Whenever a celebrity was born to famous parents, one naturally questions whether they deserve their fame. Are they famous because they’re talented? Or simply because of their last name? And I must admit that this thought crossed my mind the first time I heard the name Zoë Kravitz.
Daughter of Lenny Kravitz (one of the most well-known rock musicians of the 90s) and Lisa Bonet (iconic film and television actor and recipient of a Primetime Emmy), Zoë Kravitz was definitely born into the A-list. However, watch just one of Zoë Kravitz’s acting performances, and it will become abundantly clear that her fame is not simply the result of nepotism but of real talent and hard work.
Kravitz landed her first major film role while still in high school as a babysitter in the 2007 rom-com No Reservations. From that point on, Kravitz continued to score minor roles in a litany of films and TV shows. However, her breakout role was probably in the 2013 film After Earth alongside Jaden and Will Smith. This role really opened the door for Kravitz to score more leading roles, and in 2015, she had major roles in the comedy-drama Dope and the action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road.
Today, Zoë Kravitz is definitely one of the rising stars in the entertainment industry, and she’s definitely silenced anyone who claimed she was only famous because of her parents. It’s also safe to say that Zoë Kravitz is one of my favorite contemporary actors. So, in this article, I want to take a look at Zoë Kravitz’s career and identify 6 of the best Zoë Kravitz movies.
While The Batman was definitely the most talked-about Zoë Kravitz film of 2022, I would argue that her best performance of that year was the crime thriller Kimi in which she plays an anxious and introverted tech employee who accidentally comes upon recorded evidence of a terrible crime. Although Kimi tries to report the crime to authorities, she’s mostly ignored and must take matters into her own hands. With the help of her coworker Darius, Angela Childs (Zoë Kravitz’s character) has to struggle for justice against some very dangerous people.
Kimi (which is named after a recording technology in the film) received mostly positive critical reviews, in large part due to a stellar performance from Zoë Kravitz. This film also paid homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock (particularly Rear Window). It also didn’t hurt that Kravitz had some amazing light-blue hair in this role.
The 2015 coming-of-age film Dope was heavily promoted before its debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. And with names like Forest Whitaker, Pharrell Williams, Sean Combs, A$AP Rocky, Vince Staples, Blake Anderson, Chanel Iman, and Zoë Kravitz attached to the project, it’s safe to say that people were excited about its release. And this Rick Famuyiwa-directed film did not disappoint. Dope received solid reviews from critics and was loved by audiences, partially because of an unforgettable performance from Zoë Kravitz.
In this film, Kravitz plays Nakia, the main love interest that’s caught between a smooth-talking drug dealer named Dom (played by A$AP Rocky) and the kind and nerdy protagonist named Malcolm (played by Shameik Moore). Unfortunately for Malcolm, he never gets anything more than a kiss on the cheek from his crush. Kravitz’s performance in this film was honest and alluring, making it one of the most notable roles of her career.
3. The Batman
Of course, one of Zoë Kravitz’s most well-known roles of her career is as Catwoman in the recent 2022 film The Batman alongside Robert Pattinson. And kudos to Zoë Kravitz for taking this role at all because stepping into the shoes of Catwoman is a daunting task. This role has been filled by Anne Hathaway, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, and other legendary actors in other Batman films. But, Kravitz stepped up to the plate and delivered a phenomenal performance (which some might argue even outshined her co-star Robert Pattinson).
The Batman would go on to be one of the highest-grossing films of 2022, pulling in over $360 million at the box office in the United States and Canada alone. The film also received an overall positive response from critics who enjoyed the neo-noir take on this iconic film series. By and large, critics also applauded Zoë Kravitz’s performance as a badass, motorcycle-riding Catwoman.
4. Pretend We’re Kissing
One of Zoë Kravitz’s lesser-known (and, in my opinion, underrated) roles is as Autumn in the 2014 Canadian romantic-comedy Pretend We’re Kissing. The film stars Dov Tiefenback as Benny, a big-nosed introvert who lacks the confidence to find a girlfriend. Benny also can’t muster up the courage to kick his childhood friend Autumn, a super-spiritual modern hippy, out of his home. But, when Benny meets a woman named Jordan who’s obsessed with love and fate, he may finally have a chance to find the happy ending he’s looking for.
Kravitz’s performance in this film is off-beat and hilarious. She walks around Benny’s apartment naked and encourages him to take LSD early in the morning. She stays inside all day, claiming that she’s both a nudist and agoraphobic at the same time. Her whole performance is a work of comedic genius for the modern era. Pretend We’re Kissing garnered solid reviews from critics and fans alike and is definitely one of the most unique and best performances of Zoë Kravitz’s career.
5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
When I first read that Zoë Kravitz would be appearing in a movie that was part of the Harry Potter universe, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. Something about Kravitz, perhaps her connectedness to the world of rock and roll or her impeccable sense of style, made her seem like a strange fit for a movie about wizards. However, walking out of the theatre after seeing Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, I had to admit that my assumptions had been entirely incorrect.
Kravitz plays the role of Leta Lestrange, a former classmate of Newt Scamander at Hogwarts. While I’m still not a huge fan of the Fantastic Beasts series (I’m a bit of a Harry Potter purist), I will say that I definitely enjoyed every scene featuring Lestrange, which is a real testament to the acting acumen of Zoë Kravitz.
6. Good Kill
Another role I definitely did not expect to see Zoë Kravitz cast in was as a member of the U.S. Air Force in the 2014 drama Good Kill. This film stars Ethan Hawke as Air Force drone pilot Major Thomas Egan who’s tasked with flying MQ-9 Reaper drones in Afghani air space as part of the U.S. War on Terror. As Egan begins carrying out attacks day after day, taking countless lives, he begins to question his job and takes to drinking heavily. All of this stress and substance abuse begins to take a toll on him and his family life.
Zoë Kravitz appears in a supporting role in this film as Vera Suarez, an A1C who works closely with Major Egan. Much like Major Egan, Suarez also seems to question the ethics of drone strikes. Kravitz’s performance in this role is extremely natural and believable. In fact, Kravitz even gave a phenomenal interview about her familiarity with the drone program while working on this film.