Helen Mirren’s 10 Best Movies (According To IMDb)

Helen Mirren is the name of diversity and perfection. She officially goes by the name of Dame Helen Lydia Mirren. Yes, that’s right the British Crown has conferred upon her the title of Dame. It, therefore, should be no surprise that Helen is a British actor.  She started her career with Theatre, making beginnings with the National Youth Theatre, where she indeed excelled. Helen’s major breakthrough came with the performance as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra in 1965. Thereafter she received an invitation to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was shortly followed by her West End stage debut in 1975. One of Helen’s greatest achievements is that she has achieved the Triple Crown of Acting in the US.

She has an Academy Award for Best Actress in her name for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. She holds aTony Award for Best Actress in a Play The Audience. Four times Helen also has won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Helen started off her career with The Long Good Friday. Today we recall her top ten IMDb movies. Here we go!

The Long Good Friday  (7.6)

The Long Good Friday: Helen’s first movie.

The Long Good Friday is a British gangster film.

This movie marked Helen’s breakthrough role in the year, 1980. It stars Mirren and Bob Hoskins in the lead roles. Helen Mirren plays a young girl named Victoria.

Here’s a fun fact about The Long Good Friday, even though it was completed in the year 1979, there was a delay in its release because of which it is credited as a 1980 movie. T

The story concerns events in late 1970s Britain. These were the events of mid-level police corruption in which those in politics were also complicit. Other issues that The Long Good Friday picked up were the IRA fund-raising, displacement of traditional British industry by property development, UK membership of the EEC, and the free-market economy.

The Long Good Friday is generally regarded as one of the best British films. It figured at number 19 in 2016’s British film magazine Empire ranking of “The 100 best British films.”

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (7.6)

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover: the film is noted for its graphic violence.

The Cook, the ThiefHis Wife & Her Lover is a 1989 crime drama film.

In this movie, Helen Mirren plays Georgina Spica who is titular, “The Wife.” She plays a sophisticated woman, yet the battered wife of Albert Spica. She has tried to escape from whom Albert’s life. When the movie came out in ’89, it was noted for its graphic violence and nude scenes. The movie also boasts of expensive cinematography and formalism.

The Cook, the ThiefHis Wife & Her Lover is written and directed by Peter Greenaway. It stars Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and Alan Howard in the lead/titular roles, as the cook, the thief, his wife, and her lover, respectively.

Trumbo (7.5)

Trumbo: screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who is blacklisted from Hollywood.

Trumbo is a 2015 American biographical drama film.

Bryan Cranston stars as the titular lead of the film Trumbo. The plot concerns a top screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo who is blacklisted in the 1960s for being an active member of the Communist Party of the USA. The events are based in cold war in America. Helen Mirren plays Hedda Hopper,  the American gossip columnist, and actress in Trumbo.

Trumbo was one of 10 screenwriters subpoenaed to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) regarding Communist propaganda in his scripts concerning the Hollywood films.

She ardently supported the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings. Helen Mirren has done a perfect job acting as a gossip columnist for suspecting communists. She has a bunch of standoffish scenes with Dalton in the movie as she was the major proponent of the Hollywood blacklist.

The Queen (7.3)

The Queen: Queen Elizabeth II’s story after the death of Princess Diana.

The Queen is a 2006 British biographical drama film.

The movie stars Helen Mirren in the title role of Queen Elizabeth II. After the death of Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, two factions emerge in the Royal household: the Royal Family thinks Diana’s death as a private affair and be treated thus. However, the Prime Minister Tony Blair and Diana’s ex-husband, Prince Charles, who favor the public be involved in the moment of grief.

As Royal protocols break, media scrutiny over the royal protocol regarding Diana’s official status, and about republicanism emerge.

The Queen was directed by Stephen Frears and written by Peter Morgan.

 Eye in the Sky (7.3)

Eye In The Sky
Eye In The Sky: Helen plays British colonel Katherine.

Eye in the Sky is a 2015 British thriller film.

The movie stars Helen Mirren as the lead character, a tough British colonel, in charge of the multinational operation to eliminate Al-Shabaab terrorists in Nairobi. Eye in the Sky is directed by Gavin Hood and written by Guy Hibbert.

The main theme of the movie concerns the ethical challenges of drone warfare. Besides Mirren, Eye in the Sky stars Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi in the lead roles. It also became the last live-action film to feature Alan Rickman. Eye in the Sky was dedicated to his memory.

Woman in Gold (7.3) 

Woman in Gold: Helen plays a Jewish woman on a quest to reclaim her family possessions stolen by the Nazis.

Woman in Gold is a 2015 biographical drama film.

This is a true story centered around Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish refugee living in Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles. She sets out on a quest to reclaim her family possessions taken by the Nazis in Vienna just before World War II. Ryan Reynolds plays her lawyer Randy Schoenberg who joins her in a ten-year-long fight against the government of Austria to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting of her aunt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

Besides Helen Mirren, the film stars Ryan Reynolds in the lead role. The supporting cast includes Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jonathan Pryce. The battle was then taken to Altmann took her legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The ruling is popularly known as the Republic of Austria v. Altmann (2004).

Woman in Gold was directed by Simon Curtis and written by Alexi Kaye Campbell.

The Madness of King George

The Madness of King George: the story of King George III who turns mentally unstable.

The Madness of King George is a 1994 British biographical historical comedy-drama film.

The story concerns George III of Great Britain whose deteriorating mental health, and rigid relationship with his eldest son, the Prince of Wales. The events are based during the politically unstable time around the Regency Crisis of 1788–89. Helen Mirren plays Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. She did a perfect job of showcasing her husband’s bouts of physical and mental illness. As Queen Charlotte, Mirren was distressed about her husband’s state of affairs and tried her best to help him when she could.

The Madness of King George was directed by Nicholas Hytner and adapted by Alan Bennett from his own 1991 play named  The Madness of George III.

The Hundred-Foot Journey (7.3)

The Hundred-Foot Journey: a 2014 American comedy about the battle of two restaurants.

The HundredFoot Journey is a 2014 American comedy-drama film.

The HundredFoot Journey was directed by Lasse Hallström. It is based on a screenplay by Steven Knight, adapted from Richard Morais’ 2010 novel of the same name. Helen Mirren plays Madame Mallory, proprietor of Le Saule Pleureur.

Besides Mirren, the film stars Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon in the lead roles. The story of The HundredFoot Journey is about two restaurants in competition in a village: one run by an Indian family and the other one, a lavish Michelin-starred restaurant.

State of Play (7.1)

State of Play: the story of the murder of Congressman’s assistant.

State of Play is a 2009 political thriller film.

It is the story of a journalist (played by Russell Crowe) who leads a probe into the suspicious death of a congressman’s (played by Ben Affleck) mistress. Helen stars in the supporting cast besides Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright, and Jeff Daniels.

State of Play was directed by Kevin Macdonald. It is many centered around journalistic independence and the relationship between politicians and the press.

RED (7.0)

Red: is the story of Frank Moses, a retired black-ops CIA agent.

Red is a 2010 American action comedy film.

The film is based on the retired black-ops CIA agent, who lives alone in Cleveland, Ohio. An assassination squad is after him as he tries to save himself and his love interest Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker). Helen Mirren plays Victoria Winslow in Red, a former wetwork agent. She offers her place as a hideout for Frank.

Red is adapted from limited comic-book series of the same name created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamne. It was directed by Robert Schwentke. Besides Mirren, Red stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Karl Urban.

Ayman Nazir
Ayman is an avid fan of American and British TV shows. You will often find her writing about Reviews on TV Shows. When she isn't working, she loves to read, write, and cook. You can reach her at Ayman@otakukart.com