After Brie Larson’s introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Captain Marvel, the actress has seen her stock rise more than a few notches. However, she has been around for more than two decades before her MCU adventure. Brie Larson’s movies started to count in the late 1990s with shows like To Have & To Hold and Touched By An Angel. She then followed these up with a starring role in The WB’s Raising Dad at the turn of the century.
The actress steadily grew her value and following in the years that followed. Even though her role as Carol Danvers is arguably her biggest role yet, the actress has played other lead roles and has been involved in other big-budget movies and franchises. Projects that come to mind include Short Term 12 (2013), Room (2015), Kong: Skull Island (2017), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Brie Larson has also had her dip periods and moments of little impact. So we’ve created a list: a round-up of 12 of Brie Larson’s movies and TV shows that highlight the actress’s best works as well as her not so wonderful projects.
Brie Larson’s Best And Worst Attempts as an Actress
Short Term 12 (2013)
This independent drama shows Brie Larson in her first lead film role. She was Grace Howard, a young twenty-something-year-old supervisor of a group home for at-risk youths. The movie told the story of the often-overlooked circumstances that troubled teenagers and those that look out for them have to go through.
On March 12, 2013, Short Term 12 premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) and had its limited theatrical release a few months later. Even with much bigger roles in her career now, this movie remains the most critically accepted movie that Larson has been in. It received over 50 recognitions and nominations, clinching 24 of them. Nine of these awards were direct as a result of Brie’s portrayal of Grace in the movie. Short Term 12 maintains a near-perfect approval rating of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After making her much-lauded entrance into the MCU, Larson as Carol Danvers, teams up with what is left of the world’s greatest heroes for one last epic battle to destroy Thanos and end the cycle of cataclysmic events he set in motion in Avengers: Infinity Wars.
Judging from the feedback from critics and the audience, this was undoubtedly a massively successful movie. It was received with critical acclaim and rightly bestowed with an approval rating of 94 percent from 486 critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Avengers: Endgame also saw a box office run that raked in a mammoth $2.79 billion on a budget of $356 million.
Brie Larson plays an abducted woman in this movie. Her character goes by the name Joy “Ma” Newsome. For the past seven years, she has been the captive of a man known as Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) who routinely rapes her and with whom she has a child, five-year-old Jack Newsome (Jacob Tremblay). Room tells how Joy and her son escape Old Nick and struggle to adjust to a world that is much different than Joy knows while for her son, it is completely new and alien. The one thing that keeps them together and pushing is the unwavering bond between a mother and son. Larson’s performance as Joy Newsome saw her clinch an Academy Award in the Best Actress category as well as 18 other awards.
Adapted from Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name, Room grossed $36.3 million against a budget of $13 million. It was also nominated for over 129 awards and bagged 61 of them. Room was also rated at 93 percent by 303 critics and over 49,200 users on Rotten Tomatoes.
21 Jump Street (2012)
This satire film stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in the lead roles as Officers Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko respectively. In the story, Schmidt and Jenko, disguised as high school students, go undercover to oust a dangerous drug cartel. While on this mission, they are faced with the fact that high school is nothing like it used to be during their time, however, the horrors and anxiety of being a teenager remain just as real and prevalent. In the movie, Brie plays Molly Tracey, Schmidt’s love interest.
The first of a movie trilogy, 21 Jump Street was praised for its ability to evoke memories of the 80s teenage lifestyle while racking the audience with laughter. The movie was rewarded with a $201.5 million box office performance from a $54.7 million budget. It also received 16 nominations and won 6 of them.
United States of Tara (2009 – 2011)
Our first series on this list of Brie Larson’s movies, United States of Tara, saw the actress play the role of Kate Gregson, a sardonic teenager, and daughter of Tara (Toni Collette) and Max Gregson (John Corbett). Larson appeared in all 36 episodes of the series’ three-season run.
United States of Tara tells the story of Toni, a mother with dissociative identity disorder as she struggles to find a balance between her personal problems and raising her dysfunctional family. The series was received with critical acclaim, earning an average rating of 85 percent across its three seasons. It also received over 30 nominations, winning 6 of them, including a Golden Globe Award.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Undoubtedly Brie Larson’s biggest movie role so far, Captain Marvel sees Carol Danvers become the most powerful hero in the MCU. Set in the 1990s, Carol Danvers is sent to pull out a Kree undercover operative that has infiltrated the camp of the alien shape-shifting Skrulls. She is captured and her memory is read by the Skrulls after which she escapes and crashes on Earth. Her presence draws S.H.I.E.L.D agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). But it also draws the two alien races to earth and very soon Danvers finds herself in the middle of a galactic war that she has to stop if Earth is to survive.
This movie was initially trolled prior to its release date because of seemingly sexist remarks that Larson made. While it did not fully recover — as shown by its relatively low 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes — Captain Marvel lived up to the box office standards we have come to expect of a Marvel film. It grossed over $1.12 billion on a production budget of $175 million.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Following the Vietnam War, a diverse group of scientists, explorers, and military personnel are recruited to search the newly discovered Skull Island for any signs of primeval life. Little did they know that they are venturing into the domain of the ferocious king and guardian of the island—Kong. While they make new discoveries, they must now do everything in their power to escape with their lives and minds intact. Brie is Mason Weaver, an investigative photojournalist whose curiosity and respect for nature let her build a bond with the ferocious monster that none of the other characters can boast.
Larson lined up one set for this one with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, and John Goodman. While critics agreed that this movie did not live up to the classic 1933 original, they agreed that it had enough quality special effects, acting, and action sequences to earn its place in the Kong mythos. It earned itself a 75 percent critic’s approval rating and brought in $566.7 million at the box office off a budget of $185 million.
Free Fire (2017)
This Brie Larson’s movie exposes the insanity of gun violence in a way that is wickedly funny and full of epic shootout scenes. Larson plays Justine, a mysterious American businesswoman who is handling a black-market weapons deal that goes spectacularly wrong and ushers in a Battle Royal-type madness that sets the tone for the rest of the film.
According to Rotten Tomatoes’ critics, the movie lacked cinematic grace, but it was praised for bringing the perfect content to its target audience. It got a 69 percent approval on the movie aggregate site. It also performed poorly in commercial terms as it made back just over half of its production cost of $7 million.
The Glass Castle (2017)
A refreshing tale coined from the best-selling memoir of Jeannette Walls. It features Brie Larson in the lead role of Jeannette. The Glass Castle takes viewers on the journey of an unconventional tight-knit family, filled with enough love and dysfunction to inspire young Jeannette to shoot for success on her own terms. Jeannette’s parents Mary Rose and Rex Watts are played by Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson respectively.
The movie was praised for its effort but was deemed to have stymied its own success with an approach that can only be seen as misguided. With its 52 percent rating, it was still a moderate success at the box office, recording a $22 million gross return on a cost of $9.8 million.
The Gambler (2014)
This crime drama literally feels like a high stakes card game from the beginning. Starring in the lead role is Mark Wahlberg as Jim Bennett, an English professor with a high-stakes gambling problem. In The Gambler, Bennett borrows a ton of money from a known gangster, using his life as collateral. He then devised a plan to put his creditor and a gambling ring operator on a collision course. Meanwhile, his deepening relationship with a student, Amy Phillips (Brie Larson), makes him believe in second chances.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie was said to be sufficiently paced and entertaining, but critics also hinted that it felt like a rip-off the 1974 classic of the same name. The Gambler was a commercial success but only in the sense that it did not make a loss. It made $39 million on a $31 million budget.
The Trouble With Bliss (2012)
This Brie Larson movie sees the actress play Stephanie Jouseski, the 18-year-old love interest of Michael Hall‘s character, Morris Bliss, a 35-year old man whose life is basically going nowhere. Morris still lives with his widowed father (Peter Fonda) while trying to put his life together; this includes his struggle to balance the affections of Stephanie, and his more direct neighbor, Andrea (Lucy Liu).
The Trouble with Bliss was ultimately torn apart by critics who had a problem with almost every aspect of the film, beginning from the title. This was reflected in its horrific opening weekend gross of just $4,619 and its approval rating of 33 percent. However, the movie did win an award at the 2011 San Diego Film Festival for Best Narrative Feature.
Basmati Blues (2018)
Last on our list of the worst Brie Larson’s movies is Basmati Blues, a story with a narrative that takes us to India. Linda (Larson) and her father, Eric (Scott Bakula) have developed genetically modified rice species and are sent to India to sell it to farmers. However, as Linda learns the culture, and falls in love with the people and a particular college-educated farmer, Rajit (Utkarsh Ambudkar) she has a change of heart as she realized that the rice deal will destroy the farmers’ way of life. Linda consequently teams up with Rajit to stop the business deal.
This is by far the movie with the worst critical reception on this list and in Brie’s career so far. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes described the movie as only suitable for periods of cinematic famine. They further awarded it a forgettable rating of 11 percent.