Here is a comprehensive ranking of every movie featuring burgeoning actress Elizabeth Olsen in order from worst to best. Olsen’s career in film began little more than a decade ago, but she has quickly built up one of Hollywood’s most impressive resumes, appearing in several of the highest-grossing movies in history—as well as a bevy of critically-acclaimed independent films. She has worked with some of the most talented and well-known actors of her generation and is growing ever closer to finding herself high among their ranks.
Elizabeth Chase Olsen was born on February 16th, 1989 in Sherman Oaks, California, the youngest sibling of famous twins and Full House stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Although she appeared briefly in a handful of her sisters’ films in the ‘90s, her first major role wouldn’t come until 2011 when she burst onto the scene with three films in the same year. Olsen graduated from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2013, spending a semester abroad in Russia studying at the Moscow Art Theatre School.
Although Elizabeth Olsen’s future in the MCU is yet unknown, the trajectory of her career is rapidly picking up steam and shows no sign of slowing. From Wind River to WandaVision, Olsen’s education, talent, and celebrity beginnings make her one of the most exciting faces in Hollywood right now, a title that grows more appropriate with each passing project. With that in mind, here is a look at Elizabeth Olsen’s achievements in film thus far.
19. Silent House (2011)
Silent House is an independent psychological horror remake of the 2010 Uruguayan film La Casa Muda, which was allegedly based on a real-life incident that took place in Uruguay during the 1940s. A young woman is terrorized by an unknown perpetrator while repairing her family’s vacation home with her uncle and father. Silent House is inevitably brought down by its predictable story and underwhelming direction, although the film draws a solid performance from Elizabeth Olsen in her first real horror movie role.
18. Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011)
Peace, Love & Misunderstanding is a comedy-drama from Driving Miss Daisy director Bruce Beresford. After her husband files for divorce, a distraught Manhattan lawyer retires to the countryside with her two teenage children to mend her relationship with her estranged and eccentric mother. The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Olsen, Jane Fonda, and The Boys actor Chase Crawford, though the film received largely negative reviews as a result of its overly sentimental tone and forced delivery of a rather cliched plot.
17. Very Good Girls (2013)
Very Good Girls is an independent drama featuring the directorial debut of Naomi Foner, mother of actors Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Two high schoolers vow to lose their virginity before they leave for college, a pact that is complicated when they both fall for the same person. Olsen appears alongside a star-studded cast including Demi Moore, Dakota Fanning, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Clark Gregg, though the film’s cliched story and mediocre writing fail to make use of its actors’ talents.
16. I Saw The Light (2015)
I Saw The Light is a biographical drama based on the book Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. Olsen and fellow MCU actor Tom Hiddleston star Hank Williams and his first wife Audrey, dramatizing the early life and rise to prominence of the legendary country music star. The film was largely panned for being uninspired and insubstantial, drawing public criticism from Hank Williams III and earning less than $2 million against its $13 million budget.
15. Oldboy (2013)
Oldboy is a remake of the original 2003 Korean thriller Oldboy from director Park Chan-wook. An alcoholic businessman is kidnapped and held captive for 20 years before being suddenly released and tasked with uncovering the reason for his imprisonment. Olsen stars as nurse and love interest Marie alongside protagonist and fellow MCU actor Josh Brolin. The film received a rather mixed reception, playing it safe by recreating the story of the original without offering much of substance to the overall narrative.
14. In Secret (2013)
In Secret (also known as Thérèse) is an erotic romance thriller adapted from Émile Zola’s classic 1867 novel Thérèse Raquin. A woman conspires to murder her husband with the help of her secret lover, but their guilt quickly turns their love to hatred as they face the consequences of their actions. Olsen stars alongside Moon Knight actor Oscar Isaac and Harry Potter alum Tom Felton, with American Horror Story actress Jessica Lange receiving critical acclaim for her performance as the twisted Madame Raquin.
13. Red Lights (2012)
Red Lights is a supernatural thriller from Buried director Rodrigo Cortés. A physicist and a psychology professor who specialize in debunking paranormal phenomena attempt to discredit a renowned psychic with a potentially dangerous past. Olsen appears with an impressive cast, including Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, and Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy, their performances elevating the film beyond the level of its somewhat lackluster script.
12. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second Avengers team-up and the eleventh film released by Marvel Studios. When Ultron, an artificial intelligence created by Tony Stark, endeavors to destroy humanity to save the Earth, the Avengers reassemble to destroy the monster they created with the help of some new super-powered friends. Olsen makes her first full appearance in the MCU as the Scarlet Witch, though she wouldn’t officially earn the name for nearly a decade afterward. Although the film was still a box office success, Age of Ultron is widely considered to be one of the weakest installments in the MCU due to its uninspired recycling of action sequences from its predecessor.
11. Liberal Arts (2012)
Liberal Arts is an independent comedy-drama written and directed by How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor, who also portrays the film’s lead. The story centers around a nostalgic 35-year-old liberal arts college graduate and his relationship with a 19-year-old student of his alma mater (played by Olsen). The film preaches the pitfalls of nostalgia, with Radnor and Olsen’s characters each learning to live in the present in a surprisingly poignant and well-considered ending.
10. Kill Your Darlings (2013)
Kill Your Darlings is a biographical drama directed by John Krokidas in his feature film debut. Starring Dane DeHaan and Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, the story follows the college days of some of the Beat Generation’s earliest contributors, including the events leading up to the murder of author Lucien Carr. Olsen portrays Edie Kerouac-Parker, wife of novelist Jack Kerouac and author of the memoir You’ll Be Okay. The film garnered praise for its portrayal of the literary movement as well as the performances of its talented ensemble cast.
9. Ingrid Goes West (2017)
Ingrid Goes West is an independent black comedy written and directed by Matt Spicer in his feature film debut. Following the death of her mother, an unstable young woman moves to Los Angeles in an attempt to befriend an Instagram socialite. Olsen leads the film with Parks and Recreation actress Aubrey Plaza, earning positive reviews for their respective performances and carrying the film’s chaotic plot with their undeniable chemistry.
8. Kodachrome (2017)
Kodachrome is a comedy-drama based on a New York Times article written by A.G. Sulzberger. As his dying wish, a terminally ill photojournalist brings his nurse and his son on a road trip to the last Kodachrome film processing lab in a rural Kansas community before it closes down. Olsen stars alongside Ed Harris and Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis, lifting a fairly predictable story to new heights with heartwarming and emotional performances.
7. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange directed by creator of The Evil Dead movies Sam Raimi. Diving deeper into the Multiverse, Doctor Strange must stop a maliciously determined Scarlet Witch from getting her hands on America Chavez, a young mutant with the ability to open portals between dimensions. The film benefits from Raimi’s bold artistic direction as well as a strong performance from Olsen, making it one of the more original and distinctive MCU movies to date.
6. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War is the third standalone Captain America movie and the 13th official installment in the MCU. After the fallout of the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers are split into two factions, one enforcing the sanctions of the U.S. government and the other electing to act outside the parameters of the law, invariably leading to a confrontation between the two groups of heroes. Civil War marks Spider-Man’s first appearance in a MCU movie and contains one of the most epic fight scenes in the franchise’s history, overshadowing the convoluted actions of the film’s antagonist with an interesting insight into the ethics and moral standings of each individual Avenger.
5. Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Martha Marcy May Marlene is an American thriller written and directed by Timothy Sean Durkin in his feature film debut. After spending several years living with a cult, a young woman escapes and moves in with her estranged sister, struggling to find peace from oppressive memories and the looming presence of the cult’s twisted leader. Olsen stars as the titular escapee Martha, with supporting performances from Hugh Dancy, Julia Garner, and American Horror Story alum Sarah Paulson. Martha Marcy May Marlene serves as Olsen’s feature film debut, though her performance as the traumatized protagonist rivals that of even the most seasoned actors, earning her critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the second standalone Captain America movie and the ninth official installment in the MCU. As the long-standing corruption of S.H.I.E.L.D. begins to reveal itself, Captain America is set upon by a mysterious masked assassin as he attempts to prevent a worldwide catastrophe at the hands of his former employers. Olsen appears for her first time in the MCU alongside her brother Pietro Maximoff (aka Quicksilver) in a brief mid-credits scene. The Winter Soldier is arguably one of the most narratively significant films in the MCU, introducing four new heroes to the franchise and completely restructuring the moral framework of the series by linking S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as boasting some of the best fight choreography in the MCU thus far.
3. Wind River (2017)
Wind River is a neo-Western murder mystery written and directed by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. A wildlife officer and an FBI agent team up to investigate the death of a teenager on a Native American reservation, quickly stumbling into danger as they begin to uncover the disturbing truth. Olsen stars alongside Hawkeye actor Jeremey Renner, subverting expectations of the genre with a well-written and well-executed story that is every bit as sharp and chilling as the name promises.
2. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War is the first film in a two-part story paying off more than a decade’s worth of MCU stories. With the impending battle against Thanos finally at hand, the Avengers must protect the remaining Infinity Stones at all costs to prevent their longtime shadow nemesis from exacting his plan to eliminate half of all life in the universe. Infinity War’s ambitious story and heartbreaking final moments make it one of the most memorable films in the MCU catalog, leading to one of the most agonizing waits for a sequel in film history.
1. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Endgame marks the end of an era in the MCU in bold fashion with the largest-scale production in the history of the franchise. Five years after the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, Scott Lang emerges from the Quantum Realm with a plan to travel through time and gather Infinity Stones to bring back all those killed by Thanos. Endgame is filled with as much heartbreak as it is triumph, weaving an intricate and emotional story to pay off ten years worth of character development. The film earned nearly $2.8 billion worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing movie of all time and the most financially and culturally successful film in Elizabeth Olsen’s career.
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