Helen Hunt has been in the movie industry since 1973. Her innocent appearance belies her years of experience but one look at Helen Hunt movies portfolio will quickly prove otherwise as she has racked up over one hundred movies and television series.
The Cast Away actress was born to a family steeped in media and entertainment. Her mother was a photographer while her father was a voice, film, and stage director as well as an acting coach. It was in this environment that Hunt gained and grew her love for acting. After her family moved from California to New York City, she started actively attending acting classes. She started her professional career when she was just nine years old, appearing as Sarah Sargeant in the 1973 movie Pioneer Woman. Through her adolescence, she continued to appear in series like It Takes Two, The Fitzpatricks, and Swiss Family Robinson.
Since then, she has established herself as a veteran of her craft. Helen Hunt has shared the set with famous names in the industry, appeared in a plethora of box office hits and garnered many awards and nominations for her performances.
Some of the notable recognitions Helen Hunt movies have earned are her Four Emmy Awards for playing Jamie Buchman in Mad About You. She also won a Best Actress Academy Award for her role in As Good As It Gets. As of 2019, Helen has also bagged four Golden Globe Awards as well as two Screen Actors Guild Awards for her acting.
Everything has not been smooth sailing though. In the course of her career, Hunt has been involved in projects that were considered relative failures based on feedback from fans and critics, revenue, and her performance among other things. The following is a list where we have attempted to chronicle her career, highlighting some of her most known movies, starting with the best and ending with the worst.
List Of Helen Hunt Movies Ranked From Best To Worst
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Helen Hunt played the role of Carol Connelly, a single mother, and a waitress with a chronically ill son. She is joined by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Greg Kinnear. In the movie, her character forms an unlikely friendship with Jack’s character who is a misanthrope and homophobic author, and his gay neighbor played by Greg.
The movie was released in theatres on December 23, 1997, by TriStar Pictures. As Good As It Gets was a huge box office success. It garnered over 30 recognitions including nominations and awards. The film was made with a budget of $50 million and debuted in the number three spot on the box office, bested only by Tomorrow Never Dies and Titanic. It grossed over $12.6 million on opening day, eventually surpassing $148 million domestically and $314 million globally.
As Good As It Gets good reception was reflected in the fact that Helen Hunt, along with fellow lead actor Jack Nicholson won the Best Actress and Best Actor awards for both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.
Cast Away (2000)
The 20th Century Fox movie brought Helen Hunt together on set with the likes of Tom Hanks and Nick Searcy. Helen played the role of Kelly Frears, a woman in a long term relationship with the lead character Chuck Nolan, a FedEx Engineer played by Tom Hanks. Chuck finally proposes to Kelly on Christmas Eve before he is abruptly called away on an important troubleshooting assignment in Malaysia. On his way, his plane crashes but he survives and swims to the shore of an island where he is stuck for years.
By Box Office standards, Cast Away is one of the highest-grossing Helen Hunt movies of the 2000s. It was made with a budget of $90 million and grossed over $429.6 million, including domestic and international grosses.
Pay It Forward (2000)
On this romantic comedy, Helen Hunt plays Arlene McKinney, the alcoholic mother of a bright 12-year old boy Trevor McKinney, played by Haley Joel Osment. In the movie, Trevor, in response to a class assignment creates the “Pay It Forward” charity to network good deeds. Arlene who worked multiple jobs to fend for herself and her son eventually has to go through the pain of losing her son while he was trying to pay forward a good deed.
While the storyline was criticized for what seemed like overt emotional manipulation, it did receive massive praise in other areas like its acting, music, cinematography, and writing. The movie was released on October 20, 2000, in theatres. It was made on a budget of $40 million by Warner Bros. Pictures and recorded a gross of $55.7 million.
Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) loses her father to a tornado as a child. As an adult, she teams up with her ex-husband (Bill Paxton) who is a meteorologist and storm watcher to launch a revolutionary device they designed to gain never before seen insight into the storm’s nature. Twister is a story of how they fight to achieve this while their love rekindles throughout their collaboration.
As far as her acting goes, this is one of the best Helen Hunt movies. The actress bagged a Blockbuster Entertainment Award as Favorite Actress – Action/Adventure. She was also nominated for a Saturn Award and an MTV Movie + TV Award. The movie was released on May 10, 1996, and grossed an impressive $494.5 million on a $92 million budget.
While it was a commercial success, some concerns were pointed out by critics. The movie was generally criticized for the lack of sufficient depth in the characters. It also had an average 58 percent audience score and only a 5.96 critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes.
What Women Want (2000)
Helen Hunt portrays Darcy McGuire in this romcom. Darcy is hired by an advertising firm in a bid to broaden the company’s feminine appeal. Here, she finds herself in a constant competition to try an outdo her rival Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), a chauvinist but skillful salesman who, unknown to Darcy, can hear women’s thoughts.
The movie was a box office hit, making a gross profit of $374.1 million on a $70 million budget. However, critics did not give the movie a very good review. Top critics on Rotten Tomatoes could only give it a rating of 5.84 out of a possible 10. It could also only muster an audience score of 54%. Hunt did win a Favorite Actress Blockbuster Entertainment Award for her effort though.
Then She Found Me (2007)
Hunt plays the role of a deeply religious elementary school teacher, April Epner, whose world is falling apart. After her husband leaves her, she loses her adopted mother. These events are followed shortly by the reemergence of her birth mother who seeks to make up for all the time she has missed.
Then She Found Me had a modest release on May 2, 2007, and could only manage an $8.4 million worldwide gross. While the movie is not Helen’s worst so far – she received a Rogue Award and Audience Award for her effort – it performed far below the high standards she had set in prior movies. It was scored 50% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 44% by the audience.
Quarterback Princess (1983)
This is one of Helen Hunt movies on this list that was well received by the audience. In the movie, Hunt plays the lead role of Tami Maida, a girl who wants to break the barriers of society’s repressive perspective about women in her own way. The story narrates her determination and boldness to stand in the face of sexist traditionalism and fight for her right to play in her college’s football team.
The CBS movie premiered on December 3, 1983. Although its message was received with warmth by viewers, it wasn’t enough to earn Helen or the rest of the cast any notable awards or recognitions.
Dr. T & the Women (2000)
The movie tells the story of Dr. Sullivan Travis (Richard Gere), a perennially booked gynecologist who is having troubles in his profession and in his home. He finds solace in the grounds of his golf club where he meets a beautiful pro golfer Bree Davis, played by Helen Hunt.
The movie was released in theaters on October 13, 2000. It had a budget of $23 million but grossed slightly beneath its budget with a figure of $ 22.4 million. It also performed badly in terms of reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the movie a score of 56%, while the audience gave it a significantly worse rating of 20%. Dr. T & the Women also recorded a score of 64 out of a possible 100 on Metacritic and was scored F by CinemaScore.
A Good Woman (2006)
Helen Hunt plays the role of Mr. Erlynne, a New York widow in the 1930s who has learned to live off the luxury benefits that accrue from her many affairs with elite married men of the Manhattan area. After she exhausts her options in the area, she expands her search beyond Manhattan and soon finds herself in a quest to have Robert Windermere for herself, even though he has a beautiful young wife, Meg Windermere, played by Scarlett Johansson.
A Good Woman is the worst on this list of Helen Hunt movies. It performed pitifully at the box office and had an even worse reception from fans and critics alike. It was given a meager 38 percent rating by critics and 49 percent by fans on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie made its theatrical debut on February 3, 2006. It was only able to garner a mediocre $6.87 million in total, accounting for international and domestic markets, the latter of which grossed under $250,000.