10 Dakota Johnson Roles That Are So Much Better Than Madame Web

10 Dakota Johnson Roles That Are So Much Better Than Madame Web
Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing, Amazon Studios, FOCUS FEATURES LLC, Apple TV+, Netflix, Roadside Attractions, StudioCanal, Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox

There are only good films (meaning no Fifty Shades of Gray).

When most people hear the name Dakota Johnson, they think of the Fifty Shades of Gray franchise. Yes, the trilogy made the actress famous, but she followed the path that Kristen Stewart took after Twilight, choosing only strong auteur projects.

While Madame Web 's Rotten Tomatoes rating remains at a devastating 17%, let's remember the projects in which Dakota showed off her acting chops to the fullest.

1. Our Friend, 2019

Gabriela Cowperthwaite's film is an adaptation of Matthew Teague's article, which was published in Esquire and became a sensation. A film adaptation was only a matter of time: a touching story of friendship between two men who supported a dying woman easily becomes the basis for a good drama.

Dakota Johnson plays Nicole, who is facing the most difficult time of her life: she learns that she has cancer and only six months to live. Together with her husband Matthew and their two daughters, the main character awaits the inevitable end. Dane, the couple's best friend, moves into their home to help the family through this difficult time.

2. Suspiria, 2018

10 Dakota Johnson Roles That Are So Much Better Than Madame Web - image 1

A young and ambitious dancer, Susie, wins a place at a famous dance studio in Berlin, which is actually a front for a coven of witches. Susie witnesses mysterious events and decides to get to the bottom of the truth, but soon mystical murders begin, and Susie must fight for her life.

This remake of Dario Argento's 1977 cult classic was controversial with audiences, but one thing is for sure: Susie is one of the strongest roles of Dakota Johnson's whole acting career.

3. The High Note, 2020

10 Dakota Johnson Roles That Are So Much Better Than Madame Web - image 2

The story revolves around Maggie, the personal assistant to singer Grace Davis. The pop star is in the twilight of her career, and Maggie is the only one who believes in her boss. The assistant herself unexpectedly realizes that all this time she wanted to be a producer – it was then that an aspiring singer appeared in her life, from whom Maggie decided to make a new star.

Unlike most musical dramas, The High Note does not focus on the idol of millions, but on the producer – a person who loves music with all her heart and wants to help singers on their way to fame.

4. Cha Cha Real Smooth, 2022

Andrew recently moved back in with his parents after graduating from college. During his little brother's bat mitzvah, Andrew takes matters into his own hands and creates a memorable performance. Afterwards, the locals ask him to hold other events. Along the way, he meets single mom Domino, whose autistic daughter has trouble finding a common language with her peers.

Director Cooper Raiff avoids romance cliches and brings relatable characters to life on screen. At first glance, Dakota Johnson's Domino serves only as Andrew's romantic interest, but every minute the young woman reveals a new side of herself.

5. The Lost Daughter, 2021

Leda, a divorced college professor and mother of two, is vacationing in a small coastal town in Greece. Sitting on the beach with a book, the woman observes a family with children. The young mother, Nina, catches her attention. The glimpse into her life reminds Leda of her youth.

The Lost Daughter is Maggie Gyllenhaal's directorial debut which is based on the novel of the same name by Italian author Elena Ferrante. Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley received Oscar nominations for their performances. Johnson remained unnoticed by the Academy, but the role of Nina can now be considered one of the actress's most powerful works.

6. The Peanut Butter Falcon, 2019

Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, escapes from a hospital to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. On the run, he meets Tyler, a fisherman who is also on the run and heading to Florida. Meanwhile, Eleanor, a social worker at the hospital, goes looking for Zak and ends up joining him on his life-changing journey.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is one of the kindest movies in recent years, radiating genuine warmth and love for life. Dakota Johnson doesn't have many scenes or lines here, but the actress manages to portray a vibrant personality, adding emotional weight to an already inspiring movie.

7. Persuasion, 2022

Anne Elliot feels out of place in her family – her father only worries about his status and appearance, and her sisters do not take her seriously. Anne was once in love and dreamed of marrying a sailor, but Lady Russell – a friend of her late mother and the girl's closest friend – dissuaded her from a rash step. Eight years later, Anne's broken heart has still not healed, but the former lovers will be in the same company again.

Persuasion is Jane Austen's last novel which has been unfairly overshadowed by her other works. The recent film adaptation, starring Dakota in the title role, was also criticized: many viewers did not like her portrayal of Anne. However, the Netflix project is a nice experiment that breathes new life into the text.

8. A Bigger Splash, 2015

10 Dakota Johnson Roles That Are So Much Better Than Madame Web - image 7

The action takes place in a small Italian town where a rock star and her caring husband have come to rest. They dream of hiding from prying eyes, but their idyll is soon shattered by the arrival of the star's former lover and his daughter.

2015 was a successful year for the actress. Four films starring her were released at the same time. If Fifty Shades of Gray was the most high-profile release, then A Bigger Splash turned out to be the most underrated. Dakota Johnson shows a completely different side of her talent: instead of the good girl image, she is a dangerous seductress.

9. How to Be Single, 2016

Alice breaks up with her boyfriend and moves to the best city to start a new life – New York. She gets a new job and makes friends with her coworker Robin. Together they explore the city, go on dates, wake up in strangers' apartments and discover what it's like to be single.

How to Be Single is a fairly typical rom-com, but the great duet of Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson makes the project worthy of your attention. Dakota transforms into a character already familiar to her – an awkward and shy girl who leaves her comfort zone.

10. Bad Times at the El Royale, 2018

At the El Royale Hotel, on the border between California and Nevada, seven characters gather, including a talkative vacuum cleaner salesman, a priest, and a daring girl who tries to keep as far away from the others as possible. They all have their secrets, but soon they are revealed in an unstoppable stream of colorful violence.

Made by the director of already cult The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard, this film, like Suspiria, became a kind of acting rehabilitation for the actress after the Fifty Shades of Gray franchise – in Bad Times at the El Royale, Dakota shows her talent, surprisingly convincing in the role of the hippie Emily.