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Every Drew Barrymore Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Drew Barrymore was born on February 22, 1975 in California to actor John Barrymore Jr. and his wife, Jaid Barrymore. On her father's side, acting was the family business, with both her grandparents and great-grandparents gracing the stage. With Steven Spielberg as her godfather, there wasn't much doubt Drew would try her hand at acting. She began her career as a tiny baby, getting her first part in a commercial before she was one-year-old. She continued taking supporting roles throughout the rest of the 1970s, and in 1982, Steven Spielberg cast Drew Barrymore in her first major role as Gertie in his beloved science fiction classic "E.T. The Extraterrestrial."

An unstable home life imperiled Drew Barrymore's childhood, with her parents separating and subsequently divorcing. Jaid, Drew's mother, notoriously took her daughter to night clubs like Studio 54, leading to Barrymore's substance-abuse as a pre-teen. At 13-years-old, Jaid placed Drew in a drug treatment center, as she shared in her book "Little Girl Lost" in 1990. At 14-years-old, Barrymore was emancipated from her mother, becoming legally an adult in the eyes of California, as she shared in the Guardian, in an excerpt from her 2015 book "Wildflower."

Despite her personal troubles and reputation as a wild-child in Hollywood, Barrymore started getting acting jobs again, continuing to work through her teen years, successfully making the jump from child-star to leading lady. In 1995, Barrymore co-founded Flower Films (with Nancy Juvonen) adding producer to her title, in 2009 she directed "Whip It," and Barrymore launched her talk show in 2020 during the pandemic. Over the years, Drew Barrymore has had a stunning transformation and has been involved with numerous films as an actor, producer, and director. Let's look back on all her roles, rated from worst to best.

40. No Place to Hide (1992)

Drew Barrymore starred opposite Kris Kristofferson in this 1992 detective movie, as the teenage sister of a ballerina murdered by a cult. 

Featuring Kristofferson as a policeman tasked with investigating the murder and protecting Tinsel from the cult, the film attempted a unique narrative angel — and fell flat on its face. Parts of "No Place to Hide" are told through voiceovers from Tinsel's diary, and some awkward bonding between Tinsel and the detective who lost his similarly-aged daughter a few years ago is more cringe-worthy than touching.

Wielding a plot full of holes and leaden acting to match, "No Place" wasn't treated kindly by critics. "[The film] is so bad it's not even any good. No guilty pleasures are to be found in its preposterously clumsy plot, or in the limp performance of Kris Kristofferson (someone check his pulse)," wrote Washington Post critic Richard Harrington in his review. "For both actors, this film is a triumph of underachievement."

39. The Stand In (2020)

Unfortunately, Drew Barrymore's last proper film before transitioning into a talk show host — "The Stand In" — fell flat with audiences, only getting a 17% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Barrymore plays two roles in the comedy, whose premise sounds funny enough, but just doesn't hit the right notes.

When washed up, reclusive former movie star Candy Black (Barrymore) gets charged with tax evasion, she is sentenced to 90 days in rehab, because she claims she was too drunk to pay her taxes. Candy hires her stand-in Paula (also Barrymore) to go to rehab in her place. When it works, Candy realizes she can pay Paula to take over other unpleasant aspects of her life as well. 

The list grows longer and longer in this film, which Barrymore also produced, as Candy realizes Paula might enjoy being Candy more than she ever did. In spite of the box office and critical results, the movie does have its funny moments, and is currently streaming on Netflix; if you're a Barrymore fan, give it a chance and judge for yourself.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

38. Doppelganger (1993)

Barrymore's early-90s renaissance led her to the role of Holly Gooding in writer/director Avi Nesher's 1993 supernatural, long-forgotten thriller "Doppelganger."

The flick tells the story of an LA writer (played by George Newbern) who discovers his new roommate moved from New York to California after being implicated in a murder. When Patrick and Holly become romantically involved, however, he questions if he is having a love affair with Holly or her evil double. 

As Patrick becomes more attached to Holly, he becomes less certain of her sanity. As Patrick investigates her past and the suspicious tragedies therein, he becomes intent on discovering if she is a killer or a victim. 

The New York Times called this a "confusing but enjoyably weird film," going on to say "[the] film does boast good performances and manages to avoid most standard low-budget horror conventions — that is, until the last five minutes." 

Such was the quality of much early '90s straight-to-VHS Blockbuster shelf trifles. Looking back all these years later, the film remains entertaining, creepy and weird — but its plot is holier than a Sunday service; you can currently stream it on tubi if you're curious.

37. Wishful Thinking (1997)

Writer/director Adam Park's debut feature put Barrymore alongside Jennifer Beals, James Le Gros and Jon Stewart in a relationship comedy.

When Elizabeth (Beals) meets Max (Le Gros) at the veterinary clinic where she works as an assistant, she falls for him instantly. Cracks appear in their relationship, however, when Elizabeth pressures Max with marriage. Meanwhile Lena (Barrymore), who works as a ticket collector with Max at the revival theater where he is a projectionist, schemes to steal Max away. When Elizabeth meets Henry (Stewart) and they have an immediate connection, she contemplates life without Max. 

Although romantic comedies became Barrymore's go-to genre in the late '90s/early '00s — and Barrymore is a natural as the vivacious Lena — "Wishful Thinking" was a dud. But the movie does hold one impressive distinction: it is among the few dozen in film history that hold an absolute 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

36. Poison Ivy (1992)

This movie is not good, and has not aged well at all — but make no mistake: "Poison Ivy" is the film that saved Drew Barrymore's career.

After years of appearing in bad TV movies, the "child star" luster had faded and Barrymore desperately needed to reinvent herself. She did exactly that in this "Lolita"-meets-"Fatal Attraction" flick that came out when she was a mere 17 years old and put her on the map as a sexy starlet.

Starring alongside Sarah Gilbert, Tom Skerritt, and Cheryl Ladd, "Poison Ivy" tells the tale of two teenage girls who forge an unlikely friendship — and the negative impact it has on the family of Gilbert's character.

When wild-child Ivy (Barrymore) befriends introverted Sylvie Cooper (Gilbert), she worms herself into her new friend's idyllic and wealthy home, soon becoming a fixture. Ivy strategically wins over Sylvie's sick mother (Ladd) before she sets her sights on seducing Sylvie's father (Skerritt).

When Ivy begins wearing Georgie's clothing, Sylvie senses a shift in the dynamic of her household, becoming frustrated with Ivy's constant presence and suspicious of the nature of Daryl and Ivy's relationship. Once Ivy sets her sights on getting rid of Georgie and taking her place, the tension in the film ratchets up considerably. 

Believe it or not, "Poison Ivy" actually debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, competing for Best Film. After a small release and weak box-office response, word-of-mouth and the surging home video market made it something of a sensation, as the role of Ivy helped mint Barrymore's bad-girl image in the early '90s (of course, flashing David Letterman also helped), giving "Poison Ivy" a significant cult following. Years later (and after several Barrymore-less sequels), her character landed at number 6 on Entertainment Weekly's Lethal Ladies list.

35. Home Fries (1998)

This quirky flick cast Barrymore as a small-town, fast-food drive-through clerk having an affair with a married man (played by Chris Ellis) and  pregnant with his child. When his wife (played by Catherine O'Hara) finds out about the affair, she convinces her sons (Jake Busey and Luke Wilson) to exact revenge, resulting in his stress-induced, fatal heart attack. Through a series of far-fetched circumstances, Wilson's character then takes a job at the fast-food place where Barrymore's character works, discovering her pregnancy.

Naturally, the two fall for each other — but even in a plot that does more stretching than Olympic track athletes, Barrymore managed to be charming as Sally, sharing a sweet chemistry with Wilson. 

"The actors are tickled by their characters and have fun with them," Roger Ebert said of the film, which underperformed at the box office. "And so I did, too."

34. Batman Forever (1995)

Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever" became an infamous movie — and for good reason — as the director nearly singlehandedly killed the franchise by slathering it with so much camp that it made the Adam West series look like high art. Barrymore had a small part in the only Val Kilmer outing as the Dark Knight. 

Powered by Jim Carrey as the Riddler, Chris O'Donnell playing Robin, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face, and Nicole Kidman as Dr. Meridian, the film's sheer starpower propelled it to box-office success. Barrymore's role as Sugar had her appearing as Two-Face's "good" henchwoman (who has a sweet disposition) opposite Debi Mazar's Spice (aka, the bad henchwoman). Although few remember her role in the film today, at the time it further solidified her second act as a sexy star on the rise.

33. Bad Girls (1994)

Cast alongside Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Andie MacDowell as sex-workers at a saloon in the wild West, this film trafficked in significant "actresses on the rise" appeal while telling a rare female-centric cowboy tale. If you're a fan of Westerns, it's worth tracking down.

After Stowe's character kills a customer abusing the one played by Masterson, the girls flee the brothel, barely escaping the vigilante justice of a lynch mob. Headed for an Oregon fresh start, the girls get into bank robberies, prison breaks, kidnappings and of course, an epic shootout.

Although the hook of a Western about four strong women teaming up for a better life is intriguing, the execution ultimately falls a bit short. Met with generally negative reviews from critics, "Bad Girls" currently has a 13% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

32. Far from Home (1989)

The indie thriller "Far from Home" cast Barrymore as a teenage girl on a cross-country road trip with her dad (played by "Max Headroom" legend Matt Frewer) stranded in a creepy Nevada desert town when they run out of gas. When she discovers a body in a pool of blood, they find themselves trapped with a serial killer on the loose.

The film's trailer (which begins with Barrymore in a bathing suit saying "I'm not 12 years old anymore") tells you everything you need to know about where the 14-year-old actress found herself in the late '80s. Its half-baked script and leaden dialogue tell you even more. And why is that everybody in this time period was obsessed with running ice cubes seductively down each other's flesh?

While "Far From Home" is far from great, it does a decent job at capturing the awkward teen period where somebody would ask questions like: "Have you ever done it?", where kids are in such a hurry to grow up, and their parents want nothing more than to protect them from the dangers of the world.

31. Best Men (1997)

In "Billy Madison" director Tamra Davis's crime comedy "Best Men," Barrymore played a woman engaged to marry Luke Wilson incarcerated cutie once he gets released from a 3 year stint in prison. It was the first of several late '90s/early '00s films to co0star Wilson and Barrymore (including "Home Fries" and the "Charlie's Angels" films), sometimes as lovers.

Featuring the late-'90s murderer's row of Dean Cain, Andy Dick, Mitchell Whitfield and Sean Patrick Flannery as Wilson's best buds, the film follows their plans to pick him up from the pokey and take him straight to the wedding — until a bank robbery opportunity proves too alluring.

The Tarantino-by-way-of-"Wedding Crashers" flick isn't great, but Barrymore and Wilson showed enough solid chemistry to make you want to go along for the ride. A box-office flop, the flick returned thousands of dollars on a multimillion dollar budget — not the greatest wedding gift in the world. Although its ratings aren't much more favorable all these years later on Rotten Tomatoes, the flick does fare a bit better with a score of 51 on Metacritic.

30. Lucky You (2007)

One of the last films from the great Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential") put Barrymore opposite rising star Eric Bana in a breezy, quick-thinking drama about a poker player trying to make it to the World Series of Poker while grappling with a gambling addiction and a troubled relationship with his father (Robert Duvall). While celebrating a win one night, Bana meets Barrymore, an aspiring singer recently relocated to Las Vegas. But will this burgeoning relationship and the reappearance of his father distract his focus from the big prize?

Despite a solid cast (including Robert Downey Jr. in a supporting role), "Lucky You" didn't have enough aces up its sleeve to take on disappointed critics and an unimpressed box office. All these years later, the film holds with a 6.6 user score on Metacritic, suggesting that viewers still like the film more than critics.

29. Duplex (2003)

Drew Barrymore partnering with Ben Stiller in a comedy from dark humor maestro Danny DeVito? In 2003, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

All these decades later, however, "Duplex" is remembered (if at all) as a project built on a shaky foundation that simply couldn't support its own tonal weight. Barrymore and Stiller were cast as a couple given the chance to purchase a spacious bottom unit in a brownstone duplex in Brooklyn, only to have an elderly upstairs neighbor (Eileen Essell) make their dream home into a nightmare, blasting her TV 24 hours a day, endlessly practicing for a brass band and destroying the building. 

This being a film from DeVito ("War of the Roses," "Throw Momma From the Train"), when rent control becomes an issue they hire a hitman to murder their neighbor from hell. While "Duplex" has its moments, it certainly isn't remembered today as one of Barrymore's better films, and currently maintains a 40% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

28. Mad Love (1995)

Another film that paired Barrymore opposite an on-the-rise actor — and positioned her as the ultimate mid-'90s manic pixie dream girl — "Mad Love" existed at the nexus of the Drew Barrymore renaissance. Its marketing also hid a deeper, more serious plotline beneath a Blockbuster-rental-friendly allure designed to make up for the film not exactly setting the box office aflame — and a grunge-friendly Seattle setting (and Nirvana-fueled trailer) tapping into the zeitgeist moment. 

Chris O'Donnell co-starred as a young man in love with the new girl at school who possesses a mischievous free-spirited nature, but with a dark side to her mood swings. When she is committed to a psychiatric hospital for bipolar disorder after a suicide attempt, he breaks her out and they go on a wild road trip together. As the ad says, in a movie-trailer voice, it's "a film about what scares us ... what drives us to the edge ... and what brings us back for more." 

Although the film only has a 28% approval rating these days on Rotten Tomatoes, no less than Roger Ebert counted himself as a fan. 

"It is becoming increasingly clear what a good actress Drew Barrymore is," he wrote in his review of the flick, one of three movies she'd put out in 1995. "The movie deals seriously with mental illness, and also with that overwhelming mental and physical condition known as being a teenager in love."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

27. Everybody's Fine (2009)

With Robert De Niro playing a widower trying to re-connect with his grown children, this long-forgotten holiday drama cast Barrymore alongside Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale and others in one of his first grandpa roles. When they all cancel their December visits, he heads out on a roadtrip to visit them — and discovers their lives aren't quite as hunky-dory as they often make them out to be. 

A simultaneous heartwarmer and heartbreaker, the film shines in some moments, but is no less disposable. According to Metacritic, "Everybody's Fine" fares better with audiences than critics, maintaining a 7.6 user score.

26. Irreconcilable Differences (1984)

Two years after Drew Barrymore became a household name with "E.T." she played Casey Brodsky in "Irreconcilable Differences," a child divorcing her parents — who are more focused on their careers and fighting over her custody than actually being a family. 

Acting alongside Shelley Long and Ryan O'Neal, when the emancipation case (the little girl wants the family nanny, played by Hortensia Colorado, to be made her legal guardian) draws media attention, the whole family is forced to reevaluate their behavior. 

Co-written by Nancy Meyers, the film is perhaps most notable for being inspired by the real-life divorce between legendary director Peter Bogdanovich and Polly Platt (long considered to be the secret ingredient that made his early films so successful). Sharon Stone plays a character reportedly based on Cybill Shepherd (Bogdanovich's leading lady-turned-pother woman), while Sam Wanamaker plays a producer based on Roger Corman. The in-joke-heavy film also parodies many of Bogdanovich's early efforts including "The Last Picture Show," "Targets," "Daisy Miller" and "At Long Last Love." 

Setting aside all the Bogdanovich references, "Irreconcilable Differences" is a cleverly-written film that today offers a chance to look back on Drew Barrymore for what she once was — one of the most charming child actors in the history of Hollywood. 

"The plot drifts dangerously toward a series of stagy confrontations, but avoids the obvious," Roger Ebert wrote in his 3-and-a-half star review of the film, which currently holds a 52 on Metacritic. "This movie has been written with so much wit and imagination that even obligatory scenes have a certain freshness and style." 

Shelley Long and Barrymore were both nominated for Golden Globes for their performances; looking back, it is worth noting that Barrymore would herself be legally emancipated at 14, in an example of life imitating art.

25. He's Just Not That Into You (2009)

Barrymore was part of the impressive ensemble cast of this interconnected tale, based on the bestselling self-help book of the same name. Featuring appearances by everyone from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston to Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson, the flick was directed by sitcom veteran Ken Kwapis ("Malcolm in the Middle," "The Bernie Mac Show"). 

Various storylines explored how complicated relationships are, how difficult it is to understand others' actions, and how easy it is to misinterpret people's intentions. But this tangled web of the characters' lives, however, never quite coalesced, leaving all the stories with too little screen time to be effective on any memorable scale. 

Playing one of the few likable characters in the film, Barrymore's storyline is nonetheless ancillary, exploring her online dating troubles to mixed impact. "He's Just Not That Into You" was co-produced by New Line Cinema and Flower Films (Barrymore's production company), making her an executive producer on the film — and unfortunately, one to blame for the film's shortcomings.

24. Blended (2014)

Barrymore has recurred with a handful of leading men in her career, but most notable might be Adam Sandler; their "50 First Dates" is still regarded as a beloved romantic comedy classic by many, and "The Wedding Singer" is also fondly remembered.

The duo pressed their luck again in 2014 for their third romantic comedy together, co-starring in "Blended." Although the film has its funny moments, and isn't by any means bad, Barrymore and Sandler never quite recreated the magic of their earlier films. 

Mutual friends set Lauren (Barrymore) and Jim (Sandler) up on a blind date, and they both reluctantly agree to go. But after an awful date, at Hooters of all places, the two mutually agree they won't be seeing each other again. Of course, fate has different plans when Lauren and Jim individually agree to buy a friend's vacation in South Africa, being double booked with their children and a suite.

On vacation, the two families spend a lot of time together, with Jim and Lauren developing warm feelings for each other's children, and slowly warming up to each other as well. By the last night of the trip, it looks like romance might be developing, but it quickly becomes clear Jim is not yet ready to move on after his wife's death. 

A sweet, well-intentioned movie about blended families and the story of how these two families became one, audiences liked this film much more than critics, giving it a 64% audience score (compared to 15% critical) on Rotten Tomatoes.

23. Going the Distance (2010)

Barrymore starred with real-life boyfriend Justin Long in "Going the Distance," a romantic comedy about a 31-year-old woman in grad school, in New York for a summer internship at a newspaper. 

When a casual summer fling becomes much more, the two characters begin a long-distance relationship as she returns to San Francisco. 

The film focuses on the challenges of staying connected when you are physically far apart, and the tendency for mistrust and jealousy to poison long-distance relationships. It has its fair share of funny moments, and the chemistry between Barrymore and Long is believable, but this romantic comedy never quite goes the distance itself. The result currently sits at a 54% score with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

22. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Following up the 2000 mega-hit Barrymore not only starred in but also produced and largely masterminded, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" returned her alongside Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. This time around, Demi Moore and Justin Theroux joined the cast, with Bernie Mac (taking over for the legendarily contentious Bill Murray) as Bosley's adopted brother. Crispin Glover, Matt Le Blanc and Luke Wilson reprised their roles from the first film, and everything seemed like a lock for one of the most anticipated popcorn flicks of the year.

The film stumbled badly, however, and nearly killed the franchise (until it was relaunched in 2011 as a TV series that bombed and nearly killed the franchise, then a decade later with different actresses that bombed again, again possibly killing the film franchise — for now). 

Despite a solid opening weekend, the film earned mixed-to-average reviews and rapidly-declining momentum at the box-office. Its aftermath had the film pulling in multiple nominations for the 2004 Razzie Awards, winning two (Demi Moore for worst supporting actress and the film for the Worst Remake or Sequel), and it would prove to be the last adventure for these three Angels.

21. Charlie's Angels (2000)

A newly-crowned producer, Barrymore made it a passion project to revive the classic '70s Farrah Fawcett/Kate Jackson/Jaclyn Smith/etc series for a new generation. Despite the usual old suspicions that mass audiences wouldn't support female-centric action films, this "Angels" broke through to become one of the biggest films of the year.

Recruiting Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray and director McG (in his filmmaking debut), the film updated the old story of three "Angels" supervised by Bosley (Murray) at the Townsend Agency as world class private investigators. When the Angels get an assignment to locate the kidnapped developer of a voice-recognition system (Rockwell), adventure ensues.

The action sequences were dazzling, the music was lively (and made Diaz's butt something of a sensation), and the three leads were irresistibly sexy and confident in their roles, making for a refreshing film that stood out from the competition. Despite mixed reviews from critics, it made more than a quarter billion dollars worldwide.

20. Guncrazy (1992)

Barrymore played a troubled teen in this directorial debut from Tamra Davis. Abandoned by her mom, the teen is left to live with her mother's sexually abusive ex-boyfriend — but after writing to a convict (James Le Gros) serving time for manslaughter as a school assignment, she helps him get early parole and finds him work in town — and they team together to murder her stepfather and go on a gun-fueled crime spree.

This convoluted Bonnie and Clyde tale is more nuanced than you might suspect, with Barrymore showing off some too-rarely-harnessed dramatic skills. Comparing Davis to Sam Peckinpah, Hal Hinson of The Washington Post was impressed by the film. "It's a weird emotional place that Davis and her characters take us," he wrote. "Partly despairing, partly hopeful and, somehow, full of strange and unexpected adventures." 

19. Cat's Eye (1985)

Stephen King's first screenplay, "Cat's Eye" isn't remembered today as the best film adaptation of his work — but it is remembered.

The film's narrative device has a stray cat linking three tales, two of which were adapted from King short stories, the third an original written for the film. Barrymore plays Amanda in the third story (set in Wilmington, North Carolina), who adopts the cat despite her mother's protestations that it will kill their pet bird. 

What ensues is a plotline involving the cat, the bird and a troll — yup, you read that right — that has Barrymore's cute kid caught in the middle. Like most anthologies, "Cat's Eye" has its good and bad moments, but the uneven results did garner largely positive reviews from both critics and audiences, sitting in the cat bird's seat today with a score of 70 on Metacritic.

18. Firestarter (1984)

In 1984, Drew Barrymore starred in another film adapted from a Stephen King novel, "Firestarter," co-starring with David Keith, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen and George C. Scott. Andrew (Keith) and Vicky (Locklear) met years earlier in college, while participating in secret government experiments similar to MK-Ultra, where they were given hallucinogens and tested for psychic abilities. Andrew and Vicky marry and have a little girl they name Charlie. But Charlie develops some very dangerous pyrokinetic powers. She can start fires with her mind, gaining the interest of a secretive government organization known as The Shop. They want to quarantine, study, and control Charlie, using her as a weapon.

"Firestarter" became something of a sensation, re-casting Barrymore's cute kid act as a chilling source of terror. Looking back all these years later there is still a lot to like, as the cast is great (particularly Scott), the special effects are effective for the time the film was made — and for a generation of little girls in the '80s, it was the first time they saw someone who looked like them exhibit such power. 

Both the book and film would later become obvious influences for the hit Netflix series "Stranger Things," and a remake is on the way.

17. Music and Lyrics (2007)

A romantic comedy about a has-been and hopeful working together to write a song, "Music and Lyrics" marked a career highlight for both Barrymore and Grant — who earned some solid laughs as a washed up, George Michael-like singer.

A big star in the '80s as a member of PoP! (a Wham!-inspired British boy band), Grant's character is given a chance at redemption if he can compose a song for a chart-topping teen sensation. He wrangles an aspiring writer (Barrymore) to be his lyricist after, true to rom-com conventions, they have a meet cute when Sophie is the replacement of his usual plant-waterer. Sophie mumbles some decent lyrics to the tune he is playing on the piano, and out of desperation Alex (a melody writer) asks her to compose a song with him. 

"Music and Lyrics" is not only a cute rom-com, but also a movie about two creatives who have lost their inspiration and confidence. The story is as much about them falling in love as it is about the importance of making art, and the reasons people sometimes stop. 

16. Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)

Barrymore took the lead role in "Riding in Cars with Boys," director Penny Marshall's adaptation of Beverly Donofrio's 1992 memoir of the same name. 

The film tells the story of a bright young woman with ambitions to go to college and become a writer, only to wind up pregnant and married at 16. After marrying the father (Steve Zahn) of her unborn child, she tries to finish school and follow her dreams, despite being a pregnant teenager facing long odds.

The film covers the late '60s to 1985, depicting Beverly's struggle to get a Master's degree and have her memoir published while being a mother. Boasting a great cast including Brittany Murphy, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Rosie Perez, the film is worth checking it out; its user score of 7.8 on Metacritic suggests audiences liked it better than the critics did.

15. Fever Pitch (2005)

A movie made for a fanbase who despised the film by the time it arrived, "Fever Pitch" was shot as a loving tribute to the long-suffering fanbase of the Boston Red Sox, who had suffered through "The Curse of the Bambino" for 86 years. But when the team broke its World Series drought in 2004 — they've since gone on to win more titles than any other baseball team — Barrymore and her co-star Jimmy Fallon crashed the on-field celebration to film the movie's finale, making out as "fictional characters" alongside extremely real players and fans trying to enjoy the moment. 

By the time Red Sox fans understood why, they had little desire to support the film — as did, apparently, the rest of the country. 

But the film was well-intentioned, directed by the New England-native Farrelly Brothers and adapting Nick Hornby's beloved book about a rabid soccer fan into an American version with Fallon playing a diehard Sox nut who begins every day by kissing a picture of Tony Conigliaro. When Barrymore's character falls for Fallon's elementary school teacher, she must learn to deal with his fanaticism — and his longheld desire to feel the grass at Fenway Park.

Fallon had just left "Saturday Night Live" to launch his film career — and the double-whammy of "Fever Pitch" and "Taxi" promptly deposited him into the waiting line for a talk show. But he and Barrymore did have some decent chemistry, and the film has its moments — and will speak to  anyone who has ever experienced the frustration of not understanding the priorities of someone you love, but continuing to love them anyway. 

14. Missy You Already (2015)

If you've already forgotten this not-even-a-decade-old movie exists, you're not alone. "Miss You Already" explores female friendship, starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette as two best friends going through big life changes. 

This film explores how female friendships often shift and change over the years, making room for other developments in women's lives. From pregnancies to chemotherapy, the complexities of relationships and how you can be happy for someone and angry at them at the same moment is fodder for the film's decent mix of drama and YOLO inspiration. 

The result is a tearjerker, both funny and sad, and for women blessed with lifelong friendships, very relatable. "Miss You Already," was liked by audiences and critics alike, getting solid scores on Rotten Tomatoes, although the Metacritic scores suggest audiences may have liked it better than the critics. If you want to decide for yourself, it is available for streaming on Hulu.

13. Never Been Kissed (1999)

Barrymore's first effort as a producer, "Never Been Kissed" was a surprise hit, minting her as a young double threat for the new millennium. Decades later, the movie is still well-regarded as a classic from the heyday of romantic comedies.  

The plot details copy editor Josie Geller, finally given her shot to be a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, going undercover as a student to get the writing gig. At 25, most of us wouldn't want to go back to high school, but for Josie the idea of going back feels even worse — because she was ridiculed as a student. Her brother Rob (played by David Arquette) helps her out by infiltrating the popular group at the high school and talking Josie up.

After becoming a part of the popular clique, Josie feels included for the first time in her life, and begins to feel conflicted writing about her time undercover in high school. Things get more complicated when Josie falls for her sensitive and intellectual, yet dreamy English teacher, Sam Coulson (played by Michael Vartan). 

"Never Been Kissed" does a solid job depicting how some of us never get over the trauma of our teen years. The film didn't receive critical acclaim, but Roger Ebert was among those who appreciated it. "The movie's screenplay is contrived and not blindingly original," he wrote, "but Barrymore illuminates it with sunniness, and creates a lovable character. I think this is what's known as star power."

12. Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

Woody Allen had a wild idea in the mid-'90s: His next film would be set in New York, Venice and Paris and feature huge stars not known for possessing musical skills, singing about love and life in their ordinary, unmodified voices. 

Starring Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Edward Norton, Nathasha Lyonne, Alan Alda and others alongside Barrymore and Allen, the result follows the lives of an extended New York-based family, following the characters to both Paris and Venice. Barrymore's character is engaged to Norton — and oddly enough, she was the only actor who successfully convinced Woody Allen to not use her real voice. While the rest of the cast belts out songbook classics like "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "I'm Through With Love," her songs were dubbed by Olivia Hayman. Reportedly, Barrymore went to such lengths because she's so convinced she has a terrible voice.

You can judge for yourself if you'd like — she released a song called "Cold Hard Truth" tied to the film "Lucky You" in 2007. "It was a chance for me to face a fear," she said at that film's premiere of her decision to finally sing. "And not do what I've done in the past, which is say 'I can't do this.' I think you should never say that, and I've always regretted the one time I did."

"Everybody Says I love You" didn't make a lot of money, even for a Woody Allen film. But the critics did embrace both the film and its concept, and it marked another highpoint for Allen's mid-'90s output that included films like "Bullets Over Broadway" and ""The Might Aphrodite."

"A movie that remembers the innocence of the old Hollywood musicals and combines it with one of Allen's funniest and most labyrinthine plots," Roger Ebert praised in his review. "In which complicated New Yorkers try to recapture the simplicity of first love. It would take a heart of stone to resist this movie." 

11. Boys on the Side (1995)

Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker and Drew Barrymore, "Boys on the Side" is a movie about three women who couldn't be more different, bonding on a cross-country road trip from New York to Los Angeles. 

After breaking up with her band and girlfriend, Jane (Goldberg) decides to relocate to LA, where she meets Robin (Parker), who is looking for someone to drive cross-country with. The two women stop in Pittsburgh to pick up Holly (Barrymore), who is in an abusive relationship.

What follows is a drama-heavy plot involving HIV, the value of friendship, and featuring an early performance by Matthew McConaughey. 

The film marked a turning-point in Barrymore's acting career, where she was finally being acknowledged as a serious actress. "Those who know Barrymore from her adolescent headlines in the supermarket trash press may not realize that in movies like 'Guncrazy' (1992), she has been developing into an actress of great natural zest and conviction," wrote Roger Ebert in his 3-and-a-half star review.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

10. Big Miracle (2012)

An inspiring film based on true events, this whale of a tale cast Barrymore alongside an on-the-rise John Krasinski. 

Reuniting Barrymore with her "He's Just Not That Into You" director Ken Kwapis (who also directed Krasinski in  "License to Wed"), the family-friendly film tells the story of a local reporter in Alaska (Krasinski) who discovers 3 gray whales trapped in ice and unable to get to the open ocean. Joining forces with his ex-girlfriend (Barrymore), a Greenpeace activist, they launch a coordinated rescue effort. 

The film is based on the book "Freeing the Whales" covering Operation Breakthrough, a 1988 international effort to rescue whales via different factions (and nations) working together. It's a beautiful story about what can be accomplished when people band together. The cast was an impressive ensemble featuring Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Dermot Mulroney, and Steven Root in supporting roles. Rotten Tomatoes approves of "Big Miracle" certifying it as fresh, with a 75% score from critics.

9. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

A quirky film based on one of the most bizarre, maybe possibly true, stories ever told, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" detailed the insistence of game show host/musician/TV pioneer Chuck Barris that he had also operated for years as a covert CIA hitman.

Barrymore played Penny, the girlfriend of the infamous "Gong Show" host, played brilliantly by Sam Rockwell. Sticking it out with Barris despite his bizarre behavior and aversion to getting married, her character stays a true friend, even after he cheats on her. George Clooney and Julia Roberts finished off the impressive cast as Chuck's CIA handler and an international operative working with him on his secret missions. Based on the 1984 memoir written by Barris, where he claims to have taken 33 lives, whether you believe the tall tale or not the movie (which marked George Clooney's directorial debut) sure is fun.

Featuring a screenplay from the fabulously twisted mind of Charlie Kaufman, the film remains a wild ride powered by great performances. Rotten Tomatoes certified this film as fresh, with a 79% rating.

8. Scream (1996)

Although Drew Barrymore's character Casey dies in the first 12 minutes of "Scream," her role is hardly a cameo — in fact, screenwriter Kevin Williamson saw it as an opportunity to pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "Pyscho," which in 1960 convinced audiences that its star was Janet Leigh, only to brutally murder her character, pulling the rug out from under the viewer. 

"I thought one of the greatest movies in this genre is 'Psycho'. The entire first act is Janet Leigh, and then she gets killed and you're like, 'Whoa, where is this movie going?'" Williamson recalled in 2021. "I had no idea. And I wanted that. I wanted that same feeling ... when she dies, you're like, 'Wait a second. Wasn't she on the poster? Wait. What's going to happen next?'"

The result was the casting of Barrymore, arguably the biggest star in the film at the time, in a pivotal opening that would set the tone for not only the film, but a franchise that would come to yield multiple sequels and a TV show

Originally in talks to play the lead, Barrymore fought for the part of ill-fated Casey Becker. As Wes Craven reinvented the horror genre with his meta masterpiece, the self-aware horror of "Scream" launched countless imitators, reviving the stale slasher genre. Although Drew Barrymore may not have been on screen very long, her contribution was an essential element in the launching of one of the most beloved franchises of the last several decades.

"In the horror film genre, my biggest pet peeve was that I always knew the main character was going to be slugging through at the end, but was going to creak by and make it," she said in 2020. "What I wanted to do is to take that comfort zone away. I asked if I could be Casey Becker so we would establish this rule does not apply in this film."

7. Whip It (2009)

Barrymore made her directorial debut with this 2009 effort (and to this day, the only film she has ever directed), a sports comedy/drama based on the novel "Derby Girl," about tough roller derby girls in Texas. 

Playing the delightfully-monikered Smashley Simpson, Barrymore's on-camera work had her supporting Elliot Paige as Bliss Cavender — a teenager who discovers a roller derby league in Austin and tries out, performing under the name Babe Ruthless. Becoming part of this group of supportive misfits helps Bliss grow in both confidence and happiness. Bliss even meets a guy and has the confidence to date him — and then dump him when he's discovered to be cheating.

Although "Whip It" wasn't a huge commercial success, it was well received by audiences, getting positive scores on Rotten Tomatoes with an 84% critic rating.  

"I enjoyed 'Whip It' immensely for its unpatronizing view of provincial life and for the vigor of the performances," wrote Philip French of The Guardian in his review. "Juliette Lewis and Drew Barrymore throw themselves into it as veteran skaters with the bruises and bloody noses to prove it."

6. 50 First Dates (2004)

Barrymore's second coupling with Adam Sandler was a match made in heaven for their fanbases, eager to see them reunited. Boasting beautiful locales, a sweet, goofy Happy Madison mindset and some heart-tugging moments, this crowd-pleasing film has become something of a classic.

This time around Barrymore was cast as Lucy Whitmore, a charming artist with short-term memory from a brain injury, resulting in her waking up every morning not remembering the day before. When Henry Roth (Sandler), a marine veterinarian with commitment issues, meets Lucy, he suddenly wants a second date, only to discover Lucy doesn't remember the first. So Henry must find a way to woo Lucy every day, while convincing her friends and family that his intentions are pure.

Eventually Henry wins them over, and he devises a plan to ease Lucy into her day each morning with a video that explains Lucy's condition, updating her on the developments in her life. It's a funny, heart-warming story about the things people will do for love. Although the film doesn't have the best rating on Rotten Tomatoes (it has a 65% audience score), it was a significant commercial success, taking in nearly $200 million worldwide.

5. The Wedding Singer (1998)

Barrymore and Sandler's first pairing was a dream come true for their fans, powered by the sort of unexplainable movie magic that just happens when you put two people on screen together who work.

When caterer-waiter Julia Sullivan (Barrymore) and Robbie Hart (Sandler), a wedding singer, meet at a wedding where they are both working, they strike up a friendship. Robbie and Julia are both engaged to other people, and Robbie agrees to sing at Julia's wedding, although her fiancé (played by Matthew Glave) hasn't set a date yet.

After Robbie's fiancé leaves him standing at the altar, Robbie falls into a deep depression that he only comes out of while helping Julia plan her wedding. It becomes clear pretty quickly that Robbie and Julia might be perfect for each other. Remembered as one of the best comedies of both Barrymore and Sandler, it nonetheless was impacted by the critical dislike for Sandler comedies — but audiences have given it an 80% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it pulled in over $100 million worldwide.

4. Donnie Darko (2001)

An early producing effort through her Flower Films shingle, Barrymore was a big believer in this bizarre, brilliant little film from writer/director Richard Kelly and starring a then-largely-unknown Jake Gyllenhaal.

After chronic sleep walking saves the life of Donnie (Gyllenhaal) when a jet engine crashes through the roof of his home, the teen starts having strange dreams and hallucinations featuring a 6 foot tall bunny rabbit named Frank, warning him that the world will end in 28 days. Frank convinces Donnie to carry out a series of petty pranks and crimes with wide-reaching repercussions in this twisty, visually stunning flick.

Kelly won over audiences with his mind-bending story and the superb performances "Darko" garnered from an ensemble cast that included Barrymore as Karen Pomeroy, Donnie's dedicated English teacher. The supporting cast also includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena Malone, and Patrick Swayze. Although it wasn't an immediate big box-office draw, "Donnie Darko" went on to become both financially profitable and receive critical acclaim, later coming in as number two on Empire's 50 Greatest Independent Films. The film has an 86% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes today; it may not be easy to categorize or explain, but "Donnie Darko" continues to be both a cult favorite and one of the greatest films with which Barrymore has been associated.

3. Grey Gardens (2009)

For decades, the 1975 documentary "Grey Gardens" existed as a cult film, passed between knowing viewers on VHS looking for a tongue-in-cheek voyeuristic peek into the lives of two women whose lives had devolved into bizarre performance art. In 2009, Barrymore and Jessica Lange re-created the tale for a well-received HBO original film.

Telling the bizarre story of Edith Bouvier Beale (Lange) and her daughter "Little Edie" (Barrymore), the film explained how these two women (the aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis) chose an existence in the Hamptons where genteel poverty won out over any desire to learn a trade or marry a potentially controlling man. With limited funds at their disposal, their lives in the Grey Gardens estate increasingly embraced squalor and isolation.

The two women became reclusive hoarders, drawing the negative attention of neighbors, leading to their home being inspected for health code violations and nearly condemned. Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her sister Lee ultimately paid for renovations saving Grey Gardens — and two documentary filmmakers got access to the estate, documenting the strange personalities and bizarre relationship between its inhabitants.

The narrative film tells the story of these two women through dual timelines, one in the 1930s before they withdrew from society, and later in the 1970s when the documentary was made. HBO's "Grey Gardens" was critically acclaimed, winning multiple Prime Time Emmys, including a Best Actress Emmy for Jessica Lange. Barrymore won a Screen Actors Guild award for her work as Little Edie, and these days "Grey Gardens" maintains an 88% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of Drew Barrymore's highest rated films.

2. Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

In 1998, Drew Barrymore was cast as Dannielle in "Ever After: A Cinderella Story," a period drama directed by Andy Tennant. Barrymore starred opposite Dougray Scott as the French Crown Prince Henry, and Anjelica Huston as Rodmilla, the wicked step-mother. 

Set in Renaissance France, "Ever After" reimagines the Cinderella story by removing the talking animals and magic, replacing the fairy godmother with Leonardo da Vinci (played by Patrick Godfrey), but maintaining such core elements as the death of the protagonist's beloved father, reducing her to becoming a servant in her family home.

One day she meets Prince Henry, when she dresses as a courtier to retrieve one of the servants her step-mother sold to the king to erase the estate's debts. Their romance begins as a love story complicated by class differences and false identities. Dannielle's scheming step-mother and cruel step-sister Marguerite (played by Megan Dodds) thwart Dannielle's happiness at every turn, but her step-sister Jaqueline (played by Melanie Lynskey), is a more sympathetic character. This version of the Cinderella story is more political, and Danielle is spirited, intelligent and a true humanitarian.

"Ever After" was warmly accepted by critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 91% score with critics. "Here, as the little cinder girl, she is able to at last put aside her bedraggled losers and flower as a fresh young beauty," Roger Ebert said of Barrymore's performance. "She brings poignancy and fire to the role."

1. E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)

Is it sort of sad that Drew Barrymore's greatest film is her first starring role out of more than three dozen? Perhaps, but then again, if your debut came in not only a movie directed by Steven Spielberg but one of his top-echelon all-time classics that helped define a generation, you'd also have a hard time ever topping the experience.

When she was cast in "ET," Spielberg was fully aware of her legacy. The Barrymore family stretches back for generations of actors, notables including father John (who appeared on "Gunsmoke" in the '60s), great-uncle Lionel (who most famously played Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life"), and grandfather John Barrymore (considered by many to be the greatest actor of the 1920s and '30s in films like "Grand Hotel"). Spielberg was her godfather, and she had been acting since 11 months old, earning a small part in 1980's "Altered States." Nevertheless, she told a white lie about being a rock drummer in an attempt to land a role in the Spielberg-produced "Poltergeist," and he instead cast her in "This Boy's Life" which became "E.T."; as interviews from the period show, the camera already loved her.

Cast as Gertie, the youngest sibling in a suburban family rocked by the discovery of a creature from outer space stranded on Earth, Drew Barrymore became an instant scene-stealer. When a little boy named Elliot (played by Henry Thomas) befriends the creature, the two develop a mysterious telepathic connection, making Elliot capable of feeling the creature's emotions. When Elliot introduces his little sister Gertie (Barrymore) and older brother Michael (played by Robert MacNaughton) to the alien, the children decide to keep him a secret from their mother Mary (played by Dee Wallace). The remainder of the film is too good to give away, but entails Elliot and his siblings trying to help E.T. get home. Barrymore's performance as Gertie won hearts, launching her career.

"E.T. The Extraterrestrial" was an instant blockbuster, and became nothing less than a cultural phenomenon. It would spend the next decade as the highest grossing film in history. But it wasn't just a commercial success, critics loved the film too. 

Today, it sits on Rotten Tomatoes with a 99% score. "Spielberg has crafted with warmth and humor a simple fantasy that works so superbly on so many levels that it will surely attract masses of moviegoers from all demographics," The Hollywood Reporter said in its review. "Amid the wonder, excitement and joy that virtually every frame of this picture elicits — swept along by John Williams' playful and uplifting score — one really does fall in love with the delightful little alien, and indeed, finds oneself reaching for the handkerchief ... the characters (mostly kids) are so compelling and endearing that you're easily pulled in."

Nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning four, it's likely that "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial" will forever remain Drew Barrymore's greatest film. But if she can ever top it someday, we'll be first in line to buy a ticket.