The best Scarlett Johansson movies include films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, A Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit, and more.
Scarlett Johansson has been on the big screen and small for nearly three decades. In that time she’s been a critical part in some of Hollywood’s biggest and best movies.
Scarlett Johansson made her movie debut in 1994’s North, playing the daughter of John Ritter and since that time Johansson has been a constant on the silver screen. She even had a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
She has been a part of numerous fantastic films, with a few clunkers sprinkled in, but for the most part, she has chosen wisely in the direction of her film career. These are definitely Scarlett Johansson’s best movies, and don’t be surprised if some of her Marvel movies dominate the list.
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Is The Best Scarlett Johansson Movie
This is the first of many Marvel films on Scarlett Johansson’s best movie list. She joined the MCU as Natasha Romonoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2 and has been a steady MCU’er, having starred in nine films in total. Avengers: Endgame just happens to be the best of the bunch.
As the title suggests, it is the Endgame for a few Marvel heroes. Scarlett Johansson is back as the Black Widow, looking to help even the score with Thanos after the “snap” felt across the globe.
The movie is big, loud, bold, filled with action, and a ton of heartbreak. As she always has, Johansson fills her role splendidly.
Her (2013) Is A Movie With Only Scarlett Johansson’s Voice
Her is an understated and beautiful sci-fi film that portrays a retro-inspired near-future. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a writer who is intensely lonely after the dissolution of his marriage. In the depths of his loneliness, he begins to fall in love with the artificial intelligence OS on his computer Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Not only does it work, it genuinely stirs the emotions and brilliantly touches on themes of love, loneliness, companionship, technology, and humanity. If someone gave you the elevator pitch of “divorced man falls in love with Siri” you probably wouldn’t expect that movie to bring a tear to your eye.
Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix manage to make us believe a relationship like this could exist. By playing both of their parts warmly and earnestly, you never once question this seemingly unrealistic love story.
The Oscars agree with this being one of Scarlet Johansson’s best movies. They nominated Her for Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Achievement in Production Design. It also won an Oscar for Spike Jonze’s screenplay.
Marriage Story (2019) Is A Scarlett Johansson Movie With Adam Driver
For those who have gone through a divorce, you know, for the most part, it is a terrible experience. One of Scarlett Johansson’s film tackles divorce while also being one of her best movies.
Made in 2019 under Noah Baumbach’s direction, Johansson stars as Nicole Barber. She’s a very unhappy former actress living in New York with her husband, theater company owner Charlie (the wonderful Adam Driver), and their young son, Henry.
Things begin to get even messier for Nicole and Charlie when she is offered a part in a pilot being shot in Los Angeles. Nicole decides to take the offer and heads to LA with Henry, while Charlie chooses to remain in New York.
What follows is what many have gone through – the struggle of divorce while trying to figure out life and what comes next. It’s enough to make A Marriage Story Scarlett Johansson’s second-best movie.
Lost In Translation (2003) Was Scarlett Johansson’s Breakout Movie
Another fantastic movie on Scarlett Johansson’s best list. Lost in Translation came early in her career and helped Johansson transform from a teen actress to an adult actress.
The film stars Johansson as Charlotte, a young newlywed who quite possibly is having second thoughts. She is joined by Bill Murray, who plays a lonely aging actor, Bob Harris.
The two meet by chance in Japan, where Bob is filming a commercial, and Charlotte is there to support her husband, a celebrity photographer. Bob and Charlotte’s meeting is fortuitous as they walk each other through the difficulties they are both experiencing.
Sofia Coppola penned and directed this fantastic Scarlett Johansson movie.
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
The next four movies on Scarlett Johansson’s best list will sound like a broken record as they all come from her time in the MCU.
The 2012 Avengers movie brings together Earth’s mightiest heroes for the first time. They work to stop Loki (Tom Hiddleston) after he takes control of the Tesseract, giving him immense powers.
This is Johansson’s second time around as Black Widow, and this time, she teams up with Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye to go after Loki. Like all Marvel films, this one is loud and action-filled.
Avengers was only the beginning of bigger and better things to come.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
The next MCU film on Scarlett Johansson’s best movies list, Avengers: Infinity War, introduces the biggest villain to date – Thanos. Thanos arrives on a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones so he can rid Earth of half its population, something he feels is necessary for the world to survive.
The Avengers, including Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, give it their all in a battle with Thanos. Of course, everything that happens in this film, good and bad, is there to set up Endgame.
Even though Infinity War is just a setup for Endgame, it’s still one of Scarlett Johansson’s best movies.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
It was bound to happen, and in Captain America: Civil War, it finally did. Accountability becomes the main topic as it concerns the Avengers, with some feeling it necessary while others think defending the Earth should come with no boundaries.
Unfortunately, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow must choose sides.
Not only is this one of Scarlett Johansson’s best movies, but it is also the introduction of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to the MCU. He doesn’t show until the final act, but it is worth the wait.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow joins Captain America (Chris Evans) in this new adventure that places high on Scarlett Johansson’s all-time list. The story follows Cap as he continues to try to adjust to modern times while dealing with the fallout from the terrible events in New York.
Cap and Black Widow also join forces with the Falcon as they take on a new enemy, one who has a history with Cap.
Ghost World (2001)
Ghost World did not make a big splash at the box office, but it showed that Scarlett Johansson was maturing and growing into a fine actress. It’s also still one of her best movies.
Appearing as Rebecca, Johansson is perfect as a high schooler facing graduation. And with her best friend Enid (Thora Birch), she has to take a careful look at where they want to go in life.
Young love gets in the way, as it always seems to do.
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Jojo Rabbit might possibly be the strangest film not only in this ranking of Scarlett Johansson’s best movies but also in her career.
The film was written and directed by Taika Waititi, who also happens to star in the film as Jojo Rabbit’s imaginary “friend” – Adolph Hitler.
Waititi claims he brought in Johansson to play Jojo’s mom, Rosie, to give her a chance to play in a comedy. The film tells the story of a Hitler Youth, Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Now Jojo must figure out what he truly believes in.
What Scarlett Johansson Is Involved In Now
Before the release of Marvel’s Black Widow, there were still a lot of people questioning Scarlett Johansson’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, there was her fate in Endgame that could very well have meant it was the end for her character, but this was also Marvel. They bring characters back all the time.
Nothing is off the table, especially when playing Black Widow resulted in so many of Scarlett Johansson’s best movies.
Except the actress ended up suing Disney, Marvel’s parent company. And that was after she had announced a new deal with the Tower of Terror movie.
Following the lawsuit, Disney had been criticized for its fiery public response to the suit. And at the time, thanks to one of our inside sources, we learned that Disney had closed their ties and future projects with Scarlett Johansson.
We assumed this meant that Disney intended not to move forward with the projects they’ve publicly announced, like Tower of Terror, but they could certainly reconfigure the project with a new lead.
It also meant that projects that were quietly in the works for Scarlett Johansson were now out of the mix. There are so many lingering questions, though.
Before this lawsuit, what was Marvel planning for Black Widow? Before the lawsuit, were we supposed to see her character again?
Prior to Black Widow’s release, Marvel boss Kevin Feige talked up the movie in interviews. He was enthusiastic about finally seeing the Scarlett Johansson solo movie release and thought it would be one of her best.
While speaking on that and the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he refused to commit to whether or not the actress had a future with the company.
In fact, he told Entertainment Tonight, “She was a producer on this film. She was the one that brought us our amazing director, Cate Shortland, and I am excited to continue working with her in any way possible if we’re so lucky.”
That certainly sounded like the door was wide open for another movie featuring Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. That interview was published on July 1, 2021. It’s shocking how fast things changed.
On Scarlett Johansson’s part, she is also probably fairly shocked. While she’s the one who filed the lawsuit, Disney’s responses have been heavily criticized. Before the film’s release, the actress tried to talk to Disney about her contract, which included bonuses that were tied to the box office.
Since Disney decided to release Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time, during a worldwide pandemic, box office expectations heavily changed. That affected her pay as well as everyone else with a similar contract in the cast and crew, but Scarlett Johansson was the face of the movie.
As the star, if she got Disney to negotiate her contract, it would affect the others. She had the most power.
However, Disney ignored her. Black Widow was released, and while it did well for a hybrid release during the pandemic, it didn’t do as well at the box office as the actress would have expected pre-pandemic when she signed her contract. So, with the studio refusing to listen, she filed a lawsuit.
In response to Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit, Disney issued a statement. It looked down on the actress, a little like she was being a whiny child. They said they’d already paid her enough.
They implied that she is insensitive to the global pandemic when they said, “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” which felt like a low blow and a bad look for the Mouse House.
Eventually, as it is often with these things, the public posturing gave way to a settlement between the two sides. From a monetary perspective, it’s unclear where exactly they landed, but the case was closed.
From here, we aren’t exactly sure where things will go with Scarlett Johansson’s movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It would appear her character is no longer following the events of Endgame, but this is also the MCU we are talking about.
Black Widow didn’t end up ranking as one of Scarlett Johansson’s best movies. If there’s ever a Black Widow 2 maybe that will rank high enough to make the list.
- GFR Score calculated using averages of audience and critical reactions across multiple platforms.