Warning: This list contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
These days, Elizabeth Olsen is all everyone talks about given her outstanding work so far on Disney+’s WandaVision. Back when the Olsen twins were huge child stars, nobody would’ve expected that they had a sister who would surpass them in fame as adults. However, there’s no questioning that Elizabeth is now a massive deal.
Obviously, playing Wanda Maximoff has done well to launch her star power. But even before that, she was breaking out with tremendous performances in almost every film she appeared in. Her movie career dates back around a decade, which includes some standout projects that scored well on IMDb.
Updated on May 25th, 2022 by Kevin Pantoja: Following her incredible Emmy nominated performance on WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen reprised the role in the MCU’s latest blockbuster film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That movie was a success with both critics and audience members alike, meaning it ranks among the best projects of Olsen’s already storied career. Where it stacks up against the rest is tough to pinpoint because of just how many fantastic roles she’s had. Most of them scored impressively with the users on IMDb.
15 In Secret (2013) – 6.1
Stream On Kanopy, Freevee, & The Roku Channel
A lot of Elizabeth Olsen’s pre-MCU credits are in indie films, including In Secret. Based on both an 1867 novel and a 2009 stage play, this movie was first screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
The story follows sexually repressed Thérèse (Olsen) who is forced by her aunt to marry her cousin (Tom Felton) and engages in an affair with his friend (Oscar Isaac). Although reviews were rather mixed, In Secret is worth checking out to see talents like Olsen, Felton, and Isaac share the screen.
14 Red Lights (2012) – 6.2
Stream On Peacock, Kanopy, Tubi, Vudu, Crackle, & The Roku Channel
Following her breakout role in 2011, the next feature film starring Elizabeth Olsen was 2012’s Red Lights. Any fan of the star should check this out given that it works as a precursor of sorts for her scene-stealing performance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Like that movie, Red Lights has elements of horror, though Olsen’s role isn’t nearly as big. The film centers on a physicist and psychology professor who work to try and discredit a psychic whose top critic mysteriously died. Olsen has a supporting part as Sally Owen, working alongside the likes of Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver.
13 Kill Your Darlings (2013) – 6.4
Stream On Starz
After co-starring with Tom Felton earlier, Elizabeth Olsen worked with another Harry Potter alum in Kill Your Darlings. This time, it was Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe, as they were part of a strong ensemble also featuring Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Kill Your Darlings tells the story of the members of the famous Beat Generation and the killing of David Kammerer by his longtime friend Lucien Carr. Olsen plays Edie Parker whose first husband was Jack Kerouac, a member of the Beat Generation. The film received strong reviews, specifically for the chemistry between Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.
12 Godzilla (2014) – 6.4
Rent On Apple TV
After they debuted in the MCU together, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were kind of linked forever, even if Taylor-Johnson hasn’t returned to the franchise since. However, they actually starred together a year prior in Godzilla.
This film launched Legendary’s MonsterVerse which has been followed by three more movies, two of which feature the titular Godzilla. Olsen helped bring the human aspect to the tale, starring as Elle Brody, the wife of the protagonist. It marked her first major role in a big-budget film.
11 Ingrid Goes West (2017) – 6.6
Stream On Kanopy & Hulu
Although Elizabeth Olsen is mostly known for her work in blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, she has often had great performances on the independent scene. That was the case with Ingrid Goes West, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
While there, it won the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Ingrid Goes West follows the mentally unstable Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) as she travels across the country to become friends with the woman she idolizes on Instagram (Olsen). It was considered smart, funny, and the performances of the two leading ladies were praised in this overlooked movie that you can stream on Hulu.
10 Liberal Arts (2012) – 6.7
Rent On Apple TV
Once again, Elizabeth Olsen showcased her talents in an indie flick. This one came early in her career, making its premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It was the second movie to be written and directed by How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor.
He also portrays the lead character in this, Jesse Fisher. Jesse is dissatisfied with his life as an admissions officer and longs for his old college days. He romantically falls for a college student named Libby (Olsen), who is friends with his daughter.
9 Kodachrome (2017) – 6.8
Stream On Netflix
Netflix has done a great job over the past few years in releasing some impressive films that were made on a relatively small budget. Among them was Kodachrome, a hidden gem that debuted on Netflix after a 2017 Toronto International Film Festival debut. Led by a talented cast of Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen, Kodachrome was met with high praise.
The story focuses on a terminally ill photographer (Harris) who embarks on a road trip with his estranged son (Sudeikis) and his nurse (Olsen) to get Kodachrome film developed at the last shop that handles it before it closes. Critics praised the chemistry of the cast though the story was somewhat formulaic.
8 Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) – 6.8
Rent On Vudu
One of the coolest things to see in any movie is when an actor shines brightly in their film debut. Elizabeth Olsen did just that with 2011’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was first shown at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Her performance was all that anyone could talk about.
Olsen plays the protagonist, a young woman struggling mightily with paranoia, her identity, and delusions after returning home from the clutches of an abusive cult. It was this film that made her a star on arrival and allowed her to break out in a major way.
7 Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) – 7.3
Stream On Disney+
Although she showed up in a post-credits scene within the Marvel Cinematic Universe a year prior, this was the first true appearance of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. It marked the first look at a character who is the strongest member of the Avengers.
Released in 2015, Avengers: Age of Ultron was the highly anticipated sequel to The Avengers and was a massive success, grossing $1.403 billion. The main premise sees the team of heroes battle an A.I. hell-bent on the extinction of humans. Maximoff and her brother Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) start as villains but ultimately join the good guys.
6 Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022) – 7.4
See In Theaters
When word got out that Elizabeth Olsen would appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, fans everywhere were excited. The character has become a favorite and her storyline in WandaVision made her more intriguing than ever before.
Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff goes full Scarlet Witch in this film and actually acts as the main villain. She is ruthless, killing almost everyone in her path as she desperately attempts to find her children across the multiverse. Many fans feel that Olsen arguably is the highlight of the blockbuster film.
5 Wind River (2017) – 7.7
Stream On Netflix, Crackle, Tubi, The Roku Channel, Vudu, & Freevee
MCU fans really love it when actors from the universe partner up outside of it. After sharing some great scenes in things like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner worked together in 2017’s Wind River.
Starting with a Sundance Film Festival premiere, this was a box office success, raking in $45 million on an $11 million budget. The neo-western plot centers on an FBI agent (Olsen) and Wildlife Service tracker (Renner) trying to solve a murder on an Indian Reservation in Wyoming.
4 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – 7.8
Stream On Disney+
As noted, this marked the official debut of Elizabeth Olsen’s now-iconic Scarlet Witch character. It was also the first appearance of the biggest role she landed in her career. Surprisingly though, her part in this film is actually an uncredited cameo since it’s so short.
2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the second film focused on the titular captain. It is widely considered one of the best films in the franchise. Alas, Olsen’s role doesn’t play into the story, only appearing in a post-credits scene designed to set up the future.
3 Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 7.8
Stream On Disney+
At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda joined the side of the good guys even though she mourned the loss of her twin brother. Her part in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War actually puts the whole story in motion as she accidentally kills humanitarian workers while on a mission.
That brings the government down on superheroes and splits the Avengers on whether they should be controlled or not. Wanda joins Captain America’s team after she was basically forced into imprisonment and goes up against the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and even her romantic partner Vision.
2 Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 8.4
Stream On Disney+
Like a lot of the later additions to the MCU, Elizabeth Olsen doesn’t have a major part to play in Avengers: Endgame. The 2019 blockbuster shattered records by grossing $1 billion in a weekend and finishing as the highest-grossing film of all time at $2.798 billion.
Avengers: Endgame marked the end of the “Infinity Saga,” culminating over 20 movies’ worth of stories. After Thanos snapped away half of all life, the remaining heroes band together on a time-traveling adventure to bring everyone back. Wanda is one of those who returns and she gets an epic scene where she nearly defeats Thanos on her own.
1 Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 8.4
Stream On Disney+
Although it’s tied with the follow-up release, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War has more ratings on IMDb so it ranks higher. This marked the official start of Thanos’s war with the Avengers as he attempts to collect all of the Infinity Stones in his effort to wipe out half of all humanity.
Wanda is one of the focal points of this story as she helps protect Vision and the Mind Stone from Thanos. In the end, she destroys it, ultimately killing him to save the universe, only for Thanos to rewind time and take it for himself, decimating Vision. Wanda gets snapped away with half of all life at the shocking end of this film.
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