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The Best Anna Kendrick Movies, Ranked

MovieWeb logo MovieWeb 8/9/2022 Amy Lamare
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Anna Kendrick has been acting since she was a child. She got her start on Broadway and had her first big role in 1988's High Society, for which she won a Theater World Award and was nominated for a Tony Award. Her big break in film came in 2008 when she was cast as Jessica Stanley, a friend of Bella Swan in the Twilight franchise. The series went on to be an enormous success at the box office and put Kendrick on the radar of Hollywood casting agents.

From there, Kendrick's career took off. She appeared in Up in the Air opposite George Clooney. She was nominated for the Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Jason Reitman film. From there she starred in the cult favorite Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 50/50, and the second and third installments in the Twilight series - Eclipse and Breaking Dawn - Part 1. Kendrick's next big breakthrough role was in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect.

On a personal front, she dated filmmaker Edgar Write for four years after meeting during the filming of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. She met cinematographer Ben Richardson while filming Drinking Buddies in early 2014. Her last relationship was with Barry actor Bill Hader. Regardless of who she's with, what she's doing is fantastic, and her upcoming film at TIFF, Alice, Darling, is already acclaimed.

Let's take a look at Anna Kendrick's best movies, ranked.

Drinking Buddies

In 2013, Anna Kendrick starred opposite Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston, and Jake Johnson in the comedy-drama Drinking Buddies. The film is set in Chicago and is about two coworkers Kate and Luke (Wilde and Johnson) at a craft brewery. The two have chemistry but are in relationships with Chris and Jill (Livingston and Kendrick). The couples take a weekend trip where Jill and Chris kiss. One thing leads to another in this excellent, quiet comedy from the indie film king, director Joe Swanberg.


In 2011, Anna Kendrick starred opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anjelica Huston in the comedy-drama 50/50. Kendrick played Ph.D. candidate Katherine McKay who becomes the therapist to Gordon Levitt's radio disc-jockey Adam. Set in Seattle, Adam is experiencing a rare form of cancer that is upending his life. Over the course of their sessions, Katherine helps Adam deal with his illness. They fall for each other and instead of preparing for a therapy session with her, Adam is preparing for a date.

RELATED: Anna Kendrick Compares Twilight Shoot to a Hostage Situation

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas is a 2014 film, yet another from filmmaker Joe Swanberg. It stars Swanberg, Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, and Lena Dunham, who all completely improvised their lines within a loose narrative framework. Kendrick plays Jenny, an irresponsible 20-something who arrives in Chicago to move in with her brother Jeff (Swanberg) and his wife Kelly (Melanie Lynskey). Her boisterous personality disrupts the couple's previously cozy and quiet home. Jenny and her friend Carson (Dunham) plot to makeover Kelly's life -- with or without her approval.


In 2012, Anna Kendrick voiced the character of Courtney Babcock, the 17-year-old sister of ParaNorman's lead character Norman. Courtney is a cheerleader and the bright and bouncy nature of her personality is at odds with the darker nature of 11-year-old Norman's world. Norman speaks with the dead, including family members who've passed and several ghosts around his town. Almost no one believes this though, which isolates him from his family and peers.

RELATED: Pitch Perfect: How Each Installment Improved Beca's Story

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect is a hit film from 2012 starring an ensemble cast alongside Anna Kendrick, including Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Adam DeVine, Ben Platt, and Elizabeth Banks. Kendrick plays a rebellious and reluctant college student named Beca who'd rather be developing her career as a DJ rather than attending classes. Her father is a popular professor at the university and urges her to get involved. She joins the all-girl a cappella group and her spunky nature is at direct odds with the traditional values and style of the group's leader. The film had two successful follow-ups where Kendrick continued to shine.

Up in the Air

Up in the Air is a 2009 film based on the novel of the same name by Walter Kirn. George Clooney wonderfully plays Ryan Bingham, a human resources executive who specializes in helping companies terminate employees. The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Danny McBride. Kendrick plays Natalie, an ambitious young employee at Bingham's firm who argues that terminations can happen via videoconferencing and therefore save the cost of Bingham flying all over the country. The two challenge each other on their respective viewpoints on life and their jobs, while the subtle film explores the ramifications of the 2008 economic crisis in human terms.

A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor is a 2018 film based on the novel of the same name by Darcey Bell. Anna Kendrick plays Stephanie, a mom and small town vlogger who becomes friends with the glamorous Emily, played by Blake Lively. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie tries to solve the case and gets into a world of mystery and crime that is way over her head or journalistic skills. When Emily's drowned body is uncovered Stephanie dives further into the history of Emily and her life. Still underrated, A Simple Favor remains a stylish and delightfully effective thriller.


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