2018 is promising to be quite a year for Emily Blunt. The British actress has received some of the best reviews of her career for the film “A Quiet Place,” which is directed by and co-stars her real-life husband John Krasinski (“The Office”). As a pregnant wife who helps to lead her family to safety by trying to outwit alien creatures by not making a sound, Blunt offers a nearly silent performance with acting registering mostly with her face, a bold move that could result in awards attention later in the year.
And to top that off in December, Blunt will also play the title character in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” paired up with Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda as well as her third go-round with on-screen nemesis Meryl Streep, with whom Blunt co-starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Into the Woods.” Other legendary stars in the film will include Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke (but sadly no Julie Andrews as far as we know).
In the dozen or so years of Blunt’s film career, she has offered audiences a dazzling variety of performances, excelling in costume dramas, musicals, independent films and even action films. She can portray Queen Victoria in one film, then turn around and brandish a semi-automatic weapon in the next. Let’s take a moment to look back at the film career of this extraordinary actress by taking a tour of our photo gallery above of her 12 greatest movies, ranked worst to best.
12. YOUR SISTER’S SISTER (2012)
Though she is primarily known for her work in studio projects, Blunt made a big splash in the indie world with Lynn Shelton‘s romantic comedy in which Jack (Mark Duplass), still grieving the death of his brother, accepts an invitation from his late brother’s girlfriend Iris (Blunt) to spend some chill time at her family’s island cabin.
11. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (2016)
In the film adaptation of the Paula Hawkins bestseller, Blunt plays Rachel Watson, an alcoholic divorcée who is still obsessed with her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), so she continually rides past their house on a train where she sees something that may have resulted in a murder. For her performance as Rachel, Blunt received her first Screen Actors Guild nomination as Best Actress.
10. THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT (2012)
Blunt entered the world of producer Judd Apatow in this comedy in which Blunt plays psychologist Violet Barnes who is engaged to sous chef Tom Solomon (co-writer Jason Segel). The couple looks forward to their wedding day, but for various reasons, the wedding day is postponed, and the engagement goes on and on and on.
9. SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (2011)
Blunt received her third Golden Globe film nomination for her performance as financial adviser Harriet Chetwode-Talbot who is working with fisheries expert Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) on a project being bankrolled by a Yemeni sheik to bring salmon fishing to his country.
8. SUNSHINE CLEANING (2008)
This film provided Blunt with the rare opportunity to work with a female co-star (Amy Adams), and a female director (Christine Jeffs) from a script by a female writer (Megan Holley). Blunt and Adams play sisters who, pressed financially, take jobs in the crime clean-up business, tidying up after some messy crime or disaster.
7. THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011)
Based on the Philip K. Dick novel, this movie focuses on politician David Norris (Matt Damon) who, after his loss in a Senate race, meets and falls in love with dancer Elise Sellas (Blunt) and together they realize that the events in their lives are controlled by The Adjustment Bureau, a group dedicated to making sure that people live their lives according to their predetermined “plan.”
6. THE YOUNG VICTORIA (2009)
Jean-Marc Vallée‘s film from a screenplay by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”) gave Blunt a juicy role to sink her teeth into. “The Young Victoria” follows the early part of the reign of Queen Victoria (Blunt) as various factions vie to control the young queen, unaware that this queen is not one to be controlled. For her performance as Queen Victoria, Blunt earned her second Golden Globe film nomination.
5. LOOPER (2012)
Blunt has a key supporting role in Rian Johnson‘s science-fiction thriller set in the future when crime syndicates use “loopers” who kill and dispose of the bodies of marked victims. Blunt plays one such potential victim, Sara, who has a son who may grow up to become The Rainmaker, a figure who will eliminate all loopers in the future.
4. EDGE OF TOMORROW (a.k.a. LIVE. DIE. REPEAT.) (2014)
Doug Liman’s underrated sci-fi thriller features Tom Cruise as a military desk jockey who is suddenly thrown into a combat situation when aliens invade Earth. He is almost immediately killed upon landing, but because of a time loop, he finds himself traveling back to just before the battle time after time. The only person who can help him hone his survival skills is Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Blunt, in a great action role in which she shines).
3. INTO THE WOODS (2014)
Amid a host of fairy-tale characters, the heart and soul of Stephen Sondheim‘s famed musical is The Baker’s Wife (Blunt). She desperately wants a child, but a witch (Streep) has placed a curse on her husband’s (James Corden) family. Her powerful desire to have her own family drives her to agree to the witch’s demands, which forces the couple into the woods. For this performance, Blunt received her fourth Golden Globe film nomination.
2. SICARIO (2015)
Denis Villeneuve‘s brilliant thriller about the Mexican drug war gives Blunt her plummiest role to date as FBI agent Kate Macer who sees the world as about right and wrong. But when the Department of Justice asks her to join their special joint task force to take down Mexican drug cartel leader Manuel Díaz, a disillusioned Kate finds that the colors of the drug war are nothing but shades of grey. Blunt’s expression when it finally hits her that good guys can be compromised is devastating.
1. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006)
“The Devil Wears Prada” was not supposed to be about Emily Blunt. After all, the film produced an Oscar nomination for Meryl Streep and made Anne Hathaway a star. Yet when I think back about the film, Blunt’s beleaguered personal assistant Emily Charlton is the character that most often brings a smile to my face. She not only has to deal with this new girl in the office, but she has to put up with being hit by a car, for goodness sake. Still, she is given the best line in the film — “I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.” Genius. For her performance as Emily, Blunt earned her first Golden Globe film nomination.