Swedish-born Noomi Rapace began her acting career at a young age, acting in numerous movies and TV shows in both Sweden and Denmark. Following her successful stint as Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium film series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.) based on the books of Steig Larrson, Rapace found international success.

Rapace built upon this success by starring in multiple American productions, finding herself receiving worldwide notoriety. With the upcoming release of the A24-produced Lamb, which may see Rapace starring in her first 0scar-nominated movie, in addition to the success of The Trip on Netflix, it seems appropriate to reflect on Rapace’s highest-rated work.

10 Dead Man Down (2013) – 6.5

In 2013, Noomi Rapace starred alongside Colin Farrell (not considered one of his best roles) and Terrence Howard in the crime thriller movie, Dead Man Down. Rapace plays a woman named Beatrice who has a facial disfigurement from a car accident and blackmails Farrell’s character, Victor, to help her find the drunk driver who is responsible.

The film itself received fairly mediocre reviews, with many criticizing it for having an uninteresting plot that is only slightly elevated by decent performances, Rapace, in particular. According to Box Office MojoDead Man Down earned $5,345,250 in its opening weekend and went on to garner just $18,074,539 worldwide, proving that the film’s word-of-mouth was poor.

9 What Happened To Monday? (2017) – 6.9

In 2017, two years after Netflix began its foray into original movies, Noomi Rapace starred in What Happened to Monday? — a dystopian, sci-fi thriller that saw her playing seven different characters, all of whom are sisters in an overpopulated world that only allows one child per household.

It is hard to ignore just how much work Rapace would have had to put into her multiple performances in this movie. As Rapace stated herself to The Hollywood Reporter, working on Monday was the hardest thing she has ever had to do. It is a testament to her work ethic that she succeeded in making each character entirely different, with opposing personalities and differing fighting abilities, and it further cemented her status as an actor worth going to the movies for.


8 Beyond (2010) – 7.0

In the midst of her rise to worldwide fame and slightly prior to her first breakout American role, Noomi Rapace starred in the Swedish-language film, Beyond. This movie tells much of its story through flashbacks, as a young woman, Leena (Rapace), learns of her estranged mother’s impending death and subsequently reflects on their tumultuous relationship.

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The film premiered at Venice International Film Festival and was awarded the Critic’s Week Award. Despite Beyond being submitted as Sweden’s entry to the Academy Awards, it failed to receive a nomination. With Rapace’s upcoming A24-produced movie, Lamb, generating awards attention, it is possible that she will soon have an Oscar-nominated movie under her belt.

7 Prometheus (2012) – 7.0

One of Noomi Rapace’s most well-known roles to date is Elizabeth Shaw in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic, Prometheus, a prequel to his 1979 classic, Alien. Rapace’s Shaw is an archeologist who seeks answers about the origins of the human race. As the crew aboard the ship, Prometheus, including Shaw, land on a distant planet, they soon find more than they were looking for.

While it was not as favorably received as some of the previous films in the Alien franchise, many argue that Prometheus is not as bad as some fans think. With stellar performances from much of the main cast, particularly Rapace in a grueling scene of body horror, and gorgeous cinematography, the movie features several enjoyable elements, even if it is not considered a classic akin to Alien.

6 The Drop (2014) – 7.1

In 2014, Noomi Rapace played a supporting character in the crime film, The Drop, her costars being Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini (in one of The Sopranos‘ star’s final and best movies). Rapace plays Nadia, a woman recovering from previous drug abuse who becomes involved in criminal dealings.

Rapace, like every role she chooses, puts a lot of effort into the research and backstory of her character. As reported by Meta Critic, Rapace herself described Nadia as a “wounded soul,” which indicates that despite not being the main character of the movie, Rapace remains serious about portraying characters with emotional depth.

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5 The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009) – 7.2

As the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (something the American remake never achieved), Rapace has the opportunity to expand upon the lore of Lisbeth Salander’s life, exploring the character’s traumatic childhood and how it informs her decisions in the present day.

While technically the lowest rated of the three movies in the series, they were filmed back-to-back, have a very similar feel to one another, and are considered of similar quality. With over seven hours in the series, there is no doubt that the character of Lisbeth receives a lot of development, allowing Rapace to fully explore her character, as she is typically prone to do.

4 The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (2009) – 7.3

The final part of the Millennium trilogy follows Lisbeth Salander as she fights against several murder charges in court, and deals with continued familial drama. The movie brings Lisbeth Salander’s story to a dramatic conclusion, giving her a somewhat deserved happy ending.

Ranking slightly higher than the middle film in the series, many praised Hornet’s Nest for Rapace’s continued deeply-layered portrayal of Salander. Furthermore, fans enjoy that the conclusion of the grueling shoot for these movies allowed her to capitalize on her newfound success, appearing in several well-known projects.

3 Unlocked (2017) – 7.3

2017’s Unlocked features a seasoned Rapace as the top-billed star of an action-thriller film alongside Orlando Bloom, Michael Douglas, and Toni Collette. While Unlocked is not one of Collette’s best movies, it is considered Rapace’s third best film.

In the movie, she plays CIA agent Alice Racine, who is framed for an upcoming biological terrorist attack. During the filming of the movie, Rapace ripped a muscle in her stomach, fractured her nose, and broke her foot, as reported by Cinemablend. The injuries that she received while filming Unlocked are a testament to Rapace’s commitment to her work, as she didn’t even stop filming after these injuries.

2 Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows (2011) – 7.5

In Noomi Rapace’s first major American production following the worldwide success of the Millennium trilogy, she plays fortune-teller Madame Simza, who assists Holmes and Watson on their most recent adventure. Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows was an important milestone in Rapace’s career, as it was her first English-speaking role.

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Following rumors of Rapace’s involvement in the recently-announced Sherlock Holmes 3, many are hoping for the sequel to follow from the plot of Game of Shadows. While no official announcement has been made, it would make sense to include Rapace’s character, Simza, and both continue her story and Rapace’s own career in American cinema.

1 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) – 7.8

Noomi Rapace arguably owes her continued success to this movie. Not only did her performance garner several award nominations, but the plot of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also continued for two sequels, allowing Rapace several opportunities to portray the same character, something that is quite rare in cinema.

The critical reception of Dragon Tattoo was mostly positive, particularly of Rapace’s portrayal of a character who has experienced abuse and resolves to enact revenge on her abuser. Furthermore, many argue that while the film itself is not entirely engaging, it is strongly elevated by Rapace, whose evident commitment to her work is on display in her performance.

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