Sandra Bullock – the actress you know from those rom-coms you either love or hate. Or does the Virginia-born actress’s career offer us more than Miss Congeniality, one of the worst sequel’s ever made, and a bunch of movies whose posters feature her looking adoringly into a male co-stars eyes?
The answer: yes, it does!
Indeed, Sandra Bullock has won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2010 for The Blind Side and was nominated again four years later for Alfonso Cuarón’s brilliant Gravity. She’s also worked extensively as a producer throughout her career and more recently partnered with Netflix to produce and star in its well-received original films, Bird Box and The Unforgivable.
The best Sandra Bullock movies
Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality.
While Sandra Bullock’s early career saw her earn commercial hits in the rom-com genre, effectively typecasting her in the role of flaky love interest alongside Hollywood’s latest twentysomething hunk, she didn’t allow herself to get bogged down in easy-on-the-eye romance movies.
While she’d take that flaky love interest with her, she did move into other genres, most notably appearing alongside Keanu Reeves in the infinitely rewatchable action-thriller, Speed.
Either side of Speed she’d appear in science-fiction action movie Demolition Man with Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes, and box office hit The Net which gave Bullock the lead role as an tough action heroine.
Her star was definitely shining brightly in the mid-1990s, her status as one of Hollywood’s most bankable female performers strengthened by two very different films in 1995 and 1996.
Either side of cyber-thriller The Net’s release, Bullock would appear in the crowd-pleasing rom-com While You Were Sleeping, and the brilliant courtroom drama, A Time to κill, alongside Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson.
Entering the 2000s, Bullock has scored hits with 2004’s Crash, 2009’s The Blind Side, and 2013’s Gravity being the big award winners. She’s added audience favourites such as box office smash hits Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, The Proposal, and The Heat to her portfolio too.
More recently, her work in Netflix Originals such as Bird Box and The Unforgivable have earned her acclaim from both critics and audiences with her straight-to-streaming movies becoming some of the most-watched films of their respective years.
Top 10 Sandra Bullock Movies
Very different to the films Sandra Bullock was typically known for at this stage of her career (ie. feelgood commercial hits), director and co-writer Paul Haggis’ 2004 film Crash is a moody, downbeat collection of interlinking story strands inspired by racial and social tensions in Los Angeles.
The film received six Academy Award nominations and won three including Best Picture at the 78th Academy Awards. Acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert was one of the film’s biggest fans, calling it “a movie of intense fascination” in his review and listing it as the best film of 2005.
9. 28 Days
Dir. Thomas (2000)
No this isn’t the prequel to 28 Days Later nor a film about zombie apocalypses or nightmarish futures but a breezy comedy-drama about a big-city newspaper columnist (Bullock) who is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab centre after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.
The “memorable” Sandra Bullock movie she’d rather YOU forget!
Me And The Mob (aka Who Do I Gotta κill?)
Dir. Rainone (1994)
Me And The Mob (also known as Who Do I Gotta κill?) features an outrageous scene in which Sandra Bullock – in one of only two scenes she has in the movie – simulates vigorous sеx in an office chair while the man, a struggling writer, quizzes her on what makes for great writing.
It’s a memorable scene for a few reasons, not just the fact Bullock bizarrely strips to sеxу black underwear but that the whole scene plays out in a single shot. Given the film came at a particularly busy period for the actress, it’s difficult to understand why she agreed to appear in director Frank Rainone’s amateurish effort.
Of course, Sandra Bullock, while preferring to largely stay away from ɴυde sequences or love scenes in movies is not averse to unique takes on screen sеx as an unforgettable scene in Demolition Man proves.
Sylvester Stallone’s John Spartan thinks he’s in luck when Sandra Bullock’s hot police detective invites him back home for some nookie. However, he’s surprised to find out that in the future “safe sеx” means using weird electronic headgear and sitting two metres apart. Kisses, cuddles, third base… forget about it!
8. The Lake House
Dir. Agresti (2006)
The Lake House, a remake of South Korean film Il Mare, reteams Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves having previously worked together on Speed. They play a pair of “lake house” occupants who begin to exchange letters to each other via the house’s mailbox. Eventually they discover that they are mysteriously living two years apart.
7. The Blind Side
Dir. Hancock (2009)
Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, the adoptive mother of talented footballing teenager Michael Oher who swaps foster homes for the decadence of the Touhy family home.
Based on Michael Lewis’ book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, the film follows Michael’s story as he overcomes hardship to play in the National Football League (NFL) with the help of both Leigh Anne and her husband Sean (Tim McGraw). The film’s success would lead to Bullock winning the Academy Award for Best Actress.
6. The Unforgivable
Dir. Fingscheidt (2021)
German director Nora Fingscheidt’s The Unforgivable stars Sandra Bullock as a recently released ex-con who, after serving her sentence for a violent crime, finds her re-entry into society is rampant with distrust and anger as her past continues to haunt her.
Inspired by Sally Wainwright’s 2009 British miniseries Unforgiven, Bullock’s performance sees her confidently play against type and prove she’s more than capable of playing the downtrodden antihero. It’s not an easy film to watch but it features one of Bullock’s most compelling dramatic performances.
5. While You Were Sleeping
Dir. Turteltaub (1995)
A huge box office hit for Sandra Bullock, While Your Were Sleeping was the rom-com that put her amongst the genre’s big 1990s hitters like Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan.
A feelgood film with a good heart, it’s difficult not to like director Jon Turteltaub’s film which sees a hopeless romantic (Bullock) who works as a fare collector on Chicago’s public transit network getting mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient.
Dir. Bont (1994)
A young police officer (Keanu Reeves) finds himself on a booby-trapped bus that will explode if it drops below 50mph. Sandra Bullock finds herself at the wheel. Speed was a huge box office success, making over $350 million.
3. Bird Box
Dir. Bier (2018)
Bird Box sees Sandra Bullock’s Malorie Hayes desperately try to protect herself and two children from entities which cause people who look at them to die by suicide.
2. A Time To κill
Dir. Schumacher (1996)
A Time to κill might be a stage for Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson to showcase their talents but Sandra Bullock offers strong support in a terrific courtroom drama from director Joel Schumacher.
In Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer (McConaughey) and his ambitious but inexperienced assistant (Bullock) defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter. The incident incites violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
Dir. Cuarón (2013)
Director Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece. Having already made the best Harry Potter movie (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and the brilliant dystopian nightmare Children of Men, Cuarón delivered his Oscar-winning Gravity.
It begins with a breathtaking shot in which the camera slowly looms towards both the film’s sole pair of characters and other objects floating around in space to set a unique tone that takes audiences into space like never before.
Alfonso Cuarón has made a cinematic landmark that features mind-blowing effects, characters you can relate to, and a career-best performance from Sandra Bullock who, for the most part, is the only actor appearing on-screen.
What are your fav Sandra Bullock movies?