Anya Taylor-Joy’s Best Films of 2018

Anya Taylor-Joy is one of the most captivating actors of her generation. She has a knack for turning every film she stars into a show-stopping performance, from comedies to horror to dark thrillers. Her chameleon-like abilities are what help her build a successful career in Hollywood.

She has starred in some of the most critically-acclaimed movies and TV shows, including The Queen’s Gambit, The Witch, Split and Thoroughbreds. She has also made appearances in several major television series and has a number of big-budget projects lined up for release next year.

Her career has taken off in a way that few other young actresses can claim. She’s starred in a wide variety of genres, from period pieces to dark thrillers to indie-horror.

Some of her best performances have been in period pieces, where she’s played the title character, or a young woman whose social circle revolves around romance. Her best known roles include Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit (2020), Thomasin in The Witch (2015) and Lily in Thoroughbreds (2017), but she has a strong portfolio of other films that deserve to be seen as well.

The Queen’s Gambit

Taking the role of a chess prodigy, Taylor-Joy enthralls in this Netflix miniseries, which centers on the infamously difficult game of chess. She embodies the title character, who grew up in a male-dominated world and eventually found her voice in this dramatic tale of survival, which has quickly become one of the best chess miniseries ever made.

The Witch

Another film that shaped Taylor-Joy’s career, The Witch is a brilliant horror flick from A24 that tells the story of a family who find themselves cast out by their village and forced to live in a farmhouse. As they start to see things start to go awry, they must find a way to survive as a spirit begins to creep into their lives and threaten them with death.

This was another big budget project that didn’t make a huge splash at the time, but it’s still one of Taylor-Joy’s best works. She plays Olga, a Viking who’s looking to exact revenge against a murderous king, and she delivers a stellar performance in the process.


If you’re a fan of horror, this is a must-see. It’s a brilliantly-made, moody and eerie tale that was based on the novel of the same name by author Gillian Flynn. It’s also a great showcase for Anya Taylor-Joy, who shines as a young woman who is forced to deal with the legacy of her dead mother, played by Rosamund Pike.


Whether it was her soft-on-the-outside, overly cheerful portrayal of Lily or the emotional twists and turns that unfold in this black comedy thriller, Anya Taylor-Joy delivered some of the finest work of her career here. Her subtle yet effective turn as Amanda, the emotionless woman who slays Lily’s husband, is just as good as Cooke’s performance and helps cement her as an actor with a strong grasp of her craft.