Angelina Jolie is a Hollywood A-lister with a long list of incredible performances under her belt and some of the most remarkable characters in film.

The 10 Best Angelia Jolie Characters, Ranked


  • Jolie’s journey in Hollywood showcases her versatility, from action heroes to deeply emotional and flawed characters.
  • In roles like Fox in Wanted, Jolie adds depth to her characters through motivations and emotions, not just badassery.
  • Whether playing a spy like Evelyn Salt or a real-life figure like Gia Carangi, Jolie’s performances are always powerful and authentic.

Angelina Jolie has been a star in Hollywood for the vast majority of her life, appearing in dozens of films with diverse and well-crafted roles that highlight her talents. Born into a superstar family with her Oscar-winning father, Jon Voight, and her model and actress mother, Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie was destined to make it big in Hollywood. At 7 years old, she had her first role in a movie, appearing along with her father in Lookin’ To Get Out. She then stepped away from acting for several years, before returning to make a name for herself.

When Jolie began taking acting seriously and booking leading roles, it wasn’t long before her talents were recognized and she became an elite actor. Jolie appeared in a range of roles, playing characters with various backgrounds, before settling into an archetype of a powerful, action hero, which became a regular role for her. But both before and since falling into the pattern of being cast as an action star, Jolie does incredible work playing deeply emotional, or flawed characters, proving her skill as a professional actor capable of delivering a wide variety of roles.

10 Hannah Faber

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Angelina Jolie looking forward with alarm in a dramatic scene from Those Who Wish Me Dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead is an action thriller movie that fits into Jolie’s usual casting, but Hannah is also given a rich background story. Hannah is a smokejumper, someone who responds to wildfires, and on a recent outing, she failed to rescue three young campers and her colleague. Fresh from this recent loss which causes her to struggle to perform her duties, she is thrust into another highly intensive operation, helping a young boy escape imminent danger at the hands of assassins. The character is well-developed, and the situation helps to heighten the tension.

9 Fox

Wanted (2008)


Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’ action-packed thriller comic series arrives on the big screen with Wanted. This story revolves around James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson, an account manager with an unfulfilling and aggravating life that changes drastically when he learns the truth about his family. Discovering that he is the son of an assassin who worked for an organization called the Fraternity, he decides to follow in his footsteps and join them. 

Wanted is a powerful story about a mysterious group of assassins who have mastered the ability to curve bullets and perform seemingly impossible stunts. Jolie plays Fox, one of the assassins who trains a new recruit, and reveals her devotion to the code of their assassins group. While this character could have been one-dimensional, Fox’s motivations and devotion to the code are developed in detail as the film looks back on her journey to becoming an assassin. Jolie does a fantastic job at giving Fox depth and emotion, while also appearing as a total badass throughout the movie.

Jane holds a machine gun in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Christine wears a brown fur coat in Changeling


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8 Kate “Acid Burn” Libby

Hackers (1995)

Angelina Jolie as Acid Burn in Hackers


Hackers is a cult classic thriller where a group of high school students use their tech knowledge to stop an evil corporation from causing a global disaster with a computer virus. Starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller, Hackers was one of the earliest movies to explore the potential of modern computers in 1995.

Hackers is often regarded as Jolie’s breakout role, despite its weaker performance in theaters. After release, Hackers quickly amassed a reputation as a cult classic and helped launch Jolie’s career. Jolie appeared as Kate “Acid Burn” Libby, who is part of a group of hackers that put their skills to the test against each other. When their work gets them caught in something much bigger than themselves, they must put all their skills to use to uncover an even bigger crime. Kate is another character who lives by a rigid code of ethics and adheres to it religiously.

7 Thena

Eternals (2021)

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Eternals is the 25th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is part of its fourth phase. Over 500 years ago, when the ten Eternals complete the task given to them by the Celestial Arishem to wipe out the invasive alien species known as Deviants that roam the earth, the group decides to go their separate ways as they find themselves at odds with how to continue their interactions with humanity as they grow and learn. Blending into society, the Eternals continue to live their lives in the modern day until the Deviants emerge again. When one of the Eternals is supposedly slain by a deviant, events are set in motion that will reunite them once again to discover why the Deviants have returned and what the true intentions of the Celestial have been for all these millennia. 

She is also capable of playing characters that are out of this world, as seen when Jolie played Thena in Eternals. Thena is one of the higher beings who were sent to Earth by the Celestials to guide their development through the millennia. Thena is the source of many myths and legends, often depicted as a warrior goddess, and aside from not being a literal goddess, Thena lives up to the legend. The character having an extensive and rich history in Marvel Comics also helps to have a more well-rounded and established background, which Jolie plays perfectly.

6 Evelyn Salt

Salt (2010)

Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt pointing a gun in Salt


Salt is a 2010 action thriller starring Angelina Jolie as a CIA agent who is forced to disappear after she is accused of being a spy for the Russians. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star alongside Jolie, with Phillip Noyce as director. Despite Salt getting mostly positive reviews, a sequel never came to fruition.

As Evelyn Salt, in Salt, Jolie plays a CIA agent who goes on the run after being falsely identified as a Russian sleeper agent. In a story full of twists and turns, Jolie delivers a complex, yet well-defined character who is committed to proving her innocence. Despite Jolie having played a spy in several other films, Evelyn Salt is easily her most impressive and convincing performance as a spy, which isn’t overloaded with cheesy comedy or outlandish action, as she embarks on a dark and lonely journey to prove her innocence.

5 Gia Carangi

Gia (1998)

Angelina Jolie and two women looking at Gia Carangi's Vogue magazine in Gia

When trying to create a realistic and authentic character with a rich background, it helps to have real-life inspiration, and that’s exactly what happened with Gia. Jolie plays the real-life supermodel, Gia Carangi, who tragically passed away in 1986 at just 26 years old as a result of contracting AIDS. Jolie emulates the life and times of a young woman who rapidly rose to fame, and then suffered from loneliness, drug abuse, and self-doubts. The writing and Jolie’s performance did a great job developing and delivering the story and character of Gia.


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4 Mariane Pearl

A Mighty Heart (2007)

angelina jolie in a mighty heart

A Mighty Heart is another biographical film that showcases Jolie’s immense talent for embodying a character and delivering an authentic performance. Jolie plays the leading lady, Mariane Pearl, who suffered a tragic loss when her husband, a journalist, was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. The film explores the search for Pearl’s missing husband and brings those involved to justice. Jolie does a great job of playing the resilient and layered wife and adding in emotion, with a powerful woman behind the role serving as a great inspiration.

3 Maleficent

Maleficent (2014)


A live-action reimagining of the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent follows the titular fairy witch (Angelina Jolie) in a dark fantasy origin story. After falling in love with a human, Maleficent is betrayed when he steals her wings. Swearing revenge, she curses his infant daughter, Princess Aurora, leading to a retelling of the beloved fairytale from an alternate perspective. 

Maleficent is the live-action adaptation and exploration of one of Disney’s most famous villains. When Maleficent appears in 1959’s Sleeping Beauty, the character is little more than an evil fairy who curses a young woman to eternal sleep. However, Maleficent does a great deal to expand and explore the origin of the character, her relationship with the other fairies and creatures of the magical forest, and the human kingdom that attempts to conquer and establish dominance over her home and community. Providing a look at the story through the eyes of the “evil” fairy, and changing the earlier established story.

2 Christine Collins

Changeling (2008)

Angelina Jolie in Changeling

Clint Eastwood’s Changeling is another film based on real-life events, specifically the Wineville Chicken Murders in 1928, California. Jolie plays Christine Collins, a woman who has her son returned to her after he disappears and finds that the child she has been reunited with is not her son. The story takes considerable liberties with the true events, but the story is compelling and Jolie delivers an outstanding performance as a distressed mother who is constantly being lied to by those in positions of power. Collins is strong and resilient, and despite being pushed to her limits, she maintains her focus.

1 Lisa Rowe

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted

Despite Jolie’s role in Girl, Interrupted as a supporting cast member, she undoubtedly came out of the film as the star. As Lisa, Jolie won her first and only Oscar, in the only category the movie was selected for, Best Supporting Actress. When Susanna (Winona Ryder) is admitted into a psychiatric hospital, she meets and befriends a long-term resident, Lisa, who has spent most of her life from the age of 12 in the institution. Lisa suffers from various mental illnesses, and Angelina Jolie’s delivery of the character is the highlight of the film, with every moment she appears stealing the show.


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