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Flashback Five – The Best Julia Roberts Movies You’ve Never Seen

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The toothy smile. The goofy laugh. The tumbling red locks. There’s really no missing Julia Roberts, one of the biggest movie stars in the world… Except, wait — there’s a chance you did! There’s a whole slew of movies Roberts has starred in that even her most obsessive fans haven’t seen, from musicals to comedies and everything in between. So forget Pretty Woman, stick your copy of Runaway Bride back on the shelf, and enjoy the top ten best Julia Roberts movies you’ve never seen.

1. Fireflies in the Garden (2008)
Julia Roberts stars as the matriarch of a family torn apart by tragedy in this movie that practically nobody has heard of. Beyond Roberts’ performance, one of her strongest to date, there’s the all star cast including Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Ioan Gruffudd, and Hayden Panettiere. So why didn’t you see this? Because it was only released in Germany, though it was made right here in the U.S.A.

2. Full Frontal (2002)
It’s no surprise that Julia Roberts shows up in frequent collaborator Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble comedy/drama. What is a surprise is that virtually no one saw this movie, especially as their previous collaboration was the blockbuster Ocean’s Eleven. Though the movie is far more slice of life than Roberts’ usual fare, when Soderbergh goes experimental (as he does here), the results are never less than interesting, and Roberts scenes are light breezy fun.

3. Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
A Woody Allen musical featuring Julia Roberts singing (!) should have been
far bigger than it was, at least for the novelty factor, yet its one of
Allen’s lowest grossing movies. Roberts is no great shakes at the
singing, but her scenes with Allen, who pursues her through three
cities, are filmed magically in the style of old school musicals, and
Roberts is radiant as usual.

4. Michael Collins (1996)
Aka, that other movie where Julia Roberts talks with an Irish accent
(the first being the notorious Jekyll/Hyde retelling, Mary Reilly),
Roberts plays Kitty Kiernan, the forbidden love of the title character.
Though historians took issue with boiling down a seminal moment in
Irish history to two dudes fighting over a girl, Neil Jordan’s movie
looks fantastic, and Roberts provides a wonderful emotional anchor. If you
passed it over the first time, give the movie another chance.

5. Something to Talk About (1995)
You may not remember, but between mega-hits, Roberts has a tendency to
get herself cast in smaller, more interesting fare… Which inevitably
fails, and then it’s right back to Pretty Bride 2: Ocean’s Hill. This
1995 Lasse Hallstrom movie falls squarely in one of those periods, and
lucky for you that it does, audience. This dramatic comedy has a
stellar cast supporting Roberts, and some moments of really dark
comedy, including one scene where Roberts poisons her husband.

Honorable Mentions:

1. Grand Champion (2002) –
Hey, how did Julia Roberts end up cameoing in a fun little kids flick
about saving the life of a prize winning cow? Because the star of the
movie is Roberts niece, Emma Roberts. Family will get you anywhere in
this town.

2. Pret-a-Porter (1994) –
It’s easy to lose track of Roberts in this sprawling ensemble, but her
scenes spent with Tim Robbins trapped in a hotel room are a highlight
of one of Robert Altman’s last movies.

3. I Love Trouble (1994) –
Ah, shuddup, it’s not that bad. Nick Nolte co-stars with Julia Roberts,
playing fast talking news reporters solving a mystery in this
throwback. If anything, Roberts should do more Front Page style movies.

4. Blood Red (1989) –
Speaking of nepotism, this marks the only time Eric Roberts and Julia
Roberts appeared on screen together, the former being the big star who gave his little sister her big break.

5. Firehouse (1987) –
Julia Roberts stars as “girl in red pants walking up stars” in this
hilarious comedy. OK, you got us, it’s just the first time Roberts
was on screen, but even then, she was the most interesting thing in the
movie.

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