Oscar winner. Emmy winner. Golden Globe winner. Time 100 recipient. A performer would love to have one of these accomplishments on their resume. Not everyone is Brie Larson, who, at age 34, owns every accolade listed above. Larson has been impressing audiences with her talent for over 20 years.
Over the first decade of her career, Larson predominantly starred in supporting roles in both film and television. Notable roles include Kate Gregson in The United States of Tara, Monica Martello in Don Jon, and Cassidy in The Spectacular Now. Thanks to her charming persona and fierce presence onscreen, Larson was destined to headline movies, from action thrillers and blockbusters (Captain Marvel and Kong: Skull Island) to independent dramas and biopics (Room and The Glass Castle). There’s a reason why Marvel sees Larson as one of the leaders of its cinematic universe.
In which movies did she truly shine? Here are the five best Brie Larson movies.
Every famous actor has a star-making performance, one that stops you in your tracks. It’s the moment when an emerging talent transforms into a star. In 2015, Larson entered a new stratosphere in Hollywood with Room. Based on the 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue, Room follows Joy “Ma” Newsome (Larson), a young mother forced to raise her young son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) in captivity inside a small shed nicknamed “Room.”
When Jack outgrows their secluded world, Joy plans a daring escape with the potential for deadly consequences. Room is a harrowing and powerful film that will tear at your heartstrings as you witness what a mother is willing to do for her child. Thanks to her sensational performance, Larson added Oscar winner to her official title as the 26-year-old won Best Actress at the 88th Academy Awards.
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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Before establishing herself as a leading actor, Larson was known for her scene-stealing performances in supporting roles. One of her most celebrated supporting performances came in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), an aspiring bass player in an indie band, strikes up a romantic connection with Ramona Flowers. To win Ramona’s heart, he must face her seven ex-boyfriends in battle to the death.
As if Scott didn’t have enough to worry about, he must confront his rockstar ex-girlfriend, Natalie “Envy” Adams (Larson). With a leather jacket and platinum blonde hair, Larson plays Envy as an intimidating, confident ex who wants to stick it to Scott. You would think Larson was a touring musician with how well she performs as Envy onstage. Yet toward the end, Larson finds a way to humanize Envy’s icy persona, a testament to her talent.
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Larson became an international superstar and MCU hero as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. Set in 1995, Captain Marvel, a powerful Kree warrior, crash lands in Los Angeles, drawing the attention of a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Plagued by memories of her previous life, Captain Marvel learns about her origins as Carol Danvers, a former military pilot.
As she uncovers more secrets about her previous life, Danvers finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic war between the Kree and the Skrulls. Larson brought a great sense of stoicism, physicality, and humanity to her Danvers. With Larson as the star, Captain Marvel became the first female-led superhero film to cross $1 billion at the box office.
Watch on Disney Plus
Short Term 12
Larson was always considered very talented, but it wasn’t until 2013’s Short Term 12 that she proved her leading role capabilities. Larson plays Grace, a young supervisor who works at a group home for troubled teens. Most of these kids are victims of violence or sexual abuse, so Grace provides them with love, support, and understanding. However, Grace has her demons with a history of self-harm. Larson is a revelation in Short Term 12 as a confident, kindhearted woman on the outside with a broken, fragile heart behind closed doors.
Short Term 12 features great actors and crew members right before they explode in popularity. Rami Malek won an Oscar, LaKeith Stanfield received an Oscar nomination, Kaitlyn Dever became an Emmy-nominated actor, and director Daniel Destin Creed helmed Shang-Chi and will soon lead an Avengers movie.
21 Jump Street
Larson is not the star of 21 Jump Street nor the top supporting character. Yet, Larson continued to turn small roles into memorable performances. Based on the television series from the late 1980s, 21 Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Schmidt and Jenko, two inexperienced cops who pose as high school students to stop the spread of a drug that’s killing teenagers.
Larson plays Molly Tracey, one of the high school students who develops a romantic connection with Schmidt. Larson’s Molly is cool, calm, and charismatic, perfectly balancing with Schmidt’s awkwardness and neuroticism. Some actors might see Molly as a “nothing role,” but Larson is so talented that the audience falls for her and roots for her inappropriate relationship with Schmidt to work out.