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The Best and Worst of Jessica Biel

Updated on May 14, 2017
Alec Zander profile image

Alec is an up-and-coming film critic with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his reviews and articles will help launch his career.

Prologue

Jessica Biel has gone from teen heartthrob to one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood. From co-starring with Freddie Prinze Jr to Edward Norton to Patrick Wilson, it seems she's worked with some of the greatest modern actors. Below I will list the 5 best and 5 worst of Jessica Biel's films, and I will also include a complete filmography with my ratings of each film.

The Best

Jessica is no stranger to talent. She's a born leader, easily taking command of any scene she's in. Her top five performances were not easy choices for sure but I finally made a decision. Without further ado, here are Jessica Biel's five best films.

Best #1: The Book of Love

The Book of Love tells the story of a man who, after losing his wife to a tragic car accident, decides to help a young girl fulfill her goal of building a raft so she can cross the ocean in search of a better life. The film was unfairly panned by critics. The Book of Love is nothing short of breathtaking. The acting is perfect, the meaning deep and emotional, and the film well-written and fantastically directed. Jason Sudeikis leaves his comedic comfort zone and delivers one powerhouse of a performance. He and Maisie Williams had great chemistry. I'd love to see them in another film together in the future. I give The Book of Love 4 out of 4.

Best #2: Hitchcock

Hitchcock is a sort of biographical film about the latter part of Alfred Hitchcock's career, specifically about the making of his most expensive (and most famous) film Psycho. Anthony Hopkins brilliantly portrays Hitchcock, capturing the essence and eccentricities that the director displayed on a daily basis. Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel costarred, each one mastering their respective roles and proving that most of these wonderful people are the best in their profession. I give the film 4 out of 4.

Best #3: A Kind of Murder

Speaking of Hitchcock, the next best is A Kind of Murder, a startling thriller that would make the Master of Suspense himself proud. The film is the story of a writer who comes under police suspicion after his wife is found dead. Anyone that knew the couple were aware that their marriage was strained to say the least which only makes matters worse for him. He either has to prove his innocence or be taken down. The film is dramatic and tense and never eases up until the credits start rolling. Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel were remarkable together and both prove once again that they are two of the best dramatic and suspense actors in today's world. I give the film a total of 4 out of 4.

Best #4: The Illusionist

Have you ever been to a live magic show and immediately began looking around for wires or trapdoors? Have you ever been to one that was too easy to figure out? Most magicians seem to be that way, except for a handful that truly make you puzzle and contemplate how each trick is done. Eisenheim was one of those magicians, or, more accurately, illusionists. He could do things that many thought to be miraculous. But when his childhood sweetheart resurfaces some 15 years after they parted ways, he began devising an illusion that no one could have seen coming. The Illusionist is one of those films that gives me chills every time I see it. It's a truly beautiful story that captures the heart and challenges the mind. I give the film a 4 out of 4.

Best #5: Elizabethtown

I think I could watch Elizabethtown every day and never get tired of it. The story centers on a shoe designer whose latest invention backfired, causing major recalls and a loss of close to a billion dollars. He's ready to kill himself when he gets a call from his sister that his dad has died. He now must travel to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to bury his father. He planned a simple burial so that he could return home and finish what he started, but his plans are derailed when he meets a flight stewardess who aims to change his life for the better. The film is beautiful, dramatic, emotional, and oftentimes hilarious. Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst have remarkable chemistry and Jessica Biel added to the mix makes the film that much more interesting. I give Elizabethtown a 4 out of 4.

The Worst

Every actor experiences their bad projects. Fortunately, for the most part, Jessica Biel has learned from her bad choices and has chosen some rather incredible roles as of late. But, since we have already discussed the best of the great, we now move to the worst of the bad. I give you the five worst films of Jessica Biel.

Worst #1: Accidental Love

This film should have been called Accidentally Made because wow was this a trainwreck. The story centered around a girl who accidentally gets a nail in the head which causes her to have unexpected emotional responses. When she can't pay for her surgery, she tracks down a young lawyer to fight for health insurance that would pay for her surgery. This could have been a funny and meaningful film but the result was an annoying idiocy that was irredeemable in every way. I give the film a 1 out of 4.

Worst #2: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It's difficult enough to make a good slasher film, but when you remake a classic and trade story for gore, the film is destined to fail. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a 2003 remake of the 1974 classic, is nothing more than a loud and brainless film that tries to gross you out more than anything else. There's only one part of the film that is truly scary and that's the last few lines of the film. I give The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a 1.5 out of 4.

Worst #3: London

London does have a few good moments in it. I understand what it was trying to accomplish. It was a film about reflection, regret, and changing for the better. What once again could have been an impactful, emotionally raw, and beautiful film was held back by a lack of a real plot. All that happens throughout the film is the poor guy beats himself up for hurting his ex-girlfriend and goes on and on about how he was going to make it right. Great, so, why are you holed up in a bathroom doing cocaine with Jason Statham? That's not changing yourself, that's spinning your wheels and hoping something will change for you. The film sent mixed messages and never really got off the ground. Sadly, I have to give London a 1.5 out of 4.

Worst #4: Planet 51

Planet 51 tried so hard and yet it just never really achieved its goal. The story centered on an astronaut who lands on a planet inhabited with alien life. Sadly after that, the plot becomes muddled and you don't really know for sure what's going on. The sci-fi film references are rather hilarious and certainly gives adults something to appreciate but the jokes most likely went over the kids' heads. I never understood what the point of making a kids' flick full of adult humor was. I give Planet 51 a 2 out of 4.

Worst #5: Playing for Keeps

Playing for Keeps tells the story of a single dad who tries to rebuild a relationship with his son while coaching the local middle school soccer team. The local single moms however can't keep their hands off him. He has to learn to say no to his impulses and say yes to what really matters. The film really wasn't too bad. It had a lot of heart. The problem with it was the fact that it spent far too much time on his affairs than on his attempt to rebuild his relationship with his son. It made him look like he didn't care much at all, which is a shame. There was so much wasted story potential in this film. I give Playing for Keeps a 2 out of 4.

Complete Filmography with Ratings

  • It's a Digital World - N/A
  • Ulee's Gold - 3 out of 4
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas - 2.5 out of 4
  • Summer Catch - 3 out of 4
  • The Rules of Attraction - 3.5 out of 4
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 1.5 out of 4
  • Cellular - 3 out of 4
  • Blade: Trinity - 3 out of 4
  • Stealth - 3 out of 4
  • London - 1.5 out of 4
  • Elizabethtown - 4 out of 4
  • The Illusionist - 4 out of 4
  • Home of the Brave - 2.5 out of 4
  • Next - 3 out of 4
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - 3 out of 4
  • Easy Virtue - 2.5 out of 4
  • Powder Blue - 3.5 out of 4
  • Planet 51 - 2 out of 4
  • Valentine's Day - 2.5 out of 4
  • The A-Team - 2.5 out of 4
  • New Year's Eve - 2.5 out of 4
  • The Tall Man - 3 out of 4
  • Total Recall - 3.5 out of 4
  • Hitchcock - 4 out of 4
  • Playing for Keeps - 2 out of 4
  • The Truth About Emanuel - 3.5 out 4
  • Accidental Love - 1.5 out of 4
  • Bleeding Heart - 3.5 out of 4
  • The Book of Love - 4 out of 4
  • A Kind of Murder - 4 out of 4

Looking Ahead - "The Sinner"

What is your favorite Jessica Biel film?

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Conclusion

Jessica Biel has come a long way in her career. From older sister and troubled teen in 7th Heaven to protecting her long lost sister from an abusive boyfriend in Bleeding Heart, Biel has proven she has a wide range and is willing to tackle almost any role, the more challenging the better. I look forward to seeing what comes next in her promising future.

© 2017 Alec Zander

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