Last Updated on November 17, 2021
There’s a reason Mary Louise “Meryl” Streep is regarded as the most accomplished actress of her generation.
Streep embodies every feature desirable in an actress, from her charming personality to her near-perfect smile and most notably, her incredible versatility. She’s one of the few actresses who can adapt to multiple accents, blend into the queerest of costumes, and breathe life into any character they portray. And with an acting history spanning over four decades, Meryl Streep is undeniably one of the greatest actresses of all time.
The following are the top 15 movies featuring Meryl Streep.
15. Manhattan (1979)
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
Manhattan follows the life of a divorced television writer who’s lacking fulfillment in his career and love lives. The movie stars Isaac Davis (Woody Allen) as a middle-aged writer of television shows who’s unhappy with his job.
Davis is twice divorced, having lost his most recent wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), to another woman. He finds himself pursuing a rebound relationship with a teenage high school girl named Tracy (Mariel Hemingway).
Davis understands the implications of dating a teenager. So, he’s not swift to commit fully to the relationship. His love life is further complicated when he falls in love with fellow writer Mary (Diane Keaton), who happens to be the mistress of his bosom buddy Yale (Michael Murphy).
14. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
Kramer vs. Kramer is another Meryl Streep movie that portrays Streep as a woman who follows her heart’s dreams despite having previously settled with someone she thought was her soul mate.
Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest gig of his career. Ordinarily, that should call for a celebration.
But on the same day, Ted learns that his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) is walking out on him and their son Billy (Justin Henry). Ted ends up losing his job when he chooses to dedicate his time to raising his son alone.
With the assistance of another single parent Margret (Jane Alexander), Ted is able to develop a powerful bond with his son. Then suddenly, his estranged wife Joanna returns and demands full custody of Billy. What follows is a protracted court battle that leaves everyone physically and emotionally drained.
13. Silkwood (1983)
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
Silkwood is a drama film inspired by the true story of Karen Silkwood who died in a mystery-shrouded car crash in 1974 while trying to unravel the deplorable working conditions at the Kerr-McGee plant. The film stars Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood, as well as her boyfriend Drew Stephens (Kurt Russell) and their roommate Dolly Pelliker (Cher).
Karen, Drew, and Dolly work at the Oklahoma-based Kerr-McGee nuclear plant. While working at the facility, Karen continually becomes concerned about the working conditions at the plant. She embarks on investigations that uncover glaring areas of negligence that could put the workers’ lives at risk.
As she continues with her investigations, Karen realizes that she has been exposed to worrying levels of radiation. Her efforts to bring the plant’s gross negligence to the fore are permanently halted when she dies in a car collision.
12. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
The Manchurian Candidate is a neo-noir psychological political thriller movie based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel of the same title. It stars Bennett Marco (Denzel Washington) as a tenacious soldier, Raymond Shaw (Liey Schreiber) as U.S Representative from New York, Tom Jordan (Jon Voight) as U.S Senator, and Eleanor Prentiss Shaw (Meryl Streep) as U.S Senator and manipulative politician.
The film is set in a dystopian near-future after the United States Army squad, which included Major Bennett Marco, was ambushed during the Gulf War. During the ambush, Sergeant Raymond Shaw became an overnight hero after saving his unit. He used his moments of fame to rise through the political ladder, becoming a U.S Representative from New York.
Years later, America is plagued by martial law, increasing corporate control, and environmental degradation. Major Bennett Marco begins to wonder whether the much-celebrated Shaw, who’s presently a vice president candidate, is the hero everyone thinks he is. What follows is a series of revelations that expose the intrigues and conspiracies that happen within the political corridors.
11. It’s Complicated (2009)
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
Successful restaurateur and divorcee Jane (Meryl Streep) runs into her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) while attending their son’s graduation ceremony.
Although they’ve been divorced for many years, Jane and Jake find themselves falling for one another all over again. But what Jane doesn’t realize is that Jake has since remarried and that she’s the other woman in their blossoming relationship.
The love affair becomes even more complicated when it entangles Adam (Steve Martin), an architect hired to renovate Jane’s kitchen.
10. Doubt (2008)
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a progressive reformist advocating for a change of St. Nicholas School’s discriminative customs. Thanks to his efforts, the school has just accepted the first black student named Donald.
However, a nun (Amy Adams) believes that Father Flynn may be a little too close to Donald.
Amy shares her suspicions with a fellow nun and the school’s principal Sister Aloysius’ (Meryl Streep. The two embark on a mission to expose the Father.
9. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
According to psychologists, it’s possible for two romantically incompatible couples to live together as man and wife. But true happiness can only be achieved when the players in a relationship are ideal soul mates.
Unfortunately, soul mates have a way of meeting a little later in life, and that’s the underlying theme in The Bridges of Madison County.
The movie tells the story of Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep), a married woman who meets National Geographic photojournalist Robert Kincaid (Eastwood) and realizes the two are perfect soul mates.
8. Little Women (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
This film captures the struggles young women go through as they emerge from childhood and transition into adulthood.
The protagonists are the four March sisters Josephine “Jo” March (Saoirse Ronan), Margaret “Meg” March (Emma Watson), Amy March (Florence Pugh), and Elizabeth “Beth” March (Eliza Scanlen).
Meryl Streep portrays Aunt March, a rich, pragmatic widow who’s one of the March girls’ aunts.
7. The Post (2017)
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
The Washington Post’s first female publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and her editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) put their careers on the line as they try to expose major state cover-ups spanning four U.S Presidents.
The mission is highly demanding. But Katharine and Ben believe they’re up for it.
They must overcome their personality differences while also risking their careers and freedoms to bring into light information that the government has successfully managed to keep under wraps.
6. Adaptation (2002)
IMDB Rating: 7.7/0
Adaptation details the struggles corporate writers go through to create original work in a world driven by fame and success.
The movie stars Charlie Kaufman (Nicholas Cage) as the confused Los Angeles screenwriter and Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), whose “The Orchid Thief” book Charlie is struggling to adapt.
Charlie is constantly bogged down by feelings of personal and sexual inadequacy, as well as the unrealistic ambitions of his twin brother Donald (also played by Nicholas Cage). As he tries to adapt Susan’s book, he realizes that his life and that of the characters portrayed in the book are strangely intertwined.
5. Death Becomes Her (1992)
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
Death Becomes Her chronicles the life of novelist Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) who loses her man Dr. Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis) to a movie star and former friend Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn).
Madeline ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Several years later, she confronts her former husband and his now-married wife looking more radiant after drinking an anti-aging supplement.
The curious Helen finds out Madeline’s secrets to youthful skin and also gives it a try. But things don’t quite turn out as she thought they would.
4. Julie & Julia (2009)
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10
A young New York blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is on a quest to emulate the cooking techniques of Julia Child (Meryl Streep).
She decides to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia’s cookbook, titled “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” within 365 days.
Although the story is told from Julie’s point of view, it’s closely intertwined with that of Julia’s passion for food.
3. Mamma Mia! (2008)
IMDB Rating: 6.4/10
Donna Sheridan-Carmichael (Meryl Streep) is a successful hotelier and single mother living in the Greek Islands. She has enlisted the help of two old friends in preparing for the wedding of her daughter Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried).
As the preparations are ongoing, Sophie secretly invites three men to the wedding with the hope of meeting her real father who can help walk her down the aisle.
According to Donna’s diary, these are the three men that she slept with during the period of Sophie’s conception.
2. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
Andrea “Andy” Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a recent college graduate travels to New York City in the hope of landing his first job. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her, she’s almost immediately hired by Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) as her assistant.
Miranda is an influential magazine editor notorious for her ruthless and diabolical behavior.
Andy finds herself questioning her ability to adjust to the high expectations of the fashion industry while still staying true to herself.
1. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Sophie’s Choice‘s plot revolves around a Polish immigrant named Zofia “Sophie” Zawistowski (Meryl Streep), her lover Nathan Landau (Kevin Kline), and a budding writer called Stingo (Peter MacNicol).
When Stingo moves to Brooklyn to kick-start his writing career, he befriends Sophie and Nathan. He later learns that Sophie is a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps who lost her two children during the Holocaust.
As the plot unfolds, it uncovers deeper insights into the far-reaching historical, moral, and psychological ramifications of the Holocaust.
Meryl Streep has featured in over 75 movies and working your way through all her films may take forever.
If you’re looking for the best way to watch Streep’s movies, you should consider starting with the above-listed films.