Madonna is one of the biggest pop stars in the history of popular music. Guinness World Records listed Madonna as the best-selling female recording artist of all time, with more than 300 million records sold worldwide during her career. She’s won at least 280 different awards, with a career now spanning four decades. Madonna has the most number-ones on all Billboard charts combined, with 161 (and 50 different songs). She once had the highest-grossing solo tour of all-time in the United States, was the highest-grossing woman in entertainment history, and had the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show of all time. Needless to say, Madonna’s accomplishments are among the highest tier of entertainers that ever existed.
She’s also had a pretty impressive movie career as well. Madonna has acted in 22 feature films, but has also been part of short films, theatrical plays, television shows (like Saturday Night Live and Will and Grace), and commercials as well. While not all her film roles are enjoyed by critics, Madonna is clearly still a draw in whatever project she’s a part of. In more recent years, she’s been behind-the-scenes on the Agent Cody Banks films, directed the movie Filth and Wisdom, and worked on passion projects that focus on artistic freedom and human rights. She’s also heavily involved in a biopic movie about her own life. Still, when it comes to her film career, Madonna is best known for her roles in front of the camera. Sometimes, it’s been in documentaries that focus on her career, like Madonna: Truth or Dare, an inside look at Madonna’s life during the 1990 ‘Blond Ambition’ tour. However, most of the time she’s been willing to take on roles very different from herself. Here are Madonna’s best performances, ranked.
7 Arthur and the Invisibles
For Arthur and the Invisibles, Madonna is the voice of a miniature troll named Princess Selenia in this fantasy-based, animated/live-action film. The story proceeds like a bedtime story that kids should certainly enjoy. The movie has an impressive voice and live-action cast, including Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Fallon, Freddie Highmore, Mia Farrow, and Jason Bateman. Overall, it’s a wonderful family film.
6 Die Another Day
Madonna wrote the James Bond theme song for Die Another Day and appears in a cameo as an upscale fencing instructor named Verity. She has a bit of verbal sparring with James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) in the scene, and she passes along some useful information to him in the process before introducing him to another fencer who wants to gamble on a match between the two. It’s a small role, but it was done well and doesn’t distract from the overall movie. The film also stars Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, and Dame Judy Dench.
5 Who’s That Girl
In Who’s That Girl, Madonna plays a girl named Nikki Finn, who’s falsely accused of murder and is trying to clear her name. She plays a fun-loving, impulsive character, who isn’t shy to go after what she wants, including a relationship with a mild-mannered corporate attorney. Set in New York City, the film revolves around Madonna and her character’s antics. It’s must-see watching for Madonna fans.
Madonna was able to shine in a more serious role that also highlights her singing in Evita. She played the real-life character of Eva Perón, the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón and the First Lady of Argentina. Evita is probably best remembered for her efforts to help the poor while also assisting women to gain the right to vote in Argentina. With music from famed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, the film only furthered Madonna’s overall star credibility.
3 Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy is a classic detective movie based on the original comic strip character. The action-comedy stars Madonna as Breathless Mahoney, a gorgeous woman who makes her interest in Dick Tracy clearly known. It’s a distraction from his day job since Dick Tracy is in an ongoing battle with the mob of Big Boy Caprice and his eccentric cast of mobsters. Overall, it’s a visually impressive film, which may have inspired later films in the genre such as the darker Sin City.
2 Desperately Seeking Susan
Fans of 80s Madonna most certainly will enjoy Desperately Seeking Susan. Madonna is Susan, a free-spirited New Yorker that has men falling for her and women trying to be like her. This includes a bored New Jersey housewife who’s read about Susan in the personal columns of the newspaper and starts implementing parts of Susan’s personality into her own life. However, this leads to a mystery about the identity of the real Susan, especially once some mysterious deaths begin to take place in the city. Rosanna Arquette co-stars as Roberta.
1 A League of Their Own
The classic baseball film A League of Their Own has a star-studded cast and focuses on the real-life story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Set in the 1940s during World War II, Madonna portrays Mae Mordabito, the Center Fielder for the Rockford Peaches. The league was the forerunner of women’s professional sports in the United States and has been an inspiration to many female athletes ever since. A permanent exhibit about the league can be found at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Madonna co-stars alongside Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petti, and Rosie O’Donnell. This is a great movie and an important story that Madonna enhances anytime she’s on-screen.