The 15 best Emma Stone movies and TV shows, ranked

The Oscar winner sings, fights zombies, and almost punches a baby in EW's roundup of her best roles.

Over the course of two decades, Emma Stone has written her own movie star playbook. The Oscar-winning actress has starred in comedies and dramas, danced her way through musicals, dazzled on the small screen, and even graced a Broadway stage. All the while — whether she’s working with two hours or two minutes of screen time — Stone has a way of winning viewers over with charisma, wit, and impeccable comedic timing. There’s a reason she leaped from Hollywood unknown to Academy Award winner so quickly, and we have the receipts to prove it. So, without further ado, keep reading to discover EW’s take on the 15 best Emma Stone movies and TV shows, ranked.

<p>Dale Robinette/Lionsgate; Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures; Adam Taylor/Screen Gems/Courtesy Everett Collection</p>

Dale Robinette/Lionsgate; Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures; Adam Taylor/Screen Gems/Courtesy Everett Collection

15. The House Bunny (2008)

<p>Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Anna Faris and Emma Stone in 'The House Bunny'

Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Anna Faris and Emma Stone in 'The House Bunny'

It's no wonder Emma Stone earned a place in SNL’s coveted Five-Times club: she's a skilled comedian. Even when playing the pseudo-straight man — a socially inept sorority girl — Stone brings undeniable charm and awkward hilarity to the table. A raunchy celebration of feminine power, The House Bunny stars Anna Faris as an evicted Playboy Bunny who becomes the unlikely house mother to the downtrodden members of a nerdy sorority. Along with being the foil to Faris’ airhead, Stone’s Natalie becomes the film's surprise heroine as she sheds her loser status and embraces confidence.

Where to watch The House Bunny: Netflix

14. The Help (2011)

<p>Dale Robinette/Walt Disney Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Emma Stone in 'The Help'

Dale Robinette/Walt Disney Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Emma Stone in 'The Help'

To say The Help aged poorly would be a drastic understatement. In the years since the film debuted to largely positive reviews and four Academy Award nominations, criticisms of its white savior narrative have only gotten louder, voiced even by the movie’s own stars. What’s undeniable is the sheer amount of star power holding up the story, which follows Black maids as they persevere during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1963.

Stone shares the screen with the likes of Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Cicely Tyson, Jessica Chastain, and more while grounding the narrative as a journalist attempting to publish a book about the hardship of her town’s Black housekeepers. Though the premise revolving around her character is the crux of the movie’s issues, Stone pulls off a quietly impressive performance as a well-meaning and capable writer.

Where to watch The Help: Hulu

13. Superbad (2007)

<p>Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in 'Superbad'

Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in 'Superbad'

In the movie that kickstarted her reputation as a supposed redhead, Stone shines as the object of Jonah Hill’s affections. A classic coming-of-age romp, Superbad tells the tale of three friends (Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who attempt to end high school with a literal bang. The plan: score enough alcohol to inebriate a house party full of teens and convince their crushes to sleep with them. Unfortunately, their quest takes many wrong turns, including a laughable fake ID, two incompetent cops, and multiple car accidents. All the while, Stone makes her feature debut as a charming love interest, one who believably enamors the protagonist while nailing the cringe factor of teenage flirtation.

Where to watch Superbad: Peacock

12. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

<p>Jamie Trueblood/Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection</p> Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Jamie Trueblood/Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Playing second fiddle to a superhero is no simple task: it's a life-threatening gig that comes with the possibility of being entirely overshadowed. But in both entries of Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man saga, Stone steals the show as Gwen Stacy. Besides offering audiences yet another take on Peter Parker’s tragic origins, the film boasts remarkable chemistry between Stone and Andrew Garfield described by EW’s critic as an “experiment gone as blindingly right as reptilian Dr. Curt Connors’ little lab test goes terribly wrong.” They would repeat this magic in the poorly-received sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which, despite its many flaws, remains yet another showcase for Stone’s talents.

Where to watch The Amazing Spider-Man: Netflix

11. Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

<p>Alison Rosa/Fox Searchlight Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Emma Stone in 'Birdman'

Alison Rosa/Fox Searchlight Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Emma Stone in 'Birdman'

Stone received her first Oscar nomination for playing Sam Thomson, the estranged daughter of a washed-up movie star (Michael Keaton) mounting an ambitious Broadway production in the hopes of reviving his stagnant career. Taking a break from previously charming and approachable roles, Stone goes hard as a prickly woman on the verge of explosion, which finally arrives towards the end of the film when Sam berates her father in a memorable monologue. Birdman, which went on to win Best Picture, was described in EW’s review as “a scalpel-sharp dissection of Hollywood, Broadway, and fame in the 21st century.”

Where to watch Birdman: Amazon Prime Video (to rent)

10. Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

<p>Ben Glass/Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection</p> Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone in 'CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE'

Ben Glass/Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone in 'CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE'

Nestled in the woes of a middle-aged man (Steve Carell) reeling from his sudden divorce is a love story between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling — the first of many. The multi-generational rom-com includes many twists, including the revelation that Carell’s lonely bachelor sought advice from the same womanizer who happens to be dating his daughter. Making that messiness all the more fun is the flirtation between Stone and Gosling’s characters: hilarious, romantic, and grounded in chemistry so good that they revisit the connection in later movies. While their storyline is only a fragment of the film, it gifts audiences with several unexpected delights, like Stone and Gosling bonding over infomercial products and recreating Dirty Dancing’s most famous moment.

Where to watch Crazy Stupid Love: Hulu

9. Maniac (2018)

<p>Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in 'Maniac'</p> Michele K. Short/Netflix

Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in 'Maniac'

Michele K. Short/Netflix

Reuniting with Jonah Hill, Stone embraced chaos for Maniac, a 10-episode miniseries with big existential ambitions. The story follows complete strangers Annie Landsberg and Owen Milgrim who connect during a risky, psychologically intense pharmaceutical trial for a drug intended to eradicate all unnecessary human pain and suffering. The result is a trippy journey through multiple realities that sends the characters careening across genres and time periods. Within the series, Stone takes on disparate personalities as Annie jumps from retro-Hollywood heist thriller to Southern neo-noir to worlds even more fantastical.

Where to watch Maniac: Netflix

8. Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Melinda Sue Gordon/Fox Searchlight Steve Carell and Emma Stone in 'Battle of the Sexes'
Melinda Sue Gordon/Fox Searchlight Steve Carell and Emma Stone in 'Battle of the Sexes'

Battle of the Sexes is another tonal shift for Stone, proving once again how well she can nail comedy. She plays things straight here as tennis legend Billie Jean King, who faces off against ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs. Carell has ample fun as the film's antagonist, a showman who makes a point of behaving as a ridiculous chauvinist. Meanwhile, Stone digs into the fierceness of King, peeling back the layers of the real-life woman as she battles misogyny and homophobia in the world of professional sports. Per EW’s review, Stone portrays King as an “undauntable renegade” who is secretly “racked with self-doubt,” ultimately pulling off an impressively compelling performance in an otherwise by-the-numbers biopic.

Where to watch Battle of the Sexes: Amazon Prime Video (to rent)

7. Cruella (2021)

Laurie Sparham/Disney Emma Stone in 'Cruella'
Laurie Sparham/Disney Emma Stone in 'Cruella'

Did the world really need to see the origin story of Cruella de Vil, the aptly-named villain of 101 Dalmatians who likes turning dogs into coats? Probably not. But if the final product is Emma Stone going full fashionista as a grifter with an appetite for mischief, then who can complain? Stone is delightfully devious as a punk rock designer who embraces her wicked side. She seeks revenge during her rampage through 1970s London, and it's hard not to cheer her on. Thanks to Stone’s abundant charisma, Cruella marks one of the more memorable Disney remakes — chaotic, campy, and just plain fun.

Where to watch Cruella: Disney+

6. Zombieland (2009)

<p>Jessica Miglio/Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and 'Zombieland'

Jessica Miglio/Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and 'Zombieland'

The only thing better than watching Emma Stone kill zombies is watching her dupe unsuspecting men with clever scams. Zombieland has both, plus the company of Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, and Bill Murray. With lots of eyeliner and the energy of a hardened survivalist, Stone drops her girl-next-door persona to embody the no-nonsense, edgy love interest at the center of Ruben Fleischer’s beloved horror comedy. And if one romp with the zombie-slaying gang isn't enough, know that Stone is as badass as ever in the 2019 sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap.

Where to watch Zombieland: Apple TV+

5. The Curse (2023)

<p>Richard Foreman Jr./A24/Paramount+ with SHOWTIME</p> Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder in 'The Curse'

Richard Foreman Jr./A24/Paramount+ with SHOWTIME

Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder in 'The Curse'

Nathan Fielder — best known for pushing social awkwardness to its furthest extreme — doesn’t seem like the ideal screen partner for Stone, yet the weirdness they accomplish in The Curse is a beauty to behold. The duo star as Asher and Whitney Siegel, up-and-coming HGTV hosts attempting to gentrify a New Mexico town together despite their crumbling marriage. Oh, and the pilot features an angry little girl who puts a curse on them. As they endure the consequences, Stone channels pure awfulness via Whitney’s performative philanthropy. While EW’s review dinged the show for overlong episodes, the story gets props for making an impact: “Blending cringe comedy with contemplative character study and undertones of horror, The Curse is unrelentingly odd and tough to forget.”

Where to watch The Curse: Paramount+

4. La La Land (2017)

Dale Robinette Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'
Dale Robinette Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'

The role that won Stone her first Academy Award puts her many talents to the test. Once again sharing the secret with Ryan Gosling, the actress is tasked with singing, dancing, and acting her way through a love story. And if the Oscar is any indication, it’s a rousing success. This ode to classic Hollywood musicals follows two young artists struggling to achieve their dreams in Los Angeles, their City of Stars. EW dubbed Damien Chazelle's bittersweet showmance the best movie of 2017, praising it as “a testament to the timeless, transporting power of cinema.”

Where to watch La La Land: Amazon Prime Video (to rent)

3. The Favourite (2018)

<p>Yorgos Lanthimos/Fox Searchlight/Everett Collection</p> Emma Stone in 'The Favourite'

Yorgos Lanthimos/Fox Searchlight/Everett Collection

Emma Stone in 'The Favourite'

Emma Stone wasn’t always known for playing vicious characters… but then along came The Favourite. The dark comedy, marking the first of several collaborations with director Yorgos Lanthimos, saw her surprise audiences as the backstabbing schemer Abigail, who battles her cousin Sarah (Rachel Weisz) for the attention and love of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). “It’s important in life to be kind, but it’s not very interesting for drama,” Stone joked to EW in 2019. While Abigail initially seems meek and innocent, the good-girl image quickly evaporates once the stakes become clear, beginning a power struggle that involves violence against bunnies and Joe Alwyn’s crotch.

Where to watch The Favourite: Amazon Prime Video (to rent)

2. Easy A (2010)

<p>Adam Taylor/Screen Gems/Courtesy Everett Collection</p> Emma Stone in 'Easy A'

Adam Taylor/Screen Gems/Courtesy Everett Collection

Emma Stone in 'Easy A'

Though this ode to classic teen movies wasn’t our first glimpse at Stone’s talents, Easy A remains a career highlight for the actress, who leads the comedy as witty heroine Olive Penderghast. Taking a page out of The Scarlet Letter, the story follows Olive as her personal life derails thanks to one little white lie about losing her virginity. What follows is a series of increasingly absurd events, including a "Pocketful of Sunshine" sing-a-long, an epic fake sex scene, and an elaborate redemption scheme. Stone delivers pure movie star charm in her first leading role, winning over the audience (and eventually everyone else) with snark, heart, and many hilarious one-liners.

Where to watch Easy A: Amazon Prime Video (to rent)

1. Poor Things (2023)

<p>Atsushi Nishijima/Searchlight Pictures</p> Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in 'Poor Things.'

Atsushi Nishijima/Searchlight Pictures

Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in 'Poor Things.'

Bella is dizzy with excitement — and for a very good reason. In addition to being the latest film from Stone, Poor Things might very well be the greatest. The off-beat, absurdist, and wonderfully weird film marks her second feature-length collaboration with Yorgos Lanthimos, this time following the Frankensetin-esque Bella Baxter, who goes from infancy to adulthood after her creator Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) puts the brain of a baby into the body of a woman.

Stone not only thrives as she toddles around in a childlike state, but later delivers several emotional wallops as Bella matures and embraces joy, art, pain, complex thought, and what Bella calls “fierce jumping.” Stone blends Bella’s whimsy and weirdness with immense pathos, showcasing the best of both worlds with her comedic and dramatic chops. As EW’s critic put it, “she is an ideal match for Lanthimos' tone, a strange mix of black comedy, farce, and social commentary.”

Where to watch Poor Things: Hulu

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