Academy Award nominee Salma Hayek Pinault is back on the big screen with Magic Mike’s Last Dance. The Mexican actor recently voiced Kitty Softpaws in the unexpected hit Puss and Boots: The Last Wish, adding another critically-acclaimed film to her prestigious resumé.

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In a career spanning over thirty years, Hayek has starred in numerous celebrated movies, cementing her place as one of Hollywood’s most successful and respected actresses. From gripping dramas to hilarious comedies and superhero movies, Hayek’s filmography is varied, with many of her films ranking highly on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

10 ‘Timecode’ (2000)

Rose and Lauren in the back of a limo looking serious in Timecode

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

Mike Figgis’ experimental film Timecode features a large ensemble, including Stella Skarsgard, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Leslie Mann, Holly Hunter and Hayek. The film presents four simultaneous narratives – the screen is divided into quarters – and follows a group of people in Los Angeles as they prepare to shoot a movie.

Hayek plays Rose, one of the narrative’s central roles. She’s an aspiring actor who attempts to secure an audition from her secret boyfriend, famous but troubled director Alex Green; her story takes the upper left corner of the screen. Timecode‘s ambitious execution and Figgis’ approach received praise, but the film’s narrative – or lack thereof – attracted considerable criticism. Still, it remains one of the most interesting experimental movies of the noughties.

9 ‘Mi Vida Loca’ (1993)

Salma Hayek standing and looking intently at something off-camera in Mi Vida Loca

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Mi Vida Loca marks Hayek’s feature film debut. The story follows a group of Cholas in Echo Park as they deal with life, love, loss and belonging. Hayek plays a minor role as “Gata,” and while her intervention is short, she makes a strong impression.

The film earned very positive reviews from critics, who praised its depiction of the Chola community and lauded it as a landmark in Mexican-American representation. However, its often unfocused narrative and pacing also attracted some negative commentaries.

8 ‘Beatriz at Dinner’ (2017)

Beatriz looking intently at something off-camera in Beatriz At Dinner

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

La Hayek gives one of her finest performances since in Miguel Arteta’s 2017 black comedy Beatriz at Dinner. The actor plays the titular role, a masseuse who treats cancer patients with holistic treatments while tending to healthy clients in the afternoons. One such client invites her to a fancy dinner at her home following a massage, leading to an awkward and increasingly confrontational battle of words against a wealthy real estate developer.

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With a sharp and wicked screenplay from the one and only Mike White, Beatriz at Dinner is a clever and often brilliant satire on class dynamics. The film is also a showcase for Hayek, who delivers a quiet and emotionally powerful performance that ranks as one of the best in her career. The film received praise for White’s script and Hayek’s performance, with many considering it one of the best critiques of then-president Donald Trump‘s rhetoric and policies.

7 ‘Frida’ (2002)

Frida Kahlo looking to the distance with a pyramid behind her in Frida.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Based on the troubled but accomplished life of the now-iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Frida chronicles the artist’s life from adolescence to death. Hayek stars in the titular role opposite Alfred Molina as Kahlo’s long-time lover, Diego Rivera.

Frida received highly positive reviews, with critics praising its production values and music, although Julie Taymor‘s directorial approach attracted a more divisive response. However, Hayek received universal acclaim for her performance, becoming the first Mexican actor to receive a Lead Actress Oscar nomination, among other major accolades.

6 ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ (2014)

Salma Hayek and Gonzo wearing matching red suits in Muppets Most Wanted

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

The sequel to the 2011 unexpected hit The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted reunites the gang for another adventure. The film follows Kermit, who gets sent to a Syberian prison by evil lookalike Constantine, who takes his place in the Muppets World Tour in an elaborate plan to steal London’s Crown Jewels.

Hayek plays a small cameo in the film as herself, guest-starring in Gonzo’s show in a misguided effort to run bulls indoors. Muppets Most Wanted received positive reviews from critics, who considered it inferior to its predecessor but still charming and entertaining enough to justify its existence.

5 ‘Sausage Party’ (2016)

Teresa the taco smiling in Sausage Party

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

The hilarious and subversive animated comedy Sausage Party features an all-star voice cast, including Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera and Hayek. The plot centers on Frank, an anthropomorphic sausage who, along with his friends, seeks to avoid being purchased and escape the supermarket where they live. Hayek plays Teresa del Taco, a lesbian taco with a crush on Brenda, a hot dog bun.

Sausage Party received acclaim for its humor, provocative nature and unexpected charm; the film’s animation and voice cast also attracted considerable praise. Amazon will produce a spin-off series titled Sausage Party: Foodtopia, with several actors reprising their voice roles.

4 ‘Tale of Tales’ (2015)

The Queen of Longtrellis looking at the camera while eating a giant animal's heart in Tale of Tales

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

One of the most underappreciated fantasy movies of the new millennium, Tale of Tales is a dark, thought-provoking and luscious adventure. The film follows three storylines showcasing the desires and limitations of the monarchs of neighboring kingdoms. Hayek stars as the Queen of Longtrellis, whose desperate desire for a child leads her down a dangerous path.

Tale of Tales isn’t an easy watch, but the film’s scope and ambition make it worth the audience’s time. Hayek delivers an exquisite performance as the cold and ruthless Queen, in a role that marks a departure from her previous performances. Tale of Tales received praise for its ambition, production values and the performances of its impressive cast.

3 ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ (2012)

Cutlass Liz smiling confidently in The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

The Pirates! Band of Misfits follows a spirited Captain who, alongside his makeshift crew, attempts to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award from his rivals, Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz. Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton lend their voices to the film alongside Hayek, who plays Cutlass Liz.

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The film received critical acclaim, with many considering it among the best and most creative animated features of the year. Praise went to its humor, animation and humor, with the voice cast also earning considerable acclaim. The Pirates received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature but lost to Pixar’s Brave.

2 ‘Puss in Boots’ (2011)

Kitty and Puss in Boots dueling in Puss in Boots.
Image via DreamWorks

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Following his scene-stealing turn in the Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots received his own spin-off. The story sees him joining forces with his friend-turned-enemy Humpty Dumpty and the notorious cat burglar Kitty Softpaws to steal a goose who lays golden eggs. Antonio Banderas reprises his voice role as Puss, with Zach Galifianakis voicing Humpty and Hayek as Kitty.

Puss in Boots received positive reviews, with many comparing it favorably to the Shrek franchise’s first two entries. The film received praise for its animation, humor and charm, although some critics pointed to its lack of depth as a flaw.

1 ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ (2022)

Kitty Softpaws smirking in Puss in Boots The Last Wish

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

A decade later, Hayek returned to the role of Kitty Softpaws for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. The film follows Puss and Kitty as they join an overly-enthusiastic support dog in a quest to find the last wish of the Wishing Star. However, they aren’t the only ones looking for it.

Unlike its predecessor, The Last Wish features a thought-provoking and deeply emotional story that impressed critics and audiences. The film received universal acclaim, with praise for its animation style, layered and complex narrative, and the voice cast’s performances.

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