A ranking of Reese Witherspoon’s best movies, from Legally Blonde to Hot Pursuit

Reese Witherspoon is a living, breathing icon. There are no ifs or buts about it. From her legendary film roles to her production credits to her philanthropy work, it seems there's no stopping the 46-year-old - especially not now. Because Netflix has just dropped her latest body of work, Your Place or Mine, a new rom-com in which she stars alongside That 70s Show alumni, Ashton Kutcher.

So, while you drop everything you're doing and head to the streaming service (which is exactly what we did), we've done you a massive favour by compiling 8 of the best Reese Witherspoon films for you to binge once you're done. Whether you rewatch her iconic portrayal of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (one and two) or you go rogue and catch the neo-noir mystery comedy film Inherent Vice, you'll have enough RW content to last you for, well, a *very* long time...

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Legally Blonde (1 & 2)

Probably one of the best (and most memorable) rom-com franchises to come out of the early noughties, Legally Blonde holds a place in the majority of millennial hearts. In the first film, Witherspoon stars as Elle Woods, whose boyfriend breaks up with her to date a "smarter" girl as he enrols at Harvard Law School with the ambition of becoming a politician. To teach him a lesson, Elle decides to apply for a place at the same institution and is accepted.

The second film follows Elle, who is now a Harvard graduate, heading to Washington D.C. to try and pass a bill to ban animal testing after she discovers her dog Bruiser's mum is being used for testing at a cosmetics company.

Bruiser's Bill still pulls at our heartstrings to this day.

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Walk the Line

2005 saw Witherspoon star alongside Joaquin Phoenix in James Mangold's acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. She played the part of June Carter, Johnny's wife, and perfectly captured her bubbly stage presence coupled with the BTS drama.

Alongside doing her own singing in the film, her chemistry with Phoenix was undeniable. So much so, it won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.


Wild gave Witherspoon her second Oscar nod, starring as the lead in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir. The film documents her 1,000+ mile hike through the Pacific Crest Trail (one of the country's longest and toughest trails) following the aftermath of her marriage breakup and her mother's death.

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Hot Pursuit

According to IMDb's official synopsis, Witherspoon stars as an "uptight and by-the-book cop" who is trying to "protect the outgoing widow (Sofia Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen."

Pure girl power in this one, and we love to see it.

Inherent Vice

Based on the book of the same name by Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice follows Larry "Doc" Sportello, a hippie private investigator in the 1970s, who's looking into three cases that are all related through the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and her new rich boyfriend.

Witherspoon plays Deputy District Attorney, Penny Kimball, who - while having a fling with Doc - gives him confidential LAPD files. While it's not her most famous role, the film is definitely worthy of a watch, especially for those who love period neo-noir mystery vibes.

Paramount Pictures/YouTube


Back in 1999, when Witherspoon was just 23, she starred as one of the leading roles in the black comedy film, Election, which aimed to satirise high school life and politics. She portrayed Tracy Flick, a successful student running for school president who often uses unethical methods to get what she wants.

However, high school teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) knows Tracy's tricks, and is afraid - should she win the election - she'll be a bad influence on the student body. So, he convinces popular student athlete, Paul, to run against her, only for Tracy to find out.

While this sparks a bitter feud between the two, Witherspoon did receive a Golden Globe nomination for the role.

Larger Than Life Productions/YouTube


"Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world," says IMDb.

Reese Witherspoon and Tobey McGuire star in this wholesome film, which many have called a "visual masterpiece." Pleasantville was another of the actor's early big roles, and her portrayal of Jennifer - a character who was mainly concerned with popularity and appearance - earned her major praise.

It even won her the Young Hollywood Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance.

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Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions is a cult classic, and Witherspoon's supporting role as Annette Hargrove was another breakthrough role for the actor.

The film focuses on step-siblings, Kathryn and Sebastian who make a bet with each other that he'll sleep with Annette, the headmaster's daughter. However, Sebastian ends up falling in love with her, in an unexpected turn of events.

Your Place or Mine is now streaming on Netflix.

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