Keira Knightley is one of the most exciting British actresses, who has enjoyed a career that has already spanned twenty years.
She is back on the big screen this week with Begin Again, as she teams up with Mark Ruffalo, James Corden, & Adam Levine.
To celebrate the release of Begin Again this week, we take a look at the Keira Knightley movies that you cannot miss.
- Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
It was twelve years ago when Bend It Like Beckham hit the big screen - and it remains one of the best British films of recent years.
The movie saw Knighley show off her footie skills as she stared alongside Parminda Nagra, Jonathan Rhys Myers, and Juliet Stevenson.
Bend It Like Beckham follows the daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism by running off to Germany with a football team.
Knightley may not have played the central role in the film, but Bend It Like Beckham was one of the movies that really did help put her on the map.
However, the personalities of Knightley & Nagra really do shine through, and it is these two characters that really do push this film forward.
Bend I Like Beckham is a terrific film about struggling to achieve your dreams, and had a fantastic message of holding on to what it is you want.
The movie went on to break records in India and America, and enjoyed critical and commercial success.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, and remains the best film in the POTC series.
This was the movie that really cemented as Knightley as a talent to watch out for as she teamed up with Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Orlando Bloom in the swashbuckling Disney film.
Knightley did take a risk signing on for the film, as it was based on a theme park ride and pirate films had not had huge success at the box office.
However, it proved to be a great move for the actress, as the franchise went on to be one of the most successful. Not to mention, the role of Elizabeth Swan sent Knightley's star rocketing.
Of course, Depp stole the show as Captain Jack Sparrow, but Knightley was terrific as Swan: who was so much more than just a damsel in distress.
The Curse of the Black Pearl is a movie that really is terrific film from start to finish.
As well as being action packed, visually fantastic, it is also laugh out loud funny: this movie is still funny no matter how many times you watch it.
The Curse of the Black Pearl was a critical and box office hit, and Knightley was one of the most in demand young actresses as a result. She would go on to star in two further POTC films.
- Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Pride and Prejudice has been adapted many times from the big screen and for TV over the years, but in 2005, Joe Wright brought delivered his version of the well-known novel.
Pride and Prejudice marked the feature film directorial debut for Wright, and it kicked off a great working relationship between the director & Knightley.
Knightley took on the role of heroine Elizabeth Bennet in the film, alongside Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Rosamund Pike, and Donald Sutherland.
Wright's adaptation really did breathe new life into the story and the characters: he really did manage to bring a fresh feel to this much-loved story.
Knightley shines in the central role of Elizabeth - I have always thought Jennifer Ehle wasn't quite right for this role in the TV series - as she delivered a performance that showed she was more than just a blockbuster actress.
Knightley's performance saw her nominated for her first Best Actress Oscar: losing out to Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line.
- Atonement (2007)
Knightley would reunite with Wright two years later for the adaptation of Atonement.
This really was a transitional movie for Knightley, as she moved away from playing girls to tackle a major 'woman' role.
Atonement was an adaptation of the Ian McEwan of the same name, and Knightley took on the central role of Cecilia Tallis.
From start to finish, Atonement is a beautiful and faithful adaptation of the terrific novel - well worth a read if you have not checked it out yet.
Knightley delivers a controlled performance as the emotionally repressed Cecilia. It really is a terrific role for the actress, and she delivers a knockout performance.
Wright really seems to know how to get the best out of Knightley: they have gone on to work together since on Anna Karenina.
Atonement is a classy film filled with excellent performances, breathtaking cinematography, and accompanied by a beautiful score all the while staying true to the novel. The cinematography on the beaches of Dunkirk really is a very powerful moment in the movie.
Knightley was nominated for Golden Globe for her performance, but was overlooked at the Oscars: the movie did go on to be nominated for Best Picture.
Other great Keira Knightley performances that you also need to check out include The Duchess, Seeking A Friend For The End of the World, and A Dangerous Method.
Begin Again is released 11th July.
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