Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kristen Stewart began her film career as a child actor in 1999 at the age of nine years old. As a young girl, Stewart imagined herself as a scriptwriter or a director, or any role other than the center of attention! However as her supporting role in 2002, Jodie Foster starrer Panic Room gained praise, Stewart’s flair for acting was realized and she went on to act in several independent films and box office releases. Throughout her career, Stewart has portrayed a diverse array of characters and won a multitude of awards for her excellent performances. She has not only managed to be one of the highest paid actresses of Hollywood but also is the fourth most powerful actress in the world according to Forbes. She is also the only American woman to have won a Cesar Award. Stewart continues to astound both critics and the audience with her remarkable dedication to her work and her professional growth.
So here are 30 must-watch Kristen Stewart movies to satisfy your weekend binge desires!
Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
Bewitching and intelligent, Clouds of Sils Maria is a remarkable film in all its aspects and a milestone in Stewart’s career, garnering her a total of nine wins and eleven nominations for her role as Valentine, a young assistant to film and stage actress, Maria. The movie focuses on Maria’s struggles with her envy and insecurities as she stars alongside starlet Jo-Ann in a lesbian drama, all while the bubbling desire between her and Valentine grows. The movie won the Best Film award at 2014 Prix Louis Delluc while Stewart was praised for her standout performance.
Camp X-Ray (2014)
Based on a detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, this indie-drama follows the story of a young soldier, Amy Cole, and the improbable friendship that blossoms between her and a Muslim detainee. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014, the movie was praised for excellent performances by both Stewart and Moaadi as well its powerful and moving depiction of the grey area of war and the conflict between duty and humanity. Stewart was also nominated for Best Actress by the Women Film Critics’ circle for what is perhaps her best performance so far.
Personal Shopper (2016)
After her critically acclaimed performance in Oliver Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria, Stewart returns in yet another one of Assayas’s works as Maureen, a personal shopper in Paris who awaits a sign from her deceased twin brother’s spirit. Stewart does an exceptional job in portraying the despair of a grieving sister who finds herself at the center of many unexplained incidences. Stewart was nominated for several accolades for her role in this drama-mystery and won the award for Best Actress at the Oaxaca FilmFest in 2016.
In this Indie coming of age drama based on a 1999 novel of the same name by Laurie Halse Anderson, Stewart plays the role of a fourteen-year-old freshman Melinda Sordino, who becomes a social outcast and selectively mute after an incident over the previous summer. The 92 minutes film deals sensitively with the challenging issue of rape and is equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful. Despite not winning any awards at the Sundance Film Festival at its premiere, this adaptation of the New York Times Bestselling book has been highly praised by the general audience and is undoubtedly one of Stewart’s best performances.
Based on the infamous true story of Lizzie Borden, the biographical thriller stars Stewart as Bridget Sullivan, a servant at the Borden’s household. The movie focuses on the romantic relationship that blossoms between the two women and the frightening turn of events it leads to. After its première at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018, the film received praise for brilliant performances by both Stewart and Sevigny as well as their scintillating on-screen chemistry.
The Runaways (2010)
A biographical recount of the 1970s rock band of the same name, The Runaways talks about the relationship between members Cherie and Joan through the formation and disbandment of the band. Stewart was praised for her ‘authentic’ portrayal of the guitarist and vocalist Joan, by Joan Jett herself, who expressed her happiness with Stewart’s performance and singing abilities. The film had positive critical reception and was well received by the audience as well.
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Panic Room (2002)
Starring alongside critically acclaimed actress Jodie Foster in this horror/thriller, Stewart plays the role of Sarah, the pre-teen daughter of recently divorced Meg Altman who move into a brownstone in New York, and find themselves seeking haven in the impenetrable panic room of the house on their first night when three burglars, resolute on getting what they came for, break into their home.
The plot point that contributes the most to making this thriller play out like a race against time is that Sarah – a diabetic patient does not have access to her insulin syringe in the panic room.
The movie garnered a positive review by more than half of its viewers and a worldwide collection of $196.4 million. Stewart also got the first nomination of her film career with this movie for The Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress.
Good old-fashioned familial resentment and greed set against a southern backdrop and violent themes make this movie one worth watching! Stewart cameos as Lila, the love interest of Chris, a rebellious teenager. Although her appearance is brief, Stewart does well in delivering the rawness of teenage love.
Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)
If you’re a fan of Jumanji and outer space, you’re in luck! Based on the novel of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg (author of Jumanji), Zathura follows the intergalactic adventures of brothers Walter and Danny as they struggle to finish the magical board game and return back home from outer space. Stewart plays the role of Lisa, the ill-tempered sister of Walter and Danny who doesn’t get along with her brothers. Lisa is not only the only female character in the film but also an original character who doesn’t exist in the book by Allsburg. The movie was well received by both critics as well as the general audience.
In the Land of Women (2007)
Heartbroken writer Carter moves to Detroit to look after his ailing grandmother and finds himself getting close to his neighbor Sarah, and her daughters Lucy and Paige. Stewart’s Lucy is a typical angst-ridden teenager but in its relatability lies its beauty. Although the film did not garner much success, it holds its own as a light weekend watch.
The Cake Eaters (2007)
Set in a sleepy town, The Cake Eaters is a story of how the lives of two families get entangled in the face of loss and grief. Stewart plays Georgia, a teen girl suffering from a rare and incurable disease who just wishes to experience love and life in the few short years she has left. Praised for its interesting characters and a brilliant directorial début by Mary Stuart Masterson, The Cake Eaters won several awards including a People’s Choice Award for Best American Indie Film in 2007.
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Into the Wild (2007)
This movie adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s 1996 novel of the same name is a biographical account of the travels of 19-year-old Christopher McCandless who renounces his old life to voyage across North America and the Alaskan wilderness. Christopher meets various people in his journey; He meets Tracy Tatro, played by Stewart, and the two have a short and unlived romance. This tale of wonderment and exploration gives a raw insight into life, and won several awards for Best Motion Picture, as well as a couple of nominations for The 80th Academy Awards.
The Yellow Handkerchief (2008)
What happens when an ex-convict, a runaway teenager and a geek band together in a road trip across Louisiana? A surprising amount of soul-searching.
Stewart plays the role of a 15-year-old runaway, Martine, in this remake of the 1977 Japanese classic of the same name. This indie drama garnered positive reviews from both the critics and the audience after its première at The Sundance Film Festival in 2008 and was praised for admirable acting by the cast.
Undoubtedly the most famous title of Stewart’s film career, this 2008 release marks the beginning of the movie adaptation of The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. Stewart plays the role of seventeen-year-old Bella Swan who moves to a small town in Washington to live with her father and falls in love with a 108-years-vampire, Edward, played by Robert Pattinson. The movie received several nominations in The 2009 Teen Choice Awards while Stewart bagged the award for Best Female Performance at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
Stewart reprises her role as Bella Swan in this sequel to Twilight (2008). As Bella deals with separation from Edward, Stewart showcases a reckless side to her character, which is new to the audience. Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner also becomes a more prominent character in the story. The movie did astonishingly good at the box office with the highest single-day domestic gross opening. New Moon also received the award for Best movie at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards while Stewart and Pattinson received the award for Best Kiss.