14 of Melissa McCarthy's best movies of all time

Fox Searchlight Pictures/ Lionsgate/Columbia PicturesMelissa McCarthy has played a variety of roles, from criminals to ghost hunters.
  • Melissa McCarthy has been in dozens of movies throughout her acting career, but audiences have loved some of her roles more than others.
  • She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the hit comedy “Bridesmaids” (2011).
  • Audiences and critics enjoyed “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018), where McCarthy plays a celebrity profiler who commits serious crimes.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In addition to having memorable roles on TV shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “Mike and Molly,” Melissa McCarthy has been in nearly 30 films since she started acting in the 1990s.

To see which of her films audiences love best, Insider rounded up her top-scoring movies using data from Rotten Tomatoes. Keep in mind that the scores were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.

Here are some of Melissa McCarthy’s best movies of all time, according to audiences.


McCarthy is a ghoul-hunting physicist in “Ghostbusters” (2016), a reboot of the classic 1984 film.

Columbia PicturesMelissa McCarthy as Abby in 2016’s ‘Ghostbusters.’

Audience score: 50%

In the 2016 reboot of the classic 1984 paranormal comedy, the eponymous New-York-based ghost hunters have been reenvisioned as an all-female team.

McCarthy stars as physicist Abby Yates alongside actors Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.

Critics ultimately enjoyed the film more than audiences did, giving it a positive 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


She plays a woman named Catherine in “This Is 40” (2012).

Universal PicturesMelissa McCarthy in ‘This Is 40.’

Audience score: 50%

McCarthy makes a small appearance in “This Is 40,” Judd Apatow’s sequel to “Knocked Up.”

Taking place five years after the original, this film centres around a husband and wife (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann) who are about to enter the fourth decade of their lives.


In “Identity Thief” (2013), McCarthy plays a con artist.

UniversalMelissa McCarthy in ‘Identity Thief’ (2013).

Audience score: 53%

A con artist, Diana (McCarthy), scams a man named Sandy (Jason Bateman) into revealing all of his personal information.

When he learns that she’s been using his identity to live large in Miami, he heads to Florida to chase her down.


She plays Cici, a college student, in “Pumpkin” (2002).

United ArtistsMelissa McCarthy in ‘Pumpkin.’

Audience score: 56%

“Pumpkin” tells the story of a sorority girl (Christina Ricci) who falls in love with a boy with a disability while volunteering.

McCarthy has a small role as a student in this indie film.


McCarthy has multiple roles in “The Nines” (2007).

Destination FilmsMelissa McCarthy and Ryan Reynolds in 2007’s ‘The Nines.’

Audience score: 61%

“The Nines,” a sci-fi thriller, stars Ryan Reynolds as three different men (an actor, a TV writer, and a video-game designer) who are trying to decipher unusual events in their lives.


The actress has a small part in “Life As We Know It” (2010).

Warner Bros.Melissa McCarthy as DeeDee in ‘Life as We Know It.’

Audience score: 61%

Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel), who can hardly stand out each other, are forced to live together to care for their friends’ daughter when her parents (Christina Hendricks and Josh Lucas) are killed in a car crash.


McCarthy stars in the food-focused mockumentary “Cook Off!” (2007).

LionsgateMelissa McCarthy as Amber Strang in ‘Cook Off!’

Audience score: 68%

In this mockumentary, McCarthy plays a contestant in a cooking contest who is competing for a generous cash prize.

Audience members were certainly more entertained by “Cook Off!” than critics, who mostly panned the film.


She plays a mobster’s wife in “The Kitchen” (2019).

Warner Bros.Melissa McCarthy in ‘The Kitchen.’

Audience score: 69%

Set in the 1970s and based on the DC-Comics series of the same name, this crime film is about the wives (McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss) of three mobsters who start doing the mafia’s dirty work themselves when their husbands are arrested by the FBI.

“The Kitchen” truly divided critics and audiences, with some reviewers describing it as an “unsalvageable mess” and “a collection of genre tropes.”


She portrays a Boston cop in “The Heat” (2013).

20th Century FoxMelissa McCarthy in ‘The Heat.’

Audience score: 71%

“The Heat” is a comedy that co-stars McCarthy and Sandra Bullock as a Boston cop and FBI agent who team up to stop a drug lord.


McCarthy earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the hit comedy “Bridesmaids” (2011).

Courtesy of AmazonMelissa McCarthy in ‘Bridesmaids.’

Audience score: 76%

The oft-quoted hit comedy follows the misadventures of maid of honour Annie (Kristen Wiig), bride-to-be Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a coterie of offbeat bridesmaids.

Some of Hollywood’s funniest women, such as McCarthy (who earned an Oscar nomination for her role in this flick) and Ellie Kemper, round out the ensemble.

Read More: 16 of the best wedding movies of all time


McCarthy made her feature-film debut in “Go” (1999).

Columbia PicturesMelissa McCarthy as Sandra in ‘Go.’

Audience score: 78%

“Go,” a crime comedy, focuses on the interconnected stories of people in Los Angeles who meet in the city’s drug-fuelled underground scene.


She plays a single mother in “St. Vincent” (2014).

The Weinstein CompanyMelissa McCarthy as Maggie in ‘St. Vincent.’

Audience score: 78%

“St. Vincent” is a comedic drama about a single mother, Maggie (McCarthy), who relocates to Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son, Oliver (Jaeden Martell).

Working long hours, Maggie entrusts her neighbour Vincent (Bill Murray), a cranky Vietnam veteran, with watching Oliver after school.


She’s an undercover agent in “Spy” (2015).

20th Century FoxMelissa McCarthy and Jason Statham in ‘Spy.’

Audience score: 78%

Susan (McCarthy), a CIA analyst with a desk job, goes undercover to find her partner (Jude Law) and save another agent (Jason Statham) in this espionage spoof.

McCarthy received a Golden-Globe nomination for her role in this film.


McCarthy plays a real-life celebrity profiler in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018).

Fox Searchlight PicturesMelissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’

Audience score: 81%

Based on the memoir of the same title, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is a biographical drama about celebrity profiler Lee Israel (McCarthy), who attempts to revive her writing career by forging and stealing letters from dead playwrights and authors.

Lauded for her performance, McCarthy’s turn as Israel garnered her both Oscar and Golden-Globe nominations.

Read More:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.