In an event that many would consider a long time coming, Jessica Chastain won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 94th Annual Academy Awards. His performance in 2021 Tammy Faye’s eyes earned her the nomination, which was also her third, after being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2012 for Ugly, and for her starring role in zero dark thirty the next year.
However, the California native – who is also known for his superhero movies like X-Men: Dark Phoenixhorror movies like It: Chapter 2and action thrillers like The 355 – gave many other performances which both critics and audiences would agree deserved similar accolades. Let’s review those performances as we check out the best Jessica Chastain movies currently available for streaming, digital rental, or physical media, starting with her best work in the eyes of the Academy.
Tammy Faye’s Eyes (HBO Max)
Tammy Bakker (Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Jim (Andrew Garfield), are building one of the greatest empires in televangelism history, until a series of shocking scandals come to light that threaten to destroy their relationship and reputation.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Jessica Chastain disappears as the titular televangelist in Tammy Faye’s eyes – a bold and revealing biopic of The big sick director, Michael Showalter, which is based on a 2000 documentary of the same name.
Stream Tammy Faye’s Eyes on HBO Max.
Buy/Rent Tammy Faye’s Eyes on Amazon.
Get The Eyes of Tammy Faye on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon.
Help (HBO Max)
A young aspiring author (Emma Stone) interviews black housekeepers (Oscar winners Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) for a book about their perspective on the white women who employ them in 1960s Mississippi.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Jessica Chastain received her first Oscar nomination for playing ostracized socialite Celia Foote in Ugly – 2011 adaptation by writer and director Tate Taylor of Kathryn Stockett’s novel.
Zero Dark Thirty (Amazon Rental)
A CIA agent (Jessica Chastain) struggles to endure the inner moral conflict and emotional turmoil of performing heinous interrogation methods while spending several years searching for the whereabouts of wanted terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Jessica Chastain received her second Oscar nomination for her riveting performance as the lead of zero dark thirty – originally conceived as a chronicle of failed attempts to catch the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attack, before his capture ten years later – by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow.
Take shelter (Tubi)
A construction worker (Michael Shannon) begins to question his family’s safety and his own sanity after he begins to have a series of strange and disturbing visions of an impending apocalyptic event.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: If you ask me, Jessica Chastain should have received an Oscar nomination, along with Michael Shannon, for their gripping portrayals of a husband and wife threatened by the declining mental health of one in To protect – a masterful and breathtaking family drama from writer and director Jeff Nichols.
Jolene (Tubi, Pluto TV)
An orphaned young woman (Jessica Chastain) leaves alone at 15 and spends the next few years traveling the country in search of some kind of normality, finding heartache and disappointment at every turn.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: In 2008, after various appearances in television shows such as EmergenciesJessica Chastain made her feature film debut as the title role of Jolene – director Dan Ireland’s poignant adaptation of award-winning author EL Doctorow’s story.
The Tree of Life (Hulu)
A disillusioned modern-day man (two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn) grapples with questions of existence, purpose and faith as he recalls his complicated relationship with his father (Oscar winner Brad Pitt) while growing up in Waco, Texas in the 1950s.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: The single film that Jessica Chastain says had the most profound impact on her life and career and is the hardest to review for the precision with which it captures her “heart and soul” is 2011. The tree of life – a bizarre, inventive and thought-provoking existential analysis that only writer and director Terrence Malick could do.
Three brothers (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke) fight to keep a moonlighting business afloat amid unwanted partnership offers and the arrival of a corrupt cop (Guy Pearce) at the Depression-era Virginia.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Jessica Chastain steals the show as Maggie Beaufort, a waitress who falls in love with Hardy’s Forrest Bondurant, in Without faith or law – writer Nick Cave (yes, the musician) and director John Hilcoat’s 2012 adaptation of Matt Bondurant’s historical novel about his own family, The wettest county in the world.
A former scientific engineer and pilot (Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey) leads a team of explorers on an expedition through the unknown reaches of outer space in order to find a new home for humanity then that the Earth is rapidly becoming unlivable.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Jessica Chastain is one of the three brilliant actresses of 2014 Interstellar to throw who star as Murph, McConaughey’s decades-long, distant, earthbound daughter in co-writer and director Christopher Nolan’s jaw-dropping, jaw-dropping space odyssey.
The Martian (Amazon Rental)
Following a deadly storm, the botany expert (Matt Damon) on a space exploration mission is presumed dead and abandoned by his crew on Mars, where he struggles to survive as NASA scrambles to find a way to bring him home.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: While Jessica Chastain couldn’t have been the one who went to space or saved Matt Damon in Interstellarshe got to do both the following year as disco-loving Ares III commander Melissa Lewis in The Martian – one of director Ridley Scott’s sharpest, most intense, funniest and simply the best space films, based on Andy Weir’s acclaimed novel.
Crimson Peak (Netflix)
A young writer (Mia Wasikowska) falls in love with a wealthy English aristocrat (Tom Hiddleston) who invites her to live with him and his sister (Jessica Chastain) at their lavish family estate, unaware of the shocking secrets and vengeful spirits that hide in the walls.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Guillermo del Toro, who previously produced the Jessica Chastain-directed horror film, Mom, in 2012 leads the actress in a grim (and, apparently, emotionally draining) performance as Lady Lucille Sharpe in 2015 Crimson Peak – A scary ghost story in the style of traditional gothic costume dramas with stunning production design.
A Most Violent Year (Showtime)
An immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) yearn to realize the American dream by capitalizing on the crime and corruption that surrounds them, which also threatens to destroy them, in 1981 New York.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Before they both star in x-men films and eventually reunited for HBO Scenes from a weddingJessica Chastain gave an electrifying femme fatale-inspired performance opposite her longtime friend Oscar Isaac as her on-screen husband in 2015 A most violent year – a captivating and dark period piece partially inspired by true events by writer and director JC Chandor.
The Zookeeper’s Wife (Netflix)
A woman (Jessica Chastain) and her husband (Johan Heldenbergh) use their zoo in Warsaw, Poland, as a sanctuary for hundreds of Jewish refugees – and animals too – following the Nazi invasion in 1939.
Why this is one of Jessica Chastain’s best movies: Jessica Chastain is a tour de force playing Antonina Zabinska, one of Europe’s most daring and heroic figures of World War II. The zookeeper’s wife – an inspirational 2017 drama based on Diane Ackerman’s book by acclaimed director Niki Caro.
Jessica Chastain will soon play another famous “Tammy” in George and Tammy – a Paramount+ original miniseries depicting the romance between country music star Tammy Wynette and George Jones, which will reunite her with To protectis Michael Shannon. She will also star in the upcoming Netflix-exclusive true crime story, The good nurse.