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From Martin Scorsese to Tim Burton: 10 best films starring Chloë Grace Moretz on Netflix

“I love getting told no ’cause then I fight even more.”

Rarely do child actors grow up to be successful given the star-studded evil that lurks under the garb of Hollywood’s megalomania. However, Chloe Grace Moretz has been one such exception who, with each passing year, seems to hone her skills even more. Born in Atlanta on February 10, 1991, Moretz grew up in a close-knit Southern Baptist family with four older brothers. She developed her interest in acting at a very young age after she accompanied her brother Trevor and her mother to New York as the former had been accepted into Professional Performing Arts School. “My brother Trev went to the Professional Performing Arts School in New York, and he used to do his monologues and stuff and rehearse in our apartment,” she once said. “So I used to hear him all the time doing these things over and over and over. And when I was a little girl, I used to soak up everything – like anything anyone did, I soaked it up.”

Moretz had landed roles at a very young age, usually in television series. Her film debut as Molly in the heart of the Beholder was followed by her role in the 2005 version of The Amityville Horror where she starred alongside Ryan Reynolds. She received various small-time roles in films until 2010 when she appeared in Kick-Ass. Despite the film’s massive failure, she was notably mentioned for having performed her own stunts, especially by Roger Ebert who was astounded by her “presence and appeal”. It was in Let Me In, which was released the same year, that the audience finally got to see Moretz’s potential. 

Moretz has worked with various Hollywood bigshots including Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Steven Soderbergh and more. With a heart-shaped face that complements her beautiful smile, Moretz has ascended the ladder of fame quite quickly and well-deservedly. She has a knack for playing marginalised victims that are often self-empowering. With determination and perseverance, she has been able to forge a path for herself and has plenty of films to her name. Her on-screen presence is a visual delight not only due to exceptional performing skills but also due to the amount of empathy she is able to evoke in the hearts of the audience for her character. She has acknowledged her competitive spirit by saying, “When I’ve done gymnastics, ballet or soccer – I was always trying to be the best. I’m really driven. Really driven.”

In 2016, however, Moretz decided to slow down and relax and reassess her career. Although she wanted to pursue acting, she also needed time to figure out the kind of roles she would prefer and the roles that would best resonate with her. She did not want to exhaust her potential and starring in too many films for commercial success was causing her to lose focus. Her break was misrepresented by the media which was quickly refuted by Moretz. She said that she wanted “to figure out who I am and what I am and what I want and what this industry means” and take life one day at a time. However, she returned on-screen in 2017 alongside Ansel Elgort in November Criminals followed by various other projects. 

Moretz, who feels strongly about LGBTQ+ equality as well as feminism, displayed unnerving courage when her film I Love You, Daddy directed by Louise C.K. was cancelled due to sexual harassment allegations against the director. She stood in full support of the survivors and put up a brave front while stating that although she was devastated to see her energy and efforts, alongside others’, go down the drain, she was “just happy” to “see the big change in the face of the industry”. She has been sexualised at a very young age which is why she always takes time to evaluate the roles being offered to her.

Moretz is incredibly charming, graceful and free-spirited and we cannot wait to see what magic she has in store for us. As she turns 24 today, we decided to take a look at 10 best films starring Chloe Grace Moretz that are streaming on Netflix.

10 best films starring Chloë Grace Moretz on Netflix:

10. November Criminals (Sacha Gervasi 2017)

Addison and Digger are good friends who meet their mutual friend Kevin at a local bakery. After the pair go back to Phoebe’s house for a session of love-making, they come to know of a shootout that happens at the bakery moments after they left, killing Kevin. They decide to investigate their friend’s death after they understand that everything is not as transparent as it seems. 

While Moretz and Ansel Elgort have great on-screen chemistry, the film fails to hit the mark. Elements of comedy, romance and suspense fail to coalesce despite the generally likeable characters and good performances. 

“Reliable mediocrity, I’ve decided, is the most important thing for the continuation of human existence.”

9. Dark Shadows (Tim Burton, 2012)

In 1752, when the young Barnabas Collins rejects the advances of his maid Angelique, he is plagued by a curse wherein he loses his family, betrothed and is buried alive by the townspeople for being a vampire. After two centuries of sleep, Barnabas awakens and comes back to his estate where he meets his dysfunctional descendants. Angelique still lives and the young Maggie Evans, with an uncanny resemblance to Josette, arrives further complicating the situation. Can Barnabas save his family once and for all? 

Moretz appears as Carolyn, one of his great-descendants who turns out to be a werewolf. While Tim Burton has delivered many amazing films in his collaborations with Johnny Depp, he somehow misses the mark with this one. While the gothic and comic elements in this film are visually and aesthetically incredible, it is not one of his finest works. However, the splendid ensemble makes up for the lack of coherence and makes it an overall sumptuous and liberating visual treat. 

“That’s what I’ve been saying, this family needs more balls!”

8. The Amityville Horror (Andrew Douglas, 2005)

A remake of the 1979 classic, the film sees the lutzes moving into the same house, where just a year back Ronal DeFeo Jr had murdered his entire family stating how the voices in the house prompted him to do so. The Lutzes include George and Kathy along with Kathy’s children from her previous marriage, Billy, Chelsea and Michael. They soon begin to experience paranormal activities and George’s behaviour towards the family grows extremely erratic and abusive, prompting Kathy to believe that he was possessed. 

A young and splendid Moretz played Chelsea Lutz, the one who befriends the apparition of Jodie from the deceased DeFoe family. The film is creepy and unsettling yet fails to pack a punch like the original. Although the execution and special effects are somewhat better, it lacks the desired amount of scary. 

“This house is bad, Mommy.”

7. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (Nicholas Stoller 2016)

Mac Radner and his pregnant wife Kelly lead a somewhat happy life and plan to sell their house to the buyers. However, a group of rowdy college freshmen under the garb of Kappa Nu move in next door and sabotage the couple’s plans by partying hard and loud. The Radners seek help from their long-time frenemy, Teddy, to convince the girls to leave. This causes the girls to retaliate and the two parties engage in a hilarious war of pranks and humiliating games to get on each other’s nerves. 

Moretz plays the notorious and boisterous Shelby who is also hungry for revenge. From selling marijuana to being the main bitch in a mean squad to throwing sexually-charged frat parties, Shelby does it all. A sequel, this film is even better than the first film with its guffaw-inducing elements and gags. This film also won Moretz a Teen Choice Award for her wonderful performance. Watch the film to have a good set of laughs. Plus, Zac Efron! 

“Shit! We got Cosby’d!” 

6. Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)

Adapted from Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish film Let the Right One In, this film is often considered to be as good as and sometimes better than the original. Bullied at school, Owen quickly befriends and falls in love with his neighbour Abby who is actually a vampire and feeds on neighbours’ blood. Abby pledges to protect Owen. However, when officials begin to suspect Abby, Owen must save her and escape town. 

According to Stephen King, this film was a “genre-busting triumph. Not just a horror film, but the best American horror film in the last 20 years.” The director was witty enough to understand why the previous film worked and smartly enhanced those devices. Moretz as the vampiric neighbour Abby is eerie and perfect as is Smit McPhee as Owen. 

“Just so you know, I can’t be your friend.

5. The Equalizer (Antoine Fuqua, 2014)

Robert McCall is an ex-Marine who fakes his death to lead a subdued life. However, he comes across a teenage prostitute named Alina who has been brutally assaulted by her pimp. When he is refused Alina’s freedom, he goes on a rampage to avenge her. With his honed skills and formidable and dauntless attitude, McCall identifies as ‘The Equalizer’, someone who would take down all those who manhandled and oppressed the weak and helpless. 

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall is scary good. His saviour-like messianic badass nature complements the overall action in the film. Fuqua’s work reeks of stylized violence and one cannot help but cheer for McCall when he avenges the brutally beaten up Alina, played by Chloe Grace Moretz. 

“When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too.”

4. Carrie (Kimberly Pierce, 2013) 

Adapted from Stephen King’s eponymous novel, the film sees Moretz as the titular Carrie White who has telekinetic abilities. After being emotionally abused by her fanatic mother Margaret who believes her to be possessed by a Devil and being bullied for menstruating in the school shower, followed by being dunked in pig blood by the bullies, Carrie unleashes her powers to avenge herself. 

Bloody and wild, Carrie sees a brilliant performance from Moretz. Teenage angst coupled with years of abuse finally unleashes the fury in her and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Julianne Moore as her emotionally disturbed mother is brilliant as well. The atmospheric suspense and horror are doubled by Moretz’s enraged screams and gleaming eyes.

“ It got nothing Satan mama. It’s me, Me! If I concentrate hard enough, I can move things.” 

3. The 5th Wave (J Blakeson, 2015)

Humanity is being decimated by extraterrestrial life known as The Others who use electromagnetic pulse and other such undefeatable methods in form of the first, second, third and fourth wave to kill humans. During the fourth wave, they possess humans to make them kill other humans. Cassie Sullivan, who is the lone survivor in her family, sets out to find her brother Sam who has been captured by the military and is receiving training to kill other humans. 

Moretz plays the indefatigable Cassie Sullivan whose indomitable spirit helps her survive against all odds. Her love for her brother is portrayed beautifully by Moretz’s soulful performance. As a sci-fi film about the apocalypse, it is beautifully executed. 

“They took everything from me. This is our world, this is our home. Our only choice is to take it back.”

2. Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)

Hugo Cabret, a lonely orphan, maintains the station clocks and lives in the station walls in 1930s Paris. Along with Isabella, he embarks on a quest to solve the mystery of the broken automaton as well as find a home. 

The extravagance and elegance that lies in the innocence of the film are beautiful. Having been nominated for 11 Academy Awards, the powerful performances, as well as the exquisite aesthetics, make it worth watching. James Cameron called the film “a masterpiece” due to its superior quality of 3D effects. Martin’s unabashed love for cinema finds a relevant and magical homage in this film. 

“I always believed the world is a machine. All of us were made for a purpose.”

1. Brain on Fire (Gerard Barrett, 2016)

In a harrowing account of what she had to face, the film portrays the struggle of a young journalist Susannah Cahalan whose erratic behaviour and seizures get misdiagnosed. As she moves further towards insanity, the relentless hope on part of her family and boyfriend help her going. A doctor’s timely intervention gives her new hope and the chance to start life afresh. 

Moretz is too vivid and naked in her portrayal and might leave goosebumps on your skin. With a brilliant and heartwarming performance that will devastate you, the film as well as the cast performance seems to be highly undermined by the critics. Emotional and realistic, the film defines outstanding. It’s a blessing that Netflix chose to stream it and garner awareness among young audience regarding symptoms and mental health disorders. 

 “We are, in the end, a sum of our parts, and when the body fails, all the virtues we hold dear go with it.” 

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