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Updated on Jul 20, 2020. Posted on Jul 18, 2020

21 Movies Starring Celebs Before They Were Super Famous That Are Worth Revisiting

The cast of Short Term 12 is actually perfect.

1. Short Term 12

Cinedigm

Listen, this cast is absolutely STACKED. Short Term 12 is both Stephanie Beatriz and Lakeith Stanfield's first movie, and they star alongside a pre-Room Brie Larson, a pre–Mr. Robot Rami Malek, a pre-Booksmart Kaitlyn Dever, and Newsroom star John Gallagher Jr. The movie tells the story of Grace, a staff member at Short Term 12, a group home for teenagers. While trying to better the lives of the teens she works with, Grace also must deal with her own trauma. The film was written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who is directing the upcoming Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video.

2. The Impossible

Warner Bros. Pictures

Before he swung into everyone's hearts as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland made us all weep in The Impossible. Based on a true story, the film follows a family who gets caught in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The Impossible was Tom's first major movie role, and he starred alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

Where you can watch: Showtime.

3. Out of Sight

Universal Pictures

Out of Sight is the first major film acting credit for Viola Davis and it is definitely a film worth revisiting. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film follows Jack Foley, a career bank robber who escapes prison to pull off one last job. However, he ends up being joined by Karen Sisco, a US Marshall tasked with bringing him in. Alongside Viola, the film also stars George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Don Cheadle, Catherine Keener, and numerous others.

Where you can watch: Starz or Hulu with the Starz add on.

4. Fighting with My Family

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Only months before Midsommar and Little Women, Florence Pugh was absolutely amazing in Fighting with My Family. The film tells the true story of Saraya "Paige" Knight, who grew up in a family of wrestlers with dreams of making it to the WWE. When Paige is offered a chance to train with the very best, she learns that achieving her dreams requires work and a lot of sacrifices. Fighting with My Family also stars Lena Headey, Dwayne Johnson, Vince Vaughn, Nick Frost, and Stephen Merchant.

Where you can watch: Hulu.

5. I Could Never Be Your Woman

The Weinstein Company

Before her many Academy Award nominations, Saoirse Ronan starred in this adorable and wholesome rom-com alongside Paul Rudd and Michelle Pfeiffer. I Could Never Be Your Woman follows Rosie, a divorced mother, who ends up falling for a charming younger man, all while her teenage daughter, Izzie, falls in love for the first time. Honestly, the real highlight of this film is watching a 13-year-old Saoirse sing.

Where you can watch: Okay, so it's not streaming anywhere, but honestly, worth buying the DVD.

6. Dear White People

Lionsgate

Before Creed and Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson starred in Dear White People. The movie follows the lives of four Black students at an Ivy League college. Dear White People also stars Tyler James Williams, Kyle Gallner, Teyonah Parris, Malcolm Barrett, Dennis Haysbert, Marque Richardson, and more. Also, if you like the movie, the Netflix series is just as compelling and spectacular.

Where you can watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

7. St. Vincent

The Weinstein Company

Before he starred in It, It Chapter Two, and Defending Jacob, Jacob Martell was absolutely adorable in St. Vincent. The movie tells the story of Oliver, a young boy who develops an unlikely friendship with his elderly next door neighbor Vincent. St. Vincent also stars Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray.

Where you can watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

8. That Thing You Do!

20th Century Fox

That Thing You Do! is the first major movie credit for Charlize Theron and it's amazing to see her in this. Written and directed by Tom Hanks, the movie follows a band and their rise to fame as one of their songs makes them a one-hit wonder during the 1960s. Alongside Charlize and Tom, That Thing You Do! also stars Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Steve Zahn, Johnathon Schaech, and Ethan Embry.

Where you can watch: HBO Max or HBO Now.

9. 42

Warner Bros.

Before starring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as T'Challa/Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman's first major movie role was in 42. The film follows Jackie Robinson in 1947 as he becomes the first African American to play in the MLB in the modern era when he is signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. 42 also features Harrison Ford, André Holland, Christopher Meloni, John C. McGinley, James Pickens Jr., and more.

Where you can watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

10. The Man in the Moon

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Long before Legally Blonde, Big Little Lies, and being a kickass producer, Reese Witherspoon made her film debut in The Man in the Moon. The movie follows Dani, a music-loving girl in Louisiana, who embarks on her first summer romance when she falls for Court, an older boy who just moved next door. The movie also features Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, Gail Strickland, and Jason London.

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video.

11. Never Been Kissed

20th Century Fox

Octavia Spencer in Never Been Kissed is one of those things where you might not have recognized her when you first watched the movie, but now it's hard to focus on anything else. This was one of Octavia's first movie roles too. Never Been Kissed follows Josie Geller, a reporter who ends up enrolling at a high school for a story. Of course, the movie also stars Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan, Leelee Sobieski, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Jessica Alba, James Franco, and more.

Where you can watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

12. Panic Room

Sony Pictures Releasing

Long before Twilight made Kristen Stewart a household name, her first movie was Panic Room opposite Jodie Foster. Directed by David Fincher, the movie follows Meg, a recently divorced woman, and her daughter Sarah, who take refuge in their house's safe room when three men break into their home to search for a missing fortune. The film also stars Forest Whitaker and Jared Leto.

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video.

13. Real Women Have Curves

HBO Films

Real Women Have Curves was America Ferrera's first movie role ever and it's definitely worth revisiting, especially if you've come to love her in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ugly Betty, and/or Superstore. Set in Los Angeles, the movie follows Ana, a student who struggles between her desire to go to college and the fact that her mother wants her to get married and work at their family-owned business. Real Women Have Curves also stars Lupe Ontiveros and George Lopez.

Where you can watch: HBO Max or HBO Now.

14. Miss Stevens

The Orchard

Starring a pre–Call Me By Your Name Timothée Chalamet and a pre-Riverdale Lili Reinhart, Miss Stevens follows a heartbroken teacher who decides to chaperone three high schoolers as they travel to a drama competition for the weekend. The movie also stars Lily Rabe, Rob Huebel, and Oscar Nunez.

Where you can watch: Hulu.

15. Sideways

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Before portraying the iconic Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy, Sandra Oh starred in a ton of movies, and one of the best was the Oscar-nominated film Sideways. The film follows two men who embark on a week-long road trip throughout California's wine country just before one of them gets married. Alongside Sandra, the movie also features Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, and Virginia Madsen.

Where you can watch: Starz or Hulu with the Starz add on.

16. Wet Hot American Summer

USA Films

Before the Netflix series brought all of these hilarious characters to life again, the film version of Wet Hot American Summer was the first movie for Bradley Cooper and one of the first for Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Banks. The movie follows a group of counselors on the last day of camp in 1981 as they try to finish having the best summer ever.

Where you can watch: Starz or Hulu with the Starz add on.

17. Catch Me If You Can

DreamWorks Pictures

Not only is Catch Me If You Can a great Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks movie, but it had a lot of actors that would go on to become big stars. Amy Adams, Ellen Pompeo, Jennifer Garner, and Elizabeth Banks all appeared in this film before they became household names. Catch Me If You Can tells the story of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who is tasked with catching Frank Abagnale Jr., who successfully forged millions of dollars while posing as a pilot, doctor, and prosecutor, all before his 19th birthday.

Where you can watch: Showtime.

18. Our Song

IFC

Long before playing Olivia Pope on Scandal, Kerry Washington starred in Our Song. The movie follows three high school BFFs who are dedicated members of Brooklyn's Jackie Robinson Steppers, a community marching band. Our Song follows their lives over a summer as they deal with typical teenage problems. This was Kerry Washington's first movie role too.

Where you can watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

19. Parenthood

Universal Pictures

Before receiving critical acclaim for Joker, Walk the Line, Inherent Vice, and Her, one of Joaquin Phoenix's first roles was in Parenthood. The movie follows the Buckman family, who are dealing with typical family issues, like raising children, first love, jobs, being a good parent, and much more. Parenthood also stars Steve Martin, Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, and more.

Where you can watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

20. About Time

Universal Pictures

Before starring in Suicide Squad; I, Tonya; and Birds of Prey, Margot Robbie's first major acting role was in About Time. The movie follows Tim, who discovers that he can travel through time and change what happens in his life. Tim uses his newfound powers to find love and help his family through the toughest moments in their lives. Alongside Margot, the film also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, and more.

Where you can watch: Netflix.

21. And finally, Mystic Pizza

The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Before Julia Roberts' movie career took off, her first leading role was in Mystic Pizza. And, it just so happens, Matt Damon had a small role in the movie too. Mystic Pizza tells the story of sisters Kat and Daisy and their friend Jojo as they work at Mystic Pizza while dealing with coming of age and trying to find their places in this world. The movie also stars Annabeth Gish, Lili Taylor, Vincent D'Onofrio, and more.

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video.

Are there more movies starring actors before they were super famous that you love? Tell us in the comments below!

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