Today, February 11th is the wonderful Jennifer Aniston’s birthday. On our screens since, wait for it, 1988 and her performance in Mac & Me, the American actress has been a household name, arguably from her breakthrough role as Rachel Green in the US sitcom, Friends, which ended in 2004 – I know, I can’t believe it either.
Since then, she has starred in no less than 25 films. That’s an incredible achievement for any actress and while quite a lot of those haven’t been critical darlings, some have been given cult status and found Aniston in roles that perhaps she wouldn’t have chosen early on in her career. With that in mind, and to celebrate her 49th birthday, I’ve chosen 5 roles that showcase what a talent she actually is and to prove once and for all she isn’t relegated to terrible rom-coms. Read on to find out which are the best Jennifer Aniston movies.
Horrible Bosses is a film that features an all-star cast with the likes of Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis to name but a few. It performed incredibly well at the box office and didn’t fare too badly with critics either – it was awarded a decent 69% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Aniston’s performance is tongue-in-cheek to say the least as she plays a hyper-sexed dentist. She’s funny and engaging in the role, losing the girl-next-door persona she had become criticised for overplaying in the past. Horrible Bosses and its sequel are well worth a watch.
Aniston’s immediately recognisable accent works very well in animation and voice-over performances, but she hasn’t had as much success in this genre as perhaps you would’ve thought. Outside of the Storks and 1999’s The Iron Giant, she hasn’t ventured into animation at all.
Storks is a fun little movie that works well with its brilliant voice cast. Aniston plays an overprotective mother and while her role is slight, she plays it excellently. What works so well here is that we can almost here elements of her character in Friends as she converses with her children.
Jim Carrey was on a winning streak in the late 90s and early 00s with films like Liar Liar, Me, Myself & Irene and of course Ace Ventura. However, perhaps my favourite of his works is Bruce Almighty. This genuinely funny comedy about a man who ends up being God was well received by critics and box-office dynamite.
Aniston plays Carrey’s wife, dealing with the strange goings on in their marriage and putting her husband straight in only a way Aniston can. It’s a classic of its time and repeat viewings only highlight how dreadful its successor, Evan Almighty actually was.
Marley & Me
Grab the tissues, this one’s about to get upsetting. Marley & Me is a film that only animal lovers will understand and if you’re not an animal lover – why not? Released in 2008 to critical and commercial success, Marley & Me follows the life of one crazy Labrador: Marley and his family.
Aniston stars alongside Owen Wilson and gives a powerful and multi-faceted performance that is one of the best in her entire career. Aniston is a well-known animal lover and her emotion in this film is absolutely astounding. She plays the role with an understated brilliance that only she could.
Not heard of this one? I wouldn’t blame you if that was the case. Cake is an incredibly underrated film about the life of a single woman (Aniston) as she comes to terms with the death of her son and the suicide of a close friend and support worker.
Released in 2015, Aniston was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance here and it’s easy to see why. This is a difficult film to watch and is by far the most powerful role the actress has ever taken on. The most disappointing aspect of Cake however, is that Aniston wasn’t nominated for an Oscar that year – something fans of the film and the Friends star alike still find hard to stomach. Was she worthy of a nomination? Absolutely.
Leprechaun – Described as her breakthrough into mainstream cinema, this little known horror film features a very young Jennifer Aniston tackling, you guessed it, leprechauns.
We’re the Millers – Poorly received but actually pretty good, We’re the Millers follows Jason Sudeikis as he persuades his neighbours to help him smuggle drugs into the US.
Derailed – An uneven thriller but one with a great twist and superb performances from Jennifer Aniston and John Cusack. It’s well worth a watch despite its disturbing scenes.
What Jennifer Aniston films do you think are the best? Which performances of the actress do you absolutely love? Leave a comment in the box below.