Top 5/Bottom 5: Rachel McAdams

Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 at 03:35 PM PST by

by Aaron Peck

I had to do this list after our esteemed editor, Mike Attebery, confessed his secret love for Ms. McAdams and her acting. Truthfully, I don't think he has to be secretive about anything. She's cute, and given the right role, she flourishes. Sure there are a couple dark moments in her career, but when she's good. She's very good.

With today's Blu-ray release of 'Morning Glory,' we thought this was a fantastic time to revisit the filmography of our favorite Canadian import!

The Best

'Mean Girls'

Personally I think 'Mean Girls' is Rachel McAdams' best movie by far. Partly because the movie itself is one of the best high school comedies out there, and partly because she's perfect playing the bitchy Regina. I'm sure we can all hearken back to our high school days and remember the snotty, pretty girl that walked around the school like she owned it. 'Mean Girls' nails the high school comedy, and with McAdams' performance, it's a movie that I can sit down and watch over and over again.

'The Notebook'

Sure it's a corny Nicolas Sparks movie that makes me want to cringe every time I see it, but McAdams successfully pulls off the melodramatic mess of a script with a quiet refinement. It's actually quite marvelous to watch her. She's invested in this role, even though the movie itself is just so darn manipulative and over-the-top.

'Morning Glory'

I thought our Rachel did a great job holding her own against the likes of Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. Even with those two big stars, she was called upon to carry much of 'Morning Glory' and she does so very well.

'State of Play'

When the previews for 'State of Play' were playing on TV I couldn't help but watch them and think it looked like a mediocre two-hour episode of 'Law and Order'. It just looked so terribly cliché that I didn't want to have much to do with it. I'm glad I was wrong. 'State of Play' is a taut thriller that packs a sturdy gut punch. Seasoned director Kevin MacDonald is able to draw an exremely strong performance out of McAdams here as reporter Della Frye. A very pleasant surprise! It's also a steal on Blu-ray.

'Red Eye'

Guilty pleasure time. I'm allowed at least one on these lists, I'm pretty sure of that. Anyway, as a damsel in distress, McAdams excels. She's not asked to do much, but what she does, she does well. And stabbing Cillian Murphy in the throat with a pen, that was pretty bad-ass (and long overdue!). Good for her. Let's get this one out on Blu-ray, shall we?

The Worst

'The Time Traveler's Wife'

Is it McAdams' fault that this movie is a complete dud? Not really, but despite playing the film's title character, she's still never convincing in the role. She basically just sits around waiting for her husband to disappear and reappear whenever his time travel disease sees fit. Yawn...

'The Hot Chick'

I'm instituting a rule in the Top 5 / Bottom 5 articles. If ever an actor stars in a movie opposite Rob Schneider that movie automatically goes into the Worst List no questions asked. Now imagine having to switch bodies with Rob Schneider. I shudder at the thought.

'Sherlock Holmes'

Her Irine Adler was pretty wooden all the way around. Plus it didn't help that she was bumping up against nutty Robert Downey Jr. who completely owned this movie, chewing up most of the scenes that she was in.

'The Lucky Ones'

A disappointing Iraq war movie that you probably never saw, and probably never will. What? I needed to fill in the requisite "unknown movie" slot somewhere on this list, right?

'Married Life'

Sporting a cast that included Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan, this World War II period piece about infidelity was hardly seen by anyone. It came and went without anyone really noticing it, and that's for a reason. It's dry, mundane, and sort of a slog to sit through. The movie's other downfall? It's a movie about adultery that features a PG-13 rating. With a good looking girl like McAdams in a movie about infidelity, I know many people would be hoping for something a little more risqué. Sorry boys. Not going to happen here. Not this time. (but on that note, 'Time Traveler's Wife' does has its moments!)

McAdams is cute and bubbly, and has stepped her way up into the A-list crowd of leading ladies. She's still got a little ways to go, however, since big as she's become, she still disappears in scenes involving actors like Robert Downey, Jr. (Then again, who doesn't, right?) She's getting better with every film though. Showing that she could stand up and be seen next to the likes of Ford and Keaton in 'Morning Glory' went a long way for her. As always, if we missed a movie, or included a film in the wrong section (according to you of course) then please let us know in the forums.

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Tags: Fun Stuff, Top 5/Bottom 5, Aaron Peck, Rachel McAdams (all tags)