Mila Kunis broke into the scene with her portrayal of Jackie Burkhart in the TV series “That ’70s Show” (1998 to 2006), which inadvertently paved the way for her success in television and film. Beginning her acting journey at a young age, she portrayed a young Gia Carangi in the TV movie “Gia” (1998). Kunis has consistently displayed her acting skills across comedy, drama, romance, and action.
Her notable performances include Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” (2010), where she garnered critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for portraying a mysterious ballerina. Noteworthy comedic roles include “Friends with Benefits” and “Bad Moms,” hugely recognized at the Teen Choice Awards and MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Her recent film, “Luckiest Girl Alive” (2022), drew audience praise for portraying the sharp-tongued New Yorker Ani FaNelli. Kunis gravitates toward relatable characters, blending vulnerability and strength, often challenging societal norms, questioning traditional roles, and evolving throughout the narrative.
Her seamless transition between comedy and intense drama displays her versatility. From sitcoms to gripping dramas, Kunis’s acting journey embodies her range and adaptability, bringing us to this list that charts the best of Mila Kunis movies within her diverse filmography.
10. The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
The 2018 action-comedy follows Audrey (Mila Kunis) and her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) after Audrey’s ex-boyfriend, a spy, unexpectedly shows up in her apartment, chased by assassins. He leaves her with a package and instructions to deliver it to Vienna, setting off a series of comedic and action-packed misadventures across Europe as Audrey and Morgan become unwittingly embroiled in the world of espionage.
Mila’s portrayal of Audrey is that of a relatable and ordinary woman who finds herself caught up in the worst-case scenario. Sharing effortless chemistry with Kate McKinnon, Mila Kunis’s film mashes action sequences with humor, putting the focus on two friends and their journey of friendship, empowerment, and personal growth amidst chaotic situations.
9. Bad Moms (2016)
Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, Bad Moms revolves around the life of an overworked and stressed-out mother named Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis), a devoted wife and all-rounder mother juggling jobs, kids, and house chores to perfection.
However, when Amy learns about her husband’s infidelity, she divorces him. Fed up with the societal pressures and unrealistic expectations placed upon modern mothers, Amy decides to break free from the role of the “perfect” mom.
She starts embracing her imperfections after forming an unlikely friendship with two other moms: Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell), who also struggle with their challenges and insecurities.
Mila Kunis’s performance in Bad Moms is solid and pivotal, as she portrays a humorous, relatable, and sympathetic character, capturing the frustration and exhaustion that many mothers experience while trying to meet societal standards. Sharing the screen with Kathryn and Kristen, known for their comedic approach to their characters, Kunis’ portrayal allows her to shine through in the film, which tackles motherhood, challenging conventional norms, and celebrates the complexities of women’s lives.
8. Gia (1998)
Gia tells the true story of the life and tragic downfall of famous American fashion model Gia Carangi who rose to fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The film explores Gia’s rise to prominence, struggles with drug addiction, tumultuous personal relationships, and tragic death due to AIDS-related complications.
Mila Kunis’ performance as Gia Carangi’s younger self was particularly praised, taking us into Gia’s background and early experiences that contributed to her eventual path in the modeling industry.
Kunis captures the innocence and vulnerability of a girl on the cusp of discovering her identity and aspirations. While her screen time might be less than Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of adult Gia, Kunis’s presence contributes to the film’s emotional depth, contextualizing Gia’s journey within her formative years.
7. Ted (2012)
Seth MacFarlane’s stoner comedy “Ted” came at a time when mainstream comedy films were getting scarce. The story follows John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), who forms a close bond with his childhood teddy bear, Ted, when he is brought to life by a wish.
Mila portrays Lori Collins, John’s girlfriend, who seeks a more mature relationship. However, John’s strong connection to the irreverent Ted strains his relationship with Lori.
Mila’s grounded portrayal effectively conveys Lori’s care for John and her struggles with his immaturity. Lori’s presence catalyzes John’s growth, forcing him to address his attachment to Ted.
Throughout the film, Lori’s role generates tension between John and Ted, underlining his need to balance nostalgia and responsibilities. While the film explores the period of maturing into adulthood, nostalgia, and adult relationships, at the same time, Mila’s role as Lori combines humor and strength, shaping the movie’s dynamics.
6. The Book of Eli (2010)
The post-apocalyptic action film directed by Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes follows the journey of a lone traveler named Eli (Denzel Washington) on a mission to protect and deliver a sacred book that holds the key to saving humanity. Mila Kunis stars as Solara, a young woman who crosses paths with Eli during his journey. She lives in a lawless and desolate world, and her encounter with Eli sets her on a path of personal transformation and redemption.
Mila Kunis’s performance as Solara is noteworthy for portraying the character’s growth from a naive and sheltered individual to a strong and self-reliant survivor. Solara’s initial dependence on Eli evolves as she learns valuable skills, gains self-confidence, and develops a deeper understanding of the book’s significance.
Kunis captures Solara’s vulnerability, resilience, and determination as she navigates the challenges of the post-apocalyptic landscape. Significantly serving as a companion and ally to Eli. Through Solara’s interactions with him, we gain insight into Eli’s background, his mission, and the importance of the book he carries as the film explores themes of faith, morality, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is a musician who is devastated after his TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), breaks up with him. Seeking to escape the heartbreak, he takes a trip to a Hawaiian resort, only to discover that Sarah and her new boyfriend, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), are also staying there.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall stars Mila Kunis a Rachel Jansen, a hotel employee Peter meets in Hawaii. Rachel oozes warmth, kindness, and free-spirited nature, contrasting the tense and awkward dynamic between Peter, Sarah, and Aldous.
Her performance as Rachel is defined by her natural charm and genuine chemistry with Jason Segel’s character. Catalyzing Peter’s emotional healing and personal growth, Rachel’s interactions with Peter encourage him to move forward from his past and contemplate the possibility of a new, healthier relationship.
Rachel offers Peter an alternative perspective on love and relationships, enabling a deeper emotional connection and pushing him to confront his insecurities and emotional baggage stemming from his failed relationship with Sarah.
4. Friends with Benefits (2011)
Mila Kunis plays the role of Jamie Rellis in Will Gluck’s Friends with Benefits. Jamie is an executive recruiter who successfully recruits Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) for a job in New York City. After both of them suffer from failed relationships, they decide to enter into a casual sexual relationship, believing they can enjoy physical intimacy without the emotional complications that typically come with romantic involvement.
Mila’s character is engaging and charismatic, portraying Jamie as an independent, witty, and confident woman who is initially skeptical of love due to past disappointments. Her chemistry with Justin Timberlake’s character is sparky, as they hit it off almost immediately with their first interaction. Her portrayal of Jamie as a humorous, free-spirited woman feels like her real-life personality, which makes it even more enjoyable for the audience to connect with her character.
3. Luckiest Girl Alive (2022)
Adapted from Jessica Knoll’s bestselling novel of the same title, this mystery thriller follows the life of Tiffani “Ani” Fanelli, a respected editor at a New York women’s magazine. At 35, her seemingly perfect life is set to be solidified with her upcoming wedding to Luke.
However, as Ani prepares for her wedding, she meets a documentary director interested in exploring her survival of a school shooting during her teenage years.
In spite of the film’s wobbly messages, Mila Kunis delivers one of her most convincing dramatic performances to date.
Directed by Mike Barker (“Broadchurch,” TV’s “Fargo”), the film’s intensity captures the trauma deeply seated in this supposedly perfect woman, providing Kunis the platform for a standout performance.
“Luckiest Girl Alive” navigates the complicated balance women face – managing careers, marriages, finances – while also juggling the trauma of the past. Amidst her internal dialogues, Ani contemplates participating in the documentary, following her fiancé to London, and the impact of these choices on her journey toward confronting her history.
2. Four Good Days (2020)
Four Good Days is based on a true story and revolves around Molly, a young woman who has battled opioid addiction for years. She returns to her mother, Deb’s house (Glenn Close), seeking help to get clean. However, Deb is both hopeful and uncertain about her daughter’s ability to stay sober due to their history of broken promises and relapses.
Widely praised for her role, Mila Kunis captures the desperation, vulnerability, and pain of someone wrestling with addiction through her performance. By exploring addiction and its impact on individuals and their families, the film dives into the challenges, struggles, and difficult choices faced by both the person addicted and their loved ones. Kunis’s performance adds a layer of emotional depth to the film, as her character’s struggles and attempts at redemption create a powerful dynamic with her mother, Deb, highlighting the cycle of hope and despair that families of addicts often experience.
1. Black Swan (2010)
Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror-thriller follows Nina, a talented yet mentally fragile ballet dancer, who is cast as the lead in a production of “Swan Lake.” The role demands that she portray both the innocent White Swan and the seductive Black Swan.
As Nina becomes fixated on surpassing herself in playing both roles, her mental state deteriorates, leading to hallucinations and paranoia. The obsession with perfection destroys her, causing a breakdown and blurring the lines between reality and her inner turmoil.
Mila plays the counterpart to Nina, as Lily, a carefree, confident, and sexually liberated young ballerina embodying the qualities of the Black Swan. Lily’s presence challenges Nina’s inhibitions and limitations, adding complex layers of duality, competition, sexuality, and Nina’s inner struggles. Mila Kunis’s performance as Lily garnered critical appreciation, as her character helped create tension and suspense in the film’s narrative, dealing with psychological complexity and adding an extra layer as a crucial element in the story’s unfolding.