Breaking through at 50 miles per hour, Sandra Bullock hasn’t slowed down since “Speed.” Although the veteran performer’s first acting credit belongs to a minor part in the 1987 thriller “Hangmen” (which she’d follow up with a handful of straight-to-video releases and TV projects), Bullock didn’t become a household name among movie lovers until the mid ’90s.
After dazzling audiences and the box office as bus-jumping hero Annie Porter in the 1994 smash hit “Speed” opposite Keanu Reeves, Bullock was regularly cast in action-packed suspense flicks and lighter rom-com fare. She’d lead in both Jon Turteltaub’s charming romance “While You Were Sleeping” and Irwin Winkler’s cybercrime thriller “The Net” in 1995. The following year, she’d star in rom-com “Two If By Sea,” legal drama “A Time to Kill,” and historical novel adaption “In Love and War.” Of course, the future two-time Academy Award nominee (one time winner) was just getting started.
The best Sandra Bullock movies make smart use of her myriad of talents and chameleon-like knack for genre switching. From “28 Days” to “Murder by Numbers,” Bullock’s most enduring suspense films lean on her physical skills and emotional depths as an accomplished action star. See her second Oscar nod for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity,” in which she plays an astronaut stranded in space; as well as Bullock’s string of successful horror flicks, including the 2007 supernatural thriller “Premonition” and the 2018 apocalypse drama “Bird Box.”
Conversely, Bullock’s best romances and comedies position the actor’s innate likability as its own effortless attraction. Bullock won Best Actress in a Leading Role for John Lee Hancock’s sports drama “The Blind Side” in 2009 with a moving performance punctuated by side-splitting humor. Complete with an uncanny southern accent, Leigh Anne Tuohy is probably Bullock’s most recognizable role. Still, it’s arguably the cult classics — Donald Petrie’s “Miss Congeniality,” Alejandro Agresti’s so-bad-it’s-good “The Lake House,” and Griffin Dunne’s underrated “Practical Magic” — that have made Bullock beloved by generations of audiences. Even when the material isn’t up to snuff, Bullock breathes life into every “All About Steve” that comes her way.
In honor of the actor’s July 26 birthday, here are the 10 best Sandra Bullock movies ranked.