Sandra Bullock’s Popular Movie Roles RankedPublished on January 9, 2018. Updated July 14, 2020
Over the course of her career so far Sandra Bullock has amassed almost 60 acting credits to her name, and in most, she is the leading lady. Out of all of her success and accomplishments in Hollywood, she is widely unique in the fact that she has escaped being typecast. Bullock has proved she can star in thrillers, dramas, romantic comedies and everything in between and have fans hooked for every step of the way. Whether she is being uptight, hilarious, tough or sweet, the actress is always likable and it seems everyone has a different favorite Sandra Bullock film because of her wide array of roles in different genres. While all of these roles and films are all fantastic, here is our ranking of Bullock’s top 12 roles:
12. Diane Farrow – Love Potion No. 9
Love Potion No. 9 is one of Sandra Bullock’s least known films and for good reason. The 1992 romantic-comedy had Bullock undergoing the “not-to-hot” transformation well before Miss Congeniality when she starred as Diane Farrow opposite Tate Donovan in the film that brought in less than $1 million at the box office. As Farrow, Bullock was a bushy-eyebrowed, buck-toothed and frazzled scientist who, along with Donovan’s character, creates a potion that makes her irresistible (and stunning) to anyone that hears her speak. The quirky comedy left a lot to be desired, and Bullock was really the only bright spot, but the script and plot didn’t give her a lot to work with, making the role number 12 on this list.
11. Jean – Crash
Back in 2004 the most buzzed about film of the year was Crash which ended up taking home the Oscar for Best Picture. While critics adored Crash, others disliked it, but for many, it helped prove that Bullock really did have the acting skills to match her commercial success. Although fans would come to know Bullock has no issue taking on challenging roles, Crash was one of her first and she certainly delivered, but unfortunately, her role in the film was overshadowed by the endless other stars that made up the cast and brought the film together. So while her role as Jean was done extremely well, it didn’t let Bullock shine in the way that audiences were used to.
10. Lucy – While You Were Sleeping (1995)
After building up her star status with a few films, Bullock has her first ever top-billed role in 1995’s While You Were Sleeping as Lucy, a toll booth attendant in love with a man who passes her booth each morning on his way to work. After saving him on the train platform, the man ends up in a coma and Lucy gets mistaken for his fiancee which sets up a whirlwind Christmas of her becoming part of his family (and falling for his brother) all while he is asleep in a coma. While You Were Sleeping somewhat plays as a cheesy Christmas film before Lifetime wrapped up the genre, but Sandra Bullock’s performance is what elevates the film into a beloved romantic comedy. As always, Bullock gave an endearing performance, but as fans would come to know — she could do even better.
9. Angela Bennett – The Net (1995)
Quick not to be typecast as just a romantic lead, in the same year as While You Were Sleeping, Bullock also starred in the thriller The Net. Although The Net isn’t a stand out among all the other action thrillers of the ’90s, it is Sandra Bullock that makes the film memorable all these years later. The actress was as convincing as a hacker dealing with identity theft as she was as the innocent and sweet as Lucy in While You Were Sleeping, and that is when audiences knew she was a powerhouse to watch in the industry. Of course, back in 1995, there was no inclination just how much the internet was going to rule our world and how real the threat of identity theft would become every single day.
8. Lenina Huxley – Demolition Man (1993)
You know your film career is off to a good start when one of your first major movie roles is opposite one of the biggest action stars of all time, Sylvester Stallone. After small parts and made-for-TV movies, Bullock’s big break was in 1993’s futuristic action film Demolition Man. Although she wasn’t top-billed, starring behind Stallone and Wesley Snipes, she made her presence known as Stallone’s character love interest and fellow officer. Despite the commanding performances by Stallone and Snipes, Bullock stole the show as Lenina Huxley, but so many of her bigger roles most definitely outshone this one.
7. Margaret Tate – The Proposal (2009)
After a major slowdown in her career in the mid-2000s, The Proposal was her big comeback and did it ever make a statement. While it could have been just another romantic comedy to put on the shelf, the 2009 film became an instant hit because of Bullock’s incredible sense of humor — not to mention her chemistry with Ryan Reynolds was off the charts, which only made her part in the film even better. Because Sandra Bullock is so warm and sweet, the uptight character of Margaret Tate gave her so much more than to work with than just the damsel in distress woman often featured in rom-coms and did she ever deliver.
6. Sally Owens – Practical Magic (1998)
Practical Magic does not get the credit it deserves when it comes to movies of the ’90s. It was unique, powerful and made all that much better by starring not only Sandra Bullock but also Nicole Kidman at the height of their ’90s fame. As Sally Owens, Bullock played the more conservative and responsible sister to Kidman’s free-spirited Gillian, but that also allowed Sally Owens to undergo more of a character development as she finally embraced her witch powers to help her sister. Although it was a very good role for Bullock, it lands in the middle of the list because she did get overshadowed by Kidman’s sexy, sultry character.
5. Lucy Kelson – Two Weeks Notice (2002)
Sandra Bullock has many incredible qualities that extend outside of just her acting ability, and that is the incredible chemistry she emanates and makes believable between herself and her costars. 2002’s Two Weeks Notice was Bullock at her romantic-comedy prime as straight-shooting environmental lawyer Lucy Kelson who falls for the aloof businessman playboy played by Hugh Grant. Once again, what would normally just have been the run of the mill rom-com was transformed into a hilarious and beloved movie thanks to the comedic chops and chemistry of Bullock and Grant together. Without either one of those stars, the movie would not have been as nearly well received.
4. Leigh Anne Tuohy – The Blind Side (2009)
2009 was the beloved actress’s “comeback” year and after the success of The Proposal, she saw a huge flop in All About Steve but then rounded it all out with The Blind Side. The semi-biographical film came under fire by some and was praised by others, and while reviews were weak, the one thing everyone could agree on was that Sandra Bullock was incredible as Leigh Anne Tuohy. In all senses it was Bullock’s performance that at least redeemed the film as much as possible and her hard work did not go unnoticed. The role earned the actress her very first Oscar nomination and win for Best Actress, as well as the Golden Globe and SAG award in the same category. There was no denying before The Blind Side that Bullock could act, but the level she took it to for this film was one to that point still unseen by audiences and she absolutely knocked it out of the park.
3. Ryan Stone – Gravity (2013)
It takes one commanding star to deliver basically an entire film, but that is exactly what Sandra Bullock did as Ryan Stone in Gravity. Although the film is praised for its technical feats, it was the actress who gave the film humanity and made the film an award-winner with her one-woman performance. All the technology and computer effects will never take away from the incredible bold choices and risks Bullock took with the role to make it the film that it is, but the challenge paid off because it is undoubtedly one of her best ever.
2. Annie – Speed (1994)
Following her action film role in 1993’s Demolition Man, Sandra Bullock was still relatively unknown when she once again tackled action with 1994’s Speed. No matter how many years go by, Speed remains one of her most iconic movies of all time and is most definitely the turning point in her career where it was clear she was going to become a major star. Once again her chemistry with Keanu Reeves lit up the screen, and while he had the typical ’90s protagonist character, Bullock’s Annie was much more dynamic and also proved fans should be on the lookout for the actress’s comedic chops. In fact, The Washington Post explained it best, “Wisecracking behind the wheel, she emerges as a slightly softer version of the Linda Hamilton-Sigourney Weaver heroines: capable, independent, but still irresistibly vulnerable.”
1. Gracie Hart – Miss Congeniality (2000)
There can be much debate over what really was Sandra Bullock’s best role, and a good argument can be made for any of them, but Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality takes our number one spot. Miss Congeniality was Bullock at her absolute best, in all senses of her ability. The film and role of FBI agent Gracie Hart allowed Bullock to be everything she is: tough, stunning, intelligent, witty and absolutely hysterical. Unfortunately, it is still rare for female stars to lead major movies, but there is no doubt that Benjamin Bratt played second fiddle to Bullock’s dominating and amazing performance, and audiences felt it was the best she could be as the movie raked in more than $212 million worldwide.