Critic's Picks: Amy Adams' Top 5 Performances

8:00 AM 11/10/2017

by Neil Young

From 'Arrival' to 'Enchanted,' a THR film critic ranks the actress' best film roles.

Amy Adams - 5 films -Split-H 2017
Photofest (5)
  1. 1


    Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi mind-expander about communication and human fallibility is built four-square around Adams' utterly committed, subtly nuanced lead performance as world-renowned linguist Louise Banks, who faces the job of her life when enigmatic aliens land their ships across Earth. The star's response: a masterclass of quiet bravura.

  2. 2

    The Master

    Adams' reunion with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson's chronicle of a California cult leader and his agonized acolyte provided the actress with arguably the most challenging and complex role of her career so far, as the guru's terrifyingly single-minded spouse Peggy Dodd.

  3. 3


    Many seasoned actors would struggle to hold their own opposite the superheavyweight duo of Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but a 33-year-old Adams did just that and more as Sister James, the unworldly nun around whose loose tongue John Patrick Shanley's study of faith and hypocrisy ingeniously revolves. Her second Oscar nomination duly followed.

  4. 4


    Adams hit the Hollywood big time in Disney's delightfully postmodern fairy-tale spoof as Giselle, haplessly catapulted from her mythical homeland to modern-day Manhattan. The smash hit displayed Adams' many skills: comedy, singing, dancing and gamely performing opposite a menagerie of animated critters. Old-school showbiz!

  5. 5


    The first of the then-little-known Adams' five Academy Award nominations came via her dazzling supporting turn as Ashley, the heartbreakingly sweet, heavily pregnant chatterbox at the heart of Phil Morrison's low-budget comedy-drama.