The 5 best Dakota Fanning movies bring something different to the table, each demonstrating she can be a comedic or dramatic actress. Dakota Fanning's career started with guest appearance on various television shows in 2000 but not long after in 2001 she landed her first movie role at the age of seven. The 5 best Dakota Fanning movies are a mixture of blockbuster hits, stories that pull on the heart string and action packed dramas.
- "I Am Sam" Released in 2001, Dakota Fanning plays seven year old Lucy Diamond Dawson who has a mentally challenged father fighting for her custody. Sean Penn portrays Lucy's father Sam, who raised Lucy alone since her homeless mother abandons them, but when Lucy reaches the mental capacity as Sam she holds back to not make him feel bad. The plot centers around CPS placing Lucy in foster care and Michelle Pfeiffer's character Rita Harrison Williams, a high profiled lawyer who helps gain custody back for Sam pro bono. The worldwide gross of "Man on Fire" was $97 million and Sean Penn was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Sam.
- "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" 2009 blockbuster "New Moon" grossed $709 million worldwide, which is the top money earning Dakota Fanning movie to date. The second installment to the vampire romantic fantasy "The Twilight Saga" has Dakota Fanning playing Jane a member of the Italian Volturi vampires who tortures people with illusions of pain. Dakota Fanning was 15 years old when "New Moon" was released and she is reprising her role of Jane in 2010's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
- "The Secret Life of Bees" Released in 2008, Dakota Fanning plays main character Lily Owens a 14 year old girl with an abusive father and deceased mother. Set in South Carolina 1964, Lily's caregiver and only friend Rosaleen played by Jennifer Hudson takes her to find answers about Lily's dead mother. "The Secret Life of Bees" is one of Dakota Fannings best movies because of the story line about how race does not matter, everyone is equal and to treat those as you want to be treated. Grossing $39 million worldwide "The Secret Life of Bees" also stars Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys as no nonsense sisters who own a honey business.
- "Man on Fire" The 2004 action drama set in Mexico City is based off the novel "Man on Fire" by A. J. Quinnell. Dakota Fanning portrays nine year old Pita Ramos, daughter of industrialist Samuel who fears for her safety and hires bodyguard ex CIA agent John Creasy played by Denzel Washington. John Creasy's brute exterior is broken down by fun loving Pita who is ultimately kidnapped and John goes on a rampage to find and hurt those involved. "Man on Fire" is one of the best Dakota Fanning movies ever because of the message that no matter how low your life gets there will always be somewhere there to cheer you up and give your life meaning.
- "Uptown Girls" Dakota Fanning stars in this light hearted comedy as stuffy uptight young lady Ray, who never acts her own age. "Uptown Girls" also stars the late actress Britney Murphy as Molly Gunn, a spoiled deceased musicians daughter that never worked in her life. When Molly's inheritance gets stolen by an accountant she takes on the job as Ray's nanny. The plot focuses on how Ray is the mature child and Molly is the child-like adult and coming to terms with acting their own age. The 2003 comedy budget was $20 million and it grossed $37 million domestically.