10 Underrated Winona Ryder Movies That Deserve More Credit
It's no secret that Winona Ryder has been a staple in Hollywood since the '80s, but not all her movies get the love they deserve.
Some of the younger viewers know her only because of "Stranger Things," but trust me, there's so much more to Ryder's filmography!
1. "Lucas" (1986)
Winona Ryder made her film debut as Rina in "Lucas," and what a start it was. Lucas is a nerdy high schooler who befriends the new girl in town, Maggie. But here's the kicker: both Lucas and his best friend, Rina, fall for her. While Lucas tries to impress Maggie by joining the football team, Rina watches from the sidelines, heartbroken but supportive.
The story is a classic case of high school dynamics, and Winona's performance as the 'best friend' is as authentic as they come.
2. "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael" (1990)
The quirks of small-town life. Dinky, played by Ryder, is a misfit teenager eagerly awaiting the return of Roxy Carmichael, a woman who left town 15 years prior and became famous. Dinky believes Roxy is her biological mom and starts mimicking her perceived glamour.
Meanwhile, the whole town is gossiping and decorating as if the President were coming. Dinky goes to great lengths to connect with Roxy, transforming an old boat into a 'sanctuary' and skipping school. The arrival day comes, but let's not spoil what happens, shall we?
3. "1969" (1988)
Ryder plays Beth, the sister of an anti-Vietnam activist, Scott. She finds herself torn between her conservative upbringing and the changing times as her brother goes off to college and becomes politically active. While Scott dodges the draft, Beth becomes involved with his best friend Ralph, played by Kiefer Sutherland.
Tensions boil at family gatherings, protests turn nasty, and Beth has to navigate the chaos of the 60s era.
4. "Boys" (1996)
Ever accidentally run over someone and then become friends? Didn't think so. But that's exactly how John Baker Jr., a student at a boarding school, meets Patty Vare, played by Ryder. She's a mysterious woman, almost a decade older, with a secret. After the accident, John hides her in his dorm, and they form an unlikely friendship. John even steals a horse (yes, a horse!) to help Patty out.
5. "Great Balls of Fire!" (1989)
This one's a musical biopic about Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock 'n' roll legend. Ryder plays Myra, Jerry's teenage cousin who becomes his wife. Uh-huh, you read that right. She's just 13 when they marry, and let's just say the public isn't thrilled. The couple faces scrutiny and career nosedives while Myra tries to reconcile her love for Jerry and the life she's entered into.
6. "Lost Souls" (2000)
Ryder plays Maya, an exorcist who comes across Peter, a crime author, during an exorcism gone awry. After a series of chilling events and decoding demonic scriptures, she realizes that Peter is slated to become the Antichrist. But here's the twist — Peter doesn't believe her, not one bit.
It's a race against time as Maya tries to prevent the coming of ultimate evil.
7. "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (2004)
This one's a hard watch but compelling as heck. Based on the novel of the same name, Ryder plays Psychologist, who interacts with Jeremiah, a boy subjected to horrific abuses by his drug-addicted mom, Sarah.
Ryder's character may have limited screen time, but her role is pivotal as she's the one who later diagnoses young Jeremiah after a series of disturbing life events.
8. "How to Make an American Quilt" (1995)
Ryder plays Finn, a young woman who's just about to get married but has cold feet. She decides to spend the summer with her grandma and her group of quilting friends. Each woman tells Finn a story about their past loves, mistakes, and triumphs — each one a "patch" in the metaphorical quilt. Finn herself is torn between her fiancé and a tempting guy she meets during her stay.
9. "The Darwin Awards" (2006)
Ever heard of the Darwin Awards? They're given posthumously to people who meet their end in exceptionally foolish ways. Ryder plays Siri, an insurance investigator, who along with Joseph Fiennes' character, a forensic detective, investigates some of the most bizarre accidental deaths.
It's a dark comedy, so you'll chuckle even while cringing.
10. "Simone" (2002)
Imagine creating a digital actress who becomes a global sensation. That's what Al Pacino's character does, but Ryder, who plays Nicola Anders, is the prima donna actress who walks off the movie set, making way for the digital diva. Nicola tries to sabotage Simone's premiere but ends up bungling it.