Amanda Seyfried's Best Movies and TV Shows, Ranked by Metacritic

From 'Mean Girls' to 'Mank,' Amanda Seyfried has an abundance of acting credits across screens big and small, here are her highest-rated titles, ranked by Metascore.
by Danielle Turchiano — 

Amanda Seyfried

Noam Galai / Getty Images

Amanda Seyfried got her professional acting start on daytime drama As the World Turns at the turn of the 21st century. She spent a good chunk of her early career on television, guest-starring on everything from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, to House and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as being a larger part of the ensemble on such series as Veronica Mars, Wildfire, and Big Love

However, Seyfried broke out on the big screen early on in her career, as well, playing the ditzy but lovable Karen in Tina Fey's Mean Girls in 2004. That spawned a wide-ranging film career that let her headline Mamma Mia!, Dear John, Letters to Juliet, Lovelace, and many more. It also led to her first award nomination, Best On-Screen Team from the MTV Movie Awards, which she — along with Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, and Lacey Chabert — went on to win. 

Other notable ensemble award acclaim includes Gotham and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations for Nine Lives and Les Misérables, respectively. But she has received individual attention from many awards voting bodies as well. Most recently, her supporting performance in Mank earned her Oscar, Critics Choice, and Golden Globe nominations, in addition to attention at a lot of film festivals. 

Since Mank, Seyfried turned her attention back to television — at least temporarily. She now stars as Elizabeth Holmes, the controversial founder of health-tech company Theranos, in Hulu's The Dropout. And soon she will star opposite Tom Holland in Apple TV+'s The Crowded Room.

Here, Metacritic highlights Seyfried's top 10 films and TV shows, ranked by Metascore.

First Reformed

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of crises of faith, new relationships forged in trauma, and thoughtful explorations of religion
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 113 minutes

A priest (Ethan Hawke) at the First Reformed Church in New York is struggling with his faith when he meets Mary (Seyfried), a pregnant woman whose husband (Philip Ettinger) wants her to get an abortion. As she confides in him with concerns over her environmental extremist husband's views and plans, their relationship grows increasingly complicated, but also more intimate. Writer and director Paul Schrader was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the 2017 film.

"A coolly assured example of cinematic scholarship in subtly deployed motion and one of the strongest pictures of 2018." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of science and educational series
Where to watch:

, Disney+, Vudu
Seasons: 1

Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts this 2014 docuseries followup to 1980's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage in order to bring deep scientific discussions back to the general public and share updated information and discoveries in the years since the original series aired. It covers everything from the big bang theory and extinction, to the wave theory of light and the importance of constellations, using a variety of CGI graphics. Seyfried voices Marie Tharp in an animated sequence that reenacts the geologist's work on the first ocean maps.

"Certainly trippy and visually dazzling, but it's also a big, thought-provoking series crammed with scientific and historical fact." — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

Twin Peaks: The Return

Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of trippy dramas and supernatural mysteries
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 1

David Lynch's 2017 revival of his acclaimed 1990s drama Twin Peaks picks up two-and-a-half decades after the events of the original series. FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is back, and many of the new elements connect to his original case investigating Laura Palmer's (Sheryl Lee) murder. This time, though, he is trying to free himself from entrapment in a supernatural realm while also stopping a demonic spirit (who happens to have stolen his likeness), and finally close Laura's case. Seyfried plays Becky Burnett, Bobby and Shelly Briggs' (Dana Ashbrook and Mädchen Amick, respectively) daughter who is in an abusive relationship when the show begins.

"The show immediately finds just the right balance between challenge and pleasure." — Hank Stuever, The Washington Post

Nine Lives

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of short stories and relationship-driven dramas
Where to watch:

, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 115 minutes

Rodrigo García wrote and directed this 2005 independent film that loosely connects nine different women whose stories center on themes of complex familial relationships, abuse, uneven love, and mortality. Although the film features a large ensemble cast, including Elpidia Carrillo, LisaGay Hamilton, Glenn Close, and Joe Mantegna, each story is individualized and therefore told in vignette style — each in one long take. Seyfried plays a teenager named Samantha who is stuck being the go-between of parents (Sissy Spacek and Ian McShane) who don't communicate with each other.

"A bold film both in its storytelling strategies and its filmmaking logistics." — Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter


Metascore: 79
Best for: Fans of going behind the scenes of Hollywood, especially old Hollywood
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 131 minutes

The David Fincher-directed biopic about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz developing his eventual Oscar-winning film, Citizen Kane, is shown in black and white in order to more fully capture 1940s Hollywood. The film begins when Orson Welles (Tom Burke) hires Herman (Gary Oldman) to write his next movie, but it jumps back and forth in time as the film goes on, following Herman's career for years before this partnership when he works for MGM. Mank won two Oscars in 2021 and was nominated for eight more, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Seyfried, who plays actor Marion Davies.

"A lavish love letter to old Hollywood in all its glory, cynicism and wild extravagance." — Phil de Semiyen, Time Out

Veronica Mars

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of amateur sleuths, teen dramas, witty banter, and murder mysteries
Where to watch:

, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 4

The titular Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a high school student by day who works as a private investigator by... later that day. While episodes feature standalone and often easy-to-crack cases, Veronica is tortured by the death of her best friend, Lilly Kane (Seyfried), whose murder she is determined to solve. Being a teen drama, a love triangle for Veronica often pulls the spotlight, but the show also continues to push the boundaries of the serious cases she comes across, including a serial rapist on a college campus.

"A wonderfully complex drama, with plenty of sly humor, that showcases slick performances...and magically straddles the parallel universes of film noir and high school high jinks." — Jonathan Storm, The Philadelphia Inquirer

While We're Young

Metascore: 77
Best for: Fans of relationship dramas and generational commentary
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 97 minutes

Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, this 2014 dramedy follows a couple in their 40s (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) who befriend a couple in their 20s (Adam Driver and Seyfried). The older couple's relationship is rocky to start, and things don't get any easier when their lives are infused with this new energy, which at first just seems youthful, but as time goes on, is revealed as morally compromised. That the characters are filmmakers allows plot points to center on making a documentary, with the larger story looking at the importance of truth.

"Wise, funny, fiercely intelligent and always involving." — Christopher Schobert, The Film Stage

The Dropout

Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of stories that go deeper than the headlines
Where to watch:

Seasons: 1

Seyfried plays Elizabeth Holmes, the former founder and CEO of Theranos, a company that was supposed to revolutionize blood testing, in Elizabeth Meriwether's limited series based on the podcast of the same title. The show chronicles Elizabeth from her teenage years, obsessive about doing some great (and doing it while she's young), through the creation of her company, failed testing, and the whistleblowing that stopped her Theranos from continuing to endanger patients and put Elizabeth and her boyfriend and COO, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani (Naveen Andrews) on trial. It peels back the layers on ambition, image, and culpability, as well as what it means to be a visionary if you can't truly execute your vision.

"[It] creates a sharp portrait of an unnerving woman that doesn't excuse her actions, but makes them at least more understandable."Caroline Framke, Variety


Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of medical dramas and complicated male protagonists
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Peacock, Vudu
Seasons: 8

David Shore's medical drama centers on the titular Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), who is a genius at his job but deeply flawed in his personal life, from his addiction, to his irascible attitude and often biased ways of choosing cases. Nevertheless, he leads a team at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where extremely complicated diagnoses are a weekly occurrence that the doctors must juggle with their own evolving interpersonal relationships. Seyfried plays Pam, the girlfriend of a teenager with unexplained internal bleeding in the Season 1 episode titled "Detox."

"This kind of straight, no-chaser approach to patient care is what makes House a satisfying riff on any number of doctors I've seen on TV." — Paul Brownfield, Los Angeles Times

Big Love

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of family dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 5

Bill Paxton stars as the patriarch of a Mormon family practicing polygamy in modern-day (early 2000s) Utah. His character, Bill Henrickson, has four wives (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Branka Katić) and a handful of kids. (Seyfried plays the oldest daughter, who has issues with the unconventional family structure.) The ensemble drama explores the family's religious beliefs, affiliations, and rivalries, but it dives even deeper into their interpersonal dynamics, especially as the kids embark upon relationships of their own.

"What makes it first-rate drama is how confidently it moves past exoticism to the ordinary universals of family life." — James Poniewozik, Time

(UPDATED: This story was updated on March 9, 2022 to include The Dropout.)