Winona Ryder’s 10 Best Movies And TV Shows, According To Metacritic

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Winona Ryder is back on screen with the fourth season premiere of stranger things. The actress was also seen earlier in 2022 in the thriller film The Cow. Although the current generation of viewers perceives stranger things like his biggest hit, Ryder’s filmography stretches back three decades with a number of critical hits.

The best way to gauge which movies and shows starring Winona Ryder are of the highest quality is with Metacritic scores. Since these use a weighted average model, there’s no doubt that the top stocks are the pick of the bunch. Whether it’s a supporting role in a sci-fi project like star trek or a lead role in period drama Little womanRyder has some nice work that should be checked out.

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ten A Dark Scanner (2006) – 73

Stream on Kanopy


Winona Ryder in a basement in A Scanner Darkly

This adult animated sci-fi thriller is set in the near future where the protagonist is an undercover agent seeking to infiltrate the drug underworld. However, he becomes addicted himself and becomes involved with the drug dealer he is supposed to be spying on.

RELATED: Winona Ryder’s 10 Most Iconic Roles: Ranked

A dark scanner features a well-known cast, including Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson. Ryder stars as the drug dealer Reeves falls in love with and is very interesting due to the mystery surrounding his true identity. The film has been praised for portraying the paranoia that comes with addiction, which is portrayed through its animated style.


9 Edward Scissorhands (1990) – 74

Stream on Disney+


Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder look out the window in Edward Scissorhands

Winona Ryder is one of the most iconic actresses of the 90s, with this feature launching her decade-long dominance. Edward Scissorhands is about the titular character who has scissor blades for her hands and falls in love with the teenage daughter of the family who takes her in.

The chemistry between Ryder and Johnny Depp has been hailed by critics and viewers alike for stealing the show. Tim Burton’s direction received additional praise for creating a gothic-style world that nonetheless made audiences uncomfortable for Edward and the main characters’ tragic love story.


8 Frankenweenie (2012) – 74

Stream on Disney+


Winona Ryder's character looks back in Frankenweenie

A tribute to Mary Shelley FrankensteinThis stop motion animation takes on an alternate history. Frankenweenie depicts a young Viktor Frankenstein reviving his dead dog, Sparky, which has the side effect of other people resurrecting their pets to wreak havoc on the city.

Winona Ryder voices Elsa Van Helsing, Viktor’s kind neighbor who helps him round up the stray undead pets. Critics loved it FrankenweenieThe heartfelt story and horror-comedy of appeals to older and younger audiences. Despite the story’s undead outline, there’s an innocence to the way the film is presented.


seven Stranger Things (2016-) – 74

Stream on Netflix


Stranger Things Joyce Lights

While the cast of stranger things has been involved in other projects, fans of the show mostly care about their work in this dark fantasy horror. stranger things is Winona Ryder’s first television series where she has a regular role, playing Joyce Byers as she tries to protect her family in the dangerous town of Hawkins.

The show was a major hit upon its arrival, becoming one of the top tentpole franchises for Netflix. Ryder and the ensemble cast bring the series together, with each season focusing on the townspeople battling mysterious creatures from a realm known as the Upside Down.


6 Lucas (1986) – 75

Not currently available to stream


Winona Ryder at a school in Lucas

Lucas is Winona Ryder’s first acting credit, where she plays Rina, the titular character’s friend. The story goes that Lucas attempts to win the heart of a pretty cheerleader, only to be crushed when he learns she has started a relationship with a boy whom Lucas considers an older brother.

RELATED: The 10 Best Coming Of Age Movies Of The ’80s, According To Letterboxd

Rina’s character secretly has feelings for Lucas which she puts aside to support her friend, in a role that drew attention to Ryder’s performance to impress at a young age. Lucas was praised for being a coming-of-age story where the characters are kind to each other, a departure from the usual 80s style where high school clique mentality was common in movies.


5 Black Swan (2010) – 79

Stream on Hulu


In this psychological thriller, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who gradually loses her grip on reality when she becomes obsessed with winning the lead role in a play. Winona Ryder appears as Beth MacIntyre, the original prima ballerina who is sidelined by Nina’s involvement.

Although Ryder doesn’t have the biggest role in the film, his character sets Nina’s descent into madness in motion by creating the obsessive streak in her. There are many subtle clues Black SwanRyder’s twist ends, with Ryder’s embittered Beth providing some of them.


4 Experimenter (2015) – 81

Stream on Fubo TV


Experimenter is a biographical drama about real-life Milgram’s experience by Stanley Milgram. Peter Sarsgaard plays the title character while Winona Ryder appears as Sasha Milgram, with the film depicting their meeting and eventual marriage.

The essential aspect of Experimenter concerns the ethics of the Milgram experiment, which involves subjects thinking they are handing out shocks to people when the latter “victims” are in fact safe. The film was praised for using a fact-based narrative that didn’t compromise on the captivating nature of the experiences.




3 Star Trek (2009) – 82

Stream on Paramount+


Winona Ryder as Amanda Grayson in Star Trek

Winona Ryder has a supporting role in star trek, which revived the sci-fi film series. She plays Amanda Grayson, the human mother of the Vulcan Spock. Amanda isn’t on screen much, but her death sets up Spock’s emotional journey to accept his human side.

RELATED: 10 Most Powerful Star Trek Characters, According To Ranker

star trek marked a departure from Ryder’s usual film appearances, being a big-budget feature that featured extensive action set pieces. Her looks were praised for adding an emotional element to the film, as well as the way Ryder got used to a new genre without any difficulty.


2 Little Women (1994) – 87

Stream on Netflix


It is common to find arguments as to why the 2019 Little woman might be better than the 1994 movie since the first one is newer. However, Winona Ryder’s version remained well received, with the role of Jo March earning her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

The film depicts Jo’s struggles to become an author during and after the American Civil War while dealing with the day-to-day issues she and her sisters face. Little woman can be considered Ryder’s peak of critical acclaim, as it came after a string of other popular projects.


1 Age of Innocence (1993) – 90

Stream on Pluto TV


Martin Scorsese isn’t usually associated with period dramas, but The age of innocence happens to be among his highest rated films. The story is about lawyer Newland Archer, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who is engaged to Ryder’s May Welland but falls in love with another woman.

The age of innocence brought Winona Ryder her first Oscar nomination, receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Her character is the most sympathetic in the film as a conscientious and understanding May, with Archer’s conflict stemming from her loyalty. The age of innocenceRyder’s success continued Ryder’s hot streak that would grow in later years.

NEXT: Stranger Things’ 10 Funniest Main Characters, Ranked

Three split images of the main characters from Pinocchio


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