DCEU for her own semi-solo outing in Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Possibly, the best move was breaking her off from Joker.
However, critics loved so much more about this movie, including the leading cast of women from the DCEU. Margot Robbie led the way with Harley Quinn, and by the end of the movie, fans wanted to see more of the antihero, as well as her fellow Gotham City sirens that broke out in this underrated DC movie.
5/14 Z for Zachariah (2015) – 79%
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Margot Robbie stars alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine in this film, and that talented trio alone makes this a must-see.
Director Craig Zobel and cinematographer Tim Orr were heavily inspired by the films of Andrei Tarkovsky in crafting the film’s look, which explains why it has such a distinctive visual style. Z for Zachariah might not be a particularly groundbreaking film, but it does give viewers a post-apocalyptic landscape like they’ve never seen before, which is enough to make it worth seeing.
4/14 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – 80%
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Martin Scorsese’s darkly comic three-hour biopic of Jordan Belfort, the shady stockbroker who conned regular hard-working people out of millions of dollars because he “knew how to spend it better,” was controversial for glamorizing Belfort’s lifestyle. The Wolf of Wall Street does make it clear that an intense life of excess isn’t as fun as it sounds, but it also shows Belfort playing tennis in a minimum-security prison before freely profiting from his crimes.
Margot Robbie played Belfort’s second wife, and it’s arguably the role that freed her from the trappings of TV acting and made her a recognizable movie star.
3/14 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) – 85%
* Stream now on Starz
It’s wild to think that Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt had never been in a movie together before Quentin Tarantino paired them up as an actor and his stunt double in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The 1969-set epic was Tarantino’s cinematic love letter to that era of the film industry, with the Manson murders forming the backdrop of the plot.
Margot Robbie was at the forefront of both storylines as Sharon Tate. The film was criticized for having a lot of filler scenes, but when the scenes are so entertaining and endear the audience to the characters, are they really filler?
2/14 The Suicide Squad (2021) – 90%
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Suicide Squad was both a critical disappointment and a frustrating movie for comic book fans of the source material. Thus, it was a surprise when a sequel was announced, but then the DCEU did something to ensure it would succeed. That move was bringing in Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to helm the movie, and the result was a massive success.
Gunn brought his unique sense of humor to The Suicide Squad and treated Harley Quinn with the same respect she received in Birds of Prey. He also created an unlikely future DCEU star in Peacemaker and created one of the best post-Zack Snyder DCEU movies, one that proves that there was still life in the struggling franchise.
1/14 I, Tonya (2017) – 90%
* Stream now on Hulu
Margot Robbie gave the performance of her career in the role of infamous ice skater Tonya Harding in the biopic I, Tonya. It’s easily Robbie’s movie, but she receives strong support from Sebastian Stan and an Oscar-winning Allison Janney as Harding’s husband Jeff Gillooly and her abusive mother LaVona Golden, respectively. This all made it one of Margot Robbie’s best movies, as far as Reddit fans are concerned.
Screenwriter Steven Rogers separately interviewed Harding and Gillooly to get their recollection of the scandal, and both remembered it very differently, so the movie toys around with conflicting accounts of the facts. Its greatest strength is its pitch-black sense of humor, which sets it apart from the rest of the crowded biopic market.