The 3 Best And 3 Worst J.Lo Movies

J.Lo is having a moment. It’s not a good moment, but she’s still having it. Amid rumors that her much-touted (by her) re-commitment to Ben Affleck is re-on the rocks, she’s been plastered across tabloids across the country. To rub salt in the wound, the woman just had to cancel her This is Me…Live tour and its subsequent reincarnation, the Greatest Hits tour, due to lack of ticket sales. Cue the think pieces, which are definitely not helping. With that being said, we here at Thought Catalog are stans of brassy, talented women – even when they’re famously rude. Thus, we have decided to give J.Lo some advice. 

Dear Jenny from the Block,

Double down on acting. You have some fun songs, but remember when the entire Internet came to your defense after you didn’t get Oscar-nominated for Hustlers? Maybe that’s a sign. So, to help you pick your next project after Kiss of the Spider Woman, we’ve selected three movie roles that you should use as a guide – and three that you shouldn’t.

Love, Evan E. Lambert and all of Thought Catalog

The Top 3

1. Hustlers (2019)


This one’s a no-brainer. J.Lo was heavily favored to nab an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actress for this movie, but lost out to no-names like Margot Robbie, Laura Dern and Scarlet Johansson. Basically, voters snubbed her because she wasn’t seen as a serious actress. To which I say, did they see this movie? J.Lo delivered her monologues with rizz to spare, and multiple critics called her performance as Ramona “career-defining.” Yes, methinks J.Lo should look for future roles like this one that capitalize on her toughness and physical presence.

2. Maid in Manhattan (2002)

Sony Pictures

“J.Lo rom-coms” is a whole genre of film that spans nearly three decades, so there’d be no shame in J.Lo putting out a few more. I’d even say that she might inspire people by starring in rom-coms when she’s 54, but who am I kidding … Nobody would believe that she’s 54. This woman has injected shaman-blessed collagen-enhanced quail fetus into her eyes or something because she hasn’t aged one year. Even Nicole Kidman looks older, and she has had so much Botox that she can only move her eyeballs now, like a creepy painting that follows you when you walk. Anyway, Maid in Manhattan is a standout J.Lo rom-com, in part thanks to J.Lo’s humble role as a maid and in part due to Ralph Fiennes’ pre-Voldemort charm. 

3. Selena (1997)

Warner Bros.

Did you know that J.Lo actually began her movie career as a Golden Globe-nominated actress? Before she sang “Waiting for Tonight,” before she was Bennifer, and way before she fired all those dancers for being Virgos, J.Lo was just a no-name former backup dancer with a critically-acclaimed role as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in Selena. Perhaps J.Lo should look back on this Golden Globe-nominated ‘90s moment and remember what motivated her to reach stardom in the first place: The desire to bring Latinx stories and entertainers into the mainstream.

The Bottom 3

1. Gigli (2003)

Sony Pictures

To this day, I do not know what this movie is about. I just know that it has a 6% on Rotten Tomatoes and that it’s credited for tanking Ben Affleck and J.Lo’s relationship and, momentarily, Ben Affleck’s entire career. As it turns out, love does cost several things.

2. Monster-in-Law (2005)

New Line Cinema

Jane Fonda is excellent in this movie as the titular monster-in-law – and J.Lo  isn’t bad, either – but the film is formulaic and contrived. We know for a fact that J.Lo has chosen better scripts before, so hopefully she remembers this going forward. She should pick roles that prioritize romance and light comedy over strained scenes of women fighting.

3. This Is Me … Now: A Love Story (2024)

Amazon MGM Studios

It’s not so much that This Is Me Etc. Etc. is bad. In fact, many critics like it. It’s just that regular folks can’t get through ten minutes of this musical dancing fantasia nightmare before wondering what they’re watching. All anyone knows about this conceptual self-absorbed passion project is that it’s somehow about Ben Affleck. But even Ben Affleck isn’t sure what it’s about. And on top of that, it clearly hasn’t made the impact that J.Lo was expecting, because she just canceled her accompanying tour for it. All of this is to say that J.Lo should make more movies that are not weird art dedicated to her boyfriends.

About the author

Evan E. Lambert

Evan E. Lambert is a journalist, travel writer, and short fiction writer with bylines at Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Going, Mic, The Discoverer, Queerty, and many more. He splits his time between the U.S. and Peru and speaks fluent Spanglish.