If you saw the newest Doctor Strange movie or the season 3 premiere episode of The Boys, chances are you spotted Charlize Theron’s cameos. But beyond the brief reveals, Theron holds a notable career spanning genres and franchises. Her roles include a plethora of action movies, including the Fast and Furious and Mad Max franchises, romance, comedy, drama — you name it. She has also served as a producer on several movies in which she starred (such as Atomic Blonde and more), as well as executive produced projects including Netflix’s Mindhunter.
Throughout her career, Theron has established herself as a compelling leading lady with no signs of stopping. If you’re unfamiliar with Theron’s work or just need suggestions to tide you over until her next project, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some of our favorite Charlize Theron movies available to stream.
The Old Guard – Netflix
Kicking off this list is one of Theron’s more recent projects. In it, she plays Andromache the Scythian, aka Andy, who leads a tight-knit group of immortal warriors who have protected humanity for centuries. When their abilities are exposed, they go on the run to protect themselves and find and recruit a new member for their team.
If there’s one genre in which Theron thrives, it’s action, and The Old Guard reiterates that. She brings the familiar grit present in each of her action roles while catering it specifically to Andy. She demonstrates how Andy’s protectiveness manifests and presents a no-nonsense persona due to Andy’s history. As the film progresses and more is revealed, Theron reacts accordingly, opening up Andy bit by bit to viewers.
Tully – Netflix
Shifting gears, Tully follows Marlo (Theron), a mother of three, including a newborn. As a gift, her brother offers hiring a night nanny named Tully to relieve some of Marlo’s stress. Despite initial reluctance, Marlo and Tully soon form a bond with one another.
I’m not a parent, so I can’t speak to how relatable that general aspect is. However, I was struck by how raw Theron’s performance was. In the early parts of the movie, she easily drums up sympathy as an exhausted mother. And despite how apparently Marlo needs help, viewers see her reluctance to shed all of her pride. After Marlo officially hires Tully, viewers see how her mood changes, and Theron brings that in a way that’s organic and striking. And when the time calls for it, she has excellent moments of deadpan humor.
Monster – Netflix
In this based on real life story, Theron portrays Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute turned serial killer who lured in male clients to kill them. The movie follows Aileen as she begins working as a prostitute, soon befriending a young woman, Selby (Christina Ricci), with whom she eventually starts a relationship. After Aileen kills a client out of self-defense, the journey towards becoming a serial killer begins.
While Theron has received multiple award nominations, her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos earned her the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and for good reason. Theron wholly embodies Wuornos, losing herself completely in the role. She deftly exhibits every high and low in a way that’s both terrifying and fascinating. She and Ricci also play so well off each other. Theron often gives magnetic performances, and she knows how to command the screen in any role. In my opinion, though, Monster remains one of the best examples of her abilities.
Young Adult – HBO Max
YA author Mavis Gary is going through it. She’s just been through a divorce and the book series she ghost writes for is ending due to low sales. After learning her ex-boyfriend, Buddy, and his wife have welcomed a baby, Mavis returns to her hometown convinced she and Buddy are meant to be together.
Mavis is a tricky character to like, and for me, that works quite well in both Theron’s and the movie’s favor. Much of Mavis’ motivations rely on her lingering high school feelings for Buddy, despite having freed herself from the confines of a small hometown. Theron’s portrayal of Mavis is a dynamic one. She ensures Mavis’ general discontent of life is clear, offsetting it with a flirty, inner-turned-outer teen personality trying to win back Buddy. As much as viewers know Mavis is in the wrong, Theron is clever in how she garners more pity for Mavis than any other negative feeling.
Gringo – Prime Video
In Gringo, viewers follow Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), a mild-mannered businessman who learns his fellow co-workers, Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Elaine (Theron), have betrayed him. After what should’ve been a simple business trip to Mexico, Harold finds himself in a fight for survival after crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to a wanted criminal.
Elaine is another one of Theron’s more unlikeable characters, but that doesn’t diminish her performance. As per usual, she fits within the demands of the role. Elaine is crass and selfish, and Theron fully leans into that. She’s a great foil to Oyelowo’s Harold, drawing a sharp contrast between the two. Moreover, she matches the energy of Edgerton’s Richard and offers comedic moments tailored to the movie’s overall tone.
The Addams Family 2 – Prime Video
In this sequel to the 2019 movie, Morticia and Gomez are distraught that the kids are growing up. So, they decide to take the family on one last road trip in the hopes that they can reforge their bond and soon find themselves involved in a variety of hijinks.
In her latest voiceover role, Theron fits right into the weird little family as Morticia. She plays a character well-suited to her while also providing a departure from the other movies on this list. Her performance adds its own charm to the movie and showcases how Morticia is often the slightly more rational head of household. Theron is also a wonderful complement to Oscar Isaac’s more absurd Gomez. (Charlize Theron and Oscar Isaac in a live-action movie together when?)
Theron has several upcoming projects. The first is the Netflix adaptation of The School for Good and Evil in which she plays Lady Lesso. It’s expected sometime this year. The next, expected in 2023, is Fast X, the 10th installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. She will reprise her role as Cipher. Confirmed films with unknown release dates include The Old Guard 2 and Atomic Blonde 2.
Beyond acting, Theron also founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Program in 2007, which aims to help fight against and protect African youth from HIV/AIDS through empowerment and comprehensive education. Learn more about CTAOP here.