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10 Best Zendaya Movies That Showcase Her Performance Range


The multi-genre filmography of Zendaya, who will begin filming Challengers and Dune: Part Two in the summer of 2022, has solidified her status as a worldwide movie star. Zendaya has built a reputation for herself from her Disney Channel roots to her part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to starring in sci-fi blockbusters. She began her career as a child model and was most recently cast as Ronnie Spector in her untitled upcoming biography. The 25-year-old actress’s recent change to dramas, like Challengers, has sparked anticipation for a 2023 Academy Award candidacy.

Users of Letterboxd have recognised her talent and given her performances ratings in her filmography while praising the diversity of roles she has played, including those in animated films, blockbusters, and teen comedies developed specifically for television. Nevertheless, she consistently delivers a powerful performance to the roles she plays, and Hollywood has to start recognising her for the multifaceted power player that she is.


Duck Duck Goose (2018) – 2.2/5

Another voice-over performance may be heard in the Netflix animated picture Duck Duck Goose, which was released in 2018 after being withdrawn from a US theatrical release for unspecified reasons. The writer of Surf’s Up is also the creator of this film. Chi, a duckling saved by Peng and voiced by Zendaya, is voiced by Jeff Gaffigan. The movie, which was jointly produced by China and the United States and released in theatres, brought in more than $5 million.

Many people on Letterboxd felt that Zendaya was underutilised in the children’s film and that it leaned too heavily on humour related to farts as her fame and her abilities rose.

Dune (2021) – 4/5

Zendaya’s presence is not diminished by her little part, as demonstrated in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In Denis Villeneuve’s two-part science fiction blockbuster Dune remake, Zendaya plays Chani, Timothee Chalamet’s love interest. While Zendaya is prominently featured in the second portion, Chalamet just briefly showed Zendaya in the first.

Nevertheless, her performance enthused spectators, and many are eager to see her play the same part again. In the follow-up, she will play a more active part. Many people were interested in Zendaya’s role in the science fiction movie, including Pedro Almodovar, who wants to collaborate with her in the future.

Frenemies (2012) – 2/5

Zendaya and Bella Thorne co-starred in the Disney Channel Original adolescent comedy Frenemies, which is regarded as Zendaya’s debut film role. Halley Brandon, played by Zendaya, must compete against her closest friend for a senior editor position at a publishing house. Stefanie Scott from Insidious: Chapter 3 and Nick Robinson from Love, Simon also appear in the film.

Fans believed that the movie’s three short stories were haphazardly combined and undeveloped. At the January 2012 film premiere, 4.2 million people were in attendance. Nevertheless, it served to further establish Zendaya as a rising star in the acting world and secured her a prominent part in the 2014 Disney Channel Original Film Zapped. She would later be able to develop and appear in her own show, K.C. Undercover, thanks to Disney Channel’s continuing investment in her career.

Malcolm & Marie (2021) – 3.1/5

Alongside John David Washington, Zendaya portrayed the title character of Marie in the Netflix series Malcolm & Marie, which was co-written by Sam Levinson, the writer of Euphoria. The whole black-and-white film is centred on these two individuals as they struggle with heartbreaking revelations about one another upon their return from Malcolm’s film debut.

The reviews for Malcolm & Marie were varied, with some enjoying the story and others questioning Levinson’s intentions, despite the fact that many people loved Zendaya and John David Washington’s acting and chemistry together. Nevertheless, this is regarded as one of Zendaya’s finest works, and for it, she was nominated for Best Actress at the 26th Critics Choice Awards.

Smallfoot (2018) – 3/5

The animated musical comedy Smallfoot, in which Zendaya appeared, is regarded as her most commercially successful film to date. It tells the story of a society of Yetis who, after years of believing humans to be myths, finally come upon a Smallfoot. Zendaya portrays Meechee, the chief’s daughter and the main character’s love interest, among an all-star cast that includes Channing Tatum, Lebron James, and Danny DeVito.

The soundtrack’s album featured two songs by Zendaya, and it reached at number 8 on the Billboard Top 200. The movie was favourably praised because of its powerful message, memorable melodies, and intricate plot. After earning $214M against a $80M budget, the filmmaker said there may be room for a sequel.

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) – 2/5

One of four live-action/animated movies starring Zendaya that will be released in 2021 The eagerly anticipated sequel to the 1996 film Space Jam, directed by Malcolm D. Lee, is called Space Jam: A New Legacy. Being raised by the original in her family gave Zendaya the opportunity to take on this part, which is not her first voice-over work.

Michael B. Jordan, Don Cheadle, and Lebron James are among the film’s all-star cast members. On Letterboxd, viewers berated the eagerly awaited film for its poor direction, rambling humour, and weak storytelling. It earned 162.8 million against a budget of 150 million, and despite the fact that many people were taken aback by Lola’s redesign, it was one of four big movies with Zendaya in a prominent role that were released in 2021.


Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – 3.5/5

Spider-Man: Far From Home, the second instalment of the MCU Spider-Man Trilogy, elevates Zendaya as MJ from a supporting to a major role. In the motion picture, which features Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Samuel L. Jackson, Peter and his classmates embark on a school vacation to Europe.

Zendaya received recognition for her noteworthy portrayal of MJ and her on-screen chemistry with Tom Holland, making theirs one of the best relationships in the MCU, despite being the lowest-rated Spider-Man film starring Tom Holland. For the first moment, fans can see Zendaya fully committing to the character of MJ.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 3.6/5

Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first Spider-Man film in the second reboot, came with a lot of pressure but eventually found its voice and created its own distinct universe. Zendaya was a part of that universe; her moniker, MJ, was left out until the very end, which heightened the anticipation of viewers who anticipated to watch Zendaya develop into her role.

Zendaya made her feature film debut with the picture. She would go on to star in the follow-up films, integrating herself into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With a $175 million budget, the film made over $800 million worldwide, making it the second-most profitable Spider-Man film of all time.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – 4.1/5

In spite of having a small role to begin with, Zendaya stole the show in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the third instalment of the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy. She plays MJ once more, and viewers say that this is her best performance in the trilogy.

Zendaya wrapped up her busy 2021 release year with a multi-faceted performance that revealed MJ’s hitherto unseen vulnerabilities. The film, which garnered positive reviews from both critics and viewers, became the highest-grossing film of 2021 and holds the sixth-highest box office position of all time. Zendaya and Tom Holland have contracts to feature in the upcoming sequel, albeit it might not happen anytime soon.

The Greatest Showman (2017) – 3.3/5

Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zac Efron co-star in the musical drama The Greatest Showman, one of Zendaya’s biggest box office successes. The film charts the ascent of P.T. Barnum and his circus. Anne Wheeler, a trapeze performer played by Zendaya, falls in love with Phillip Carlysle, a character played by Zac Efron. She joined in on “The Greatest Show” and “Come Alive” as well as performing “Rewrite the Stars” with Zac Efron for the film.

While the film’s erroneous historical portrayal earned mixed reviews, Zendaya’s heartfelt portrayal of one of The Greatest Showman’s best characters was lauded. The film went on to rank as the fifth-highest-grossing live-action musical film of all time.

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