Skip to main content

5 Reese Witherspoon movies you should watch in November

Over the past 25 years, Reese Witherspoon has become one of the great movie stars of her generation. Since first emerging on the scene in a series of comedies, Witherspoon has definitively proven that she can be funny and dramatic in equal measure, and she’s created a number of indelible roles over the course of her decades of stardom.

Few actresses are more versatile or charming than she continues to be to this day, and these are the five movies you should start with if you’re looking to catch her best work.

Walk the Line (2005)

Walk The Line | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

The movie that Witherspoon won her Oscar for, Walk the Line is really more about Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash than it is about Witherspoon’s June Carter.

While Phoenix may get more screen time, though, it’s hard to deny that Witherspoon packs the bigger punch, perfectly playing every scene as the chemistry between the two of them grows. Walk the Line has been lampooned as a conventional biopic, but there’s real emotion in Witherspoon’s performance, and she also proves that she’s a pretty decent singer.

Election (1999)

Election (1999) Official Trailer #1 - Reese Witherspoon Movie HD

Perhaps the movie that first proved that Witherspoon was a legit star, Election follows a strange, perverse feud between a successful high school student who is running for class president and the History teacher who wants to make sure that she doesn’t succeed.

Election feels like a remarkably prescient movie about male rage, but it’s also an acidic comedy that’s hugely entertaining from front to back. Alexander Payne has gone on to prove that he’s one of the great directors working today, and Election was the movie that put both him and Witherspoon firmly on the map.

Legally Blonde (2001)

Witherspoon’s full-blown movie star role, Legally Blonde was also definitive proof that Witherspoon can play broad comedy. Telling the story of Elle Woods, a recent college graduate who was a sorority queen, and decides to apply to Harvard Law School, the movie is certainly a little ridiculous, but it’s also incredibly satisfying.

What’s more, this is a movie that is entirely carried by Witherspoon. It wouldn’t have worked with any other actress, and it remains one of the biggest hits of Witherspoon’s entire career.

Wild (2014)

WILD: Official HD Trailer

An adaptation of a memoir of the same name, Wild tells the story of Cheryl Strayed, a woman who finds her life spiraling out of control and decides to halt her downward trajectory by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, even though she has basically no outdoor experience. Wild is a movie all about isolation, and Witherspoon carries it off beautifully.

The movie also features an excellent supporting turn from Laura Dern (Jurassic World Dominion) as Strayed’s mother. Wild‘s depiction of Strayed’s turmoil, and the beauty of its outdoor scenery, make this one of the most compelling movies that Witherspoon has ever made.

Pleasantville (1998)

Pleasantville (1998) Official Trailer - Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon Comedy Movie HD

One of Witherspoon’s best early roles, Pleasantville tells the story of two modern teenagers who find themselves transported into a sitcom from the 1950s. Witherspoon and Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire are excellent as two teenagers who find themselves at turns charmed and disturbed by the way this world is set up.

Pleasantville is a world almost entirely devoid of conflict, and the movie’s ostensible point is that its rose-tinted nostalgia may seem great, but only because it covers up a lot of what makes life wonderful. Its central metaphor may feel a little heavy-handed, but Pleasantville still holds up 25 years later.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
3 underrated shows on Prime Video you need to watch in December
Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan in a promo image for The Fall.

Amazon Prime Video has tons of great TV shows, from its own originals like The Power, Gen V, and The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power to new and classic network series you can watch with a base Amazon Prime subscription, like American Horror Story, Spin City, and L.A. Law. But along with all the best shows on Prime Video, there are some underrated shows. These are shows you might scroll right by while searching for something to watch but never land on. Sometimes, you might not even realize they're available to watch.

If you're looking for something different, check out these three underrated shows on Prime Video you need to watch in December. One is a sports docuseries, another is a show worth watching if you're obsessed with a new Netflix true crime docuseries, and the third is a fabulous under-the-radar serial killer series with two big-name actors at the forefront.
Coach Prime (2022-)
Coach Prime - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Read more
3 underrated movies on Paramount+ you need to watch in December
Kaya Scodelario in Crawl.

Paramount+ doesn't always have the great movie selection of its rivals, and it doesn't help when many of its best films are reserved only for the premium tier, Paramount+ with Showtime. That's why our picks for the three underrated movies on Paramount+ you need to watch in December are available on all tiers. It's the only way that seems fair.

This month, our choices include films by director Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter, Sofia Coppola, as well as a rare natural horror film that uses actual creatures instead of inventing some supernatural threat. But if you're looking for more options, check out our round-up of everything new on Paramount+ in December.
Crawl (2019)

Read more
3 great Will Ferrell Christmas movies to watch in December
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell sing and dance in Spirited.

Will Ferrell has been making audiences laugh since his time on Saturday Night Live in the late 1990s. Ferrell left SNL and provided comedy fans with a string of instant classics in the 2000s, including Old School, Anchorman, Wedding Crashers, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. Amid that treasure trove of adult comedies, Ferrell found time to cross into holiday comedies and star in three Christmas movies.

The obvious Ferrell-led Christmas movie to watch in December is Elf, where the actor plays a human raised by elves who travels to New York City to meet his biological father. However, two more of Ferrell's Christmas movies should be on your list of things to watch in December. One is a sequel to a 2015 comedy and the other is a musical adaptation of an iconic Christmas story.
Elf (2003)

Read more