- Anna Kendrick made her film debut in 2003’s “Camp,” and she has been in 36 films since then.
- She turns 35 on August 9 – to celebrate her birthday, we’ve ranked all of her films, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
- Her 2011 movie “50/50” was the highest rated by critics, with 2009’s “Up in the Air” in second place. Kendrick earned an Academy Award nomination for the movie.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Anna Kendrick has been in 37 films over her 17-year career, and multiple successful franchises, like “Trolls,” “The Twilight Saga,” and “Pitch Perfect.” She also received an Oscar nomination for her role in 2009’s “Up in the Air.”
In honour of her 35th birthday on August 9, we ranked all of her movies from worst to best, according to critics.
Keep scrolling to see what her best (and worst) films are, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Anna Kendrick’s lowest-rated film is “Get a Job” (2016).
Synopsis: In “Get a Job,” Kendrick plays Jill, the girlfriend of the main character Will, played by Miles Teller. The film follows Will and his friends on their quests to get jobs after college graduation.
“Crass and painfully unfunny satirical comedy shot four years ago. It’s finally receiving a token theatrical release concurrent with being dumped into the video-on-demand sludge pile,” wrote Lou Lumenick of the New York Post.
In “The Marc Pease Experience” (2009), Kendrick plays a high school senior, Meg.
Synopsis: The film follows Marc Pease (Jason Schwartzmann), a man in his mid-20s who is still traumatized by an incident of stage fright from high school – so he’s never progressed past it, and is dating a high school senior, Meg (Kendrick). Ben Stiller stars as a teacher also involved with Meg.
“It’s badly written and inertly directed, with actors who don’t have a clue what drives their characters,” wrote Roger Ebert for the Chicago Sun-Times.
In “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (2012), Kendrick plays Rosie, one of the women in the film who gets pregnant.
Synopsis: The film, based on the ’80s pregnancy guide of the same name, follows five interconnected couples who are all dealing with the various experiences and struggles of getting and being pregnant. Kendrick plays Rosie, who gets unexpectedly pregnant after a one night stand with a high school friend Marco, played by Chace Crawford.
“Someday Hollywood will think of women as more than fallopian tubes in heels; until then, we’re stuck with this kind of project,” wrote Mike McCahill of the Guardian.
Kendrick plays Lindsey, one of the people left behind after the rapture, in “Rapture-Palooza” (2013).
Synopsis: After the rapture occurs and leaves behind all the “bad” people like Lindsey (Kendrick) and her boyfriend Ben (John Francis Daley), an evil politician called the Beast, played by Craig Robinson, takes over the world. Lindsey and Ben try to stop him.
“‘Rapture-Palooza’ is a prime example of a movie that has great concept, but that struggles to stretch said concept into a feature-length motion picture,” wrote The Last Thing I See’s Brian McKnight.
Kendrick reprised her role as Jessica in 2011’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.”
Synopsis: The story of Bella and Edward continues as they get married in front of all of their friends and family (including Jessica). However, when Bella unexpectedly gets pregnant, Bella, Edward, and Jacob all disagree on how to handle the situation.
“The action sequences are ludicrous, the werewolves mostly just bounding, then bounding again, while the vampire trick of just moving ever so fast soon becomes just ever so tiresome,” wrote David Sexton of the London Evening Standard.
In “Table 19” (2017), Kendrick plays a recently dumped wedding guest who gets relegated to a reject table.
Synopsis: Kendrick plays Eloise, a wedding guest who was recently dumped by the best man via text after two years of dating. When she shows up, she’s been moved to Table 19 – a group of people who are only vaguely acquainted with the couple. The table bonds, and hijinks ensue.
Time Out’s Cath Clarke wrote, “The gags ought to have been put out of their misery and there’s a deeply uncool unfeminist message.”
Kendrick plays Bella’s friend Jessica in the second instalment of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” (2009).
Synopsis: Though Bella and Edward ended “Twilight” together, things quickly fall apart after Edward’s brother Jasper attacks Bella at her birthday party. When Edward dumps Bella, she enters an almost catatonic state, but her friendship with Jacob, played by a newly jacked Taylor Lautner, brings her back to life.
Kendrick appears as one of Bella’s friends, Jessica, who has the unpleasant task of trying to stop Bella from getting on a random man’s motorcycle, as she tries to conjure a ghost of Edward. Yeesh.
“Two hours and 10 minutes of rambling, pointless drivel, where nothing of any real interest happens,” wrote The Dispatch’s Matthew Lucas.
Kendrick plays a cappella queen Beca for the final time “Pitch Perfect 3” (2017).
Synopsis: The Barden Bellas reunite one final time for a USO tour, since they have all graduated college and are currently hating their careers. Each of them faces their own struggles: Beca and her talent which could take her away from the Bellas, Fat Amy’s estranged relationship with her crime-lord father, and Chloe’s blossoming relationship with one of their guides on the tour, a soldier named Chicago.
“As a whole, ‘Pitch Perfect’ 3 feels like an encore nobody asked for,” summarized Richard Roeper for the Chicago Sun Times.
Kendrick co-stars with Aubrey Plaza, Zac Efron, and Adam Devine in “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (2016).
Synopsis: When Mike and Dave, two brothers who constantly ruin family gatherings, put out an ad on Craigslist for wedding dates, Tatiana and Alice respond. The only issue? Tatiana and Alice aren’t the respectable young women they’re pretending to be – they’re just scamming Mike and Dave for a free vacation in Hawaii.
Elena Lazic of Little White Lies compared watching the movie to “watching an interesting hot person waste time on his embarrassingly mediocre, unfunny friends.”
Kendrick also appeared with Aubrey Plaza in “Life After Beth” (2014).
Synopsis: Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan are the two central characters in “Life After Beth.” When Beth (Plaza), is resurrected as a zombie, her boyfriend Zach (DeHaan) attempts to continue dating her, but has trouble dealing with her changed personality. Kendrick plays Erica, one of Zach’s friends.
“The movie is DOA from scene one and is never resuscitated,”wrote Richard Roeper.
Kendrick took on the action-comedy genre with “Mr. Right” (2016).
Synopsis: Kendrick stars as Martha, who becomes romantically involved with “Mr. Right,” played by Sam Rockwell, a former CIA agent who now poses as a hit-man – only to take out the people who hire him.
“Rockwell and Kendrick are great together, but the movie never quite marries the cute romance and the bloody killings. Most of the time the two leads appear to be on their own in a completely separate movie,” wrote the Toronto Sun’s Liz Braun.
John Krasinski co-starred with and directed Kendrick in “The Hollars” (2016).
Synopsis: Krasinski plays John Hollar, a struggling graphic artist who is expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Rebecca (Kendrick). They are called home to John’s hometown when he finds out his mother has a brain tumour – and the Hollars all deal with their baggage.
“The Hollars fails but not miserably. It has its moments and its good intentions. So why doesn’t it work?” asked Martha K. Baker of KDHX.
In “Cake” (2014), Kendrick plays the ghost of woman, Nina, who died by suicide.
Synopsis: “Cake” tells the story of defence attorney Claire Bennett, played by Jennifer Aniston, who is dealing with the aftermath of a car crash that killed her son and left her physically and emotionally scarred. Nina (Kendrick) was one of Claire’s friends in her support group who killed herself before the events of the film, and periodically appears as an apparition to Claire.
“The central character and performance are intriguing but not enough to sustain a film that feels more and more like a TV-movie matinee,” wrote The List’s Allan Hunter.
Once again, Kendrick briefly appears in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (2010) as Jessica — she gives a valedictorian speech at graduation.
Synopsis: In the third instalment of “The Twilight Saga,” Edward and Bella are seniors in high school, while Edward is trying to convince Bella to marry him, and Jacob is still just trying to get Bella to be with him, instead. As they graduate, they also have to deal with a foe from their past.
“What began as an enjoyably perverse fable of teen romance and chastity has dwindled, by this third instalment, into a sorry, soppy saga,” wrote the Independent’s Anthony Quinn.
Kendrick stole the show as Bella’s peppy friend Jessica in the very first “Twilight” movie in 2008.
Synopsis: Bella Swan moves from Phoenix, Arizona, to Forks, Washington, as a high school junior. As the year progresses, she meets new friends, bonds with her dad, and meets the Cullens, a “family” of preternaturally beautiful vampires – most importantly, Edward, with whom she has an instant connection.
The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis called it “A deeply sincere, outright goofy vampire romance for the hot-not-to-trot abstinence set.”
Kendrick appears in “The Accountant” (2016) as an in-house accountant who gets caught up in a larger criminal operation.
Synopsis: Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, a man with high-functioning autism, who specialises in uncovering financial crimes at various corporations. Kendrick co-stars as Dana, a whistleblower accountant that works at a company Christian is tasked with fixing.
“This cast deserves better than a faux-’70s action thriller. Tedious and forgettable,” Manuela Lazic of Little White Lies wrote.
Kendrick tried her hand at a Christmas movie with Disney Plus’ “Noelle” (2019), in which she plays Santa’s sister.
Synopsis: Kendrick plays Noelle, and Bill Hader plays her brother, Nick. Their father, Santa Claus, has died, and so Nick is supposed to take over as Santa – but when he becomes overwhelmed and goes missing, it’s up to Noelle to save Christmas.
“If you’re looking to placate some rowdy children or cranky grandparents this holiday season, then ‘Noelle’ will hit the spot. But if you’re looking for a new Christmas tradition, Santa’s sister can’t deliver – at least, not in the ways we’d wished for,” wrote Mashable’s Alison Foreman.
In “The Company You Keep” (2012), Kendrick has a small role as an FBI agent.
Synopsis: The movie stars Shia LaBeouf as an aggressive young reporter, Ben, who becomes committed to breaking a story about a group of fugitives wanted for a 1960s bank robbery, as part of the anti-war organisation the Weather Underground. Kendrick plays Ben’s ex-girlfriend Diana, an FBI agent who points him in the right direction in his initial investigation.
Grantland’s Wesley Morris put it succinctly: “This is the most depressing movie ever made about radicalism.”
Kendrick plays Cathy, one of the musical’s two characters, in “The Last 5 Years” (2015).
Synopsis: The musical is told from two points of view about the same relationship. Cathy’s point of view begins at the end of their relationship and goes backwards, while Jamie’s (Jeremy Jordan) point of view starts at the beginning and moves forward – they only meet in the middle.
“Anna Kendrick, of all-round-awesome fame, is singing again in this adaptation of an off-Broadway musical,” wrote Cath Clarke of Time Out.
Kendrick made her film debut in 2003’s “Camp.”
Synopsis: A group of socially awkward teens only feel confident when they arrive at Camp Ovation, a theatre camp, every summer. Among the many overlapping characters is Fritzi Wagner (Kendrick) who, after weeks of bullying, snaps and gets revenge on her bully by spiking her Snapple with laundry detergent and sabotaging her makeup before a performance.
“‘Camp’ may not be as slick as ‘Fame,’ but it’s twice as funny and loads more honest,” wrote Newsweek’s David Ansen.
The 2015 sequel “Pitch Perfect 2” saw Kendrick and the rest of the cast reunite for another a cappella extravaganza.
Synopsis: The Barden Bellas return in this sequel, which sees the group travel to Copenhagen to try and reclaim their place in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, which they were kicked out of due to an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. They face off against a German co-ed group and deal with the looming threat of graduation.
The Last Thing I See’s Brian McKnight wrote, “More a collection of funny moments and musical performances strung together than a coherent narrative, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ should still satisfy fans of the first film.”
Kendrick again appeared as an FBI agent in 2019’s “The Day Shall Come.”
Synopsis: A dark satire of real FBI sting operations, “The Day Shall Come” focuses on Moses Al Shabaz, a preacher who is trying to organise an uprising against “white oppressors,” while simultaneously rejecting firearms. Kendra Glack (Kendrick) is an FBI agent who decides that Moses will make a good figure to pin terrorism and other violent crimes on – until she has second thoughts about her role in the world.
“‘The Day Shall Come’ isn’t prime [Chris] Morris, but it’s definitely not a total bust, either,” wrote Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph.
In “Digging For Fire” (2015), Kendrick plays a small role as med student Alicia.
Synopsis: When Tim (Jake Johnson) digs up a human bone and a gun in the backyard of the house he and his wife, Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt), are house-sitting, they disagree on how to handle things. Lee leaves for the day, and Tim invites over a group of friends to hang out and keep digging, including Kendrick’s character, Alicia.
“‘Digging for Fire’ is a pleasant escape – an attractively shot, gracefully edited and, finally, emotionally satisfying mystery about the nature of marriage itself,” wrote Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post.
Kendrick reprises her role as Queen Poppy in “Trolls World Tour” (2020).
Synopsis: In the sequel to “Trolls,” “Trolls World Tour” sees the world of the trolls expanding, as each different type of music is discovered to have a separate kingdom. Poppy (Kendrick) is the Queen of the Pop Trolls, and bands the rest of the trolls together to stand up to Queen Barb, of the Rock Trolls.
“‘Trolls: World Tour’ is not a mind-blowing cinematic achievement, but it is exactly what kids, and parents, need right now. That’s where it hits the high note,” wrote San Jose Mercury News’ Randy Myers of the first big release during lockdown.
Kendrick took on the iconic role of Cinderella in 2014’s “Into the Woods.”
Synopsis: The film adaptation of the beloved Stephen Sondheim musical keeps most of the musical in tact. It centres around the Baker and his Wife, who are desperate for a child and call upon the Witch to help them break a curse. Many other fairytale characters weave in and out of the story, including Kendrick’s Cinderella, who finds that her happily ever after isn’t what she expected.
“When it comes to navigating how to be both a family-friendly holiday crowd-pleaser and a faithful adaptation of a tricky but profound musical, ‘Into the Woods’ is mostly golden,” wrote Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic.
In “The Voices” (2015), Kendrick co-stars with Ryan Reynolds, who plays a schizophrenic man who doesn’t want to take his medication.
Synopsis: In “The Voices,” Kendrick plays Lisa, a co-worker of Reynolds’ character, Jerry. Jerry has schizophrenia, and chooses not to take his medicine – so he “hears” his dog and cat speaking to him. Lisa develops a relationship with Jerry, but it doesn’t go very well, as the film is an extremely black comedy.
The Toronto Sun’s Bruce Kirkland wrote, “The movie has to be taken at face value: As a wacky and unsettling jaunt into sheer madness.”
In the 2014 film “Happy Christmas,” Kendrick plays a younger sister ready to stir up some trouble.
Synopsis: Jenny (Kendrick) moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Jenny and her old high school classmate, Carson (played by Lena Dunham), help Jenny’s sister-in-law revitalize her career as a novelist.
“A quiet, serious comedy about marriage, parenthood and the everyday strains of bringing up a rambunctious toddler while struggling to sustain a creative life,” wrote Stephen Holden of the New York Times.
Kendrick played Poppy for the first time in 2016’s “Trolls,”
Synopsis: In the first “Trolls” instalment, Kendrick plays Poppy, a troll princess, who finds herself in a bit of a pickle when the evil (read: misunderstood) Bergens decide they’re going to start eating trolls again. Poppy and Branch (Justin Timberlake) team up to save their friends and family.
VultureHound’s Charlotte Harrison called the film “gloriously colourful, simultaneously silly yet often deceptively clever, and actually rather enchanting.”
The first “Pitch Perfect” instalment is considered the best.
Synopsis: Aspiring music producer Beca (Kendrick) is forced to attend college by her father. When a senior overhears Beca singing in the shower, she’s bullied into joining the Barden Bellas, the newly disgraced a cappella group at the school. Along the way, Beca falls for her co-worker at the college’s radio station, Jesse, and learns to be part of a team.
“The girls, for the most part, are genuinely funny, weird, real, and, most excitingly, confident,” wrote the Village Voice’s Laura Beck.
In the 2010 comic book adaptation “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” Kendrick plays Michael Cera’s younger sister.
Synopsis: The film is an adaptation of the beloved comic series of the same name. Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, who develops feelings for a delivery person named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) – but in order to date her, he must defeat her seven evil exes. Kendrick plays Scott’s younger sister, Stacey.
“Full of fresh, sharp touches and nonchalantly brash performances, ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ consistently hits the sweet spot,” wrote Tom Charity for CNN.
“Drinking Buddies” (2013) marked Kendrick’s first collaboration with co-star Jake Johnson and director Joe Swanberg.
Synopsis: Kendrick, who teamed up Johnson and Swanberg in “Digging for Fire,” and with Swanberg for “Happy Christmas,” plays Jill, the girlfriend of Johnson’s character Luke. Luke and his best friend/co-worker Kate (Olivia Wilde) are best friends, and seem like they should be together – but they both have significant others.
Nicholas Bell of IONCINEMA wrote that “Its strengths are in what it’s not explicitly saying but quietly showing, something most films are unable to do.”
In “A Simple Favour,” the 2018 adaptation of the novel of the same name, Kendrick plays a young widow with a dark secret.
Synopsis: Darcy (Kendrick) is a young widow with a secret about her husband’s death, as well as her relationship with her brother. She befriends Emily (Blake Lively), a glamorous fellow mum at her son’s elementary school with secrets of her own. When Emily goes missing, Darcy throws herself into the search while blogging about her experiences.
“Kendrick and Lively have never been funnier, snapping one-liners at each other like elastic bands; the script is hyper-alert to the undercurrent of competitiveness between stay-at-home and working mums,” wrote Time Out’s Cath Clarke.
In “Rocket Science” (2007), Kendrick plays an ambitious high school debater named Ginny.
Synopsis: Ginny recruits Hal, her fellow student, to join her as part of her debate pair – though Hal has a debilitating stutter. They bond, and Hal gains confidence as a result of his debate experience.
Debbie Lynn Elias of Behind the Lens wrote, “Humour, compassion, tenderness, forgiveness and friendship. The trials and tribulations of youth and of life told with heartfelt emotion and some well executed deadpan comedy. A little off-beat and a lot of fun.”
In 2012’s “End of Watch,” Kendrick plays Janet, the girlfriend of one of the characters.
Synopsis: The film centres on the friendship between Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña), who are partners in the LAPD. It follows their interactions with a drug cartel, gangs, and corruption. Kendrick plays Janet, Brian’s girlfriend and eventual wife.
“Ayer and his cast appear to have so convincingly nailed the way these characters talk and act that you might not even notice the film slipping from workaday grit into out-and-out myth,” wrote Bilge Ebiri of Vulture.
Anna Kendrick voices a bubbly 17-year-old in “ParaNorman” (2012).
Synopsis: Norman is an 11-year-old boy living in the town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts. He discovers he has the ability to speak with the dead, though no one believes him and he is ostracised from most of his classmates. When his eccentric uncle makes him promise to perform a ritual in order to keep the town safe, all hell breaks loose. Kendrick plays Courtney, Norman’s older sister.
“Tweens, rather than children, will savour its snarky bite, although like the shambling on-screen cadavers, the story needed a bit more meat on its bones,” wrote the Daily Telegraph’s Robbie Collin.
Kendrick earned her first (and only thus far) Oscar nomination for her performance in 2009’s “Up in the Air.”
Synopsis: Danny, played by George Clooney, is a human resources consultant who travels from company to company helping with “termination assistance.” He travels almost constantly – his main goal throughout the film is to earn 10 million frequent flyer miles. Kendrick plays Natalie, who comes to the consulting firm to advocate for turning firing into a video conference call, instead of an in-person meeting. Danny convinces Natalie to travel with him as he performs his job to save the travelling aspect of his career, and the two bond.
Micheal Compton of the Bowling Green Daily News wrote, “Jason Reitman raises the bar with a beautifully crafted film that is smart, topical, funny and just a little bittersweet. It’s a perfect mix for a film that proves to be the very best of 2009.”
To date, Kendrick’s highest-rated film is “50/50” (2011).
Synopsis: In “50/50,” Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogen co-star as best friends Adam and Kyle. Adam finds out he has a form of bone cancer that has a 50/50 rate of survival, and the story follows Adam’s journey through chemo, a support group, and therapy, which involves his therapist, Katherine (Kendrick).
“Director Jonathan Levine manages to treat cancer with the respect it deserves whilst also showing the remarkable ability of humans to find laughter in the most heinous of circumstances,”wrote The List’s Kaleem Aftab.
- Read more:
- Anna Kendrick compared the experience of making ‘Twilight’ to ‘a hostage situation’
- Disney Plus’ ‘Noelle’ is a mediocre holiday movie that clearly wasn’t good enough for theatres
- 9 things to know about Anna Kendrick
- Anna Kendrick revealed why she thinks Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are ‘sinfully good together’
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