Christina Applegate has been a staple on both television and in film for more than twenty years. She was born to parents who worked in the entertainment industry and booked her first commercial when she was just five months old.
Applegate’s comedic chops keep viewers constantly laughing and excited to see what she does next. Whether it be as a widowed woman navigating her grief or as a teenager trying to keep her siblings alive and out of trouble while mom is away for a summer, Applegate always delivers compelling and hilarious performances. Here are Applegate’s best standout movie and TV roles, ranked according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Vacation is the fifth installment of the Vacation film series and the second to not proceed with the National Lampoon name. It stars Ed Helmes as grown-up Rusty Griswold and Christina Applegate as his wife, Debbie Griswold.
The couple has a lackluster marriage and two sons, James, played by Skyler Gisondo, and Kevin, played by Steele Stebbins. Rusty decides to abandoned their ritual family vacation plans of going to a cabin in Wisconsin in order to relive his childhood by taking everyone on a cross-country road trip to Wally World.
9The Sweetest Thing (27%)
This comedy about two friends, Christina Walters and Courtney, played by Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate respectively, who go on an epically funny road trip to find the latter’s dream man, fell short with critics. However, it did much better with audiences when it premiered in 2002.
The plot is a bit underdeveloped, but it’s still a crow pleaser thanks to the antics and gags throughout the story, including a musical number in a Chinese restaurant about the male anatomy.
8Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (36%)
This early ’90s teen comedy about siblings left home alone for an entire summer after their elderly babysitter dies in her sleep is packed with funny moments and quirks. Though Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead didn’t have the most successful theatrical release, it became a cult classic once released on VHS and cable TV.
In the film, Christina Applegate plays Sue Ellen, the oldest sibling and now head of the household for the entire summer. Sue Ellen has to leave her teenage summer plans behind to join the workforce and become an adult overnight.
7Going The Distance (54%)
Starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, this romantic comedy about a couple falling in love while living in two different cities across the country from one another ranked fifth at the box office when it opened on Labor Day weekend in 2010.
Critics and audiences both agree that, despite the lead’s chemistry and some funny moment involving Christina Applegate and her on-screen husband, played by Jim Gaffigan, Going the Distance fell pretty flat in the romantic comedy genre.
6Mars Attacks! (54%)
This ’90s film directed by Tim Burton, which is a mix of comedy and science fiction, boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Christina Applegate, who plays Sharona, a sleazy trailer park girlfriend.
This film was a flop at the box office but gained a massive cult following once it was released on video and distributed on cable television. Its fan base is still large today and the film can be found streaming on multiple platforms at any given time.
5Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (66%)
This Will Ferrell-led comedy became an instant fan favorite upon its release in 2004.
Anchorman is one of Ferrell’s most quoted movies and features what some might consider as Christina Applegate’s best and funniest work. The film is packed full of immature humor, but it works well and makes Anchorman appealing to an impressive range of movie-goers in very different demographics. The film did well at the box offices when it first opened and is still available for on-demand purchasing across different services.
4Up All Night (71%)
This comedy series starring Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph lasted for two seasons on NBC. Applegate was the first name to sign onto the series in 2011, having just had a child herself, which is what the show’s storyline focuses on.
After its first season and eleven episodes into the second season, NBC announced that the production was going on hiatus to transition into a multi-cam format, having previously been a single-camera show, but during this hiatus, the showrunner and Applegate both left the series.
3Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (75%)
The follow up to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was a much-anticipated release for fans of the original film.
The film was announced by Will Ferrell, dressed as Ron Burgundy, on Conan in 2012 and released a little over a year later. Anchorman 2 was the last to be released by Paramount on 35mm film and premiered at number two in the box office the week of its release, following closely behind the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
2The Book Of Life (82%)
The Book of Life is an animated musical feature about a bullfighter, and secret musician, Manolo and a hero named Joaquin fighting for the heart of Maria.
Maria sees Manolo during a bullfight and falls for him, but she is pressured by her father to marry Joaquin because of his strength, which he gets unfairly by wearing the Medal of Everlasting Life. Of course, adventure awaits this cast of characters voiced by Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, and Christina Applegate.
1Dead To Me (86%)
Christina Applegate stars in this hit Netflix series about a recently widowed woman, Jen, dealing with her grief during group counseling, where she meets a quirky new friend named Judy, played by Linda Cardellini.
Much to Jen’s surprise, she and Judy hit it off and bond over their losses. Little does Jen know, Judy is carrying with her a big secret that could ruin their friendship, which wasn’t as much of a coincidence as Jen initially thinks it was. She didn’t meet Judy by chance and she will soon figure that out.