A successful child star with an Oscar Nomination to her name at the age of 13, Jodie Foster has enjoyed equal success in her later career. Following are the 15 best Jodie Foster movies of all time:
15. The Hotel New Hampshire (1984)
The Hotel New Hampshire is a comedy-drama based on a novel of the same name by John Irving. The movie depicts the struggles of Win Berry (Beau Bridges) and his wife Frannie Berry (Jodie Foster) as they try to raise their 5 children whilst attempting to run several small businesses.
Critics admired the maturity of the performance by Foster in the role of Frannie. Despite the older age of the character she portrayed, Foster’s impression was vivid and life-like.
The movie won the Best Foreign Film award at the SESC Film Festival in Brazil. “Queens” was originally slated to perform the soundtrack of the film but was replaced during the production.
14. Five Corners (1987)
Five Corners is a thriller drama about a paroled convict (John Turturro) who has returned to stir up trouble in his old neighborhood. He stalks his once-near rape victim, Linda (Jodie Foster), and the person who used to protect her, Harry (Tim Robbins).
This leads to a twisted game of cat and mouse. The movie was praised by critics for the performances of Foster and Robbins in their portrayal of clean and raw human social emotions. The theme music of the movie was created by “The Beatles”.
13. Little Man Tate (1991)
Little Man Tate is the story of a child prodigy, Fred Tate (Adam Hann-Byrd), and the struggles of his working-class single mother, Dede Tate (Jodie Foster).
Fred is highly gifted with genius-level mathematical and reading skills at the age of 7. Dede struggles to make sure that Fred gets all the chances to showcase his abilities, whilst protecting his emotional and psychological needs.
Jodie Foster won the Best International Actress Award at the 1992 Jupiter Awards for her depiction of Dede. Foster considered the story to represent an autobiography of her earlier life and chose to direct it after Joe Dante resigned due to creative differences.
12. Elysium (2013)
Elysium is a sci-fi action drama directed by Neill Blomkamp. Set in the year 2154, the wealthy of the world have escaped the ruined Earth to reside in Elysium, a giant space station. The poor are left to struggle for food, health, and water on a resource-constrained and overpopulated earth.
The movie depicts the story of one man Max (Matt Damon) who attempts to bring equality to both worlds. Foster plays the role of the harsh Defense Secretary Delacourt whose sole purpose is to maintain the exclusivity of the Elysium.
The movie grossed $286 million at the worldwide box office. William Fichtner’s character is seen writing code in Assembly Language which interestingly is valid and can be run on Intel-based computers.
11. The Beaver (2011)
The Beaver is a drama film directed by Jodie Foster starring her and Mel Gibson. The movie depicts the struggle of the depressed CEO of a nearly bankrupt company who, after several unsuccessful suicide attempts, adopts a puppet beaver to attempt to convey his emotions.
Jodie Foster plays the role of his supportive wife who bolsters his spirits and helps rebuild his life. Critics praised the performance and the well-balanced direction of Foster in the movie. Jim Carrey and Steve Carell were each slated to play the lead role but the eventual role went to Mel Gibson.
10. Panic Room (2002)
Foster plays a recently divorced mother who has a diabetic preteen daughter Sarah(Stewart). Whilst visiting their newly purchased house, they are attacked and take shelter in a specially designed panic room.
With the time running out and Sarah showing signs of a low sugar level, they attempt to outwit the criminals to get to safety.
Although the movie was filmed after 9/11, WTC can be seen in the background in some of the introductory scenes.
9. Bugsy Malone (1976)
Bugsy Malone is a British musical gangster film starring a 13-year-old foster in one of her earlier roles. The film portrays the life story of a real-life gangster, George ‘Bugs’ Moran, with the role of the gangsters being played by the children.
Instead of guns and bullets, the ‘violence’ is depicted by spraying the victim with cream. All of the cast was 16 or under at the time of the filming. Critics praised the child cast for their vivid performances. The movie was nominated for Best Music at the 1977 Oscars.
8. Maverick (1994)
Maverick was one of the earliest joint performances of Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson. The film features Mel Gibson as Maverick, an avid gambler, who attempts to collect money to enter a prestigious gambling tournament. He teams up with Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster).
The duo attempts to charm, con, and bamboozle to get the money. The critics lauded Foster’s performance and her on-screen chemistry with Gibson. Mel Gibson learned how to draw the gun from a holster via special lessons before the filming started.
The movie was nominated for a Best Costume Design Award at the 1995 Oscars.
7. The Accused (1988)
The Accused is a crime drama featuring Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis. The movie is based on real-life events. Sarah Tobias (Foster) suffers a brutal gang rape in a bar one night. A young courageous prosecutor (McGillis) attempts to bring the criminals to justice. The case is complicated due to its earlier promiscuous history of Tobias.
Foster attended the meeting of rape support groups in preparation for her role which paid off as she won an Oscar for Best Actress for her character in the film.
6. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
The movie is the story of a resourceful 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) who moves into a quiet seaside community with her secluded father.
Nobody from the town has seen much of her father and she appears to live alone. When the inquisitive neighbors attempt to investigate, strange things begin to happen to them.
Although she had already made a name for herself in Taxi Driver (coming up on our list), she was praised for her maturity and solid portrayal.
Jodie Foster won Best Actress at the 1978 Saturn Awards. She celebrated her 13th Birthday during the shooting of the film.
5. Carnage (2011)
Carnage is a black comedy narrating the story of two sets of parents who hold a formal meeting after their sons get into a fight. The meeting progressively turns into a nightmare, as both sets of parents quickly delve into childish behavior.
The reasons stem from their deep-seated emotional scarring due to societal and familial background. The movie was praised for the simple portrayal of the four characters with no forced clichés.
Jodie Foster was nominated for Best Actress at the 2012 Golden Globes for her role in the film. The movie featured 3 Oscar Winners and an Oscar Nominee in the cast.
4. Contact (1997)
Based on Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name, Contact is the story of Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway (Jodie Foster) who is working to find the signs of alien life. When an alien signal relays the schematics of an interstellar travel machine, Ellie is chosen to be the first person to make contact.
The movie explores the boundaries and differences between empirical evidence, belief systems, spirituality, and religion.
The movie was a worldwide success with a revenue of $ 171 million. Carl Sagan was slated to appear in the movie but died of pneumonia before his role was to be filmed.
3. Inside Man (2006)
Featuring the famous track “Chaiyya Chaiyya” by A.R. Rahman, Inside Man is the battle of the wits between a mastermind criminal (Clive Owen), a dedicated detective (Denzel Washington), a New York power broker (Jodie Foster), and a famous charitable banker with questionable past (Christopher Plummer).
During the apparent robbery of a bank, behind the scenes, machinations are at work and only become clear as the motivations are brought into the light.
Spike Lee was praised for adding his flare to the material. Even though Foster had a limited role in the film, the cast as a whole was praised for their performances.
2. Taxi Driver (1976)
Argued by some to be one of the most memorable roles of Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver is a crime drama depicting the story of an emotionally and mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro).
Bickle abhors the debauchery seen on the streets while he works as a night-shift taxi driver. Taking a liking to a teenage runaway and prostitute Iris (Foster), his misguided attempt to correct the bad of society leads him into fits of violent rage.
Foster was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the film. The movie led to John Hinckley Jr.’s twisted fascination with Jodie Foster.
Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to impress Jodie Foster and was found not guilty due to insanity.
1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
With the most memorable movie villains of all time, The Silence of the Lambs is the story of a young FBI cadet Clarice (Foster) who must elicit the help of the infamous imprisoned serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to catch a new serial killer on the loose.
With time running out, she must engage in psychological games of quid pro quo with Lecter to save the life of the kidnapped victim.
The movie features one of the most chilling and engrossing performances by Anthony Hopkins. Although he only appeared in the film for 15 minutes, the American Film Institute named “Hannibal Lecter” as the number one movie villain of all time.
The movie won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Writing at the 1992 Academy Awards.
We can’t resist mentioning these epic performances of Jodie Foster as well:
- Sommersby (1993)
- Nell (1994)
- Flightplan (2005)
Hope you like our list of the best Jodie Foster movies of all time. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!