Honourable Mentions: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.) Yeah, yeah, I get it – I appreciate it’s her Oscar nominated role and people loved this film but I wasn’t overly fond for it.
Gangster Squad (2013)
Ok, this is quite a controversial choice. The 2013 flick, starring Josh Brolin as a police officer who assembles a team of police officers to take down gangster Sean Penn (And before you ask, no, it’s not a remake of The Untouchables), had a delayed release due to the tragic cinema shootings in Colorado back in 2012, meaning a major scene had to be reshot out of respect to the victims and their families. The finished product was finally released in January 2013, and to very mixed to negative reviews. Was it stupid? Quite, yes. Is it over the top? Unbelievably. Is the writing any good? Not really, no. Are the performances spectacular? Not in the slightest. But is it fucking awesome? You bet your arse it is. Gangster Squad is nothing Oscar worthy but it’s hours of pure entertainment, something to turn your brain off to and just have tons of fun.
The Help (2011)
The Help (or as it might as well have been titled “white people stop racism…..You’re welcome, black people”) is nothing amazing, but certainly deserves recognition. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Stone) is a journalist who becomes close with two black maids during Civil Rights era America. She is inspired by their stories to write a book from the point of view of black maids who have come under racism working for white families. Whilst the lion’s share of the praise goes to Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for their beautiful performances as the maids (Spencer winning an Oscar for that, no less), Stone herself shines as well, as do co-stars Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard, playing utterly loveable and despicable characters respectively. It didn’t quite deserve it’s Best Picture nomination but The Help is a sweet little film.
What do you get when you mix a nerdy Jesse Eisenberg, a Twinkie obsessed Woody Harrelson, a gun toting Abigail Beslin, a loveable Emma Stone, a world full of zombies, and an epic cameo from Bill Murray? You get a whole lot of awesome, that’s what. And that awesome is titled Zombieland. Zombieland came out in 2009 (Along with Adventureland, a comedy with a similar title and also starring Eisenberg, but is in no way related) and is from the director of Superbad. It’s thrilling, hilarious and proves that not every apocalypse film has to be all doom and gloom, even if it does have its emotional moments. Bill Murray cameos as himself as the group find shelter at his mansion, in perhaps one of the funniest film scenes of the past 10 years.
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
I’ve fought for this film before on the site, and will take every chance to write about it as it is truly one of the best Rom-Coms of all time. Cal’s (Steve Carell) life is turned upside down when his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) says she wants a divorce. Single and alone, he learns the secret to picking up women from serial womanizer Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who finds himself falling for law student Hannah (Stone). Stone doesn’t play a huge part in the film but for all of her scenes, she is absolutely hilarious and her chemistry with Gosling is outstanding, especially in the scenes in which she spends the night at his house. The entire cast is brilliant, including supporting performances from Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei. Crazy, Stupid, Love is a movie masterclass on how to make a Rom-Com.
Easy A (2010)
She may have made her debut in Superbad, but a lot of people didn’t learn of Emma Stone until her 2010 hit comedy Easy A. Stone plays Olive Penderghast, a clean cut high school student who is paid by several boys to pretend she had sex with them, and uses her school’s rumour mill to advance her social status. Stone is an absolutely brilliant lead, and is plays large part in the film being as brilliant as it is. Easy A is a hugely enjoyable teen flick that has a certain John Hughes feel to it (especially due to the references to his films throughout), and as usual has a great supporting performance from Stanley Tucci.
Well, those our essential Emma Stone films. What are your favourites? Let us know in the comments!