10 Best Olivia Colman Movies, According To Metacritic

Following her Oscar win at the 2019 Academy Awards, Olivia Colman quickly became one of the most popular and sought-after actresses in all of Hollywood. Her diverse and adaptable acting style means she can adapt to any role, and she always brings something new and unexpected to the table.

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Since her start on British television, Colman’s acting career has taken a huge turn towards more traditional and international roles which have really thrust her into the limelight. However, she is also careful to consider every project she takes on, working on more prestigious films with highly respected directors.

ten Ron Gone Wrong (2021) – 65

Olivia Colman as Donka in Ron's Gone Wrong

Ron gone wrong is one of the more upbeat and lighthearted films of Olivia Colman’s belt, where she plays the protagonist’s Bulgarian grandmother, Donka Pudowski. The film is an animated sci-fi comedy centered on a young boy named Barney and his malfunctioning robot friend.

Ron gone wrong received mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences, primarily due to its heartfelt script and lighthearted tone throughout. It’s a movie that’s sure to appeal to kids and adults alike, thanks to the intriguing family dynamics at the heart of the film.

9 Mother’s Sunday (2021) – 67

Olivia Colman in Mothering Sunday

Mothers Day is a powerful romance/drama that details the relationship between Jane and Paul, two neighbors who have had a secret affair for many years. Jane is Mr. and Mrs. Niven’s housekeeper, the latter being played by Olivia Colman.

The film is one that revels in its own melodrama, taking time to develop and enrich its characters through their outrageous relationships with others. It’s an extremely easy movie to watch, thanks to how engrossing and immersive the main storyline is.


8 London Road (2016) – 71

Olivia Colman in London Road

London Road documents the discovery of five bodies of women in Ipswich in 2006, which rocks the local town and calls for an inquest into their deaths. The film is based on a National Theater musical of the same name and maintains this musical approach to its on-screen story.

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Despite its unusual approach to storytelling, the film won critical acclaim for its insightful exploration of these murders and the lives of the women at the heart of the story. The entire cast was praised for their work, including Colman who plays Julie.

7 The Secret World of Arrietty (2012) – 80

Arrietty's Secret World

Arrietty’s Secret World (or simply Arrietty, as originally released in Japan) is an animated fantasy film from the prolific Studio Ghibli. He follows the Clock family, who are living in another family’s house and stealing all of their possessions. Their strange way of life is put to the test when the humans discover one of their own, Arrietty, and they are forced to flee.

The movie has a lot of interesting things to say about family and purpose, and the roles those things play in the society we live in. Like many Ghibli movies, Arrietty delivers an extremely accessible story that allows audiences to engage with the film’s deeper themes beneath the surface. It is this thoughtful storytelling that leads many to label Arrietty as one of Studio Ghibli’s best films.

6 Locke (2014) – 81

Although she doesn’t actually appear in the film (in fact, Tom Hardy is the only actor seen for the entire run), Olivia Colman’s vocal performance as Bethan Maguire is one of the defining aspects of the movie. She spends the entire film on the phone, as she gives birth to the titular Locke’s child.

Hardy’s rapport with Colman drives the entire narrative of the film, and while audiences never even see his face, there’s a strong case to be made that this is one of Colman’s best performances ever. this day. The levels of emotion she is able to convey using just her voice are truly impressive and leave a lasting impression.

5 The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021) – 81

As one of critics’ favorite Oscar nominees for Best Animated Feature of 2021, it’s no surprise to see The Mitchells vs. the Machines so high in this list. The film, produced by animators Miller & Lord, follows the Mitchell family as they are forced to battle a robotic apocalypse and save the future of humanity.

Olivia Colman plays Pal, a ruthless machine intent on revenge on humanity after being dismissed as obsolete. It’s easily one of Colman’s funniest and most entertaining roles, as she’s able to take full advantage of being an over-the-top villain – and she’s clearly having a lot of fun with it.

4 The Lobster (2016) – 82

From Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, Lobster is a unique black comedy about love, relationships and how they are embedded in our society. It takes place in a world where single people are forced to regroup in an unusual hotel, where they must find a suitable partner within 45 days or risk being transformed into an animal.

There is a reason that many consider Lobster to be one of the best dark romance movies, and that’s because of its uniqueness and originality. The performances are consistently entertaining, the script bursting with ideas, and Lanthimos’ direction knows exactly how to get the most out of every frame.

3 The Lost Girl (2021) – 86

In Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, Olivia Colman plays a lonely mother whose interactions with another young mother force her to reflect on her early years of motherhood, and the many mistakes she made. The film explores what it means to be a mother in an extremely intimate and grounded way, never shy away from the truth and realism of it all.

The lost girl secured Colman the third Oscar nomination in an acting category – a feat that proves her transition into one of Hollywood’s most talented and iconic actresses working today. It also earned an Adapted Screenplay nomination, proving that Gyllenhaal is one of the great actors-turned-directors.

2 The Father (2021) – 88

Written and directed by Florian Zeller and based on his play of the same name, The father is a chilling and haunting look at the life of a man suffering from dementia, told through his own distorted perspective. It’s a hugely revealing film, helmed by career-best Anthony Hopkins in the lead role.

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Olivia Colman plays Hopkins’ daughter, and the film’s exploration of her position is just as devastating as its explorations of Hopkins’ character himself. The father shows how difficult it can be to dedicate your life to someone who doesn’t even realize the extent or the fruits of those efforts.

1 The Favorite (2018) – 91

Olivia Colman seated in The Favorite

The role that won Olivia Colman her Oscar, The favourite is another dark comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos centering on Queen Anne of England and two women vying for her affections. Colman commands the screen in the lead role, with an almost unrecognizable persona as the arrogant, self-centered queen.

Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are equally fantastic in their respective roles, and the three actors manage to create such intense on-screen chemistry that it’s almost impossible not to get lost in this wild and chaotic tale.

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