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Top 10 Rachel McAdams Performances

Script written by Spencer Sher If you still think Rachel McAdams is “that girl from The Hot Chick” you need to watch this video. We’re taking a look at the Top 10 Rachel McAdams performances! We’ve included performances in movies such as Wedding Crashers, Morning Glory, About Time, The notebook, Spotlight, Mean Girls, Regina George, Sherlock Holmes, The Time Traveler’s Wife, A Most Wanted Man, Midnight in Paris and True Detective.

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Top 10 Rachel McAdams Performances

If you still think Rachel McAdams is “that girl from The Hot Chick” you need to watch this video. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rachel McAdams Performances.
For this list, we’ll be taking a look at the best film and TV performances to date in Rachel McAdams’ career.

#10: Becky Fuller

“Morning Glory” (2010)

After being hired to produce a struggling morning news program, workaholic Becky Fuller has to deal with disgruntled employees, a pessimistic boss and her own shortcomings in order to save the show. Starring Hollywood heavyweights Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Jeff Goldblum, the film may have proved too much for a lesser actor to handle, but not McAdams. She never seems out of place, holding her own against her celebrated co-stars at every turn. While the film received mixed reviews, McAdams’ performance was well received by critics, with one New York Times writer dubbing her a “young actress on the verge of the big time.”

#9: Della Frye

“State of Play” (2009)

Adapted from a British miniseries of the same name, “State of Play” changes its location to Washington, D.C. and focuses on the mysterious death of a congressman’s mistress. Rachel McAdams plays Della Frye, a young reporter caught up in the aforementioned murder investigation. The role allowed for McAdams to flex her dramatic chops for one of the first times in her career, and she doesn’t disappoint. “State of Play” is a political thriller that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and is made even better by a stellar performance from McAdams.

#8: Claire Cleary

“Wedding Crashers” (2005)

One of the most successful comedies of the 2000s, “Wedding Crashers” is the story of divorce mediators John and Jeremy, two men who regularly “crash” weddings in order to sleep with women. However, when one of them falls for a girl at the biggest wedding of the year, their charade begins to unravel. McAdams plays Claire Cleary, the daughter of a wealthy politician and the woman who wins the affections of Owen Wilson’s John. McAdams is in fine form throughout the film, trading jabs with a slew of comedic veterans and coming out the other side relatively unscathed.

#7: Lisa Reisert

“Red Eye” (2005)

Trapped on board a red eye flight with a stranger who threatens to kill her father if she doesn’t help him assassinate a government official, hotel manager Lisa Reisert must think quickly in order to save both men’s lives. A critical and commercial success, “Red Eye” pitted McAdams against Cillian Murphy in a unique chamber play that saw both of them at the top of their respective games. McAdams’ delivers a strong performance, matching her equally impressive co-star’s wits at every turn. While the film wasn’t exactly Oscar material, it gave McAdams a chance to prove that dramatic thrillers were well within her wheelhouse.

#6: Mary

“About Time” (2013)

As far as charming romantic dramedies are concerned, you’d be hard pressed to find a more delightful film than this one. “About Time” is the story of Tim Lake, a man who at the age of 21 discovers that he can travel through time. So what incredible feats does he wish to accomplish? How about finding a girlfriend for starters. Enter Rachel McAdams’ Mary, an American expat living in London with a Kate Moss obsession. The Canadian actress is fine form in this film, playing the role of quirky love interest to perfection. We can totally understand why Tim fell head over heels for McAdams’ character. We know we would!

#5: Detective Sergeant Antigone ‘Ani’ Bezzerides

“True Detective” (2014-)

Season 2 of “True Detective” saw a new set of characters tasked with solving a mysterious crime involving a dead city manager and his corrupt business partner. McAdams plays Detective Ani Bezzerides, a tough as nails cop with a penchant for drinking and gambling. One of the darkest roles of her career, the character is a deeply flawed individual dealing with a host of personal issues. However, McAdams proves more than capable of taking on the dramatic role, holding her own against Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. While many claimed that season two lacked the same conviction as its predecessor, McAdams’ performance is certainly a bright spot.

#4: Inez

“Midnight in Paris” (2011)

While on vacation in Paris, floundering writer Gil Pender finds himself travelling back in time each night to the 1920s, where he interacts with some of the era’s most iconic literary and artistic figures. McAdams plays Pender’s fiancée Inez, a materialistic Californian who cares more about what others think that her partner’s happiness. While you may find yourself hating McAdams while watching the film, it simply means she’s doing her job as an actress, because Inez is a deeply unsympathetic character. She’s petty, unfaithful and a far cry from the sweet and innocent characters McAdams usually plays. That being said, she’s a necessary part of the story and wholly entertaining throughout.

#3: Allison ‘Allie’ Hamilton

“The Notebook” (2004)

Set in South Carolina during the 1940s, working-class Noah falls hard for Allie, a wealthy young woman from a family of means. While the powers that be attempt to keep them apart, their love slowly blossoms from teenage lust to a passionate romance. McAdams shines as Allie, the wealthy teen who steals Noah’s heart. The chemistry between McAdams and co-star Ryan Gosling is palpable, with both actors committing themselves wholeheartedly to their roles. Considered one of the decade’s greatest romantic films, McAdams will forever be linked to her role in “The Notebook”.

#2: Sacha Pfeiffer

“Spotlight” (2015)

Based on the harrowing true story of the widespread child sex abuse that was carried out for years by members of the Catholic Church in Boston and the investigative reporters who broke the story, “Spotlight” is not for the faint of heart. The film earned Rachel McAdams an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Sacha Pfeiffer, a reporter for The Boston Globe who helped uncover the church's heinous crimes. McAdams’ performance is easily one of her best, combining all of the skills she had accrued from more than a decade in the business. Taking home the award for Best Picture, “Spotlight” is a must-watch for any McAdams fan.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Irene Adler

“Sherlock Holmes” (2009)

Clare Abshire De Tamble

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” (2009)

Annabel Richter

“A Most Wanted Man” (2014)

#1: Regina George

“Mean Girls” (2004)

Despite all of her more serious portrayals, this is the role audiences inevitably think of when they hear the name Rachel McAdams. “Mean Girls” is the story of Cady Heron, a previously homeschooled teenager who must learn to navigate the cutthroat world of high school politics. She quickly befriends the duplicitous Regina George, a wealthy teen socialite who’ll do anything to keep herself on top of the popularity food chain. While she may have been in her mid-20s at the time of filming, McAdams convincingly pulls off the role of a high schooler with frightening accuracy. Her take on the spiteful George is pure cinematic perfection, eliciting just the right amount of hate from the viewer.

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