Emma Stone Movies That Made Her an A-List Actress

In a few short years, Emma Stone has become one of the most in-demand actresses in Hollywood — and for good reason. The actress has proven her versatility throughout her career, taking on everything from period dramas like The Help to huge comic book-inspired blockbusters like The Amazing Spider-Man.

Below, check out 10 of Stone’s most memorable roles in her career so far.

1. Easy A

Source: Screen Gems
Easy A | Screen Gems

When Easy A came out in 2010, Stone had appeared in several notable roles. But the teen comedy put the actress on the map, effectively cementing her leading lady status. The movie, which provides a modern take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, stars Stone as Olive Penderghast, a California teen who lies to her best friend about losing her virginity only to have the rumor spread all around the school, earning her a bad reputation and ostracizing her from some of her classmates. These days, we know Stone is as funny and witty in person as she is in the movies, but this film helped prove her sarcastic comedy prowess. The movie was both a commercial and critical success, with her performance earning widely positive reviews.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man

Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Amazing Spider-Man | Sony Pictures Entertainment

The first two films of the Marvel adaptation star the actress as Gwen Stacey, the love interest to Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker. So far, the franchise has earned mixed reviews. While the first 2012 installment garnered a mostly favorable reaction, the response to the second 2014 film was considerably less positive. But Stone’s portrayal of the beloved comic book character in both films has earned a good response and her performance, as well as her chemistry with Garfield, have been credited for boosting the sequel.

3. The Help

The Help | Walt Disney Studios

The 2011 drama adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling 2009 novel stars Stone as Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a young white woman and aspiring writer in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi, who decides to pen a book from the point of view of the maids in order to expose the racism they face. The film won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and though Stone didn’t receive any award nominations like some of her co-stars, the role did prove her ability to handle more serious material and hold her own in a critically acclaimed cast.

4. Crazy, Stupid Love

Crazy Stupid Love - Emma Stone
Crazy, Stupid Love | Warner Bros. Pictures

Stone transitioned from teenage comedies to adult rom-coms with this 2011 studio flick, starring as the main love interest to Ryan Gosling’s womanizing character. The actress’s quirky charm stands out — even among an incredibly appealing cast — in her performance as Hannah, a lawyer-to-be who turns to Gosling’s character after her own far less likeable boyfriend fails to propose. Stone and Gosling’s chemistry is off the charts and it’s hard to imagine that Dirty Dancing scene (you know the one) working quite as well with any other actress.

5. Birdman

Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Birdman | Fox Searchlight Pictures

In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, the actress plays the daughter and personal assistant of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), a washed-up, former superhero-playing actor looking to make his comeback on Broadway. The movie garnered critical acclaim  and Stone’s memorable, self-deprecating performance earned her an Academy Award nomination.

6. Zombieland

Source: Columbia Pictures
Zombieland | Columbia Pictures

Stone stars alongside Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, and Jesse Eisenberg in this fright-com, which follows four human survivors as they attempt to escape the zombie apocalypse. The movie allowed the then-rising actress, who played Breslin’s elder con-artist sister, Wichita, to show off her comedic chops alongside an accomplished and incredible funny cast. Jam-packed with absurd jokes and over-the-top gags, the hilarious zombie film also earned rave reviews from critics.

7. Magic in the Moonlight

Source: Sony Pictures
Magic in the Moonlight | Sony Pictures

This comedy-drama won’t ever be considered one of Woody Allen’s best works. But while the film overall didn’t sit too well with critics (many called the storyline too “fluffy”), Stone’s portrayal of young female Sophie Baker was one of the only aspects of the movie to earn positive reviews — and for good reason. Even in a disappointing plot, the actress’s charisma is ever-present, helping to lift what is otherwise a substandard film.

8. The Croods

Source: 20th Century Fox
The Croods | 20th Century Fox

The 2013 animated adventure comedy chronicles the story of Crood family, who must embark into a strange and spectacular territory in search of a new home after their old cave gets destroyed. Stone voices the character of eldest Crood daughter, Eep, a rebellious teenage cavegirl filled with the desire to break out on her own and explore. The film received mostly positive reviews and Stone brings her energetic character to life with a natural, impeccable delivery of the animated flick’s one-liners.

9. The House Bunny

Source: Columbia Pictures
The House Bunny | Columbia Pictures

No one can play the overeager geeky girl quite as charmingly as Stone. In The House Bunny, the actress plays Natalie, the president of a failing sorority of misfits known as the Zetas. The movie may not boast the most original storyline ever, but Stone makes the best of the material. The actress brings a sweet and hilarious naiveté to the character, whose idea of “sexy” is throwing a B.Y.O.M. (Bring Your Own Mouse) party. Her performance also made audiences want to see more of her in something other than just a smaller supporting role.

10. Superbad

Superbad | Columbia Pictures

Stone made her feature film debut in this 2007 Judd Apatow comedy as Jules, a popular high school girl and adolescent crush of Jonah Hill’s Seth. While the actress doesn’t have a major role, her part is certainly memorable. In one of the most unforgettable scenes, her character gets a black eye after a drunken Seth passes out on her, headbutting her in the process. The film ends with Seth running into Jules at the mall and buying her concealer for her bruised eye. The movie makes it easy to see that Stone shines, even with limited screen time and regardless of whether she’s playing the cool girl or the nerdy one.