The raven-haired actress has been active in the entertainment industry for more than two and a half decades, during which she has scored credits in dozens of film and television series. Archie Panjabi boasts of British nationality and Indian ancestry. She has landed numerous acting opportunities on British television and films, as well as in Hollywood where she has managed to become a household name. Archie is one of the most beloved stars in the industry right now thanks to her ability to delight audiences with her impressive talent and charm. She has landed roles in popular television shows that have kept her busy over the years and has been rewarded with several awards for her performances. Here is a list of 10 Archie Panjabi’s movies and TV shows ranked from best to worst.
Top 10 Archie Panjabi’s Movies and TV Shows
1. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (2003)
This inspiring, wildly hilarious comedy is as feel-good as movies come. It manages to blend a bit of social commentary into an absolutely charming and emotional picture. The movie tells the story of an Indian family living in London who are trying to raise their football-playing daughter the traditional way. However, Jess is having none of it. Unlike her older sister who is looking forward to a lavish wedding ceremony and a lifetime of wide duties, Jess dreams of becoming a professional footballer like her sports hero David Beckham.
Her parents are reluctant to let her pursue her ambitions because they believe they’re protecting her. Eventually, Jess will have to choose between tradition and the sport she loves so much. Archie Panjabi adds a wonderful flavor to the movie as Pinky, Jess’ less ambitious older sister. Bend It Like Beckham is a film you will not forget in a hurry and it is one of the best Archie Panjabi’s movies ever.
2. THE CONSTANT GARDENER (2005)
Based on the eponymous novel by John le Carre, this spellbinding thriller follows a British diplomat stationed in Kenya as he tries to decipher the mystery surrounding the death of his wife, a revered Amnesty activist. During his investigation, he discovered that his wife had been putting together information that could help take down a multinational drug company that uses helpless Africans as test subjects for a new tuberculosis drug that has fatal side effects. He believes the murder of his wife is connected to the hideous crime and he had reason to suspect that the enemy may be closer than he could ever have imagined.
Archie delivers an outstanding performance as Ghita Pearson, the best friend to the diplomat’s wife who helps him track down her killer. The Constant Gardener was nominated for over 45 awards, out of which it won 22 including an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA.
3. THE GOOD WIFE (2009-2016)
After a disgraced politician is sent to prison following his involvement in a notorious political corruption and sex scandal, his wife is forced to return to the workforce as an attorney after being a stay-at-home mom for thirteen years. Archie plays one of the main characters in the series, Kalinda Sharma, a bad-ass investigator who is extremely good at her job, although she sometimes steps around the law to get things done. Kalinda is secretive, inscrutable, deeply suspicious of everyone, and has a hard time working with other people.
Over the course of its seven-season run, the show was praised by critics and viewers alike for its vibrant characters and invigorating storylines, which touched on a wide range of subjects. The more you watch, the more the series draws you in, introducing exciting new layers, and never letting up on the gripping drama. The Good Wife is one of Archie Panjabi’s TV shows that comes highly recommended.
4. EAST IS EAST (1999)
Archie scored one of her earliest roles in this delightful comedy film. She gives life to Meenah, the tomboyish daughter of George Khan, a Pakistani shop owner with seven children to look after. Life is an uphill battle full of compromises for the Khan family. George struggles to make his family conform to traditional Pakistani values, but his children have minds of their own. The resulting conflict is absolutely hilarious and a beautiful look into the struggles of multicultural families. There are times when the story becomes painful watching the cultures collide, but overall the movie is satisfying and a delight to watch.
5. NEXT OF KIN (2018)
The beloved actress takes the lead as Mona Shirani in this compelling thriller that sees her navigating through a twisted familiar mystery. After her brother dies, she is stricken by grief, which only intensifies as his death sheds light on buried family secrets, exposing a complex web of betrayal and conspiracy. Mona strives to protect her career, herself, and her family from the unfortunate circumstances that she soon becomes mired in.
The show explores a number of sensitive cultural issues and brings a fresh look to the thriller television genre. Every single cast member puts in an electrifying performance that holds your attention from one scene to another, right up till the very end. The series focuses on family and how the bond between family members makes them at once stronger and vulnerable. It dares viewers to contend with a particularly difficult question: how do you choose between what is right and what is right for your family? Next of Kin is a one of a kind series that you cannot afford not seeing. It is one of the finest Archie Panjabi’s TV shows out there.
6. LIFE ON MARS (2006-2007)
After getting involved in a car accident in 2006, Tyler, a policeman wakes up in the year 1973, where he is working for the Manchester and Salford Police, the same station and location as the one before his accident, but from a different time period. He also discovers that he is now a Detective Inspector, one rank lower than his old rank of Detective Chief Inspector. Throughout the show’s two seasons, he tries to uncover the cause of his unique predicament, and find a way to chart his way back to his time.
The series is brilliantly written and acted, although Archie’s character story arc only lasts for two episodes. From the very first episode to the show’s finale, its intrigue, wit, and drama are nonstop.
7. A MIGHTY HEART (2007)
The versatile actress stars alongside Angelina Jolie in this moving adaptation of a novel of the same title by Mariane Pearl. The movie gives a detailed account of the life of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, and the search that followed after he was kidnapped and beheaded in Karachi in 2002, by supporters of the terrorist Omar Sheikh. It also covers the efforts that security forces in both Pakistan and the United States put in to ensure his kidnappers were found and brought to justice.
The film is courageous and serves as a pure expression of life and joy despite the difficult subject at its center. If Angelina Jolie’s emotional performance does not move you to tears, it will warm your heart at the very least.
8. SHETLAND (2013-2016)
Shetland is a drama series based on stories written by Ann Cleves about a detective who solves crimes in Shetland, an isle in Scotland. Archie joined the show in the third season to star alongside Douglas Henshaw, who plays the lead character, Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez.
Over the course of its five-season run, the show endeared itself to fans from all over the world. It was also nominated for numerous awards, some of which it won. However, it is one of the lesser-known Archie Panjabi’s TV show works on her resume.
9. THE WIDOWER (2014)
In this captivating British miniseries, Archie plays Simone Banerjee, the girlfriend and prospective victim of Malcolm Webster, a villainous murderer. The series follows the life of Webster who killed his first wife by systematically poisoning her over the course of several years, and attempted to do the same to his second wife.
Although the show sometimes tended towards sensationalism to convey its message, it always manages to retrace its steps and land on the right note. Viewers can’t help but feel torn between the characters and trying to balance their charming exterior with what is lurking in the shadows. As far as Archie Panjabi’s TV shows go, The Widower is not one of the best.
10. A GOOD YEAR (2006)
This 2006 comedy manages to accomplish a rare feat: giving a bad look to every single person involved in the project. Not only is it one of the worst Archie Panjabi’s movies ever made; it also happens to be a terrible directorial effort by Ridley Scott. Even the main characters played by Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard are completely out of their depths. Nothing seems to be working for this movie. The humor falls flat and the storyline feels more than a little contrived.
Upon its release, A Good Year received mostly negative reviews from critics and viewers alike. Most people consider the film to be emotionally lifeless, devoid of humor and any of the satisfactions we have come to expect from romantic comedies. Everything about this movie could have been done a lot better or should simply never have happened.