With the release of Salt this week, there has been some excitement about Jolie’s return to action films. Impressively Salt was written for a man, apparently Tom Cruise was going to play the lead, but Jolie expressed an interest and Edwin Salt, quickly became Evelyn Salt. But should we be excited about her return to action or is she better suited to roles that require some serious acting from her? We thought we’d compare some of her biggest outings and see when she’s at her best.

The Changeling


Plot: Based on real life events in 1928, Jolie plays a grief-stricken woman who is reunited with her missing son, only to find out that it is not her son at all.

Action: There’s no action as in jumping off buildings, but a lot happens and Jolie plays a strong woman who is willing to confront the police. 4/10

Acting: Oh yeah there is definitely acting here, as Jolie spends the vast majority of the film looking devastated and she does so rather convincingly. Jolie was even nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards and received various other awards for the role. 8/10


Mr and Mrs Smith


Plot: No one will forget this film as it’s where Jolie and Pitt first met while playing a married couple who are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other (and in the process kill off Brad’s relationship with Jennifer Aniston).

Action: There are car chases, lots of guns, flying kicks, helicopters, window smashing, actually you name it and it’s there. All of which is done by Jolie with a smouldering look on her face and in some pretty skimpy outfits. 9/10

Acting: This is a tricky one because although there was great sexual chemistry in the film, we later realised that it wasn’t in fact acting at all but they were really falling for each other. 3/10

Girl Interrupted


Plot: Based on the stay at a mental institution during the 1960s of writer Susanna Kaysen, played by Winona Ryder. Jolie plays Lisa, a sociopath who ran away but returns to the ward and befriends Susanna.

Action: There is some running about, but this is by no stretch of the imagination an action movie. 1/10

Acting: Jolie really shone in this film, her depiction of a girl struggling with sanity is both realistic and moving. Just like Susanna, the viewer finds it hard not to be drawn to her. Jolie won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for her role in the film. 10/10


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider


Plot: The film is based on the video games series that made all the geeks drool. Jolie is a super-attractive antiques hunter who travels all over the world avoiding danger and defying death, while wearing next to nothing. It was so popular there was a sequel.

Action: This film is pure action really. There is very little plot, just one action sequence after another. 9.5/10

Acting: Jolie adopts an English accent for the role, which isn’t too cringe-worthy. But with a pretty terrible plot there wasn’t much room for acting. In fact, Jolie’s acting was slated to the point where she was nominated for Worst Actress Golden Raspberry Award. She didn’t win, narrowly missing out to Mariah Carey. 1/10

The Results:

Action 23.5/40
Acting 22/40

Our scientific results show that Jolie’s action movies were slightly pipped to the post by her more serious roles. Do you agree with us? Do you think Jolie’s acting is what makes her great or her action roles?

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