6 Best Jessica Alba Movies

Over the past decade or so, Jessica Alba has emerged from the up-and-coming star of TV’s Dark Angel to one of the most recognized actresses working today and a bonafide businesswoman in her own right. Currently, she appears on the big-screen opposite action icon Jason Statham in Mechanic: Resurrection, and since we’ve already delved into his best films to date, it’s only fair that Alba gets a similar retrospective of her career.

Since her film debut in 1994 with family film, Camp Nowhere, Alba has appeared in more than 30 films, running the gamut between action and horror and from comedy to drama. So let’s take a look back at some of her most memorable film roles thus far. For the record, we’re not saying that any of the films are classics, per se, just that they represent some of Alba’s career highlights.

1. Honey (2003)

Coming off the heels of key supporting roles in Never Been Kissed and Idle Hands, Alba finally leapt into the lead for the first time with this drama about a young aspiring dancer, which features tons of appearances by popular hip hop and R&B artists of the time.

Alba actually stepped into the lead role after singer Aaliyah’s tragic death in 2001, and while Honey earned negative reviews upon its theatrical release, it has inspired a cult following and has led to two direct-to-video sequels, both of which were helmed by Honey director, Bille Woodruff.

2. Sin City (2005)

One of Alba’s signature roles is that of another dancer, Nancy Callahan in this Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller adaptation of the popular graphic novels. The film captures three of Miller’s stories, with Alba serving as the female lead of one such tale.

Sin City was lauded by critics and audiences for its distinct visual style and neo-noir sensibilities. With a worldwide gross of $158.7 million, it remains one of Alba’s biggest box office hits. She would return for a sequel nearly a decade later, but Sin City: A Dame to Kill For would ultimately fail to live up to its ahead-of-its-time predecessor.

3. Into the Blue (2005)

Like Honey, Into the Blue wasn’t met kindly by critics, and the performances by Alba and co-star Paul Walker were particularly singled out. Alba even received a nomination for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for the film (and another for 2005’s Fantastic Four).

Despite the fact that Into the Blue proved to be a box office flop — earning just $44 million worldwide on a reported $50 million budget — the romantic thriller has developed a cult following and inspired a direct-to-video sequel of its own just a few years later.

4. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

We know the world at large collectively loathes Fox’s interpretations of Marvel’s First Family, but considering how poorly last year’s reboot performed (and the mangled story it presents), we feel confident in saying that the 2005 film adaptation and this 2007 sequel offer a far better take on the characters.

Though the quality is consistent throughout both films, we’re giving Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer the slight edge for its motion-capture depiction of the Silver Surfer. The story also moves a clip better than in the original film, and the entire principal cast — Alba’s Invisible Woman included — feel a touch more at home in those tight blue outfits.

5. Machete (2010)

Alba re-teamed with director Robert Rodriguez for this ode to exploitation films. Danny Trejo stars as the title’s anti-hero, whose own film was spun off from a fake trailer attached to the Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino double-feature Grindhouse.

Alba offers solid support as one of the film’s two leading ladies (Michelle Rodriguez of Fast and Furious fame is the other), and the movie perfectly captures the anarchic spirit it’s going for, while still giving each of its stars enough screen time. Alba would briefly return for the sequel, Machete Kills in 2013, which would attempt a similar approach with lesser results.

6. Stretch (2014)

We’re betting most of you probably haven’t heard of this one, despite our name-dropping it in a look back at Patrick Wilson’s best films to date. The actor stars as a limo driver racing against time to pay off a gambling debt. The film’s blend of dark comedy and thriller elements sets it apart from most other films that are out there, thanks to writer and director Joe Carnahan’s distinctive vision.

Alba plays against type as a more reserved female lead, who plays an integral role in guiding Wilson’s title character through hell and back again. Hunt this one down, folks.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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