Sandra Bullock's Best Movies, Ranked by Metacritic

Sandra Bullock has moved beyond the rom-com queen; see her 10 best movies, ranked by Metascore.
by Danielle Turchiano — 

Sandra Bullock

Rich Fury / Getty Images

For many years in the 1990s and early aughts, Sandra Bullock was known as a rom-com queen. 

From such films as 1995's While You Were Sleeping and 1998's Hope Floats, to 2002's Two Weeks Notice, 2006's The Lake House, and 2009's The Proposal, Bullock was falling in love with a variety of men on-screen. Even the 1990s Speed franchise, which are action films at their core, and the early aughts' Miss Congeniality, which features undercover police work, include romantic attraction subplots.

She has been so iconic as a romantic leading lady that Mindy Kaling used her as the benchmark for that kind of character perfection in The Mindy Project. Kaling's character in that television comedy grew up obsessed with rom-coms and wanted her life to be like one. In an often-quoted (and more often memed) moment, she drunkenly rides a bike in the pilot episode, hopefully shouting, "I'm Sandra Bullock!"

Bullock was never stereotyped or stuck only in this one genre, but she has been able to more widely expand her résumé, both as a performer and a producer, in more recent years. She has been one of two important co-leads in films including The Heat and Gravity; she led the female-focused heist ensemble, Ocean's 8; she teamed up with Netflix for two dramatic streaming movies, the post-apocalyptic Bird Box and the post-prison drama The Unforgivable; and she mixed action, adventure, and romantic dramedy in The Lost City. (Those last three films are ones on which she pulled double duty as an actor and a producer.)

Certainly winning an Oscar for her performance as an adoptive mother to a high school football star in The Blind Side helped raise her profile. But she has also taken fewer roles per year, making the projects she chooses now even more special. 

Here, Metacritic highlights the top 10 movies Bullock has acted in, ranked by Metascore.


Metascore: 96
Best for: Fans of character-driven space dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 91 minutes

Bullock stars opposite George Clooney in Alfonso Cuarón's space adventure about two astronauts who get stranded after their Space Shuttle is destroyed mid-orbit. Clooney's Matt Kowalski is the veteran of the duo, while Bullock's Ryan Stone is only on her first mission, but the two must work together to try to find a way home. They find themselves sharing their life stories, which bonds them and makes it even more emotional when they find themselves in peril. Bullock received her second Oscar nomination for her performance as Ryan.

"A stunning space saga that takes off for new technical frontiers without leaving its humanity behind." — James Mottram, Total Film


Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of high-octane action films
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 116 minutes

Jan de Bont made his directorial debut with this action film set aboard a Los Angeles city bus. When SWAT officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) gets a call from a terrorist saying he put a bomb on a bus, Jack finds a way to board the bus to try to control the situation. Average citizen Annie Porter (Bullock) steps up to drive the bus after the regular driver is injured, and together Jack and Annie try to keep the bus above 50 miles per hour so the bomb doesn't detonate, while also coming up with a way to first keep the passengers calm and later to try to offload them without the terrorist knowing. It's a high-octane adventure across Los Angeles freeways with an unlikely duo leading the way.

"A crackling blend of suspense and fun that gives you the rush of a runaway roller coaster." — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of biopics of complicated men and emotional relationship dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 110 minutes

George Plimpton's book about Truman Capote is the basis for Douglas McGrath's biopic of the writer as he worked on In Cold Blood. Beginning in the 1950s and continuing into the next decade, the film follows the writer (played by Toby Jones) as he becomes infatuated with the story of the Clutter family murders and travels to the Midwest to gather first-hand sources. He doesn't travel alone, though, bringing his friend and fellow author Harper Lee (Bullock) into the fray. It also covers his relationship with the suspects, most notably Perry Smith (Daniel Craig).

"Infamous successfully captures a sense of loneliness of a writer's life." — Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle

While You Were Sleeping

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of family ensembles and romantic comedies
Where to watch:

, Disney+, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 103 minutes

A metro worker named Lucy (Bullock) has an unrequited crush on a man she often sees commuting (Peter, played by Peter Gallagher), but when she saves his life on Christmas Day, she becomes tied to him in a much more permanent way: He falls into a coma, and a nurse hears her say she was going to marry him and thinks they really are engaged. After getting swept up in his family, Lucy's situation gets more complicated when she begins to spend significant time with Peter's brother Jack (Bill Pullman), as well as when Peter (spoiler alert) eventually wakes up.

"The film delivers the warm fuzzies without apology, and you find yourself giving in." — Jeff Giles, Newsweek


Metascore: 66
Best for: Fans of racial and social commentary, ensemble dramas, and crime dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 112 minutes

This Oscar-winning drama explores racial tensions between various members of the Los Angeles community, including police officers and law officials, as crimes unfold. The film starts with the inciting incident of a small car accident but moves into a carjacking, an investigation of a Black man murdered by a white cop, the pressure of police corruption and additional traffic incidents. It's a look at how every racist or otherwise negative encounter and microaggression act as a domino, as well as what happens when those dominos start to fall. Director Paul Haggis also co-wrote the film based on his real-life experience of being carjacked in 1990s Los Angeles. Bullock plays Jean Cabot, the wife of the district attorney and a carjacking victim.

"Hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive." — David Denby, The New Yorker

The Prince of Egypt

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of family-friendly animation, religious stories, and musicals
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 99 minutes

DreamWorks' animated film (the first traditional animation for the studio) adapts the Book of Exodus in a kid-friendly and musical way that educates about how Moses (voiced by Val Kilmer) went from being a baby who was abandoned in a basket on the Nile river to a savior that leads the Jewish people out of Egypt. The story span years of Moses' life as he grows up, takes direction from God, reunites with his sister (Bullock), and feuds with his adoptive brother (Ralph Fiennes), which leads to plagues and the eventual flight out of Egypt.

"Rich in historic and character detail and full of eye-popping tableaux." — Glenn Lovell, Variety

Ocean's 8

Metascore: 61
Best for: Fans of female-driven ensemble dramas and heist movies
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 110 minutes

This spin-off of Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's trilogy proves conning runs in the family when Debbie Ocean (Bullock) gets out of prison and immediately follows her brother Danny's (George Clooney) own post-incarceration gig: She re-teams with her former criminal partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) and sets out to build a team to steal a necklace valued at $150 million during the Met Gala. Her motive may be revenge, but emotions don't cloud her efforts, and the theft she reveals is only one part of her master plan.

"Slickly paced and radiating sexy glamour, Ocean's 8 moves with the swagger of a supermodel prancing down the runway." — Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com

The Heat

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of odd-couple pairings, female-led action dramas, and police stories
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 117 minutes

Paul Feig directed this buddy cop comedy centering on uptight FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) and her unexpected new partner, the loud and rage-filled Det. Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), who have to take down a Boston drug ring. While much of the humor comes from their odd-couple partnership, there is a lot of action mixed in as they take on the kingpin, and there is a lot of emotion as the two bond over their complicated pasts, including Shannon previously sending her brother (Michael Rapaport) to prison but now needing to keep him safe from his ties to the kingpin.

"A good cop/bad cop action comedy with the funniest two-women-above-the-title pairing in memory." — Tim Robey, The Telegraph

The Lost City (2022) 

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of adventure comedies with romantic undertones that poke fun at their own genres
Where to watch: In theaters
Runtime: 92 minutes

Bullock's character, author Loretta Sage (Bullock), is kidnapped by a billionaire (played by Daniel Radcliffe) because he believes she can lead him to an ancient lost city's treasure. She is convinced she cannot because that was just the story she wrote in one of her novels, but now she is faced with trying to get out of jungle alive. She has some help from her book's cover model Alan (Channing Tatum) and eventually a Navy SEAL (played by Brad Pitt), and very soon the themes of her books (from romance to unexpected discovery) begin to come true in real life as well.

"The kind of breezy, two-hour getaway that doesn't take itself too seriously." — Peter Debruge, Variety

Lisa Picard is Famous

Metascore: 57
Best for: Fans of mockumentaries and fictional takes on Hollywood and those who work there
Where to watch:

, Google Play
Runtime: 90 minutes

This mockumentary was directed by Griffin Dunne and written by Laura Kirk and Nat DeWolf, who play fictitious versions of themselves under different names to riff on what it's like to be struggling artists. Kirk stars as the titular Lisa Picard, who has stars in her eyes and fame in her immediate life plan but isn't making actual headway in her career. Meanwhile, her best friend Tate (DeWolf) is fast-tracked to the spotlight when he catches Spike Lee's attention. Dunne plays Andrew, a documentarian who captures all of this on film. While the main characters are up-and-comers and on the outskirts of Hollywood, bigger names cameo as themselves, including Lee, Bullock, Melissa Gilbert, and Mira Sorvino.

"It's not every comedy that can make you laugh with ridicule and cringe in empathetic horror at the same time." — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly