The Surprising List of Natalie Portman’s Worst Reviewed Movies

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Written By Lori C.

Lori C. writes about movies, TV shows, and the latest updates from the world of entertainment. She studied Film and Television many years ago at university and uses her knowledge to dissect the newest releases. When not in front of a laptop, she wanders around various European cities with a backpack and a little dog.

For her role in the critically acclaimed drama May December, Natalie Portman snagged a Golden Globe nomination, and she’s likely a strong contender for next year’s Academy Awards. But even the most talented A-listers have their share of flops, and Portman is no different. 

As much as the critics (generally) love her, some of Natalie Portman’s features failed to impress and were on the receiving end of some well-deserved panning. From the whimsically intended to the dramatically ambitious, here’s a rundown of Portman’s works that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite gel with the good critics at Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007) – 39%

Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)
Image credit: 20th Century Studios, Mandate Pictures, LLC, Icon Productions via IMDb

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium features Portman in a family-centric tale about a magical toy store. Despite its whimsical premise and the charm of Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Magorium, the film struggled to enchant critics, leaving it short on cinematic pixie dust.

Love And Other Impossible Pursuits (2009) – 38%

Natalie Portman and Charlie Tahan in Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (2009)
Image credit: © 2011 – IFC Films

In Love And Other Impossible Pursuits, Portman takes on the emotional role of a woman navigating the complexities of stepmotherhood and loss. Though her performance garnered attention, the film itself didn’t quite capture the hearts of the audiences.

New York, I Love You (2009) – 37%

New York, I Love You (2008)
Image credit: Film1, Walt Disney Pictures, Vivendi, via IMDb

As part of an ensemble cast in New York, I Love You, Portman explores the multifaceted nature of romance in the Big Apple. While the concept aimed to pay a mosaic tribute to the city that never sleeps, it ended up offering an uneven narrative that left some viewers wanting more.

Where The Heart Is (2000) – 35%

Natalie Portman in Where the Heart Is (2000)
Image credit: 20th Century Studios via IMDb

Portman portrays a pregnant teen who finds a new life in a Walmart in Where The Heart Is. This quirky drama blends humor with heartstring tugs but didn’t quite manage to find a home in the higher rankings of film acclaim.

Goya’s Ghosts (2006) – 30%

Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem in Goya's Ghosts (2006)
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films via IMDb

In Goya’s Ghosts, Portman delves into the dark history of the Spanish Inquisition, playing a muse entangled in a web of art, faith, and false accusations. Although ambitious, the film’s execution failed to fully capture the grandeur of its historical setting, resulting in lackluster reviews.

Your Highness (2011) – 27%

Natalie Portman and Danny McBride in Your Highness (2011)
Image credit: Frank Connor – © 2011 Universal Studios.

Comedy meets fantasy in Your Highness, with Portman stepping into the shoes of a warrior on a quest. Despite a cast of comedic heavyweights, the film’s humor did not quite land with critics, turning this tale into more of a farce than a fairytale.

Free Zone (2005) – 26%

Free Zone (2005)
Image credit: Bac Films via IMDb

Set against the Middle Eastern geopolitical backdrop, Free Zone casts Portman in a road trip drama filled with political and personal discovery. While it aimed for deep commentary, the film’s message got lost in a narrative that some found directionless.

Lucy in the Sky (2019) – 21%

Natalie Portman in Lucy in the Sky (2019)
Image credit: Searchlight Pictures via IMDb

Lucy in the Sky sees Portman as an astronaut grappling with earthly life after a transcendent space mission. While inspired by true events, the film’s trajectory didn’t soar as high as its protagonist, leaving critics underwhelmed.

The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan (2018) – 19%

Natalie Portman in The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018)
Image credit: Seville Pictures via IMDb

Portman features in The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan, a complex tale of fame and secrecy. The film packs a star-studded cast but struggles with its pacing and focus, making it a less memorable entry in her filmography.

Planetarium (2016) – 15%

Natalie Portman in The Summoning (2016)
Image credit: Ad Vitam Distribution via IMDb

Planetarium features Portman alongside Lily-Rose Depp as sisters who claim to communicate with the dead in pre-war France. Aiming for atmospheric mystique, the film instead met with vague storytelling and a hazy reception from critics, drifting away into the shadows of Portman’s more acclaimed work.

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Pride and Prejudice Focus Features
Image Credit: Focus Features

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