Margot Robbie’s 8 Best Movies Before Barbie

Margot Robbie is wowing audiences and critics with Barbie, but it's not her only good movie.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

Margot Robbie movies

With stunning 5-star reviews and talk of Oscar nominations, Barbie is now clearly Margot Robbie’s best movie. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t done other good work.

Previously Margot Robbie was best known for playing a fantabulous Harley Quinn. She first played the role in David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad, then reprised the role in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, and appeared again as Harley in The Suicide Squad movie as well as in a Joker/Quinn movie and Gotham City Sirens.

But Robbie is much more than Barbie or Harley Quinn, and while she has only been on the scene for a dozen years or so, she has made an impact in Hollywood by playing amazing characters in some of the best movies ever made.

These were Margot Robbie’s best movies before she made Barbie.

1. I, TONYA (2017)

I, Tonya


While Barbie is now Margot Robbie’s most recognizable character, her role as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding ranks up there. The movie is at once darkly comedic, with Robbie breaking that fourth wall with such ease.

It tells the infamous story of Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan, aka the knee blast heard around the world. The movie paints Harding in a different light, almost as a victim, and features some truly funny “interviews” done in mockumentary style.

Margot Robbie in her ice skating movie
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

The movie also stars Allison Janney as Harding’s mother and Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly (the eventual “mastermind” of the Kerrigan hit). Janney’s performance won her the Best Supporting Actress award at the 90th Academy Awards as well as a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe award and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role award at the 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards. For Robbie, she was nominated for both Academy and Screen Actors Guild awards.


Wolf of Wall Street


Eye-opening. That is the best way to describe Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street. While the movie focused heavily on Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort as the movie was based on the memoirs of corrupt and eventually incarcerated stockbroker Jordan Belfort, Robbie holds her own and then some as Belfort’s second wife, Naomi Lapaglia.

The movie was directed by Hollywood heavyweight legend Martin Scorsese who said it was a “stunning improvisation” that sold him on hiring Robbie. He wrote about the actress’s audition in Time‘s ‘100 Most Influential People’ list saying, “She clinched her part in The Wolf of Wall Street during our first meeting,” Scorsese wrote. “[And she did it] by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face – an improvisation that stunned us all.”

Margot Robbie's movie debut
Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street

But what was truly “stunning” in the movie was her sexually explicit scene with DiCaprio. The infamous seduction scene, which helped shoot Robbie to fame, took hours for the actress to shoot in front of no less than 30 male crew members.

“It doesn’t come across when you’re watching the movie, but in reality, we’re in a tiny bedroom with 30 crew crammed in. All men. For 17 hours, I’m pretending to be touching myself. It’s just a very weird thing, and you have to bury the embarrassment and the absurdity, really deep, and fully commit,” she said via The Sun. At the time, the movie also had set a Guinness World Record by using the word “fuck” 569 times. It has since been broken.


Margot Robbie


What a nice fairytale this turned out to be for Margot Robbie. In Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to Hollywood, Robbie played actress Sharon Tate, who was the wife of director Roman Polanski and was one of the unfortunate five victims of the gruesome Tate-LaBianca murders by the Manson Family. Sharon Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she was murdered.

Margot Robbie in a Tarantino movie
Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

But Tarantino loves to rewrite history, and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood was no different. He followed the mostly true storyline by introducing two fictional characters, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, as they wove in and out of Hollywood. DiCaprio was a fading star, and Pitt was his driver/stunt double. Pitt lived in a home next to Tate, and the movie set up to follow the Tate murders. But as this was a fairy tale, Tarantino puts his wonderful spin on the story in a grand, gory fashion.

4. DREAMLAND (2019)



Margot Robbie, fugitive bank robber? Yes, she plays a seductive bad girl in this movie, using her feminine wiles on a young man when he discovers her wounded and running from the law.

Margot Robbie in a period movie
Margot Robbie in Dreamland

Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Robbie is a bank robber whose last job went horribly wrong. The young man rescues her, but he struggles with collecting the bounty on her head and falling for her beauty, which she uses to seductive charm.

Robbie, as she did in The Wolf of Wall Street and Focus, sheds all her clothing in her attempt to save her from the local law enforcement.


Suite Francaise


This Margot Robbie movie is set during World War II in German-occupied France. It tells the story of a young French woman (Michelle Williams) who is housing a German soldier who is one of the many occupying the small French village. The two develop a much frowned-upon relationship.

Margot Robbie movie role
Margot Robbie in Suite Francaise

Robbie portrays a tenant of Williams’ mother-in-law, who (Robbie) is also having sex with a German soldier. It is Robbie who informs Williams that Williams’s husband was having an affair and fathered a girl before he was sent off to war. This is what pushes Williams into the German soldier’s arms.

Suite Francaise didn’t get a major American feature film release but instead found a place on the Lifetime cable network.

6. ABOUT TIME (2013)

About Time


Time travel movies, for good or for bad, can be a fun ride if not put together in such a convoluted way. About Time has that convoluted feeling to it. The story is about a young English man (Domhnall Gleeson) who finds out that he has the ability to go back in time to change certain events of his life.

Margot Robbie is Charlotte, the woman he first focuses on as he is instantly taken with her upon their first meeting. But the young man waits too long to tell her how he feels, as she now has a boyfriend. He decides to go back in time to fix that mistake, but once he does, she tells him it would be best if he had waited.

The young man then realizes that she will never be interested in him, no matter how many times he returns. The young man then meets up with Mary (Rachel McAdams), and over time their relationship blossoms.

Margot Robbie in time travel movie
Margot Robbie in About Time

A personal event causes the young man to go back in time for a redo, but when he does, his meeting with Mary never happens. So instead of going back, he recalls her affinity with Kate Moss and decides to find her based on that.

As he finds her, he also meets up with Charlotte again, who now, for some reason, is showing a lot of interest. The young man turns her down. The rest of the story is just as convoluted as the first. Robbie plays Charlotte well. Not an overly large part, but one that suits Robbie.


Z for Zach


This Margot Robbie movie is set in a post-nuclear apocalypse world, focusing on three survivors played by Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Robbie lives alone on her family’s farm, sheltered from radiation by surrounding mountains, and has the ability to survive from an underground water supply. She comes across survivor Ejiofor and the two develop a close bond after she nurses him back to health.

Their bond is threatened when another survivor (Pine) arrives on the scene.

Margot Robbie movie
Margot Robbie in Z For Zachariah

As the trio plays it out, Robbie and Pine get closer, ultimately having sex. Of course, the tension between the two men escalates.

Things conclude when the two men are working together on a water-wheel project, where Pine finds himself in a precarious position hanging from a rope that Ejiofor is holding. Ejiofor is the only one to return to Robbie.

8. BOMBSHELL (2019)



This movie is based on the true story of three women at Fox News who set out to expose Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox, for sexual harassment. The movie stars Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, and Nicole Kidman as the three who took on the powerful Ailes.

Margot Robbie in an expose movie
Margot Robbie in Bombshell

While the movie didn’t fare well at the box office, Robbie was critically praised for her role as Kayla Pospisil and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes, and Best Supporting Actress for the British Academy Film Awards.

  • GFR Score calculated using averages of audience and critical reactions across multiple platforms.

How Margot Robbie Got Into Movies

Margot Robbie is an Australian-born actress who first made a big splash on the big screen in The Wolf of Wall Street. Before that big break, she had appeared in a few Australian movies and series, which included City Homicide, The Elephant Princess, Vigilante, Neighbours, and Pan Am.

suicide squad harley quinn feature
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

Robbie, in 2017, was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, and as of last year, she was also ranked as one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.

Sorry fellas, Margot Robbie may be single in movies, but she is married to British assistant director Tom Ackerley. The two met on the set of her movie Suite Française.