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The top five Winona Ryder movies

Wynona Ryder (born Winona Laura Horowitz) is an American actress who has garnered both critical acclaim and cult heroine status. She has proved her talent by starring in comedies, dramas and science fiction roles alongside some of the most recognisable names in the industry. These five movies just touch on the scope of the work that Ms Ryder has been involved in.


This dark comedy released in 1988, directed by Tim Burton has remained a cult classic till today. Ryder played Lydia Deetz who befriends the ghosts of the young couple living in her family home, played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin. Her parents hire the bio-exorcist Betelgeuse played by Michael Keaton to get rid the the ghosts. Wild events and underhanded trickery ensue.


This is a black comedy directed by Michael Lahmann and released in 1989. This cult classic had Ryder playing Veronica Sawyer an upcoming popular girl. Eighties heartthrob Christian Slater played her murderous boyfriend. This film sees the destruction of the popular clique through murders staged as “suicides” prompting other school goers to copycat the popular kids' suicides. Wynona was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress.

Edward Scissorhands

This romantic fantasy released in 1990 saw Ryder reunited with director Tim Burton, and staring alongside then, boyfriend Johnny Depp. This delicately told love story brings together Edward, an unfinished invention and Kim an ordinary suburban girl. Edward is eventually banished to the inventors gothic mansion where he creates snow by carving ice sculptures. Winona was nominated for a Saturn Award in the Best Actress category and won the Sant Jordi Best Foreign Actress award.

Reality Bites

As much as first time director Ben Stiller refused to categorise this 1994 comedy as a Generation X movie, it was indeed considered as this. Ryder plays Lelaina Pierce an aspiring documentarian who is working on a project exploring the career and lifestyle choices faced by her generation. With Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, Ethan Hawke and Ben Stiller rounding up the cast who deal with the impact of their sexual orientation, promiscuity and career (and relationship) complacency.

Girl, Interrupted

This drama released in 1999 was meant to be her comeback, however Ryder’s performance was overshadowed by her co-star Angelina Jolie’s intense portrayal. This movie was an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen’s 1993 memoir directed by James Mangold. With Ryder playing Kaysen, the story explores her 18-month self-imposed stay at the Claymoore mental hospital. The cast is star studded with Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Redgrave and Brittany Murphy on the bill. For her work, Ryder was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Actress.

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