12 Best Elizabeth Olsen Movies, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

12 Best Elizabeth Olsen Movies, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Elizabeth Olsen grew up watching her big sisters become child stars. Instead of following the same path, she appeared as an extra in a few of their projects before attending school to study acting. When Olsen became an actress full time, she mixed up her resume with everything from indie dramas to big-budget action movies.

Right now, most audiences know her best for her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wanda Maximoff. That role does make up a good portion of her acting resume with a quarter of her movies set in the MCU. According to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes, those movies also make up some of the best in her career so far.

Updated on May 16th, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: As reviews continue to roll in for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness from around the world, fans of Elizabeth Olsen are feeling pretty validated. The talented actress is being praised for her work as the Scarlet Witch, but there’s a lot more to the actress than just her MCU roles. While many of her MCU projects rank amongst her best, there’s so much more to the actress – especially when it comes to dramatic roles that showcase her ability.

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12 Liberal Arts (2012) – 71%

Available to rent through AppleTV or YouTube

Leading off Elizabeth Olsen’s best movies isn’t one of her blockbusters. Instead, it’s a smaller film that starred Josh Radnor as a man looking for a connection at his alma mater. He found it in a student, played by Olsen, when he went back to speak in his old professor’s class.

RELATED: Don Cheadle’s 10 Best Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes

Liberal Arts actually divided quite a few critics. While some found it warm and charming, others found it bland and unfocused. Clearly the good outweighed the bad.

11 Kodachrome (2017) – 71%

Elizabeth Olsen in Kodachrome

Available to stream on Netflix

Like a lot of Olsen’s work outside of playing the Scarlet Witch, Kodachrome isn’t a blockbuster movie, but one that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. It also features Olsen in a supporting role while Ed Harris and Jason Sudeikis do most of the film’s heavy lifting.

Olsen plays a nurse in the film, one who cares for Harris’ dying character as he struggles to reconnect with his son (Sudeikis). The film largely earned praise for Harris rather than his younger co-stars.

10 Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022) – 74%

doctor-strange-2-wanda-and-strange-talking

Will be available to stream on DisneyPlus after its theatrical run

Reviews for the MCU’s Doctor Strange sequel are largely mixed. While some critics praise the foray into horror, others see the movie as more of a collection of scenes instead of a cohesive story. One thing that is universally praised about the movie though? Elizabeth Olsen’s acting.

Olsen’s turn as the Scarlet Witch here allows her to be a darker and more emotional character than any of her outings in the MCU so far. She’s mesmerizing to watch in it.

9 Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) – 76%

Elizabeth Olsen In Avengers Age Of Ultron

Available to stream on DisneyPlus

Olsen’s first foray into the MCU was in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Depending on who you ask, this movie is one of the great team-ups of the franchise, or it’s one of the worst for individual characters like Black Widow – or both.

Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff began the movie as a villain, intent on getting revenge for what Tony Stark did to her country, but realized her intentions were misguided. Despite all of the movie’s missteps, it did show that in the MCU, some villains could change their ways and become allies after all.

8 Godzilla (2014) – 76%

Elizabeth Olsen And Aaron Taylor Johnson In Godzilla

Available to rent on AppleTV or PrimeVideo

It’s interesting that Age Of Ultron and Godzilla have a similar critical score since both movies featured Olsen with the same scene partner for a lot of her work – Aaron Taylor Johnson. For the MCU, the two played brother and sister. Here, they played husband and wife separated as Godzilla surfaces.

The movie tried to focus on the human emotion of the crisis instead of simply the giant animal wreaking havoc. Some critics enjoyed the approach to the new chapter in Godzilla’s story, while others thought it fell a little flat. Olsen’s work, however, never faltered.

7 Kill Your Darlings (2013) – 76%

Elizabeth Olsen In Kill Your Darlings

Available to stream on Hulu

Though most of the focus in Kill Your Darlings was on Daniel Radcliffe and Dane Dehaan, Elizabeth Olsen did have a supporting role in the ensemble. She portrayed Edie Parker, the one-time wife of Jack Kerouac, played by Jack Huston in the film.

RELATED: Daniel Radcliffe’s 10 Best Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes

Olsen played the art student and writer with an assurance that sometimes got lost in the more dramatic story of Lucien Carr (Dehaan) and Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe). Dehaan, in particular, was nominated for several awards as the movie made the film festival circuit.

6 Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 85%

Available to stream on DisneyPlus

The MCU’s Avengers: Infinity War allowed the audience to see some of Wanda Maximoff’s most emotional moments, giving Olsen a bit more to do than stand in a crowd and imagine her CGI fight.

Here, the audience gets to see Wanda and Vision as they try to make a relationship work while they’re on separate sides of the law. Likewise, Wanda gets to face off against Thanos on her own – and almost succeeds – in the climax of the film. The movie has a lot of great moments that bring together a decade of Marvel characters on the screen, but it’s not the highest-rated MCU movie for Olsen, likely because the movie served as a very large setup for what came next.

5 Ingrid Goes West (2017) – 85%

Elizabeth Olsen And Aubrey Plaza In Ingrid Goes West

Available to stream on Hulu

The movie Ingrid Goes West was a bit of a departure for Olsen. Filmed at a time when she had become best known for her Marvel role, the movie satirizes society’s current obsession with social media.

Olsen stars as a social media influencer in the film who Aubrey Plaza’s Ingrid becomes obsessed with. When Ingrid decides to move out to Los Angeles to get close to her, the two become friends until Ingrid’s secrets begin to unravel. Olsen got to play narcissistic and a little less grounded than she usually does, making for a fun ride.

4 Wind River (2017) – 87%

Elizabeth Olsen And Jeremy Renner In Wind River

Available to stream on Netflix

Released the same year as Ingrid Goes West, Wind River is a very different movie. While the former was a dark comedy, the latter is a murder mystery and a thriller. Both, however, provide social commentary.

RELATED: 10 Best Relationship Dynamics In Hawkeye

Costarring the MCU’s Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as an accomplished tracker, Wind River sees Elizabeth Olsen as an FBI agent attempting to investigate the death of a Native American woman. The film was inspired by real events (and the fact that data isn’t kept for missing Native Americans) and was praised for its visceral approach to the story, though many argued that more Native American actors should have been cast in the film.

3 Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) – 90%

Sarah Paulson And Elizabeth Olsen In Martha Marcy May Marlene

Available to rent on AppleTV and PrimeVideo

Kicking off the top three of the best Elizabeth Olsen movies is her first major role – and the only one of her top three to not be in the MCU. Martha Marcy May Marlene debuted on the film festival circuit in 2011 to rave reviews. The film, along with Elizabeth Olsen, received a slew of award nominations at the festivals where it was featured.

Olsen stars as a former cult member who attempts to escape. She returns to live with her sister but has trouble adjusting to life outside of the cult, repeatedly suffering from breakdowns. The movie showed a strong emotional range from the actress that not many of her roles have needed her to display since.

2 Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 90%

Elizabeth Olsen In Captain America Civil War

Available to stream on DisneyPlus

In Captain America: Civil War the ideological differences of its characters were brought to a head after one mission resulted in catastrophic casualties.

This marked Olsen’s second movie as Wanda Maximoff, and it allowed her character to become more than just a misguided young woman. She struggled with her abilities, experienced guilt and remorse for the people who lost their lives, but didn’t want to be controlled by a government hand either. Wanda became the tipping point for the beginning of a conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. The movie balanced those emotional conflicts with large action sequences, bringing what looked like comic book splash pages onto the big screen.

1 Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 94%

Elizabeth Olsen Briel Larson And Tom Holland In Avengers Endgame

Available to stream on DisneyPlus

Elizabeth Olsen’s top-rated movie happens to be the culmination of ten years of a single franchise – and one that she doesn’t appear in as much as fans might think. Her pivotal moments come in the movie’s large battle sequence.

Wanda is at the forefront of a female team-up, following in Black Widow’s footsteps from Infinity War. Most importantly, she’s there to provide an emotional touchstone in the end as she and Hawkeye mourn their fallen friends. It’s not a lot for her, but the movie caps one chapter of the MCU and sets the stage for Olsen to do more with Wanda as the Scarlet Witch in the future.

NEXT: 10 Times Wanda Maximoff Broke Our Hearts In The MCU

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About The Author

Amanda Bruce
(894 Articles Published)

Amanda is a freelance writer in Florida. She holds a Psychology degree and loves superheroes and serial storytelling. Her favorite heroines include Black Widow, Blake Belladonna, and Sailor Jupiter.

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