Uma Thurman has had quite a career. Ever since bursting onto the scene with three widely varied films in 1988, Thurman has become somewhat of a household name. She began her career as a fresh-faced ingenue dependent on her raw beauty, but over time, she evolved into a badass action star under the tutelage of one Quentin Tarantino.
However, in the past five years, Thurman has gravitated toward telling stories on the small screen. She’s appeared in three TV series since 2015, including The Slap, Imposters, and most recently, The Chambers. With at least one movie due in 2020, it’s time we assess Uma Thurman’s 10 Best movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes!
10 Tape (77%)
Back when Richard Linklater was still cutting his teeth and making a name for himself, he opted to helm a taut three-hander starring Ethan Hawke and his then-wife, Uma Thurman, in the stage-to-screen adaptation of Tape!
The drama centers on two high-school pals who get together in a seedy hotel one night to reminisce. Over time, it becomes clear that one friend has compromising knowledge of the other, accusing him of sexually assaulting his girlfriend back in the day. Enter Uma Thurman as the rape victim with her own ulterior motives.
9 Sweet And Lowdown (77%)
Appearing opposite Sean Penn in Woody Allen’s ode to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Uma shines as the character of Blanche in Sweet and Lowdown!
The film centers on Emmet Ray, a booze-addled, philandering jazz musician whose self-destructive tendencies threaten to ruin his life as a performer. Emmet spends his days in a drunken stupor, watching trains, shooting critters, and pining over the greatness of fellow guitarist, Reinhardt.
8 Beautiful Girls (79%)
In Beautiful Girls, the late great director Ted Demme harnassed Thurman’s beauty exactly how you’d imagine a big-city girl coming to Main Street!
That is, when Thurman’s character Andera arrives in a small town to visit her cousin, she’s the manifest ideal of every man’s desire. As the title suggests, the movie is a celebration of women’s inherent attractiveness, and no single character embodies that notion more than that of Thurman. She’s sexy, confident, and cooler than everyone else!
7 Gattaca (83%)
One could argue Gattaca is the greatest movie of Thurman’s career. Without it, she may never have met, married, and bore children with costar Ethan Hawke.
Thankfully, critics agree that the wildly imaginative Andrew Niccol film is among Thurman’s best movies of her career. The film tracks Vince Freeman (Hawke), a genetically inferior man who wants to travel to the cosmos. To accommodate such, Vince undergoes a stealth mission to assume the identity of Jerome Morrow, a paraplegic with the proper genetic makeup for space travel.
6 Kill Bill Volume 2 (84%)
In arguably the role of her lifetime, Uma Thurman has never been better as Beatrix Kiddo, the sword-wielding mega-assassin in Quentin Tarantino’s four-hour epic!
With a single percentage point lower, critics dug Volume 2 slightly less than Volume 1. The second part of the sweeping martial arts saga tracks Beatrix on her dogged mission to find and kill Bill (David Caradine), former lover and father of her baby who tried to have her killed during a wedding ceremony.
5 Kill Bill Volume 1 (85%)
Following what many perceived to be a misguided effort in Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino went back to his Pulp Fiction muse, Uma Thurman, to reinvent the martial arts epic via Kill Bill Vol. 1. Boy did it pay off!
In an exhaustive, physically taxing and emotionally grueling performance, Thurman shines as a woman vowing to avenge the potential death of her baby, Nikki. Critics adored the way in which QT paid heartfelt homage to classic kung-fu movies of yore, while at the same time pushing the envelope forward with sweeping action set-pieces.
4 Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind (88%)
Thurman’s very first screen credit, or voice credit we should say, is still good enough to rank among her Top four films, per Rotten Tomatoes. Yeah, Hayao Miyazaki will do that for ya!
Under the direction of the premier Japanese animation artist, Thurman voiced the role of Kushana in the English-language version of the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The film about a pacifistic princess caught between two warring countries remains a high point of both Thurman and Miyazaki’s illustrious careers.
3 The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (92%)
In just her third live-action role, Thurman lent her raw talent and trademark beauty to Terry Gilliam in the sprawling family-adventure film, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. As a reward, Uma got to play dual roles as Venus and Rose!
The film defies description in providing a wild ride for viewers. John Neville plays the titular Baron who goes on a fantastical adventure of a lifetime that takes him to the moon, the bottom of the sea, and everywhere in between.
2 Pulp Fiction (92%)
It’s hard to overstate the impact Pulp Fiction had not only on Thurman’s acting career but on pop culture as well. The first indie movie to gross over $100 million was also the coolest movie to come about in a generation. The man who is responsible? One Quentin Tarantino!
In the nonlinear narrative of Pulp Fiction, a three-part story about sordid gangsters and hitmen in Los Angeles, Uma plays the unforgettable Mia Wallace. As the girlfriend of top-gangster Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), Mia cannot be touched. That is until good old Eric Stoltz plunges a syringe in her chest after overdosing!
1 Dangerous Liaisons (93%)
It’s hard to believe a single movie of Thurman’s has more critical plaudits than Pulp Fiction, but if anyone can achieve such a feat, it’s the great director Stephen Frears!
Remade in 2000 as Cruel Intentions, Dangerous Liaisons is a sultry and seductive tale of palace intrigue. When the libertine lothario Valmont (John Malkovich) begins courting the soon-to-be-married Cecile (Thurman), jealous complications arise. Valmont plays a twisted game with the Marquise (Glenn Close) to sleep with Cecile, but his eyes are really on the newly arrived Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer).
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