Ranking Melissa McCarthy’s Top 5 Performances

With Melissa McCarthy’s most recent film, Thunder Force, releasing on Netflix, most of you might be forgetting that McCarthy really is a talented actress when she wants to be. Instead of watching Thunder Force, I recommend you check out one of these 5 films so you can really see how talented Melissa McCarthy really is.

5. Spy

  • When McCarthy works is Paul Feig, you know we are going to get the best version of McCarthy. In Spy, McCarthy subverts the ideas of what it means to be a Spy, and if Ben Falcone really wanted to subvert what it meant to be a superhero, he should’ve just watched this film. The humor works, and given a good script, McCarthy is able to really shine as a comedic actress.

4. The Heat

  • Again, Feig is able to bring out the best of McCarthy in every single way. The Heat proves that Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are a match made in heaven, and is able to give a truly funny and exciting crime/comedy. McCarthy shines as bright as ever in every scene she is in, and puts every bit of comedic acting prowess on the forefront.

3. St. Vincent

  • St. Vincent is an under-appreciated film in my opinion. It picked up a Golden Globe Nominee for the film and Bill Murray and even snagged a SAG Nomination for Naomi Watts. McCarthy herself plays a mother who is battling for custody of her son. This film is one of McCarthy’s first real and dramatic performance, and, as you can see below, she pulled it off with grace and purpuse that we had never seen from her before until then.

2. Bridesmaids

  • When it comes to the Oscars, comedic performances hardly ever seen any sort of love. Unless a comedy has a certain level of drama, they are more-so thrown to the side when it comes to the voters. However, McCarthy was able to break through this stigma and received an Oscar nomination for a purely 100% comedic performance. McCarthy’s Megan didn’t have a dramatic storyline to go along with her character, but everything McCarthy said and did was picture perfect. Her comedic chops were off the charts, and she was able to do something very few people have been able to do, and that is receive an Oscar nom for just having fun on screen. This film was the first that showed just how strong of a performer McCarthy really is, oh and guess who she worked with… Paul Feig.

1. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

  • Melissa McCarthy’s second Oscar nomination is unequivocally her best performance she has ever given, and if any of the past 4 performances didn’t do enough to convince you of her talent, this one definitely should. McCarthy takes on the persona of Lee Israel, a writer who takes on the persona of many different prominent celebrities and embellished their works for money. A movie about plagiarism may not seem extravagant, but McCarthy brought the film to life, and was able to effectively deliver a layered and emotional performance about a woman just trying to get by. It was one of my favorite performances of that year, and it is definitive proof of McCarthy’s true talent as an actress.

There aren’t many clips of this film that I could find, so I hope the trailer will suffice.

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

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