- Julie Andrews is best known for “The Sound of Music” (1965) and “The Princess Diaries” (2001).
- Per critics, her best works are “Victor Victoria” (1982) and “Mary Poppins” (1964).
- But her lowest-rated films are “Unconditional Love” (2002) and “The Tooth Fairy” (2010).
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Summary: In “Unconditional Love,” after her husband leaves her, Grace Beasley (Kathy Bates) travels to London to pay homage to a beloved pop star at his funeral. But she soon suspects that foul play was involved in his death.
Andrews had a cameo appearance in the film as herself.
“Unconditional Love” was received as a melodramatic movie-musical that never found its stride.
“A misconceived comedy that despite a warmly empathetic performance from Kathy Bates, never makes its characters’ unorthodox chemistry gel,” David Rooney wrote for Variety.
Summary: In “Tooth Fairy,” hockey player Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) trades his hockey stick in for a pair of wings when he’s forced to serve time as a tooth fairy to restore a little girl’s faith in magic.
In the family comedy, Andrews had a supporting role as Lily, the head tooth fairy.
Critics said that “Tooth Fairy” fell victim to poor plotting and dialogue, making it borderline unwatchable.
“It has a terrible screenplay and you get the feeling that Johnson could be a much better light comedian than this, given a better chance,” Derek Malcolm wrote for the London Evening Standard.
Summary: After Nigel (Edward Atterton) marries film actress Miranda Frayle (Jeanne Tripplehorn), to the disdain of his mother Lady Marshwood (Andrews), he introduces her to his upper-class family.
Overall, critics found “Relative Values” to be an unremarkable comedy without much substance.
Critic John Leonard wrote, “… trying-too-hard film version of a bubble-headed Noel Coward play …” in his review for New York Magazine.
Summary: In the 1980s sequel, Chief Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) suddenly goes missing on his way to investigate another diamond robbery, and journalist Marie Jouvet (Joanna Lumley) tries to put the pieces together.
Andrews had an uncredited role as Charwoman.
Critics took issue with this installment, especially in comparison to the rest of the well-received film series.
“The movie is almost a fraud. There’s no new ideas and it doesn’t achieve the quality of its predecessors,” Diego Galán wrote for El Pais.
Summary: After graduating from college, Mia (Anne Hathaway) takes her place as the next in line for the royal throne in Genovia under the guidance of her grandmother Queen Clarisse (Andrews). But marital expectations stand between the princess and her future as queen.
“The Princess Diaries 2” didn’t break new ground for most critics, but it delivered an amiable adventure for young fans of the first movie.
“Sometimes charming, sometimes a tad too silly and all the time predictable, ‘Princess Diaries 2’ gives you what you’d expect and doesn’t take many chances,” Sara Gebhardt wrote for The Washington Post.
Summary: In the dramatic comedy “The Man Who Loved Women,” psychiatrist Marianna (Andrews) recounts the story of her past client, a sculptor named David Fowler (Burt Reynolds).
Critics largely felt that “The Man Who Loved Women” didn’t balance its comedic moments amidst a sad, drawn-out film.
“The warmth that might have made this film work never materializes and slickness is no substitute,” Yardena Arar wrote for the Associated Press.
Summary: Set during World War I, “Darling Lili” follows young Lili Smith (Andrews) behind enemy lines as she works as a dance-hall singer to gather information in Germany. But Lili grows conflicted when she falls for one of her targets.
Despite Andrews’ star power, “Darling Lili” wasn’t a very well-received war movie, even if its romantic subplot made up for some of its failings.
“[It’s] not that bad if you view it more as a love story than as a war story,” film critic Dennis Schwartz wrote.
Summary: After King Harold (voiced by John Cleese) passes away, Queen Lillian (voiced by Andrews) informs Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) that he is next in line for the throne of Far Far Away — unless he can find another replacement.
The sequel had its moments, but critics felt like it lacked the heart and humor of the first two installments.
Critic Michael Compton called it a “satisfying sequel that has its charm but isn’t quite up to par with its predecessors” in his review for the Bowling Green Daily News
Summary: Clumsy teenager Mia Thermopolis (Hathaway) is thrown for a loop when her estranged grandmother (Andrews) visits her in San Francisco and reveals that she is next in line for the throne of Genovia.
Although some critics accused “The Princess Diaries” of following a predictable plot pattern, most adored Andrews and Hathaway in their lead roles.
“Despite the hackneyed quality of the pretext, nice performances save this film from itself,” John R. McEwen wrote for Film Quips Online.
Summary: As Gillian Fairchild (Andrews) awaits test results back for a harrowing diagnosis, her husband (Jack Lemmon) grapples with his own neuroses as his 60th birthday celebration unfolds.
Despite strong efforts from the cast, the film felt incomplete and tonally rushed, according to critics.
“‘That’s Life’ has many moments of truth and some good performance,” Roger Ebert wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times. “But it’s not all of a piece; not every scene seems to have been thought through on the same level.”
Summary: After being tricked by the duplicitous Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walt Dohrn), Shrek (voiced by Myers) goes back to his old ogre ways. But he risks losing Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) and their family in the process.
Andrews returned for the installment as the voice of Queen Lillian.
Although more critically successful than “Shrek the Third,” the fourth movie still didn’t quite measure up to the original with critics.
“The film is engaging enough, due to a narrative gimmick that makes the old ground new again,” Leo Robson wrote for the Financial Times.
Summary: After getting fired from the Anti-Villain League, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) travels to Freedonia to meet his long-lost twin brother.
Andrews returned to her supporting role in the sequel, providing the voice of Gru’s mother.
Although some critics thought “Despicable Me 3” seemed like an exercise in checking boxes, Carell’s voice work helped the animated flick shine.
“Carell is the life of the party and the main reason this animated blast of slapstick silliness packs appeal beyond the PG crowd,” Peter Travers wrote for Rolling Stone.
Summary: In the superhero movie “Aquaman,” Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) are the only ones capable of saving Atlantis from Aquaman’s half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson).
Andrews provided the voice of Karathen, a colossal sea creature who assists Aquaman.
The film’s spectacle and production design wowed critics, but its script was lacking something.
“Veteran cinematographer Don Burgess’s widescreen images beguile, and Bill Brzeski’s production design impresses mightily,” Andrea Gronvall wrote for the Chicago Reader. “But next time, someone please give Momoa and company some memorable dialogue.”
Summary: In Alfred Hitchcock’s “Torn Curtain,” psychiatrist Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and his fiancée Sarah (Andrews) go behind the Iron Curtain as they defect to East Germany at the height of the Cold War.
“Torn Curtain” was never critically appraised as one of Hitchcock’s finer films, but some critics felt like it was too harshly judged upon its release.
“Dismissed by many as part of Hitchcock’s regrettable declining years, ‘Torn Curtain’ turns out to be a surprisingly tense and intimate spy thriller,” Christopher Lloyd wrote for The Film Yap.
Summary: In “Hawaii,” missionary Abner Hale (Max von Sydow) and his wife, Jerusha (Andrews), set off on a voyage to Hawaii, where Abner preaches his Christain faith and Jerusha embraces the local customs.
“Hawaii” had some missteps with critics, but the film ended with its themes firmly intact.
“The conflict between nave dogma and nave innocence is effectively established, but the spectacle is always broader than it is deep,” Time Out reviewed.
Summary: In the romantic comedy “10,” composer George Webber (Dudley Moore) grows dissatisfied in his relationship with his girlfriend, Samantha (Andrews), and falls for a woman he’s never met.
A character study with a star-studded cast, “10” had all the right ingredients but earned mixed reception upon its release.
“A sporadically funny, marginally interesting fiasco that might have evolved into a memorable romantic comedy,” Gary Arnold wrote for The Washington Post.
Summary: In “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) races to stop Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) from creating a deadly weapon that will destroy the planet.
In the comedy, Andrews dubbed the singing voice of Ainsley Jarvis.
Critics didn’t fawn over “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” as they did with the original, but they did praise Sellers’ performance.
“The comedy is broader and more cartoonish than before, but it is as funny as ever,” John J. Puccio wrote for Movie Metropolis.
Summary: In the animated comedy “Despicable Me,” a supervillain named Gru (voiced by Carell) must reevaluate his wicked lifestyle when he adopts three orphan girls.
Andrews originated her voice role as Gru’s mother in the film.
Colorful, likable, and littered with jokes, “Despicable Me” was generally well-received by critics.
Critic Michael Dequina called it a “consistent stream of chuckles and a lot of convincing heart,” in his review for Movie Report.
Summary: In the Hollywood satire “S.O.B.,” director Felix Farmer (Richard Mulligan) tries to keep his failed family film afloat by convincing his wife, Sally (Andrews), to help him make it R-rated.
With a game cast and confident direction from filmmaker Blake Edwards, “S.O.B.” earned a rave reception from critics.
“Black comedy is a tough commodity to sustain and, after a broad start, Edwards quickly finds a deft balance that paints a cockeyed, self-contained world that comfortably supports its exaggerated characters,” the Variety staff reviewed.
Summary: In the 1920s musical comedy “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a young flapper named Millie (Andrews) falls for company man Trevor Graydon (John Gavin), who in turn develops feelings for Millie’s roommate, Dorothy (Mary Tyler Moore).
Critics called “Thoroughly Modern Millie” an enjoyable period musical.
“[A] very underrated Julie Andrews musical,” critic Steve Crum wrote for Video-Reviewmaster.com. “A cult favorite for many, including myself.”
Summary: In the film adaptation of Rodger and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” Maria (Andrews) becomes the governess in the household of a widowed Austro-Hungarian naval captain and brings joy to his seven children at the brink of World War II.
Considered an instant classic, “The Sound of Music” earned warm reviews upon its release and continues to capture the hearts of viewers today.
“There’s an inimitable heart-warming quality about the film which has made ‘The Sound of Music’ a timeless cinematic wonder,” Pratim D. Gupta wrote for the Film Companion.
Summary: In “Shrek 2,” Shrek (voiced by Myers) and Fiona (voiced by Diaz) go to the magical land of Far Far Away to meet Fiona’s parents, who are less than charmed by the ogre.
Andrews voiced Queen Lillian for the first time in “Shrek 2.”
The sequel received even better reviews the original, and critics said it kept all the charm, fun, and satirical tone of “Shrek.”
“This second edition of DreamWorks’s Oscar-winning ogre opus may not match the original for, well, originality, but it honors the prime injunction governing sequels: To thine own characters be true,” Joe Morgenstern wrote for the Wall Street Journal.
Summary: The documentary “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story” details the lives of famous songwriters Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman and their lifelong collaborations with Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Andrews was interviewed for the documentary to talk about their involvement in “Mary Poppins.”
Critics hailed the feel-good documentary as a fitting tribute to a talented pair.
Critic Claudia Puig described it as a “touching and illuminating documentary about the songwriting duo,” in her review for USA Today.
Summary: The dramatic comedy “The Americanization of Emily” takes place in 1944 in London, as cynical Lieutenant Commander Charles Edward Madison (James Garner) is assigned to fight in the D-Day invasion — to the dismay of his new love, Emily (Andrews).
Chock-full of witty dialogue and speeches, “The Americanization of Emily” didn’t shy away from delivering a scathing satire on the war in critics’ eyes.
“[Paddy] Chayefsky’s scabrously funny script brims with snappy, crackling dialogue,” Nick Schager wrote for Slant Magazine.
Summary: In “Enchanted,” sweet-natured Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) topples down a witch’s well and ends up smack dab in the middle of New York City. As she tries to find a way home, Giselle unexpectedly falls for the Manhattan lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) who’s helping her.
Andrews added a dash of charm to “Enchanted” by narrating the beginning and end of the film.
Critics loved “Enchanted,” from its fun-loving story to its delightful cast.
“A clever throwback to a bygone era that is very much a product of this one; a clash of past and present combining for something truly magical,” Matthew Lucas wrote for From the Front Row.
Summary: In the family musical “Mary Poppins,” a magical nanny (Andrews) comes to the aid of the Banks family and spreads her stern, yet sunny disposition everywhere she goes.
“Mary Poppins” was a massive hit upon its release and has retained its classic status through the decades due to its capable cast, wonderful animation, and memorable tunes.
“The sets are luxuriant, the songs lilting, the scenario witty but impeccably sentimental, and the supporting cast only a pinfeather short of perfection,” Time magazine reported in its review.
Note: Rotten Tomatoes scores were updated at the time of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical ratings were not included.
Summary: In the musical comedy “Victor Victoria,” British soprano Victoria Grant (Andrews) reinvents herself as a male singer to step up her nightclub act with the help of a cabaret performer named Toddy (Robert Preston).
Sparkling with warm humor and an electric lead performance by Andrews, “Victor Victoria” left critics smitten.
“Don’t miss this one,” the Time Out staff reported. “It sends sparks.”