Jessica Chastain’s Best Action Movies, Ranked

Action films are best known for their fast-paced scenes and slow-motion shots. Masterclass describes the genre as caring more about the execution of the plot rather than the plot itself. For these reasons, it makes sense that many moviegoers love the genre.

Jessica Chastain is an Oscar-winner and talented actress who has become a master of a few genres, including action. In fact, a handful of her best movies have come from her performances in action films. One of those even earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in Zero Dark Thirty (which we are not including on this list as it falls into a mixed genre).

Chastain’s action movies range from franchise favorites like X: Men and The Huntsman to space movies like The Martian and Interstellar. The main thing all of these films have in common, of course, is a memorable performance in an action film. Here are Chastain’s best action movies, ranked.


6 ava

ava is a film about Ava, a deadly assassin who works for a black ops corporation. Ava, played by Chastain, specializes in high-profile targets and is a cold-hearted and lethal assassin. When she breaks protocol and botches one of these hits, she is forced to reunite with her estranged family and ultimately signs her own death warrant. Back at home, she is trying to reconnect with her loved ones while trying to stay alive despite every killer in the business coming after her. With only really her mentor Duke, played by John Malkovich, watching her back, can she manage both worlds?

Related: Oscars 2022: Jessica Chastain Wins Best Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye

5 X:Men: Dark Phoenix

In perhaps one of the biggest flops within the X-Men franchise, Chastian gets to star as a supervillain. It’s been heavily reported that Chastain did not even know her character’s full name until she saw the completed film. In dark phoenix, Chastain plays Vuk, a leader of the D’Bari people, which are a kind of people who can take on the identity of others. In the film, Vuk is tasked with trying to harness the power of the Phoenix that Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner, had absorbed in the prior film. Jean Gray is a beloved member of the X-Men and now that she is compromised from this ancient power, they have to decide to save Jean or the rest of humankind.

4 The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is both the sequel and prequel to Snow White and The Huntsman as the film takes place both before and after the events of the first film. The second film brought back Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman and Charlie Theron as Queen Ravenna, and introduced newcomers Emily Blunt as Queen Freya, Ravenna’s sister, and Chastain, as Sara, a warrior within Queen Freya’s army. In this second film, it’s Freya who is transformed into an Ice Queen after being betrayed by her husband. She has banned love and listed The Huntsman to fight in her army. It’s there he meets Sara and the two fall in love, despite their Queen’s orders.

3 A Most Violent Year

In the 2014 action crime movie A Most Violent Year, Chastain plays Anna Morales, wife of Abel Morales, played by Oscar Issac, an immigrant who inherited his wife’s father’s company. He is able to make a great success out of the company that he is pushing to expand. His trucks start to become targeted by robbers lately, which causes a chain reaction in Abel’s seemingly hopeful plan. Guns are involved, the DA is lurking, and his perfect wife has secrets emerging in what is posing to be a most violent year indeed.

Related: These Are the Best Oscar Isaac Movies, Ranked

2 The Martian

The Martin is arguably one of the best sci-fi action movies ever made. In the film, Chastain plays Commander Lewis, the captain of an Ares mission that has been sent to Mars. When a storm forces the mission to end early, Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, gets injured and accidentally left behind. The rest of the movie follows how NASA plans to bring him home safely and how he plans to survive on a planet where food cannot grow. Luckily, he is a botanist and can science his way to survive.

1 Interstellar

Interstellar is another action meets space movie. Chastain stars alongside Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in the film. While Chastain’s character is more of a supporting role, she does command the cameras attention during her scenes. The premise of the movie is to save humanity, and to do so, Cooper (McConaughey), a retired NASA pilot and engineer, and his team travel through a wormhole to search for a new home for humankind. Due to an unforeseen accident, the crew finds themselves 23 years ahead. Back home, Murph (Chastain), who is now all grown up, is a NASA scientist herself.

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