You’ve seen Rosario Dawson in plenty of movies and on TV. You’ve seen her in features such as The Zookeeper, Seven Pounds, Eagle Eye, and Zombieland: Double Tap. You’ve seen in TV series like Daredevil, Luke Cage, The Defenders, Jane the Virgin, and Briarpatch. Since the mid-2010s she has spent much time loaning out her voice to various animated movies which include Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, The Death and Return of Superman, and Wonder Woman: Bloodlines as well as a few video games. But those movies do not represent her best work.
Before you decide you’ve seen all that matters from Rosario Dawson, make sure you’ve watched all of these entries. These are Rosario Dawson’s must-see movies.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN SHATTERED GLASS (2003)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.15/10
The first movie on Rosario Dawson’s must-see is called Shattered Glass. She doesn’t play a big role in the movie but she plays a character who helps bring down Stephen Glass, the reporter for The New Republic who, it was discovered, fraudulently published stories. When all was said and uncovered, 27 of the 41 stories written by Glass for The New Republic were proven to be partially or completely made up.
Glass was played by Hayden Christensen. Dawson’s role as Andy Fox was loosely based on true life reporter Om Malik, who wrote for Forbes and later Business 2.0.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN THE WATER MAN (2020)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.1/10
Disney may soon come regret backing away from this film. The Water Man is a 2020 film that Disney initially intended on distributing but for reasons unknown decided not to. It is a wonderful family film based on a 2015 Black List script by Emma Needell that is directed (his first time behind the camera) by David Oyelowo who also stars in the movie.
The Water Man tells of a young boy, Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) who often escapes to the world of fantasy, his way of dealing with his strict father (Oyelowo), and his gravely ill mother, here played by Rosario Dawson. The film turns into an adventure flick almost too quickly as Gunner decides to venture into the forest to find the Water Man, a mythical figure which is supposed to hold the key to immortality. Gunner needs to find this figure to save his mother.
DEATH PROOF IN GRINDHOUSE (2007)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.95/10
Grindhouse, was a pulpy, violent, tribute to 70s exploitation films. This one is really two separate movies, released as a double feature by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Rosario Dawson co-stars in Tarantino’s movie, a film called Death Proof. It’s a slasher film that also starred Kurt Russell as serial killer Stuntman Mike.
Rosario Dawson is Abernathy Ross, one of the three women who Stuntman Mike marks for death. Mike drives around in a muscle car he says is “death proof”. It is, but only for the driver. He convinces women to get in his car and proceeds to kill them in staged car accidents. He makes the mistake of going after Dawson and her two friends Kim Mathis (Tracy Thoms) and Lee Montgomery (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as well as real-life stuntwoman Zoë Bell who plays herself.
Death Proof is a movie is a true nod to the 70s in every way, shape, and form. Earlier we said that the movie could be released as two, and it was. Grindhouse was both Death Proof and Planet Terror, then Death Proof was released in a longer cut (27 minutes worth) a few months later.
AS GAIL IN SIN CITY (2005)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.85/10
Another ensemble movie, one that actually came before Grindhouse, in which Rosario Dawson plays a character that is in one part of the larger whole. She plays the leader of prostitutes, Gail, in The Big Fat Kill storyline.
Sin City is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novels and Big Fat Kill follows a private investigator Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen) as he gets caught between his girlfriend’s ex and his cronies, a group of prostitutes, the police, and the mob. It’s a bloody battle of severed heads, double-crosses, and explosions that Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez do so well.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN UNSTOPPABLE (2010)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.75/10
Unstoppable is loosely based on the true story of the runaway freight train incident CSX 8888. A simple mistake leads to the freight train unmanned as it picks up speed, with eight of its 39 cars carrying the highly toxic and flammable molten phenol, which would be a major disaster if the train was to derail in a populated area.
Rosario Dawson stars in the movie as yardmaster Connie Hooper, who is in charge of trying to somehow slow the train before disaster strikes. The movie also stars Denzel Washington as a veteran engineer and Chris Pine as a new conductor who both use their skills to help avoid a major disaster. This Rosario Dawson movie is notable in that it was Tony Scott’s (Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II) last work he directed before he committed suicide by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles, CA.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN 25TH HOUR (2002)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.7/10
In 25th Hour Rosario Dawson stars as Naturelle Riviera, girlfriend to Edward Norton’s Monty Brogan, in this crime drama directed by Spike Lee. The film centers on Brogan, who is about to go to prison for seven years for dealing drugs.
The story is told in flashbacks as Brogan drives around the city with his two best friends and girlfriend, showing how Brogan got to where he is, and his relationship with those around him. The movie also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, and Anna Paquin.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN HE GOT GAME (1998)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.5/10
One of Rosario Dawson’s first movies was as Lala Bonilla, girlfriend to Ray Allen’s Jesus Shuttleworth, star high school basketball player. He Got Game marks the first time Dawson shared the screen with Denzel Washington, as he plays Allen’s convicted felon father Jake, who is serving time in Attica for accidentally killing Jesus’ mother.
The movie shows, via flashback, how an argument between father and son resulted in Jesus’ mother intervening and accidentally being killed by Jake. Dawson plays Allen’s girlfriend with seductive glee as she has eyes on the big prize, finding Jesus a big-time, super-rich sports agent.
THE “AND” IN A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS (2006)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.3/10
Tough to watch (shaky camera) but ultimately a good film about author, director, and musician Dito Montiel, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints tells about his youth in Astoria, New York in the 80s. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr. as an older Dito with Shia LaBeouf playing the younger version. Rosario Dawson plays Laurie, Dito’s childhood sweetheart.
As for the real Dito, his sole purpose for the movie was because “I wanted to walk down those streets and fall in love with Laurie again.” In reality, Dito’s Laurie was white and had passed away from AIDS two years prior to making the movie. The movie bounces back from the present-day to Dito’s youth as he tried to make sense of his life.
STARRING IN CLERKS II (2006)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 6.85/10
If you like Kevin Smith and Jay and Silent Bob and the first Clerks, then you will surely like Clerks II. The movie stars Rosario Dawson along with Brian O’Halloran as Dante and Jeff Anderson as Randal back in a sequel that takes place ten years after the events of the first Clerks.
This time, the Quick Stop convenience store is on fire. After it burns to the ground, our heroes find themselves working at Mooby’s, a fast-food restaurant that is managed by Becky (Rosario Dawson). Dante is about to marry his fiancée Emma but is afraid of dancing at his wedding. So, Becky takes him to the roof to help teach him to dance. When the dance is over, Dante professes his love for Becky, and she returns that by telling him she is pregnant. Seems the two had a one-night stand. Life is then turned upside down for Dante and Randal but if you’re looking for a happy ending, you just may get it with Clerks II.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN THE RUNDOWN (2003)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 6.8/10
The pairing of Dwayne Johnson and Sean William Scott adds up to a lot of fun in this 2003 Rosario Dawson action movie. The addition of Christopher Walken, who plays it over-the-top as villain Cornelius Hatcher is classic and Rosario Dawson’s barkeep né rebel leader is perfect. She slings as good a drink as she does a rifle as an ex-girlfriend to Scott.
The action is fast and fun, mainly between Johnson and Scott, but Dawson holds her own when the chips are down. The movie is popcorn-loving mindless fun that is quite underrated as far as Dwayne Johnson action movies go.
ROSARIO DAWSON IN ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (2019)
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 6.75/10
For the sequel to Zombieland, Rosario Dawson was brought on board as Nevada, the owner of an Elvis-themed hotel. The comedy is fun, the gore is plenty, and the story ends like there may be a third one. Rosario spends a lot of time in Harrelson’s company, their characters have an affinity with Elvis, causing them to spend the night together. Dawson is also on hand to help save the day and in the end, rides off with the original four (Harrelson, Eisenberg, Breslin, and Stone) in what may be a set up for a Zombieland trilogy. If you saw the first and liked it, the second one won’t disappoint.
Rosario Dawson And Controversy
Now 41-years-old, Rosario Dawson has a (now grown) daughter who she adopted at the age of 12 back in 2014. She’s currently dating United States Senator Corey Booker, a romantic choice which makes more sense when you realize how heavily involved in politics Dawson has been. Rosario first gained notoriety for her political views back in 2004 when she was actually arrested while protesting against President George W. Bush. She’s remained a staunch and dedicated activist to various political causes, in particular on the subject of youth homelessness.
Despite her dedication to progressive political causes, Rosario Dawson came under fire recently when she was sued for discrimination by a trans man named Dedrek Finley. He alleges that not only did she discriminate against him, Rosario verbally abused him, misgendered him, and even physically assaulted him. Making the situation even stranger was the revelation that Finley was apparently a long time part of Dawson’s family, employed in her house as a handyman for decades and even living on the premises.
In a strange bit of timing, with the lawsuit by Finley ongoing, Rosario Dawson came out as a member of the LGBTQ community in February of 2020. It’s not clear how she identifies but given that she’s currently dating a heterosexual male, fans have theorized that she’s likely bisexual. The more cynical among her fanbase have accused her of aligning with the LGBTQ community only as a way of deflecting from those accusations of misgendering and abuse by her trans handyman.
Rosario Dawson Now
Next up for Rosario Dawson is a role on The Mandalorian where she’ll play a Jedi named Ahsoka Tano. It’s rumored that if her appearance on the Star Wars series goes well, Disney wants to give Rosario’s character her own spinoff series.
Rosario Dawson is pretty out of the closet as a major geek. She’s joining the Star Wars universe, but her real dream has always been to be on Star Trek. She’s been lobbying for a part in the next Star Trek movie, whatever that ends up being. So far it hasn’t happened, but don’t count her out. She’d look great in a Captain’s chair.
The GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE is calculated using rating averages from Rotten Tomatoes and the Internet Movie Database.