Zoe Saldana Movies List: A Guide to Her Best Performances

Soumya Nair

Written by Soumya Nair

Updated On December 20, 2023

zoe saldana movies list

Zoe Saldana is a charismatic and distinguished actress who has brought great acclaim to her name in Hollywood with her wide range of roles and compelling performances. From the beginning of her journey in the entertainment industry, Zoe Saldana movies have continuously demonstrated her remarkable versatility as an actress by appearing in various motion pictures.

She began her career as a talented member of Faces troupe where she performed various productions eventually finding her way to an acting debut featured on NBC’s popular “Law & Order” series in 1999. Zoe Saldana skyrocketed to fame after portraying the lead role of Eva Rodriguez in the 2000s Center Stage.

In 2009, Saldana’s work on the James Cameron picture Avatar not only garnered her critical acclaim but also cemented her as an international star. It’s interesting to watch what the star might bring to the table with her future projects

Here is a list of the best movies of Zoe Saldana to date:

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Avatar The Way of Water
Rotten Tomatoes Rating76%
Release Date16 December 2022
Directed ByJames Cameron

One of the recent movies of Zoe Saldana, Avatar: The Way of Water grabbed headlines for all the right reasons. The movie is a sequel to the 2009 release Avatar. James Cameron made sure that the long wait was worth it as the movie was nominated for Oscars in four categories, winning an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. 

The movie feels rushed initially but settles down as soon as the main plot is in focus. Zoe Saldana once again mesmerized the audience with her performance and visuals. She stated that the movie reaching such a wide audience makes her feel grateful for the opportunity. Overall, it is worth every penny with high-end graphics and best-in-class actors coming together to create a magical world you can escape to. 

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy 2014
Rotten Tomatoes Rating92%
Release Date1 August 2014
Directed ByJames Gunn

Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 is an acclaimed Marvel Studios production helmed by James Gunn with a star-studded cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper. The movie boasts a solid 92% Rotten Tomatoes Rating.

Marvel Studios introduced the group of misfits with Guardians of the Galaxy who fit right into the hearts of the audience. Zoe Saldana’s captivating portrayal of Gamora, the orphaned alien assassin who joins the Guardians of the Galaxy, was met with glowing reviews.

The last surviving Zen-Whoberi due to Thanos’ villainy, Saldana brought depth and range to her role that audiences loved. Critics lauded her physicality and emotional acumen in portraying this beloved character.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. (2017)

Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Rotten Tomatoes Rating85%
Release Date5 May 2017
Directed ByJames Gunn

Marvel StudiosGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an action-packed sequel to their 2014 hit movie of the same name and continues with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper in leading roles alongside Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Kurt Russell as supporting cast members. Directed by James Gunn this thrilling film promises an enthralling experience for all!

Zoe Saldana shines once more as Gamora, a vital member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Audiences follow her on exciting adventures with her team and explore an intricate relationship between Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Critics acclaimed Saldana’s performance in this movie, lauding both her strong chemistry with other cast members and the complexity of her character.

Star Trek (2009)

Zoe Saldana in Star Trek
Rotten Tomatoes Rating85%
Release Date5 May 2017
Directed ByJames Gunn

Star Trek 2009 is a science fiction blockbuster starring Hollywood’s leading talent such as Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and Leonard Nimoy who will surely transport you into a world filled with adventure for generations to come.

Zoe Saldana dons the role of Uhura, a communications officer on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Her part is more significant than in prior movies, with her connection to Spock being an integral narrative point.

Critic reviews are almost exclusively praising her for how well she portrays this strong independent character. She added the much-needed emotional depth to this sci-fi movie with her character. 

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Zoe Saldana in Star Trek Into Darkness
Rotten Tomatoes Rating84%
Release Date15 May 2013
Directed ByJ. J. Abrams

Star Trek Into Darkness 2013 marks the twelfth film in the Star Trek franchise. In this installment, Zoe Saldana returns as the USS Enterprise communications officer – Uhura. Her character is much more prominent than in the previous movie and her relationship with Spock is further explored. Though the movie could have done much better with her character we still got an improvisation of her role. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearlc
Rotten Tomatoes Rating80%
Release Date28 June 2003
Directed ByGore Verbinski

Pirates of the Black Pearl 2003 might be known as one of the best movies of Johnny Depp but that does not take away the fact that Saldana showcased one of her best performances here. This swashbuckling adaptation draws inspiration from Disney’s iconic theme park ride. Being part of one of the biggest Hollywood franchises has its drawbacks. Saldana recently shared her “difficult” experience from the days of Pirates of the Black Pearl 2003

Zoe Saldana enacts Anamaria’s character with aplomb, the female pirate joining Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) and Will Turner (Bloom) to liberate Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) from the cursed crew of The Black Pearl. Her portrayal acquired positive reviews, as many praised her strong yet confident demeanor in the role and her dynamic chemistry with other cast members. 

Center Stage (2000)

Zoe Saldana in Center Stages
Rotten Tomatoes Rating41%
Release Date12 May 2000
Directed ByNicholas Hytner

Center Stage 2000 marks the debut movie of Zoe Saldana. The movie is an American teen drama that follows a tight-knit group of young dancers who are striving to make their dreams come true.

Amanda Schull, Susan May Pratt, and Zoe Saldana star in this heartwarming tale as they stand strong against the pressures of the ultra-competitive world of ballet while competing for coveted spots at The American Ballet Academy’s annual showcase.

With this Zoe Saldana movie, she captivated audiences and critics alike with her passionate yet confident portrayal. Despite being an incredibly talented dancer, she is continuously met with ostracization due to her less privileged social standing than that of her peers.

Nevertheless, Saldana shines in this role as she effectively conveys Eva’s vulnerabilities while highlighting a powerful strength within her character. 

Colombiana (2011)

Zoe Saldana in Colombiana
Rotten Tomatoes Rating27%
Release Date26 August 2011
Directed ByOlivier Megaton

Colombiana 2011 is a thrilling American action film directed by Olivier Megaton. Saldana portrayed the role of a stone-cold assassin, Cataleya, who  embarks on a dangerous mission of vengeance after her family is brutally murdered.

The character beautifully showcased her athletic abilities in an action-packed role while also highlighting the emotional complexes of the character. 

The actress was applauded for not using a body double for any of the stunts and cemented her reputation as an action lead.

The movie failed to perform at the box office but later got the much-deserved recognition. Colombiana even got a Netflix release after years and was one of the most-watched movies on Netflix. 

Crossroads (2002)

Zoe Saldana in Crossroadsc
Rotten Tomatoes Rating15%
Release Date15 February 2002
Directed ByTamra Davis

It’s Britney Bitch! I know I know we are talking about Zoe Saldana movies but this one is double charged with the power of Britney Spears. Crossroads is an American coming-of-age comedy-drama film featuring Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning Kim Cattrall, and Dan Aykroyd is an inspiring tale of three friends on a quest to find their place in life. 

Lucy (Spears), Kit (Saldana), and Mimi (Manning) embark upon an epic cross-country journey filled with thrilling experiences as they come face to face with various obstacles that test their strength.

Saldana’s character is an up-and-coming singer and songwriter who is struggling to make it in the music industry. Critics had mixed reactions to her portrayal of Kit; some loved her acting skills while others were not impressed with the film itself.

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Zoe Saldana in Star Trek Beyond
Rotten Tomatoes Rating87%
Release Date22 July 2016
Directed ByJustin Lin

Justin Lin helms the 2016 science fiction space odyssey, Star Trek Beyond – the thirteenth installment in this classic franchise and a sequel to 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.

A stellar cast of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin Sofia Boutella, and Idris Elba light up the screen with their performances as they explore thrilling adventures beyond our galaxy. The movie saw one of the best works by Idris Elba

Zoe Saldana triumphantly returns as Uhura, a communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise. In this latest installment of the franchise, her character is an indispensable asset in thwarting Krall, and she develops a deeper relationship with Spock.

Critics applauded Saldana’s performance wholeheartedly — applauding not only her chemistry with co-stars but also her portrayal of an intelligent and independent woman who can stand on her own against any adversary.

The Terminal (2004)

Zoe Saldana in The Terminal
Rotten Tomatoes Rating61%
Release Date18 June 2004
Directed BySteven Spielberg

The Terminal had limited screen time for Zoe Saldana but the movie is worth mentioning on this Zoe Saldana movies list for its interesting plot.

The movie is helmed by Tom Hanks’ character Viktor Navorski. Viktor is a man from Eastern Europe who is trapped at JFK Airport after being denied entry into the United States as an unfortunate result of a bureaucratic mishap. 

As if his situation wasn’t complicated enough already, he finds out that his home country has since been caught up in revolution – and so returns to it are impossible too! A heartwarming tale of resilience awaits when he has no option but to stay at the airport until everything is resolved.

The Words (2012)

Zoe Saldana in The Words
Rotten Tomatoes Rating24%
Release Date7 September 2012
Directed ByLee Sternthal, Brian Klugman

The Words feels like reading a well-written novel where the story flows smoothly. The movie features a perfect star cast of Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, and Dennis Quaid.

The plot revolves around Bradley Cooper’s character Rory Janson, a frustrated author who unexpectedly rises to fame after presenting an unknown writer’s manuscript as his work.

His newfound success is short-lived though when the source of inspiration – played by Irons – emerges seeking recognition for his writing talents.

Zoe Saldana delivers an incredible performance as the wife of Rory Jansen, Daniella. Critics widely praised her naturalistic approach to the character and lauded her chemistry with Cooper in particular. She presented the emotional complexities of the character with her layered performance. 

Drumline (2002)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating82%
Release Date13 December 2002
Directed ByCharles Stone III

Drumline marks one of the earliest movies of Zoe Saldana. The rom-com movie stars Nick Cannon as Devon Miles opposite Saldana’s Laila.

Devon is a talented street drummer who dreams of leading his University’s drumline. But his dreams are soon shattered when he realizes that climbing the ladder of success requires more than just talent. 

Laila, his girlfriend tries to help him out of the situation while also dealing with her personal issues. Saladana nailed the fun yet mature character of Laila and won over the audience with her performance.

The movie received positive reviews leading to a sequel being released in 2014 titled, Drumline: A New Beat.  

Vantage Point (2008)

Vantage Point
Rotten Tomatoes Rating34%
Release Date22 February 2008
Directed ByPete Travis

Vantage Point is an action thriller that pulses with suspense as it tells the story of a terrorist attack on the President of the U.S. from multiple perspectives. From Dennis Quaid to Matthew Fox and Forest Whitaker to Zoe Saldana, each character is carefully crafted so that we may gain insight into their motivations and intricacies.

Get ready for an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.

Zoe Saldana shines as Angie Jones, one of the lead characters in this drama about a young television news producer witnessing a Presidential attack. Her portrayal of Angie was warmly welcomed by both critics and audiences due to her realistic acting performance and vivid chemistry with other cast members.


Zoe Saldana is a truly remarkable actress, with an impressive range of roles in her filmography that spans from high-octane blockbusters to introspective indie films.

She has demonstrated her capacity for versatility when it comes to different genres and characters, showcasing skills that are unparalleled in the world of cinema today.

Author: Soumya Nair

Soumya Nair is an entertainment industry enthusiast who loves to write and bring in all the gossip and news to everyone interested. She always make sure to keep a keen eye on everything that goes behind the glam and glitter of the industry.

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