This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

List of Emily Watson Movies: Ranked Best To Worst

1. Breaking the Waves (1996)
20
4
Breaking the Waves
R
20
4

A religious Scottish young woman Bess McNeil, who is naïve in her beliefs, falls in love and marries Jan Nyman, a Danish oil-rig worker. When an accident aboard the rig paralyses him, Bess blames herself for praying for his return. Jan impels her to have sex with other men, which initially shocks her but she starts believing that God is guiding her. 

Role:
Bess McNeill
Starring:
Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, Adrian Rawlins, Jean-Marc Barr
Directed By:
3. The Book Thief (2013)
15
2
The Book Thief
PG-13
15
2

The Book Thief is a war drama film which tells the story of a young girl named Liesel, living in Germany during the time of the Second World War. Exposed to the horrors of the war at a young age, she tries to find solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Meanwhile, her foster parents are sheltering a Jewish refugee in their home’s basement.

Starring:
Heike Makatsch, Geoffrey Rush, Roger Allam, Sophie Nélisse
Directed By:
Brian Percival
4. Equilibrium (2002)
13
2
Equilibrium
R
13
2

Following World War III, the totalitarian government in control of the whole world outlaws basic human feelings in order to prevent future wars. John Preston, a high-ranking Cleric who tracks down and executes Sense Offenders, accidentally misses his daily dose of Prozium, a drug to suppress emotions, and gradually becomes involved in the Underground resistance against the government.

Starring:
Directed By:
Kurt Wimmer
5. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
11
2
Synecdoche, New York
R
11
2

After his wife and daughter leave him, a theatre director faces with a lot of struggles in life. He eventually decides to create a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as a part of his new play. 

Starring:
Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Sadie Goldstein, Tom Noonan
Directed By:
Charlie Kaufman
6. Hilary and Jackie (1998)
15
3
Hilary and Jackie
R
15
3
Role:
Jackie Du Pré
Starring:
Charles Dance, David Morrissey, James Frain, Rachel Griffiths
Directed By:
Anand Tucker
7. The Proposition (2005)
11
2
The Proposition
R
11
2

The Proposition is a Western drama film, which tells the story of a notorious outlaw, who after being apprehended by a lawman, receives a proposition. He has to kill his older brother within nine days, or his younger brother will be executed. 

Starring:
John Hurt, Noah Taylor, Guy Pearce, Danny Huston, Richard Wilson, Jeremy Madrona
Directed By:
John Hillcoat
8. Belle (2013)
11
2
Belle
PG
11
2

This biographical drama film revolves around the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle. Although she was the illegitimate daughter of a navy admiral, she grew up in poverty and was eventually found by her father, who entrusted her to his brother and his wife. Belle eventually grows up to contribute to the abolition of slavery in England.

Starring:
Directed By:
Amma Asante
9. Little Boy (2015)
11
2
Little Boy
PG-13
11
2

Little Boy is a war drama film which tells the story of Pepper, a little boy, whose father James, an auto mechanic, is sent to fight the Japanese during the Second World War. He feels his father’s absence strongly, and waits for him to return home.

Role:
Emma Busbee
Starring:
Kevin James, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Ted Levine, Tom Wilkinson, David Henrie
Directed By:
Alejandro Monteverde
10. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
12
2
Punch-Drunk Love
R
12
2

Punch-Drunk Love is a dark comedy film that centres on a single man, Barry Egan, with emotionally abusive sisters who, in an effort to cure his loneliness, calls up a phone-sex line, but gets embroiled in an extortion racket instead. Egan's situation gets further complicated when he falls in love with Lena Leonard who he must protect from the extortionists.

Role:
Lena Leonard
Starring:
Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzmán, Jason Andrews
Directed By:
11. Gosford Park (2001)
11
2
Gosford Park
TV-MA
11
2

In 1932, Sir William McCordle, a wealthy aristocrat but an uncouth industrialist, hosts a weekend hunting party at his old English country house, Gosford Park, where he entertains his elite friends and relatives upstairs, while their staff works downstairs. But then, several sagas of intrigue, lies, secrets, hatred, betrayal and deceit spill out when the host, Sir William McCordle, is found murdered.  

Starring:
Maggie Smith, Clive Owen, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Michael Gambon
Directed By:
12. Angela's Ashes (1999)
12
2
Angela's Ashes
R
12
2

Based on an autobiography by Frank McCourt, Irish-American writer and teacher, this drama film revolves around the early days of his life. As a child, he loses his infant sister Margaret, after which his mother Angela slips into depression. Due to his father’s alcoholism, Frank and his brother are left without food. Eventually, their mother is forced to go to charitable organizations to beg.

Role:
Angela McCourt
Starring:
Alan Parker, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens
Directed By:
13. Testament of Youth (2014)
12
2
Testament of Youth
PG-13
12
2

Based on a war memoir by Vera Brittain, it features upper-class, independent-minded young Vera who is set to attend Oxford University. When WWI commences, her brother Edward and fiancé Roland join army. As war casualties escalate, Vera leaves her studies to become a nurse for the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Even after losing all men closest to her, she continues to serve the mankind. 

Role:
Mrs. Brittain
Starring:
Alicia Vikander, Taron Egerton, Miranda Richardson, Dominic West
Directed By:
James Kent
14. Red Dragon (2002)
13
2
Red Dragon
R
13
2

Will Graham, an FBI agent able to empathize with psychopaths, narrowly escapes death while trying to catch cannibalistic killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter and retires shortly after. However, with the emergence of another serial killer, nicknamed The Tooth Fairy, he is called back and must seek Lecter's help to make a psychological profile of the new murderer.

Role:
Reba McClane
Starring:
Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Mary-Louise Parker, Alex D. Linz, Frank Langella, Harvey Keitel
Directed By:
Brett Ratner
15. War Horse (2011)
12
3
War Horse
PG-13
12
3

Young farm-boy Albert is heartbroken when his father sells his beloved horse Joey to the army after Britain enters WWI, and eventually enlists in the army four years later. He is temporarily blinded while fighting in no man's land in France, and while recuperating, learns about a unique horse recovered from the Germans.

Role:
Rose Narracott
Starring:
Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Kross, David Dencik, Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup
Directed By:
16. Everest (2015)
12
2
Everest
PG-13
12
2

Everest is inspired by the true-life events of a mountaineering disaster. Two separate commercial expeditions, led by Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, set out to conquer the world’s highest summit, Mt. Everest. Unexpectedly, they are engulfed by a fierce blizzard where they struggle for survival against freezing temperatures and winds, as their mettle is tested by the harshest possible elements. 

Starring:
Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Martin Henderson, Robin Wright, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington
Directed By:
Baltasar Kormákur
17. The Boxer (1997)
10
2
The Boxer
R
10
2

Young Danny Flynn is released from prison after serving fourteen years. He attempts to settle down, and rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood. 

Starring:
Daniel Day-Lewis, Daragh Donnelly, Frank Coughlan, Sean Kearns
Directed By:
Jim Sheridan
18. Oranges and Sunshine (2010)
11
2
Oranges and Sunshine
R
11
2
Role:
Margaret Humphreys
Starring:
Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Lorraine Ashbourne, Federay Holmes
Directed By:
Jim Loach
19. Miss Potter (2006)
11
2
Miss Potter
PG
11
2

This biographical drama film tells the story of Beatrix Potter, author of the children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Although she started writing stories as a child, she never got any recognition. However, her life takes an interesting turn, when a publisher decides to compile and publish her stories.

Role:
Millie Warne
Starring:
Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Renée Zellweger, Barbara Flynn, Bill Paterson
Directed By:
Chris Noonan
20. Cemetery Junction (2010)
11
2
Cemetery Junction
R
11
2

In a Reading suburb, three young friends of different dispositions are trying to carve an identity for themselves. Bruce’ strained relationship with his father results in outbursts, getting him into trouble. Freddie, working as an insurance salesman, rekindles his childhood friendship with Julie, his boss’s daughter. Snork, a socially awkward slacker, wishes for a girlfriend. They face circumstances that bring changes in their lives.

Starring:
Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes
21. The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)
10
2
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
10
2

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers is a biographical romantic comedy drama film which tells the story of Peter Sellers, a man who is emotionally withdrawn due to the fact that he had an overbearing mother. He faces several problems in his life before he discovers his talent for comedy.

Role:
Anne Sellers
Starring:
Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow, Richard Ayoade, Miriam Margolyes, Lucy Punch, Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum
Directed By:
Stephen Hopkins
22. Cradle Will Rock (1999)
10
2
Cradle Will Rock
R
10
2

Orson Welles tries to stage a musical titled ‘The Cradle Will Rock’, which is about a labor strike, but he receives pressure from an establishment who feels that it will cause unrest.

Starring:
Sarah Hyland, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Timothy Francis Robbins, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave, Hank Azaria
23. The Luzhin Defence (2000)
10
2
The Luzhin Defence
PG-13
10
2
Role:
Natalia
Starring:
Stuart Wilson, Geraldine James, John Turturro, Christopher Thompson
Directed By:
Marleen Gorris
24. Wah-Wah (2005)
10
3
Wah-Wah
R
10
3
Role:
Ruby Compton
Starring:
Gabriel Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Miranda Richardson, Julie Walters
Directed By:
Richard E. Grant
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
10
3
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
R
10
3

Poppy Adams, the world’s most powerful drug cartel leader destroys the Kingsman headquarters killing almost everybody. Eggsy survives along with Merlin and travels to America to team up with the American counterpart of Kingsman, Statesman. They also find Harry alive but Merlin sacrifices himself before they can stop Poppy and a corrupt US President. 

Starring:
Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Bruce Greenwood, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Taron Egerton
Directed By:
Matthew Vaughn
26. Anna Karenina (2012)
10
2
Anna Karenina
R
10
2

Aristocratic socialite Anna Karenina, wife of Russian imperial minister Count Alexei Karenin, visits her brother Prince Oblonsky in Moscow, where she meets cavalry officer Count Vronsky. Their mutual attraction soon develops into deep love and Vronsky follows her when she returns home to St. Petersburg. Their affair scandalizes the patrician society of St. Petersburg; as a result, Karenin issues an ultimatum to Anna. 

Starring:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Olivia Williams, Jude Law, Cara Delevingne, Keira Knightley, Alicia Vikander, Matthew Macfadyen
Directed By:
27. The Water Horse (2007)
11
2
The Water Horse
PG
11
2
Starring:
Ben Chaplin, Eddie Campbell, Bruce Allpress, Geraldine Brophy
Directed By:
Jay Russell
28. Fireflies in the Garden (2008)
10
2
Fireflies in the Garden
R
10
2

Despite his strained relationship with his father, Michael, a successful novelist, decides to pay a visit to his family in the Midwest. However, he soon learns that his mother Lisa has passed away in a tragic accident. Along with his father, Charles, a professor and his sister Ryne, he attempts to come to terms with his grief.

Role:
Jane
Starring:
Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hayden Panettiere, Willem Dafoe
Directed By:
Dennis Lee
29. Cold Souls (2009)
9
2
Cold Souls
PG-13
9
2

Paul is an actor who becomes quite attached to the characters that he portrays. Therefore he finds it trouble disassociating himself from the character after the scene is done. He soon discovers an office where he can put his soul in storage. However, it seems to him that being soulless doesn’t help him or his marriage. Therefore, he returns to the office and borrows the soul of a Russian poet. This helps him improve his acting, but eventually he finds himself in deep sorrow.

Starring:
Katheryn Winnick, Paul Giamatti, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Tucker, Armand Schultz, Dina Korzun, Ted Koch
Directed By:
Sophie Barthes
30. A Royal Night Out (2015)
10
2
A Royal Night Out
PG-13
10
2

A romantic comedy drama set in VE day of 1945. Two royal princesses encounter romance and danger when they are allowed to spend the night outside the Buckingham Palace to celebrate.

Role:
Queen
Starring:
Sarah Gadon, Rupert Everett, Mark Hadfield, Bel Powley
Directed By:
Julian Jarrold
31. Separate Lies (2005)
9
2
Separate Lies
R
9
2
Role:
Anne Manning
Starring:
Tom Wilkinson, Rupert Everett, Hermione Norris, John Warnaby
Directed By:
Julian Fellowes
32. Metroland (1997)
10
2
Metroland
R
10
2
Role:
Marion
Starring:
Christian Bale, John Wood, Lee Ross, Elsa Zylberstein
Directed By:
Philip Saville
33. The Happy Prince (2018)
9
2
The Happy Prince
R
9
2
Role:
Constance Wilde
Starring:
Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas
Directed By:
Rupert Everett
34. Crusade in Jeans (2006)
9
2
Crusade in Jeans
PG
9
2
Role:
Mary Vega
Starring:
Udo Kier, Stephanie Leonidas, Benno Fürmann, Johnny Flynn
Directed By:
Ben Sombogaart
35. Trixie (2000)
8
1
Trixie
R
8
1
Role:
Trixie Zurbo
Starring:
Brittany Murphy, Nathan Lane, Dermot Mulroney, Nick Nolte, Lesley Ann Warren
Directed By:
Alan Rudolph
36. Some Girl(s) (2013)
7
1
Some Girl(s)
7
1
Starring:
Adam Brody, Jennifer Morrison, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, Mía Maestro
Directed By:
Daisy Mayer von Scherler
37. Within the Whirlwind (2009)
12
2
Within the Whirlwind
12
2
Role:
Evgenia Ginzburg
Starring:
Pam Ferris, Ben Miller, Ian Hart, Monica Dolan
Directed By:
Marleen Gorris
38. On Chesil Beach (2017)
9
2
On Chesil Beach
R
9
2
Role:
Violet Ponting
Starring:
Saoirse Ronan, Samuel West, Anne-Marie Duff, Bebe Cave
Directed By:
Dominic Cooke
39. Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism (2015)
8
2
Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism
PG
8
2
Role:
Miss Trinklebury
Starring:
Dominic Monaghan, Joan Collins, Celia Imrie, Raffey Cassidy
Directed By:
Christopher N. Rowley

TV Movie(s)

1. The Dresser (2015)
10
2
The Dresser
TV-14
10
2
Role:
Her Ladyship
Starring:
Ian McKellen, Anthony Hopkins, Sarah Lancashire, Vanessa Kirby
Directed By:
Richard Eyre
2. The Memory Keeper's Daughter (2008)
10
2
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
TV-14
10
2
Role:
Caroline Gil
Starring:
Dermot Mulroney, Rob Stewart, Hugh Thompson, Krystal Hope Nausbaum
Directed By:
Mick Jackson
3. King Lear (2018)
10
2
King Lear
TV-14
10
2
Role:
Regan
Starring:
Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jim Broadbent
Directed By:
Richard Eyre
4. A Song for Jenny (2015)
11
2
A Song for Jenny
TV-MA
11
2
Role:
Julie Nicholson
Starring:
Noah Jupe, Steven Mackintosh, Ryan Coath, Nicola Wren
Directed By:
Brian Percival
5. The Mill on the Floss (1997)
9
2
The Mill on the Floss
9
2
Role:
Maggie Tulliver
Starring:
Joanna David, Cheryl Campbell, Bernard Hill, James Frain
Directed By:
Graham Theakston

Animation(s)

Corpse Bride (2005)
Corpse Bride
TV-PG
Plot:

Victor and Victoria are about to be married when, during wedding rehearsals, Victor makes a mistake and flustered, runs off into woods. He practices his wedding vows in front of a tree and unknowingly ends up marrying a Corpse Bride, Emily. While Emily takes him to the Land of dead, Victoria now has a new suitor.

Role:
Victoria Everglot (voice)
Starring:
Albert Finney, Christopher Lee, Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Johnny Depp, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse
Directed By:
Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
Back to Gaya (2004)
Back to Gaya
PG
Role:
Alanta (voice)
Starring:
Patrick Stewart, Alan Marriott, Glenn Wrage, Bob Saker
Directed By:
Holger Tappe, Lenard Fritz Krawinkel
Happy Family (2017)
Happy Family
Role:
Emma
Starring:
Jessica Brown Findlay, Celia Imrie, Jason Isaacs, Nick Frost
Directed By:
Holger Tappe

TV Shows and Videos

Genius (2017)
Genius
TV-14
Starring:
Antonio Banderas, Adam Garcia, Robert Sheehan, Iddo Goldberg, Clémence Poésy, David Dencik, Geoffrey Rush
Directed By:
Ron Howard
Gosford Park: Deleted Scenes (2002)
Gosford Park: Deleted Scenes
Starring:
Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas, Clive Owen, Stephen Fry, Bob Balaban
Jon Brion: Here We Go (2002)
Jon Brion: Here We Go
Role:
(archiveFootage)
Starring:
Adam Sandler,
Directed By:
Paul Thomas Anderson
Blossoms & Blood (2003)
Blossoms & Blood
Role:
Lena Leonard
Starring:
Adam Sandler, Salvador Curiel, Sissy Lake, Rogerlyn Kanealii Wakinekona
Directed By:
Paul Thomas Anderson
Performance (1992)
Performance
Starring:
Charles Durning, Kenneth Branagh, Alfred Molina, Hugh Grant, Les Dawson, John Malkovich, Bob Hoskins
Directed By:
Simon Curtis, David Thacker, Harold Pinter

Emily Watson Awards

BAFTA Awards
Appropriate Adult Best Leading Actress 2012