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Jennifer Lopez's Best Movies, Ranked by Metacritic

On the 25th anniversary of 'Selena,' see where the biopic falls on the list of Jennifer Lopez's best films when ranked by Metascore.
by Taylor Freitas — 
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Jennifer Lopez

Leon Bennett / Getty Images

To some, she's J.Lo. To others, she's "Jenny From the Block." No matter what you call her, one fact remains: Jennifer Lopez is a multi-talented entertainer with a résumé that includes acting, singing, dancing, and producing — just to name a few.

The New York-born star began her journey to fame more than three decades ago, launching her professional career in 1991 as a Fly Girl on In Living Color. Over the following few years, she landed a series of gigs on short-lived TV shows including Second Chances, South Central, and Hotel Malibu — until she transitioned to movies in 1995. For the next half-decade, Lopez appeared in multiple movies each year, including My Family and Money Train in 1995;Jackand Blood and Wine in 1996; Selena, Anaconda, and U Turn in 1997; and Out of Sight and Antz in 1998. 

Her performance in Selena transformed Lopez into a global superstar — and made her the first Latina to make $1 million for a film role. Following that success, she kicked off her singing career in 1999 with her debut album On the 6. Its first single, "If You Had My Love," quickly hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Since then, Lopez has released more than half a dozen albums while also working on her movie and TV career. Although romantic comedies account for a good portion of her filmography, she's also dabbled in several other genres, including crime films, animated movies, sci-fi flicks, and even reality competition shows.

Here, Metacritic highlights Lopez's top 10 movies, ranked by Metascore.


Out of Sight

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of crime movies and romantic comedies
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, , Vudu
Runtime: 123 minutes

Based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name, Out of Sight is the story of notorious bank robber Jack Foley (George Clooney), who escapes from prison and kidnaps U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco (Lopez). In the process, she begins to develop romantic feelings for her captor — which leads her to question whether or not she wants to turn him in. Out of Sight was the first of several collaborations between Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh, who teamed up on Ocean's Eleven three years later. After its release, the filmreceived two Academy Award nominations: Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. 

"[Soderbergh] plays with time and narrative to reveal character, mood and longing in ways you just don't find in a mainstream crime picture." — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


Hustlers

Metascore: 79
Best for: True crime fans and comedy lovers
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, , Vudu
Runtime: 110 minutes

Hustlers is a 2019 crime dramedy inspired by the true story of Destiny (Constance Wu) and Ramona (Lopez), a pair of New York strippers who team up to drug and rob their rich male clients. They're joined by a group of their fellow strippers, including Mercedes (Keke Palmer), Annabelle (Lili Reinhart), Liz (Lizzo), and Diamond (Cardi B). Years later, the group's leaders are interviewed by an investigative journalist (Julia Stiles), who writes an article revealing the details of their scheme. Lopez's performance was lauded by critics, landing her the second spot on Time'sbest movie performances of 2019.

"Hustlers is slick and sharp and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, with writer-director Lorene Scafaria delivering a film that often feels like Scorsese Lite." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times


Antz

Metascore: 72
Best for: Families and fans of animated films
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu 
Runtime: 83 minutes

Released in 1998, Antz was the first film by DreamWorks Animation. It tells the story of Z (Woody Allen), a hard-working ant who is unhappy with living an average life. In a strange turn of events, he heads to war and returns home as a hero — but not before falling in love with the unattainable Princess Bala (Sharon Stone). Lopez voices Azteca, who works with Z and dates his best friend Weaver (Sylvester Stallone). Antz famously ignited a feud between DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar because its story shared several similarities with Pixar's A Bug's Life(also released in 1998). 

"The latest showpiece for computer animation, with all the contoured, suspiciously gleaming perfection that this entails." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker


Selena

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of biographical films and music lovers
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, HBO MaxiTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 127 minutes

Lopez had her breakout performance in 1997's Selena, a biopic about the life and death of "Queen of Tejano music," Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. The movie follows the rise of the young singer's career — all the way from performing at carnivals with her family to selling out arenas in major cities. It also shows the tragic events leading up to Selena's death at the hands of Yolanda Saldívar (Lupe Ontiveros), her fan club president and business partner. For her performance, Lopez scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.

"For all its simplicity, however, the film is entertaining, even uplifting, with Lopez giving a stellar, confectionary performance." — Paul Malcolm, LA Weekly


Home

Metascore: 55
Best for: Kids and sci-fi fans
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Tubi, Vudu
Runtime: 94 minutes

Home, a 2015 computer-animated film, is set after the Boov alien race takes over Earth and begins abducting humans. The premise is based on The True Meaning of Smekday, a children's book written by Adam Rex in 2007. The story revolves around an unlikely pair: a human girl named Gratuity "Tip" Tucci (Rihanna) and an outcast member of the Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons). Together with Tip's cat named Pig, the duo set off on an adventure to find Tip's mother, Lucy (Lopez). In addition to acting in the film, Lopez also created a song for the soundtrack ("Feel the Light").

"A charming concoction with positive messages for younger children about conquering fears, understanding outsiders and knowing yourself." — Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times


U Turn

Metascore: 54
Best for: Thrill seekers and fans of crime films
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu
Runtime: 125 minutes

This Oliver Stone-directed thriller is based on John Ridley's novel Stray Dogs. (Ridley also wrote the screenplay for the film.) It follows Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn), a gambler on the run from his debtors, whose car breaks down in the strange town of Surprise, Ariz. There, he falls for Grace McKenna (Lopez), a young woman who's desperate to get out of town. The two conspire to kill her husband (Nick Nolte), but the plan goes awry, and they're forced to turn on one another. U Turn, which came out in 1997, was one of three movies Lopez appeared in that year, along with Selena and Anaconda.

"The stylistic fun Stone has in dramatizing this crime of passion thoroughly revitalizes the well-worked genre." — Todd McCarthy, Variety


$ellebrity

Metascore: 53
Best for: Fans of celebrities and pop culture
Where to watch: 

, Google PlayiTunes, Pluto TV, Tubi, Vudu 
Runtime: 89 minutes

Privacy and the true cost of fame are two of the themes explored in $ellebrity, a 2013 documentary from celebrity photographer Kevin Mazur. In the film, Mazur gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his profession, including the ethics behind it, its evolution over the years, and the tactics that paparazzi use to get the most lucrative shots. It also includes numerous interviews with celebrities, including Lopez and then-husband Marc Anthony, who share their thoughts on the relationship between the paparazzi and their subjects. Other interviews in $ellebrity include Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as pop culture experts.

"A documentary that's unafraid to get dirty digging into the subject of celebrity journalism." — John Anderson, Variety


Marry Me

Metascore: 50
Best for: Romantic comedy fans, Latin music lovers
Where to watch: iTunes

Vudu
Runtime: 112 minutes

Lopez stars in Marry Me as Kat Valdez, one of the world's biggest pop stars who has been historically unlucky in love until she starts dating fellow musician Bastian (Maluma). Together, they release a hit single called "Marry Me" and plan to get hitched during one of her concerts. Moments before the ceremony, she learns about Bastian's affair. Devastated, she looks into the crowd and sees divorced high-school teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) — and decides to marry him instead. In addition to acting in the film, Lopez also performed the soundtrack (with Maluma) and producedit (through her company Nuyorican Productions).

"In the end, Marry Me is funny and worth watching." — Michael Talbot-Haynes, Film Threat


An Unfinished Life

Metascore: 49
Best for: Fans of dramas
Where to watch: 

, Google PlayiTunes, Vudu 
Runtime: 108 minutes

Set in a rural Wyoming town, An Unfinished Life is the story of hardened rancher Einar Gilkyson (Robert Redford), who blames his estranged daughter-in-law Jean Gilkyson (Lopez) for the death of his son Griffin (Trevor Moss). After years apart, Jean travels to her father-in-law's ranch with her young daughter, who is meeting her grandfather for the first time. Einar begins to form a relationship with his granddaughter while also trying to reconcile with his son's death — but ultimately struggles to let go of his anger toward Jean. The film was adapted from Mark Spragg's book of the same title.

"In the hands of a less skillful director, the film could very easily flop, but it doesn't." — Ryan Devlin, Premiere


Shall We Dance?

Metascore: 47
Best for: Romantic comedy fans and dancers
Where to watch: 

Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 106 minutes

Shall We Dance?, a 2004 remake of a mid-'90s Japanese film, revolves around hard-working Chicago lawyer John Clark (Richard Gere), who craves something more from life. On his evening commute, he starts to notice Paulina, an attractive woman in a dance studio (played by Lopez). One day, he signs up for ballroom dance lessons in hopes of meeting her. As time passes, he develops a genuine passion for dance and begins training for competitions — unbeknownst to his wife Beverly (Susan Sarandon). In the process, he strikes up a friendship with Paulina and helps her rediscover her love of dance.

"When it works, Shall We Dance? has a way of sweeping you off your feet." — Steve Davis, The Austin Chronicle