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Best Jennifer Hudson Movies, Ranked

MovieWeb 10/9/2022 Alyssa Gawaran
© Provided by MovieWeb

In the world of entertainment, it is an impressive sight to see the music and film industries collide. From musical movies to Broadway shows, music and movies are harmonious facets of entertainment. Well, it is time for us to bring in some praise when an individual seems to dominate both sides of this talent sphere. Being a star in the industry today is not just a walk in the park. It takes a lot of hard work and, of course, natural talent. For someone as well-rounded as Jennifer Hudson, this seems to come easy.

Hudson first entered the limelight when she competed in the third season of American Idol, and her career just took off from there. With a voice that is just full of soul, passion, and impeccable technique, Hudson managed to utilize her gift to enhance both her music and acting careers and has also snagged herself an EGOT. There is no doubt that Hudson has the ability to take the film world by storm and her longevity in the industry is proof of just that. Here is our ranking of some of Jennifer Hudson’s best movies.


Cats is defined by most people as a cinematic mistake. From the dodgy CGI to the awkward design choices, 2019's Cats is not the most redeemable movie despite the star-studded cast. However, the music is one of the best parts of this story as this is a big screen adaptation of the incredibly popular Broadway musical of the same name. And Hudson, who plays Grizabella, was a showstopper. Although not the main character, Hudson's scenes and the breathtaking performance of "Memory" are some of the best parts of this movie. She was fantastic and if you are to watch anything from this film, do not miss her performance.

Related: Respect: Here's Why Jennifer Hudson Was Perfect to Play Aretha Franklin

Black Nativity

Black Nativity follows the life of a young man who is traveling to New York City to visit some relatives over the holidays. When he is faced with some very strict rules and boundaries in the household, he decides to make his way back to his mother. This is a heartwarming story about family, coming of age, growth, and faith. Hudson plays Naima Cobbs, the single mother of the young boy Langston, played by Jacob Latimore.


In 2021, Hudson starred as the musical icon and queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, in Respect. Hudson's performance here captures the magic in not just Franklin's life and iconic career, but the soul and heart in her voice. Celebrity biopics have been the subject of criticism from fans since these names are so beloved and cherished. Hudson delivered with her acting chops and her phenomenal voice, and if you are interested in learning more about the life and career of Aretha Franklin, this movie is for you. To top it all off, Franklin herself picked Hudson to play her in the movie prior to her death.


Monster is a crime drama film that came out in 2018. This film follows the 17-year-old Steve Harmon, played by Kevin Harrison Jr., who ends up getting charged with felony murder. Hudson plays the boy's mother. The movie showcases the heart-wrenching realities this family is facing and Hudson's performance is great. Monster is available now on Netflix.

Related: Jennifer Hudson's Oscar Snub Leaves Aretha Franklin's Family Disappointed


Sing has been one of the best animated musicals to come out in the last few years. The premise of a bunch of singing animals in animated form is a recipe for success in the family/children's movie genre. All of that, in addition to the incredible voices in this cast, Sing is an easy movie to get behind. Hudson, with her impeccable voice, plays Miss Nana Noodleman, a black Suffolk sheep. Other notable names in this cast include Reese Witherspoon, Tori Kelly, Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johanssen, Nick Kroll, and so many more. This movie has also had a sequel that, if you were a fan of the first, is a great watch.


One of Hudson's most notable roles to date took place back in 2006 as Effie White in Dreamgirls. Dreamgirls follows the lives and careers of Deena Jones (Beyoncé Knowles), Effie White (Hudson), and Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose). The trio decide to form a singing group and the floodgate of opportunities opened for them. However, the realities of the industry expose fame and friendship in ways that none of them are prepared for. With a flawless soundtrack and stunning performances from the entire cast, Dreamgirls is sure to win you over.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete is a movie that follows two young boys who have been left to provide for themselves after their mothers, who work as sex workers, do not return home. One goes missing, and the other is arrested. This incredibly emotional drama film is a coming-of-age story for the record books. This fantastic film stars Skylan Brooks as Mister, Ethan Dizon as Pete, Hudson as Gloria, Anthony Mackie as Kris, Jeffrey Wright as Henry, and Jordin Sparks as Alice.

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