Halle Berry is a bonafide boundary-pushing, record-breaking, multi-talented actress. In the decades she has been on the scene, she has put her tenacity, acting skills, and beauty to good use. And despite the obvious occasional dips in her career, the actress, like Catwoman, one of the most popular Halle Berry movies characters, always seems to land on her feet.
Before her television debut in 1989, Halle Berry had already had a taste of the spotlight with her time as a model. She is a one-time winner of the Miss Teen All-American Pageant. A success that saw her enter for and finish as the first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant and sixth in the Miss World 1986 pageant.
She made her acting debut in 1989’s Living Dolls as Emily Franklyn and appeared on the series in a recurring capacity. She then got her breakthrough film role in 1992 when she played Angela, the love interest of Eddie Murphy’s character in Boomerang. The success of this role continued to open more opportunities for her. In the years that followed, the Halle Berry movies portfolio continued to grow. She was on The Flintstones (1994), Bulworth (1998), and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999).
The 2000s were the sweet spot of her career as the actress added high-profile projects to her list. She was Storm in X-Men (2000), Ginger in Swordfish (2001), Miranda Grey in Gothika (2003), Catwoman in Catwoman (2004), and a litany of other X-Men movies. More recently, she is known for movies like Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019).
Halle Berry is also the first African-American woman to play the role of the bond girl and the first and only African-American actress as of 2019 to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
We have compiled a list of some of her best projects and some of her not-so-good ones based on critics’ reviews, audience approval, commercial performance, and Halle Berry’s own character interpretation. These projects are ranked in descending order from best to worst.
List of Halle Berry Movies & TV Shows Ranked From Best to Worst
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
This being the seventh film of the X-Men franchise is set in a dystopian universe in 2023. In this world, mutants and their human friends are being hunted and shut down by specially programmed creatures known as Sentinels. As a result, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time to correct a major historical event that could save mutants and humanity at large. In the movie, Halle, who plays Storm, joins forces with the famous crew from the original X-Men trilogy series.
The movie was a critical success both commercially and in the view of the critics and the audience. It made over $747 million in worldwide gross from a budget of about $200 million. It was rated at a thoroughly satisfying 91 percent by Rotten Tomatoes’s critics and also garnered a 90 percent audience approval rating.
2. John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)
The third installment of the John Wick films continues the trend of John Wick (Keanu Reeves) killing everyone and everything in his path with almost admirable finesse. In this film, John is being pursued by ‘The High Table’, a ruthless assassin’s guild that works in the shadows. Being excommunicate, the former assassin has a whopping $14 million bounty on his head and every assassin in the business is trying to get their hands on that money.
In the course of his run, Wick reaches out to Sofia (Halle Berry) to help him. Sofia is the manager of the Continental Hotel in Casablanca, a front for John’s former employers.
John Wick: Chapter 3 was received as well as the previous two installments. It received a 90 percent critics score and an 87 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie also obtained a grade of “A-” on CinemaScore and a meta score of 73 on Metacritic. It was made on a budget of $75 million and returned a worldwide gross of $318.3 million.
3. Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1998)
Shot in a few weeks in early 1998, this television movie is a hard-line retelling of the true story of Dorothy Dandridge, perhaps the most famous black female entertainer in history. Halle Berry plays the role of Dorothy Dandridge, a sexy, black goddess who was a nightclub entertainer, actress, and singer in the 1950s. She was also the first black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award.
Dorothy was a huge question mark for the entertainment industry at the time because even though her talent was unique and glaringly obvious, her success was seriously limited by the fact that she was an African-American diva in a time when Hollywood’s picture of a pin-up queen was always white and blonde. Dandridge suffered several injustices like not being allowed to lodge at the venues where she performed. She eventually died of a drug overdose in 1965 at the age of 41.
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge was received with rancorous applause. It was a huge success and earned an 83 percent critic’s approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. It was also nominated for a plethora of awards, many of which it won. These included Screen Actors Guild Awards, Emmy Awards, Black Reel Awards, Image Awards, Golden Globe Awards, etc.
4. Halle Berry as Monster’s Ball (2001)
On Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry plays the role of Leticia Musgrove, a woman who lost her husband (Sean Combs) by execution and her son by accident. The events that follow led her to meet and fall in love with Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), a widowed corrections officer who also lost his son Sonny (Heath Ledger) to suicide. In time, Hank discovers that Leticia’s late husband is a man whose execution he and his son Sonny had facilitated.
The movie was hailed as somber and thought-provoking by critics on Rotten Tomatoes who gave it an 85 percent rating. The movie also won Halle Berry an Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first black woman in history to clinch the award and the only one as of 2019. Monster’s Ball received a meta score of 69 from Metacritic and grossed more than ten times its budget at the box office. The $4 million budget movie returned a gross of $44.9 million.
5. Halle Berry as Bulworth (1998)
This political satire comedy sees Warren Beatty play the lead role of Jay Bulworth, a liberal-turned-conservative senator who will stop at nothing to be re-elected to his office. He runs his re-election campaign all while trying to evade a hired assassin. Bulworth was hailed for its ample satire, comedy, and its take on race and politics.
The movie which won an award for Best Original Screenplay saw Halle Berry play a supporting role of the character Nina, a young black woman whom the senator becomes romantically involved with.
The movie was given a 76 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 68 percent audience approval rating, and a meta score of 75 on Metacritic. Even though Bulworth garnered generally positive feedback and reviews, its box office performance only saw it merely break even on its $29 million budget.
6. Executive Decision (1996)
While this movie was not regarded to have hit the heights of other Halle Berry movies, it certainly deserves a mention on this list. In this action thriller, Berry plays the role of Jean, a flight attendant on an Oceanic Airlines flight that is hijacked by Islamic terrorists who want the United States government to release their leader. The movie had a respectable cast that included the likes of Oliver Platt, Steven Seagal, and Kurt Russell.
Executive Decision was made on a $55 million budget and recorded a gross return of $122.1 million. It was given a 64 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 53 percent audience approval, and a Metacritic score of 62.
7. Die Another Day (2002)
A sure addition to the list of record-setting Halle Berry movies, Die Another Day is the twentieth film in the long-running James Bond film series. It is also the first to feature an African American actress – namely Halle Berry – as the Bond girl. The spy action film sees Halle Berry as NSA agent Jinx Johnson, team up with Pierce Brosnan as MI6’s James Bond to track down an evil megalomaniac Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens).
The iconic British movie was appreciated especially as it did not try to stray too far from the classic Bond themes. It was reviewed poorly by critics as well, receiving only an average 57 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and one less on Metacritic. However, it was a box office success, tripling its $145 million budget, translating to a worldwide gross of $435 million.
8. Halle Berry as Kidnap (2017)
In this 2017 abduction thriller, Halle Berry as Karla Dyson is a single mom and waitress who is in a custody battle with her ex-husband for her six-year-old son Frankie. During this custody battle, her son is kidnapped. This plunges her into an unexpected mission where Karla discovers just how far she is willing to go to rescue her child.
The movie was a flop in every sense. In fact, the only good thing critics had to say about the film was that even in the midst of a terrible scripting and a messy plot, Halle Berry’s performance was still a shining star. Kidnap grossed $34.8 million against a $21 million budget. It was given an abysmal 37 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 44 on Metacritic.
9. Gothika (2003)
Gothika tells the story of Dr. Miranda Grey (Halle Berry), a brilliant criminal psychologist who works at the psychiatric ward of the Woodward Penitentiary for Women. As the story unfolds, Grey who is used to relying on her rational mind wakes up from a horrifying nightmare and discovers that she is being blamed for the murder of her husband. She eventually ends up on the same side of the bar as her patients. And given that she has no recollection of the event save for a few fractured and unreliable mental pictures, she finds herself in a position where she has to decide if to go with her instincts or believe the facts before her.
Again, as with Kidnap, Halle’s portrayal of Dr. Grey is praised as the only shining light in a movie that they berated for its unbelievable plot and terrible dialogue and scripting. The movie received a negatively memorable 14 percent from Rotten Tomatoes’s critics and a score of 38 on Metacritic.
Still, Gothika was a relative box office success with a $141.6 million return on a $40 million production cost.
10. Halle Berry as Catwoman (2004)
A surprising end to our list of Halle Berry movies sees this mega-popular superhero film slot in at the last position. Berry as Patience Philips is a designer in a cosmetics outfit who discovers a conspiracy within the company that could lead to health problems of genocidal proportions. This leads to her discovery and subsequent murder. However, she is given a new lease on life when she is revived by Egyptian cats, only this time her new life comes with some neat cat-like superpowers. This experience sees her transform herself into the crime-fighting superhero known as the Catwoman.
Even with a production company as big as Warner Bros, behind this film and the bright talents of Halle herself, Catwoman could not be saved. It was considered a massive failure both by critics and by its box office numbers. The movie was given an impossibly negative 9 percent rating and managed a meta score of 27 on Metacritic. Catwoman had a production cost of $100 million but could only bank $82.1 million at the box office, falling well short of its budget.