Movies Written by Greta Gerwig, Ranked by Popularity
Greta Gerwig is a multifaceted talent in the film industry. With her most recent films, she has established herself as a distinctive storyteller through her writing and directorial work. From "Frances Ha" to "Barbie," her films offer genuine and relatable portrayals of characters navigating relationships, identity and the challenges of modern life.
Gerwig's cinematic contributions have left an indelible mark on audiences and garnered critical acclaim. In addition to her acting, she's now directed four movies and written eight (and counting) as well as helped with writing on others. With the exception of her $3,000-budget improvisational film, "Northern Comfort," we listed all the Greta Gerwig movies she's had a hand in writing, ranked by popularity according to Rotten Tomatoes.
8. Hanna Takes the Stairs
Year released: 2007
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 59%
Bottom Line: Hanna Takes the Stairs
Greta Gerwig cut her teeth as a writer and actress on mumblecore films. This subgenre of independent moviemaking is characterized by its low-budget production, natural or improvised dialogue, and a focus on the personal lives and relationships of its characters.
"Hanna Takes the Stairs" falls neatly into this definition. Hannah (Gerwig) is a young woman who works at a production company in Chicago, Illinois, and spends her time navigating relationships with the different men in her life, from lovers to friends and co-workers.
While this is the lowest-rated film on the list, it's still pretty high at 59 percent — Gerwig goes nowhere but up from here.
7. The Dish & the Spoon
Year released: 2011
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 62%
Bottom Line: The Dish & the Spoon
Gerwig was not one of the main writers on "The Dish & the Spoon," but she did write a bit and starred in the film directed by Alison Bagnall.
The story centers around Rose, a woman who is reeling from her husband's cheating and embarks on a spontaneous road trip to confront the other woman. As Rose's emotions fluctuate between anger, sadness and confusion, she stumbles upon a young British man (Olly Alexander) who was ditched by the woman he came to America to see.
Together, the couple form an unlikely and unconventional friendship, finding solace and connection in their shared feelings of loneliness and betrayal.
6. Mistress America
Year released: 2015
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 82%
Bottom Line: Mistress America
Actor-director Noah Baumbach and Gerwig met on the set of "Greenberg" in 2010 and have been inseparable ever since. "Mistress America" is directed by Baumbach, who co-wrote it with Gerwig (who is also the lead actress in the film).
The story follows Tracy Fishko (Lola Kirke), a college freshman in New York City who is lonely and disconnected from those around her. She forms an unlikely bond with her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke Cardinas (Gerwig), a vibrant and eccentric whirlwind of energy who comes to symbolize the city.
Tracy becomes enamored with Brooke's larger-than-life personality and her aspirations of becoming a successful entrepreneur, leading to a series of misadventures and personal discoveries. But she eventually finds that Brooke is not all she seems.
5. Nights and Weekends
Year released: 2008
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85%
Bottom Line: Nights and Weekends
Another mumblecore movie, "Nights and Weekends" revolves around a long-distance relationship between Mattie (Gerwig) and James (Joe Swanberg). The couple live in different cities and find that maintaining their relationship over the distance isn't as easy as they thought it would be.
The film is written in an improvisational style, with plenty of intimate moments and conversations between the characters, who examine the nuances of love, desire and distance.
Year released: 2022
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88%
Bottom Line: Barbie
Despite a Rotten Tomatoes score of only 88 percent, "Barbie" has changed the filmmaking landscape forever. In less than a month after its release, it has made over a billion dollars at the box office. Gerwig is now not only a household name, but she's also one of Hollywood's most sought-after directors.
Barbie (Margo Robbie) is a doll who lives in a world where everything is perfect every day, but she has an existential crisis and has to go to the real world to solve it. When she gets there, she finds a reality that is opposite to hers in which men rule the roost. While this has an adverse effect on her world, she meets a family who helps her find her true self.
3. Frances Ha
Year released: 2011
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93%
Bottom Line: Frances Ha
Baumbach directed "Frances Ha" and co-wrote the film with Gerwig, who stars as the titular character. Frances Halladay is an aspiring dancer nearing 30 in New York City. The film follows as she attempts to find her place in the world and pursue her dreams, even though they look more out of reach with each passing day.
As she and best pal Sophie (Mickey Sumner) begin to take different paths, she is forced to confront her own insecurities, uncertainties and the challenges of adulthood.
2. Little Women
Year released: 2019
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95%
Bottom Line: Little Women
"Little Women" is not a new story — there have been many adaptations over the years. But Greta Gerwig's 2019 film, while rooted in the 19th century, is given contemporary relevance.
Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, "Little Women," the movie follows the four March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — as they come of age in Civil War-era America. Here, Gerwig fuses past and present themes, allowing the audience to have a front-row seat in watching the sisters grow from children to young women striving for independence and fulfillment.
In 2020, "Little Women" was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
1. Lady Bird
Year released: 2017
Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 99%
Bottom Line: Lady Bird
Compelling, heartfelt and with a near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, "Lady Bird" is a coming-of-age film that primarily explores mother-daughter relationships.
Saoirse Ronan plays Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson, who is in her senior year at a Catholic school in Sacramento, California (where Gerwig happened to grow up). Lady Bird yearns for adventure and a life beyond her hometown, often clashing with her overbearing but well-intentioned mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). The film captures the evolving dynamics between mother and daughter as they grapple with their differences while attempting to maintain a loving bond.
"Lady Bird" was nominated for five Oscars in 2018 — Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.