Every single Dakota Fanning movie, ranked by critics

Meghan Cook
·14 min read
dakota fanning
Dakota Fanning has been acting since she was a child. Paramount Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Treehouse Pictures
  • Dakota Fanning is best known for her roles in films like "Uptown Girls" and "The Twilight Saga."

  • Fanning's best-reviewed films include the English version of "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Coraline."

  • Other movies, like "Hansel & Gretel" and "The Cat in the Hat," missed the mark with critics.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dakota Fanning was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award at just 7 years old for her role in "I Am Sam," and since then, she's proven herself to be a versatile Hollywood actress.

But not all of her work has received equal praise from critics.

Here are all of the movies in Fanning's filmography, ranked according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes:

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical scores were not included.

Fanning's lowest-rated film is "Hansel & Gretel" (2002).

dakota fanning hansel and gretel
Dakota Fanning in "Hansel & Gretel." Innovation Film Group

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Summary: When Katie (Fanning) has trouble falling asleep, her father reads her the classic Brothers Grimm's fairy tale of Hansel (Jacob Smith) and Gretel (Taylor Momsen).

Lost in the heart of an enchanted forest, the siblings encounter a magical Sandman (Howie Mandel) and a conniving witch (Lynn Redgrave).

In "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat" (2003), she played Sally.

the cat in the hat
Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning in "The Cat in the Hat." Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 9%

Summary: In the live-action adaptation of the children's book by Dr. Seuss, the titular Cat (Mike Myers) spells good-natured trouble for Conrad (Spencer Breslin) and Sally (Fanning) when they're left home alone.

She was Emily Callaway in "Hide and Seek" (2005).

hide and seek 2005 robert deniro dakota fanning
Dakota Fanning and Robert De Niro in "Hide and Seek." Twentieth Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Summary: In the suspense-thriller "Hide and Seek," David Callaway (Robert De Niro) grows concerned as his daughter Emily's (Fanning) imaginary friend begins to harbor a very real presence in their house.

The actress starred as Ray in "Uptown Girls" (2003).

uptown girls
Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning in "Uptown Girls." MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Summary: In "Uptown Girls," spoiled heiress Molly (Brittany Murphy) gets a wake-up call when she loses access to her father's estate.

In order to make money, Molly takes a gig nannying Ray (Fanning), the bratty daughter of a record executive. As they spend time together, they realize they have more in common than they initially thought.

"Tomcats" (2001) was one of Fanning's earliest film credits.

Shannon Elizabeth and Jerry O'Connell starred in "Tomcats." Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

Summary: In "Tomcats," seven friends bet on who will be the last one to get married. After a few years, Michael (Jerry O'Connell) and Kyle (Jake Busey) are the only two left single, but things get complicated when Kyle is set up with a woman who Michael ends up falling for.

Fanning is credited as "Little Girl in Park" in the film.

She was Lewellen in the drama "Hounddog" (2008).

Dakota Fanning in "Hounddog." Empire Film Group

Rotten Tomatoes score: 15%

Summary: In the independent drama "Hounddog," Lewellen (Fanning) escapes her troubled childhood in 1950s Alabama through the music of Elvis Presley.

Fanning played Abby in "Trapped" (2002).

Dakota Fanning in "Trapped." Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

Summary: In the thriller "Trapped," Will (Stuart Townsend) and Karen (Charlize Theron) are kidnapped and held captive by a man named Joe Hickey (Kevin Bacon).

Hickey demands they pay him, or they'll risk losing their daughter Abby (Fanning).

In "Very Good Girls" (2014), she played Lilly Berger.

very good girls
Boyd Holbrook and Dakota Fanning in "Very Good Girls." Well Go USA

Rotten Tomatoes score: 19%

Summary: The drama "Very Good Girls" centers around best friends Lilly (Fanning) and Gerri (Elizabeth Olsen) as they make a summer pact to lose their virginities before college. But their friendship is threatened when they both fall for the same artist (Boyd Holbrook).

She was Merry Levov in "American Pastoral" (2016).

american pastoral
Ewan McGregor and Dakota Fanning in "American Pastoral." Lakeshore Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 23%

Summary: In the Vietnam War-era drama "American Pastoral," the seemingly perfect life of Swede Levov (Ewan McGregor) unravels after his daughter Merry (Fanning) commits an act of political terrorism.

The actress played Cassie Holmes in "Push" (2009).

Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning in "Push." Hirotake Okazaki/Summit Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 23%

Summary: "Push" follows a group of people with superhuman abilities — Nick (Chris Evans), Cassie (Fanning), and Kira (Camilla Belle) — as they attempt to take out a secret government operation that seeks to weaponize their telekinetic powers.

She starred as Olivia in "The Benefactor" (2016).

the benefactor
Dakota Fanning in "The Benefactor." Treehouse Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 25%

Summary: Newlyweds Olivia (Fanning) and Luke (Theo James) find their happy lives encircled by the possessive reach of philanthropist Franny Watts (Richard Gere), a mysterious man who feels responsible for the deaths of Olivia's parents.

Fanning played Beverly Aadland in "The Last of Robin Hood" (2014).

the last of robin hood
Dakota Fanning in "The Last of Robin Hood." IDP/Samuel Goldwyn Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%

Summary: "The Last of Robin Hood" is a drama based on the true story of the affair between Hollywood legend Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline) and aspiring actress Beverly Aadland (Fanning), and the wave of negative publicity that their relationship unleashed.

In "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" (2009), she appeared as Jane.

twilight new moon
Dakota Fanning in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." Summit Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 28%

Summary: Based on the "Twilight" book series by Stephenie Meyer, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" finds Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) adrift after her break-up with vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).

Fanning appeared in the film as Jane, a high-ranking vampire of the Volturi coven whose reign determines the future of Bella and Edward's relationship.

The actress played Ronnie Fuller in "Every Secret Thing" (2015).

every secret thing
Dakota Fanning in "Every Secret Thing." Starz Digital Media

Rotten Tomatoes score: 32%

Summary: Based on the book by Laura Lippman, "Every Secret Thing" is a psychological thriller that follows Detective Nancy Porter (Elizabeth Banks) as she investigates the case of a missing child.

Her prime suspects in the abduction are local teens Ronnie (Fanning) and Alice (Danielle Macdonald) who were just released from juvenile detention.

She starred as Lucy Dawson in "I Am Sam" (2001).

dakota fanning i am sam
Dakota Fanning and Sean Penn in "I Am Sam." New Line screencap

Rotten Tomatoes score: 35%

Summary: In the drama "I Am Sam," a sweet father (Sean Penn) who has an intellectual disability risks losing his daughter Lucy (Fanning) to a social worker who believes that he doesn't have the capacity to raise a child.

But high-powered attorney Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer) soon takes his case in an effort to reunite the family.

Fanning played a younger version of Reese Witherspoon in "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002).

sweet home alabama
Dakota Fanning and Thomas Curtis as young Melanie and young Jake. Touchstone Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

Summary: In the romantic comedy "Sweet Home Alabama," city-slicker Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) travels home to Alabama to seek a divorce from childhood-friend Jake (Josh Lucas) so that she can move on with her new fiancé Andrew (Patrick Dempsey).

Fanning appeared in the film as the younger version of Melanie.

In "Man on Fire" (2004), she played Pita Ramos.

man on fire
Dakota Fanning and Denzel Washington in "Man on Fire." 20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

Summary: In "Man on Fire," former CIA agent John Creasy (Denzel Washington) reluctantly takes on a job as the bodyguard for a young child named Pita Ramos (Fanning) after a slew of kidnappings sweep through Mexico.

She voiced Lilo in "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch" (2005).

lilo and stitch 2
Dakota Fanning voiced Lilo in "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch." Disney

Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%

Summary: In the sequel to "Lilo & Stitch" (2002), Lilo (Fanning) and her sister Nani (Tia Carrere) live as a happy family with their alien Stitch until an unexpected programming bug throws them for a loop.

She was Lilly Abdal in "Sweetness in the Belly" (2019).

sweetness in the belly
Dakota Fanning and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in "Sweetness in the Belly." Sienna Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%

Summary: In the Toronto International Film Festival movie, "Sweetness in the Belly," Lily Abdal (Fanning), an Ethiopian refugee, escapes to England as a child.

In London, she makes it her mission to help fellow immigrants reunite with their families. However, it is later revealed that her work is not purely altruistic because she is really looking to reconnect with her lost love (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).

She starred as Effie in the period drama "Effie Gray" (2015).

effie gray
Dakota Fanning as Effie Gray. Adopt Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 42%

Summary: Based on a true story, the Victorian-era period drama "Effie Gray" follows the strained marriage of Effie Gray (Fanning) and John Ruskin (Greg Wise), and Effie's subsequent attraction to artist John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge).

The actress played Liz in "Brimstone" (2017).

Dakota Fanning in "Brimstone." N279 Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 43%

Summary: In "Brimstone," frontier woman Liz (Fanning) suddenly becomes a fugitive after she's pinned for a crime she didn't commit. On the run from the vengeful Reverend (Guy Pearce), Liz does whatever it takes to stay alive.

Fanning played Anne Hagen in "Fragments" (2009).

Dakota Fanning in "Fragments." Peace Arch Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%

Summary: Based on the book "Winged Creatures" by Roy Freirich, "Fragments" centers around a group of strangers whose lives are thrown together after they witness a horrifying murder in a diner.

Fanning had a featured role in the film as Anne Hagen, whose father is shot by the gunman.

In "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" (2010), she returned as Jane.

Dakota Fanning in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." Summit Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%

Summary: Bella (Stewart), Edward (Pattinson), and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) find themselves caught in a love triangle in the third installment of the "Twilight Saga." As they grapple with their feelings, an enemy from Bella's past comes back to haunt her.

Fanning returned to her role as Jane in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."

She was Jane once more in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" (2012).

breaking dawn part 2
Dakota Fanning and Cameron Bright in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2." Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 49%

Summary: In the final installment of the "Twilight Saga," Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) fight to protect their new family from the towering threat of the Volturi coven, which includes cold-hearted Jane (Fanning).

The actress played Tessa Scott in "Now Is Good" (2012).

now is good
Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine in "Now Is Good." Sony Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

Summary: "Now Is Good" follows Tessa Scott (Fanning) after she is diagnosed with a terminal illness. She resolves to make a bucket list of everything she wants to do before she dies, but doesn't factor falling in love with her new neighbor Adam (Jeremy Irvine).

She was Wendy in the comedy "Please Stand By" (2018).

please stand by
Dakota Fanning in "Please Stand By." Magnolia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 58%

Summary: In the coming-of-age story "Please Stand By," Wendy (Fanning) is a young autistic woman who runs away from home and travels across the country to enter her 500-page "Star Trek"-inspired script into a Hollywood writing competition.

Fanning starred as Lily Owens in "The Secret Life of Bees" (2008).

secret life of bees
Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah in "The Secret Life of Bees." Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 59%

Summary: In the drama "The Secret Life of Bees," caregiver Rosaleen Daise (Jennifer Hudson) spirits young Lily Owens (Fanning) away to a small town in South Carolina.

Immersed in a world of beekeeping and strong women, Lily comes to learn more about her late mother's past.

In "Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story" (2005), she played Cale Crane.

Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell in "Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story." Dreamworks

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

Summary: In the drama "Dreamer," young Cale Crane (Fanning) encourages her father Ben (Kurt Russell) to rehabilitate a retired racehorse named Sonya and enter her into the Breeder's Cup Classic.

She portrayed Cherie Currie in "The Runaways" (2010).

the runaways
Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in "The Runaways." Apparition

Rotten Tomatoes score: 69%

Summary: The biographical drama "The Runaways" traces the young lives of Joan Jett (Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Fanning) as they rise to fame in their all-girl punk band.

She made an appearance as Penelope Stern in "Ocean's 8" (2018).

ocean's 8
Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and Sarah Paulson in "Ocean's 8." Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 69%

Summary: Eight women form an unlikely team under the guidance of Debbie Ocean, Danny Ocean's sister, to pull off a heist at New York City's Met Gala.

The team is after a $150 million necklace that star Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) will be wearing to the event.

Fanning makes a short appearance as Penelope Stern, the new "it" girl in Hollywood who is making Daphne jealous.

The actress played Annie James in "The Motel Life" (2013).

the motel life
Dakota Fanning in "The Motel Life." Polsky Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%

Summary: Set in the Sierra Nevada frontier, "The Motel Life" centers on two brothers — Frank (Emile Hirsch) and Jerry Lee (Stephen Dorff) — as they drift through the west from motel to motel.

Fanning had a supporting role in the drama as Annie James, Frank's ex-girlfriend.

She narrated "In the Realms of the Unreal" (2004).

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Dakota Fanning narrated the documentary "In the Realms of the Unreal." Wellspring Media

Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%

Summary: The documentary "In the Realms of the Unreal," narrated by Fanning, explores the complex life of artist and missionary Henry Darger through the eyes of the people who knew him.

Fanning played Rachel Ferrier in "War of the Worlds" (2005).

war of the worlds
Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning in "War of the Worlds." Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Summary: Based on the classic story by H.G. Wells, the science-fiction film "War of the Worlds" centers on Ray Ferrier's (Tom Cruise) desperate attempts to keep his children Rachel (Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin) safe in the midst of a global alien invasion.

In "Nine Lives" (2005), she played Maria.

nine lives
Glenn Close and Dakota Fanning in "Nine Lives." Magnolia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Summary: In the drama "Nine Lives," the lives of different women come together in nine episodic chapters, including the story of grief-stricken Maggie (Glenn Close) and her daughter Maria (Fanning).

She starred as Fern in "Charlotte's Web" (2006).

charlottes web
Dakota Fanning in "Charlotte's Web." Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Summary: Based on the beloved children's book by E.B. White, "Charlotte's Web" begins with young Fern Arable (Fanning) saving Wilbur the piglet (voiced by Dominic Scott Kay) from slaughter.

Sent to a farm down the road, Wilbur worries about his limited lifespan until a friendly spider named Charlotte (voiced by Julia Roberts) offers to help.

The actress played Squeaky Fromme in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019).

once upon a time in hollywood
Dakota Fanning in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Summary: Set in Los Angeles 1969, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" finds movie star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his loyal stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) facing the end of their careers.

As they ruminate on their place in Hollywood, they cross paths with young actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and the infamous Charles Manson (Damon Herriman).

Fanning appeared in the film as Squeaky Fromme, a member of Manson's cult-like group.

She was Dena in the drama "Night Moves" (2014).

night moves
Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg in "Night Moves." Cinedigm Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Summary: In the drama "Night Moves," three radical environmentalists — Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard), Dena (Fanning), and Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) — plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam to further their political agenda.

Fanning voiced the titular character in "Coraline" (2009).

Dakota Fanning voiced Coraline. Focus Features

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: In the animated film "Coraline," Coraline (Fanning) moves to a new town with her family and discovers a secret door in their house that leads into a new dimension.

But when her alternate life turns out to be more of a nightmare than a dream, Coraline races to find a way back to normalcy.

Fanning voiced Satsuki in the English-dubbed version of "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988), her highest-ranked film.

my neighbor totoro
Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning voiced the leads in the English-dubbed version of "My Neighbor Totoro." Tokuma Shoten

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Summary: In "My Neighbor Totoro," two young girls named Satsuki and Mei move with their family to the country and discover mystical creatures called Totoros in the forest near their house. The sisters befriend a Totoro who takes them on wild adventures.

The 1988 film was dubbed in English in 2005. In that version, Fanning and her sister, Elle Fanning, voiced Satsuki and Mei.

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