Nicole Kidman arrives for the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards in 2020

Nicole Kidman arrives for the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards in 2020 (Photo by DFree on Shutterstock)

With a career spanning over three decades, Nicole Kidman has captivated audiences with her mesmerizing performances and undeniable charisma. From the dramatic intensity of “Big Little Lies” to the whimsical romance of “Moulin Rouge!”, she’s proven her ability to inhabit any role with breathtaking authenticity. But with a filmography overflowing with critically-acclaimed features, choosing where to begin your Kidman marathon can be daunting. Fear not, cinephiles! This guide delves into the best Nicole Kidman movies that showcase the full spectrum of the actress’s brilliance, offering a journey through her captivating on-screen transformations. So, grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare to be swept away by the magic of Nicole Kidman. If we missed your favorite flick, let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Nicole Kidman Movies, According to Fans

1. “The Others” (2001)

The first spot on our list is 2001’s “The Others”. A horror film is seldom an actor’s best picture, but this one is the epitome of what a thriller should be. Looking for a movie that will send shivers down your spine and leave you questioning everything you think you know? Then buckle up for “The Others.” GoldDerby describes the film as an unlikely awards contender, but Kidman’s haunting performance as Grace Stewart, a devout mother desperately shielding her photosensitive children from sunlight, is undeniable.

Confined to a dimly lit mansion, Grace becomes convinced their home is overrun by ghosts. But as ScreenRant points out, “The Others” is more than just creepy noises and ghostly apparitions. It’s a masterclass in suspense, with Kidman flawlessly embodying a mother’s fierce protectiveness amidst a terrifying unknown. Collider adds that the film perfectly contrasts with Kidman’s dazzling role in “Moulin Rouge!” released in the same year. Here, she sheds the glitz and glamour for a role steeped in psychological suspense, where a secluded mansion and the shadows that lurk within hold the key to a shocking revelation. Are you brave enough to untangle the truth alongside Grace? Dim the lights, crank up the volume, and prepare to be surprised by “The Others.”

2. “The Hours” (2002)

Second up on our list is “The Hours.” The film earned Kidman her first Oscar and had her holding her own against the likes of Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. This is a poignant drama weaving together the narratives of three women, forever connected by Virginia Woolf’s iconic novel “Mrs. Dalloway.” As FilmLifestyle explains, the film, directed by Stephen Daldry, takes us on a journey through time, exploring the profound impact of Woolf’s work on each woman’s life.

But “The Hours” is more than just a literary love letter. MovieWeb points out that it’s a showcase of Nicole Kidman’s exceptional talent. Her portrayal of Virginia Woolf, a brilliant author grappling with mental illness, is nothing short of captivating. Kidman masterfully captures Woolf’s inner turmoil and unwavering spirit, making her struggles relatable and deeply affecting.

ScreenRant goes on to praise the film’s exploration of womanhood and self-discovery. By interweaving Woolf’s story with those of two contemporary women searching for their place in the world, “The Hours” paints a powerful portrait of female experience. It’s a fresh and unique approach to storytelling, one that resonated with audiences and critics alike. And for Nicole Kidman, it culminated in her first Academy Award win for Best Actress, solidifying her place as one of Hollywood’s most celebrated talents. So, prepare to be swept away by a story that transcends time and leaves a lasting impression. Dive into “The Hours” and discover the power of words, connection, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

3. “Moulin Rouge” (2001)

We must all travel to the “Moulin Rouge” for our next pick. With this movie’s spectacular spectacle, it would be easy to get lost in the mix, but Kidman shines here. Get ready to be dazzled by Baz Luhrmann’s unforgettable masterpiece, “Moulin Rouge!” This extravagant film isn’t your typical musical. GoldDerby describes it as a “remarkable mishmash of musical stylings,” a vibrant tapestry of sound and color that perfectly complements the film’s electrifying energy.

At the heart of this whirlwind lies Nicole Kidman’s unforgettable performance as Satine, the sparkling lead courtesan of the Moulin Rouge. Her portrayal earned her well-deserved award nominations, and for good reason. Pinkvilla raves about the film’s “gripping connection and realistic people,” a surprising depth hidden beneath the movie’s dazzling surface. Kidman embodies this duality perfectly, captivating the audience with Satine’s undeniable charm and vulnerability.

Set against the backdrop of Paris in 1899, this film transports you to a world brimming with artistic expression and bohemian ideals. Giggster describes the film as an extravagant story of love, truth, and the pursuit of freedom. We follow Christian, a young writer (played by Ewan McGregor), who becomes hopelessly enamored with Satine. Their passionate love affair unfolds amidst a kaleidoscope of dazzling costumes, breathtaking sets, and modern music woven seamlessly into classic musical numbers. But be warned, “Moulin Rouge!” isn’t afraid to tug at your heartstrings. Prepare for a love story as beautiful as it is heartbreaking.

4. “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999)

Next up on our ranking is the film “Eyes Wide Shut,” a captivating and controversial exploration of sexuality, desire, and the darker aspects of human nature. Buckle up for a thrilling exploration of marriage, desire, and the complexities of human relationships in Stanley Kubrick‘s psychological drama “Eyes Wide Shut.” Wide Open Country tells us that the film stars Nicole Kidman alongside her then-husband Tom Cruise, but this is more than just a celebrity power couple on screen. Kidman delivers a powerful performance as Alice Hartford, a woman who throws a wrench into her seemingly perfect marriage by confessing a past sexual fantasy. Her husband, Bill (played by Cruise), wrestles with jealousy and insecurity, leading him down a dark path of his own desires.

Looper calls “Eyes Wide Shut” a surprising turn for Kidman, and it’s easy to see why. The film delves into the raw emotions simmering beneath the surface of a seemingly ordinary couple. Collider points out that while Kidman’s screen time might be less than Cruise’s, her presence is undeniable. Her captivating gaze and the shocking revelation that sets the story in motion are what truly drive the film forward. And let’s not forget the way she delivers the last line – it’ll stay with you long after the credits roll.

5. “To Die For” (1995)

Last but certainly not least goes to the oldest film on our list, but one that is 100 percent worth a rewatch. Long before captivating audiences in dramatic epics and chilling thrillers, Nicole Kidman took a daring leap into the dark side with “To Die For.” Independent describes the film as a “mean and nasty little comedy” that forced Hollywood to take notice of Kidman’s talent, independent of her then-celebrity spouse. Here, she sheds the good-girl image and transforms into Suzanne Stone, a ruthlessly ambitious weather woman with a thirst for fame that borders on obsession.

Directed by Gus Van Sant, “To Die For” is more than just dark humor; it’s a sharp social commentary. GoldDerby calls it Kidman’s “big-time entry into Hollywood,” and it’s easy to see why. The film cleverly satirizes the media’s obsession with celebrity and the lengths some will go to in the pursuit of fame. Kidman embodies this satirical spirit perfectly. Her portrayal of Suzanne is both captivating and chilling – a beautiful woman with a smile that masks a heart of ice.

Looper dives deeper into Suzanne’s story, describing her as a woman desperate to ditch the weather report and climb the ladder of broadcast journalism. When her husband tries to clip her wings, Suzanne hatches a twisted plan, manipulating a group of high school students (including a young Joaquin Phoenix) to further her own ambitions. “To Die For” is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. It’s a cautionary tale wrapped in dark humor, a testament to Nicole Kidman’s fearless approach to acting, and a must-watch for anyone who appreciates a good story with a bite. So, prepare to be surprised (and maybe a little horrified) by Kidman’s unforgettable performance in “To Die For.”


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Jilly Hite

Janelle is a freelance writer from New York. Her writing focuses on parenting, tech, business, interior design, education, and telling people’s inspiring stories. Janelle has written for Mustela and Newton Baby and has bylines in Pregnant Chicken, Syracuse Woman Magazine, the Baldwinsville Messenger, and Family Times Magazine. She holds a master’s degree in literacy from the State University of New York at Oswego.

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