ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

Scarlett Johansson has the world at her feet. At the age of 31, she's already become the highest grossing actress of all time, with box office receipts of $3.3 billion. That total has been given a hefty boost by her involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow.

She's been effortlessly and charismatically kicking ass in the MCU since her introduction in Iron Man 2 in 2010, punching, flipping and forearm smashing her way into the hearts and minds of superhero fans the world over.

When asked recently what her favorite role was, Johansson opted for her portrayal of Black Widow, explaining how the opportunity to develop the character over a number of films is a challenge she has relished. Thanks to her portrayal, the wheels are now in motion for a solo movie.

Away from big blockbusters, Johansson has had a varied career, switching between indie films and huge blockbusters. And although Black Widow was her favorite performance to play, what about her other movies? Here, we'll take a look at some of her best performances across a lucrative and talented career:

1. Ghost World (2001)

Her portrayal of Rebecca in Terry Zwigoff's comedy-drama helped raise her profile in the industry, following on from performances in films such as North (1994) and The Horse Whisperer (1998).

Johansson in Ghost World (Credit: Granada Film)
Johansson in Ghost World (Credit: Granada Film)

The comic-book adaptation centers around Rebecca, and her friend Enid, two outsiders whose friendship is tested when a prank sets of a chain of events.

Although not a commercial success, the film received positive reviews from critics, with Johansson's performance in particular standing out. If you haven't seen it, it's a movie well worth checking out.

2. Lost In Translation (2003)

Two years later, and Johansson was starring opposite Bill Murray in this surprise hit by Sofia Coppola. She plays the role of Charlotte, a college student who strikes an unlikely but fulfilling friendship with failing actor Bob Harris (Murray).

Johansson was only 18 years old when the film was produced, but her character was 25. Her performance, and the feel good and honest nature of the film garnered lots of praise; the film won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and Johansson also won a BAFTA for her portrayal.

3. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

If anyone knows how to do a rom-com, it's Woody Allen. Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a vibrant and light-hearted story about not so much a love triangle, but more a love of love... hexagon.

Johansson in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Credit: Mediapro)
Johansson in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Credit: Mediapro)

By 2008, Johansson had crafted a career as a talented actress, while also being considered one of Hollywood's sex symbols. Using both her visual beauty and subtle air of vulnerability to full effect.

4. Don Jon (2013)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt may be one of the most likeable faces in Hollywood, but his feature film directorial debut saw him portray a shallow, self-obsessed porn addict, Jon Martello.

Johansson in Don Jon (Credit: Voltage Pictures)
Johansson in Don Jon (Credit: Voltage Pictures)

Johansson stars opposite Gordon-Levitt as his love interest, Barbara Sugarman, who attempts to change Jon's ways but to no avail. Johansson offers some respite from the excessive and graphic depiction of porn addition.

5. Her (2013)

Johansson's performance in Spike Jonze's envisioning of the future of technology is even more impressive when you consider we only hear her as Samantha, the voice of an intelligent operating system.

Johansson voices Samantha in Her (Credit: Warner Bros.)
Johansson voices Samantha in Her (Credit: Warner Bros.)

The crux of the story gravitates around the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix and Samantha, and for the audience to believe in the unlikely romance, the personification of the technology is crucial. Johansson manages to capture this perfectly, striking a balance between binary naivety and computer-generated attraction.

6. Under The Skin (2013)

This is the third entry on the list from 2013, which was a good year for Johansson. Even by the other two performances, Johansson eclipses herself with her mesmerizing performance as "The Female," an alien who enters Earth with the desire to learn about society by using good looks as bait.

Johansson's performance is key to the success of the film; she manages to portray a mix of abject inhumanity combined with a sensitivity that makes the viewer sympathise and understand her murderous motivation, which helps to make the ending brutally shocking.

7. Lucy (2014)

Johansson showed her ability to carry a modest budget movie in Under The Skin, but it was the following year, with her lead performance in Lucy, that she really highlighted her ability to provide a driving force for even big budget movies.

She plays the titular character, a woman who activates the full use of her brain after she accidentally ingests a synthetic drug while acting as a drug mule. Johansson's likability and charm propels the movie's plot forward, and prove she's more than ready to go solo in the MCU.

What is your favorite Scarlett Johansson performance?


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