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She’s beautiful, talented and has an unparalleled acting range. Halle Berry was a pageant beauty queen in her teens and then a model, which led to her first weekly TV series and, from there, the sky was the limit! Berry’s career on both television and the silver screen has earned her a Golden Globe and even an Academy Award. From comedy to drama to the occasional thriller, Halle Berry continues to delight moviegoers with her sassy appeal and determination. In honor of her upcoming 47th birthday on August 14, here are the Top 10 Halle Berry movies.
10. Perfect Stranger: Berry starred as journalist Rowena Price in this stylish 2007 thriller, which also starred Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi. Berry’s character, Rowena, was determined to expose her childhood friend’s killer and engaged in an online cat and mouse game to find the truth…but all wasn’t as it seemed. Berry gave a gritty edge to her character as she toyed with Willis and Ribisi throughout the movie. Though the film wasn’t well received by critics, it did portray Berry’s tenacious nature.
9. Gothika: In this 2003 horror thriller, Berry played psychiatrist Miranda Grey, who was charged with brutally murdering her husband but had no recollection of the event. Possession and ghosts pervaded this movie as spirits showed Berry’s character the truth behind her husband’s murder. Berry played the confused yet undaunted Miranda to perfection as she put herself in harm’s way to prove her innocence. Though this was yet another film of Berry’s that was panned by critics, Berry held her own with co-stars Robert Downey Jr. and Penélope Cruz and gave her character fight and the willpower to find the truth.
8. New Year's Eve: In this 2011 Garry Marshall-directed romantic comedy, Berry played a nurse named Aimee, who cared for a dying Robert DeNiro. Berry gave a caring and heartfelt performance as we also see Aimee’s husband is overseas fighting the war in Iraq and she can communicate with him via Skype on New Year’s Eve 2011. Berry brought tenderness and compassion to a small yet pivotal role in this otherwise upbeat movie.
7. X-Men: The Last Stand: Berry played Storm, the member of the X-Men that could control the weather, for the third time in this 2006 sci-fi adventure. In this third installment of the successful movie franchise, the Marvel Comics X-Men learn of a “mutant cure.” Berry infused the character of Storm with a purpose reminiscent of the comic book character and continued to bring the complex Ororo Munroe to life.
6. X2: Berry reprised her role as X-Men member Storm in this 2003 sci-fi adventure sequel to the wildly popular 2000 film X-Men. Here, Storm and the other X-Men band together against military forces trying to wipe them out and one man in particular, who has a personal connection to Wolverine. Berry showed a more intimate side to her character as she fought beside her fellow mutants against a very real threat.
5. Die Another Day: Berry gained the illustrious title of being a “Bond Girl” in this 2002 adventure. Co-starring with Pierce Brosnan as the suave secret agent 007, Berry played Jinx, an NSA-agent, who helps Bond defeat a North Korean terrorist. Berry and Brosnan’s chemistry was evident from the second Berry emerged from the ocean in Cuba wearing an iconic bikini swimsuit, an homage to another famous “Bond Girl,” Ursula Andress, who wore the same bikini in the 1962 Bond movie Dr. No.. Jinx was a formidable sidekick for Bond as Berry gave her drive, persistence and a willingness to jump headfirst into any explosive situation that came her way. Just as a “Bond Girl” should be!
4. X-Men: Berry debuted as Storm, a mutant with the ability to control the weather with her mind in this wildly successful 2000 sci-fi adventure. Based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name, moviegoers were introduced to the mutants who would become the X-Men, including Wolverine, Professor Xavier, Rogue, Cyclops and Jean Grey. Berry portrayed the real-life incarnation of the beloved comic book character to a T as she manipulated the weather amidst dazzling special effects, and moviegoers saw the beginning of a movie franchise phenomena.
3. Catwoman: This 2004 action fantasy had Berry taking over the role made famous by Michelle Pfeiffer but as a completely new character, graphic designer Patience Phillips. Berry’s character became Catwoman after drowning and being resurrected by an Egyptian Mau cat. Co-starring with Sharon Stone and Benjamin Bratt, Berry brought more vulnerability to the character than had been in previous incarnations. Though it was panned by critics and Berry won the Razzie award that year for “Worst Actress,” I thought it was an interesting version of the character, and Berry played it well.
2. The Rich Man's Wife: This 1996 thriller had Berry playing Josie Potenza, the wife of a rich Hollywood producer, who was later the prime suspect in his murder, which was really committed by a stranger she met over drinks. One of Berry’s earlier movies, she infused Josie with a resolve to reveal her husband’s true killer and portray a complex character at the same time. Here, Berry showed moviegoers that she could handle a physically demanding thriller with loads of twists and turns.
1. Boomerang: Another one of Berry’s earlier movies, this 1992 romantic comedy had her co-starring with funnyman Eddie Murphy. Murphy plays an ad exec named Marcus, who is also a notorious womanizer. He falls for Robin Givens’s character, Jacqueline, who turns out to be more of a player than him, but, in the end, Marcus subsequently falls for Berry’s character, the sweet Angela. Berry imparted Angela with an infectious sweetness that introduced moviegoers to Berry’s softhearted acting tone. Though it was a co-starring role early in her career, I think it solidified her as an actress to watch.
image: Wikimedia Commons