Rosario Dawson’s 10 Best Movies & TV Shows, Ranked

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With over a hundred acting credits to her name, when it comes to selecting Rosario Dawson‘s best movies and TV shows, there are plenty to choose from. She’s been delighting audiences ever since her first ever on-screen appearance, at age 15, as “Girl in the Emergency Room” in a 1993 episode of Sesame Street. She went on to star in her first feature film, Kids, just two years later. Unlike many other child stars, Dawson wasn’t a “nepo baby,” as she didn’t come from rich or famous parents, meaning that she can truly claim to be a self-made success.

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Before becoming an actor, Dawson was thinking about becoming a marine biologist (via US Weekly). Thankfully for audiences worldwide, she made a career in film and television, and at this point, she has countless amazing roles behind her. While she’s starred in plenty of serious dramas too, she’s particularly well known for appearing in comic book adaptations and genre films, not to mention multiple roles across numerous cinematic universes. It all adds up to some serious geek cred, especially since some of these roles are in high-quality works ranking among her best movies and TV shows.

Related: LaKeith Stanfield’s 10 Best Movies & TV Shows, Ranked

10 Men In Black II (2002)

The worms play twister with Laura in Men in Black II

Men in Black II was many people’s introduction to Rosario Dawson. She played Laura Vasquez, a character who is roped into agent Jay and Kay’s mission to find “the light” before it’s found by the villainous alien Serleena. While not as good as the first movie, Men in Black II is an enjoyable, funny sequel elevated by its fantastic cast. Dawson goes toe to toe with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith comedically but also serves as the emotional backbone of the film. She’s a very big part of why the movie works.

9 Seven Pounds (2008)

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Rosario Dawson and Will Smith teamed up again five years after co-starring in Men in Black II for something much more serious. The melodramatic romance Seven Pounds was rightly criticized for its ridiculous, emotionally manipulative, and ethically questionable plot. Yet, it was successful at the box office and proved extremely popular with general audiences who responded well to its central romance between Smith and Dawson’s characters. The film has serious issues, but its performances are undeniably fantastic. Despite being produced as a Will Smith vehicle, there’s a very real argument that Dawson steals the show.

8 Sin City (2005)

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Rosario Dawson started making people really sit up and pay attention to her with her appearance as Gail in the ultra-stylish Robert Rodriguez movie Sin City. A stepping stone toward Rosario Dawson’s badass action hero roles she would become known for playing, Sin City was a major turning point in both comic book filmmaking and the use of CGI in cinema as a whole. While her first comic book movie was technically Men in Black II, Sin City was the first time she appeared in something everyone knew was based on a comic.

Related: Every Sin City Story Rosario Dawson’s Gail Appears In

7 The Death of Superman (2018)

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It’s a testament to Rosario Dawson that she was the official voice of Wonder Woman for years without the hugely iconic character being remotely close to what she’s known for. Beginning the role in 2015, she has portrayed the superhero in the animated movies Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Justice League vs. Teen Titans, Justice League Dark, Reign of the Superman, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, Justice League Dark: Apokalips War, and The Death of Superman. She even provided the voice of Wonder Woman for Space Jam: A New Legacy. However, The Death of Superman stands as the very best of these films in which she plays the part.

Related: How To Watch Justice League Animated Movies In Order

6 Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

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Zombieland has one of the all-time great casts. There are only seven credited actors in the film, yet they collectively hold nine Oscar nominations between them — and Emma Stone actually won hers. More impressively is that this was largely the film that made the careers of Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and even Amber Heard. When the cast and crew returned for a sequel 10 years later, they knew that any new roles would have to be filled by amazing talents. Adding Thomas Middleditch, Luke Wilson, Zoey Deutch, and Rosario Dawson into the mix, they nailed it.

5 The Defenders (2017)

Mike Colter Krysten Ritter Charlie Cox Rosario Dawson and Jessica Henwick in The Defenders

Just as Nick Fury was positioned as an anchor across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving audiences a frequent returning character to help tie everything together, Marvel smartly decided to do the same thing when launching their Netflix TV shows. Audiences were first introduced to Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple in Daredevil before she went on to appear in Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and, finally, The Defenders where she served as the connective tissue that helped bring the four characters together for the crossover series. While The Defenders is far from the best of the Netflix Marvel shows, it’s the one that pays Dawson the most reverence.

Related: The 10 Best Netflix Marvel Characters, Ranked

4 Trance (2013)

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Trance is one of Danny Boyle’s least-seen and least-appreciated films. Featuring shades of films like Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan released a few years earlier, it features all of Boyle’s usual kinetic style. Rosario Dawson plays Elizabeth, a hypnotherapist whom Simon (James McAvoy) cuts in on an art heist if she can help him discover the location of a missing painting using her professional skills to unlock his memories. A modern femme fatale, Elizabeth is a terrific showcase of Dawson’s talent.

3 Ahsoka (2023)

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka

Rosario Dawson joined the Star Wars franchise in 2020 as the live-action version of Ahsoka, a fan-favorite character who first appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Star Wars fans can be picky and less than supportive at times, so it says a lot that Dawson being hired to play the live-action Ahsoka was generally regarded as a genius casting decision. Her first appearance in the role was in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5 “Chapter 13: The Jedi.” She later appeared in The Book of Boba Fett, further setting up her own solo series, Ahsoka, which is one of the better-received Disney Star Wars projects to date.

Related: When Ahsoka Takes Place In The Star Wars Timeline

2 Clerks II (2006)

Rosario Dawson and Brian O'Halloran look on in Clerks 2

Yet another cinematic universe to feature multiple appearances from Rosario Dawson is Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse. Clerks II was her first appearance, but in 2019, she appeared in a new role in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and then in 2022, she reprised her role as Becky for an extremely emotional Clerks III cameo. She absolutely held her own, fitting in among beloved, pre-established characters, and leaving such an impression that she’s the emotional backbone behind Clerks III despite barely being in it. Clerks II remains one of the best Kevin Smith movies to this day, and Dawson’s performance is a big part of that.

1 Death Proof (2007)

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One thing Quentin Tarantino movies are especially known for is showcasing excellent performances. While Rosario Dawson was a successful actor in 2007, appearing as one of the lead roles in a Tarantino movie took her to the next level. Death Proof is a true Rosario Dawson showcase, letting her spout Tarantino dialogue and kick ass in tandem. Kurt Russell portrays a serial killer who murders young women using his car. After some intended victims turn the tables on him, Dawson is honored by being the actor that gets to deliver the final, killer blow, as she stomps on Russell’s head.