23 Jennifer Lopez Movies For Essential Viewing
There’s a Jennifer Lopez movie for every occasion. In the mood for a charming romantic comedy? You’ll love “Maid in Manhattan,” “The Back-Up Plan,” and “The Wedding Planner.” Looking for a comedy that’ll lighten the mood? Queue up “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” If movies about badass women are your preference, check out “Hustlers” and “Second Act.” Whatever vibe you’re going for, Lopez’s impressive filmography probably has what you’re looking for.
Lopez has portrayed a wide cast of characters over the course of her decades-long career in Hollywood. She’s even worked on projects like “Marry Me” that have shined a light on her impressive dancing and singing skills. As a proud New Yorker, the A-list actress often finds herself in movies that pay homage to her big-city roots as well. And who could forget when J Lo and Ben Affleck graced us with back-to-back romance films in 2003 and 2004? In honor of the release of her new Netflix film “The Mother,” here are some of J Lo’s most iconic movies.
Want some entertainment stories? Click through the articles below:
- What the Cast of “Gossip Girl” Have Been Up to Since the Show Ended
- 15 Essential “Grey’s Anatomy” Episodes For Meredith-and-Derek Fans
- 30 Women-Led Movies Streaming on Netflix Now
- All of Millie Bobby Brown’s TV and Movie Roles Over the Past Decade
- The ’90s It Girls You Wanted (and Still Kind of Want) to Be
- 11 Epic and Unforgettable Love Triangles in TV History
- Inside Flavor Flav and Taylor Swift’s Unexpected Yet Delightful Friendship
- Elvis Presley’s Dating History Includes So Many Famous Women
"The Boy Next Door"
Lopez broke into the erotic-thriller space with “The Boy Next Door.” Claire Peterson (Lopez) can’t take her eyes off the good-looking boy next door, who also happens to be her son’s new friend. As a high school teacher, Claire would never allow herself to strike up a relationship with a teenager, but there’s something about Noah that’s just too damn tempting. After a wild night of fun, Claire tries to distance herself from him, but that brings a dangerous and aggressive side out of Noah.
“Hustlers” is a crime comedy-drama in which a highly successful stripper named Ramona (Lopez) forms a squad of badass strippers and teaches them to hustle money out of the club’s affluent Wall Street clientele. The group go from barely making ends meet to buying designer bags and shoes on a whim. But when things get out of hand and the police get involved, it’s game over. Lopez earned a Gold Globe nomination for best supporting actress for her role.
Lopez struck gold with “Marry Me” in 2022. She plays lead character Kat Valdez, a mega pop star who spontaneously marries a stranger on stage after learning that her fiancé was unfaithful to her. Newlyweds Kat and Charlie (Owen Wilson) now must figure out how to organically blend their two very different lives together. Come for the romance, and stay for Lopez’s killer vocals.
“Selena” was Lopez’s first big movie credit. She played Selena Quintanilla in the 1997 biopic about the late Tejano singer, who was tragically shot by a close friend, the founder Quintanilla’s fan club. The film depicts Selena’s journey to stardom, including a glimpse into the English-language album she was in the process of recording at the time of her death.
In “The Mother,” Lopez plays an assassin who’s gone into hiding. She only comes out of it to protect her daughter, who she left earlier in her life in an attempt to keep her safe. Lopez flexes her acting hero chops – and all those gains from her intense workouts – in the high-octane thriller.
Just when Slim (Lopez) thinks she finally has her life figured out, life throws her a major curveball. Her waitress days are behind her, she’s married into wealth, and her cookie-cutter suburban life is . . . well, picture-perfect. That is until her husband begins exhibiting abusive behaviors and lashing out. With her safety in jeopardy, Slim runs away, but that won’t stop Mitch from tracking her down.
In “Parker,” Lopez’s character, Leslie Rodgers, is Parker’s right-hand man. After escaping a near-death robbery and dealing with a negligent crew, Parker, a renowned bandit, refuses to join the boss’s next mission. That doesn’t sit well with his crew of mobsters, who consequently beat the living daylights out of him and dump him on the side of the road. Seeking retaliation, Parker heads to Florida, where the gang plan to strike next. This ultimately leads him to team up with Leslie.
"The Wedding Planner"
“The Wedding Planner” is one of Lopez’s most celebrated films. She stars opposite Matthew McConaughey in this bubbly romance about an esteemed wedding planner, Mary Fiore, who believes she’s finally found Mr. Right only to discover he’s the groom of her new client. Their meet-cute is something out of a fairy tale (boy rescues girl from a near-fatal situation), but Steve is technically off limits – or is he?
"Maid in Manhattan"
Following the smash success of “The Wedding Planner,” Lopez booked the role of Marisa Ventura, the lead character in “Maid in Manhattan.” Marisa makes a living as a maid in a swanky Manhattan hotel. In a series of funny and erroneous events, she catches the eye of political mogul Christopher Marshall, who is under the impression that Marisa is a fellow hotel guest. Naturally, they begin falling for each other. But the truth about Marisa may just be too hard of a pill for Christopher to swallow.
Maya Vargas (Lopez) is up for a big promotion at Value Shop; her name is written all over it. She’s a dedicated and loyal employee, and quite frankly, there’s no one more deserving of this opportunity than her. Enter: Arthur, a college-aged guy with a degree from Duke. He gets the job, not Maya. Disgruntled, Maya seeks out a new business venture that allows her to put her street smarts to better use.
Lopez in a horror film? Yes, please. “The Cell” centers around Catherine Deane (Lopez), a psychologist who attempts to understand the inner thoughts and psyche of a serial killer through a new progressive form of therapy. If successful, Catherine can help rewire the killer’s brain and free his last trapped victim.
Watch Lopez and Ben Affleck star as fictional lovebirds in the 2003 hit “Jersey Girl.” Affleck’s character, Ollie Trinké, is a big-time music promoter who’s never not working. Lopez plays an impeccably talented publishing editor named Gertude Steiney. The two meet at a Christmas party, fall in love, and welcome a daughter. Unfortunately, Gertude doesn’t survive child birth, and now Ollie is on his own as a new dad. The movie unfolds from there.
“Angel Eyes” is another early-aughts romance film on Lopez’s résumé. This time around she plays Chicago police officer Sharon Pogue, who is saved by a mystery man during a near-fatal pursuit. As it turns out, Sharon has met her knight in shining armor before. Sharon and Catch undoubtedly have chemistry, but their hidden pasts continue to hinder the progression of their romance.
The 2005 rom-com “Monster-in-Law” is a fan favorite in the Lopez-verse. The A-list actress takes on the role of newly engaged Charlotte Cantilini. Everything is coming up roses for Charolette until she meets her soon-to-be-mother-in-law, Viola (Jane Fonda). Spoiler alert: Viola wants absolutely nothing to do with Charlotte, or her son’s wedding for that matter. Viola will stop at nothing to keep Kevin all to herself, even if it means scaring off Charlotte.
"An Unfinished Life"
An emotional roller coaster, “An Unfinished Life” closely follows Einar and his daughter-in-law, Jean (Lopez). They’ve always had a bit of a rocky relationship – deep down Einar blames her for his son’s accidental death. Einar’s alcohol addiction and animosity forced Jean to leave town with her daughter. Jean’s return to the family ranch is a surprise to Einar, but he lets her crash when he finds out she’s stuck in an unsafe relationship.
Darcy (Lopez) and Tom are wedding bound! Despite their trepidation about marriage, the couple rally their families together for a destination wedding on the beach. Things take a turn for the worse when the wedding party is taken captive, thus postponing the ceremony. “Shotgun Wedding” is set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video in late 2022.
Justice meets sizzling romance in “Bordertown.” The thriller centers around Chicago journalist Lauren Adrian (Lopez) and Alfonso Diaz as they investigate a chain of unsolved murders in Mexico. Their peers are aware that Lauren and Alfonso are former colleagues; however, they also used to be lovers. With a case this dangerous, there’s no room for error (or fun), so they’ll have to keep things strictly professional if they want the truth to prevail.
"What to Expect When You're Expecting"
Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro play Holly and Alex Castillo, one of the ensemble couples in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” As hinted in the name, this hilarious movie follows a group of expecting couples. Holly and Alex are eager to begin the adoption process, but after talking with the other dads, Alex develops cold feet.
J Lo fans may know “Gigli” as the first pit stop in Bennifer’s relationship timeline because it’s where the lovebirds first met. The half-romance, half-crime movie sees Ricki (Lopez), a gangster, who’s sent to clean up the pieces after Gigli botches his boss’s plan to take a federal prosecutor’s brother hostage. Gigli begins falling for Ricki, which complicates his previous decision to cut ties once their mission is complete.
"The Back-Up Plan"
Another popular J Lo flick, “The Back-Up Plan” is an unconventional love story about a woman named Zoe (Lopez) who meets her dream man hours after her intrauterine insemination procedure. It’s not long before Stan is professing his love to Zoe, and in return she tells him she’s pregnant – but it’s not his; she went to a sperm bank. To her surprise, Stan is all in. Once the baby excitement begins to fade, Zoe and Stan start to wonder if the only thing keeping them together is the idea of being parents.
"Shall We Dance"
John Clark loves his family and his career as a successful lawyer, but part of him thinks there’s something else out there. He feels incomplete. Enter: Paulina (Lopez), a sexy ballroom dance teacher. Spontaneity gets the best of him one night and John enrolls in Paulina’s class. Dancing – and Paulina – is the one thing keeping John going, but when his wife, Beverly, begins digging around, he makes the choice to keep his newfound hobby a secret.
"Out of Sight"
Mixing business with pleasure takes on a whole new meaning in “Out of Sight,” where an infamous bank robber (George Clooney) finds himself swooning over US Marshal Karen Sisco (Lopez). Getting into a relationship would definitely be unsavory of them, unless one of them gets a new profession. For Jack, this might be his biggest robbery yet.
A year before welcoming twins Emme and Max, Lopez collaborated with then-husband Marc Anthony in “El Cantante.” She plays his onscreen wife, Puchi. However, the storyline mainly centers around Puerto Rican salsa singer Héctor Lavoe’s (Anthony) rise to fame in the United States, as well as his drug addiction.