The 10 best Kathryn Newton movies and TV shows, ranked

Kathryn Newton attends the The BAFTA Tea Party Presented By Delta Air Lines And Virgin Atlantic
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

There are a handful of young, fast-rising actresses on-screen today, but not many are as brilliant and seasoned as actress Kathryn Newton. The 25-year-old, who started off her career about two decades ago, boasts a fairly reputable filmography — one that many older acts do not possess. After starring in her first role at the tender age of four, playing Colby Chandler, the heir to the Chandler family fortune, in the ABC Daytime soap opera All My Children, she’s gone on to appear in other notable movies and shows over the years.

Unknown to many, Newton was a prolific golfer for her age, helping her school’s golf team to win three league championships. She also had plans on playing in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open, but she got a lead role in Paranormal Activity 4. Since then, she’s never looked back, further establishing herself as one of the most talented in her generation. 

Now with a major supporting role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as Cassie Lang, she can expect a huge boost in her fame and success. Here’s a list of Kathryn Newton’s best TV shows and movies, ranked from ‘worst of the best’ to ‘best of the best.’

10. Gary Unmarried

This sitcom, which was created by Ed Yeagar and aired on CBS for two years, focuses on Gary Brooks, a juvenile, scheming but loving father and his divorced wife Allison who must share custody of their kids while starting new relationships. Newton here plays Louise Brooks, Gary and Allison’s brilliant but sassy daughter. Even though she didn’t start off playing the role — Laura Marano plays Louise in the pilot episode — she took over in the second episode and completely made the role hers. 

9. Paranormal Activity 4 

Paranormal Activity 4 is a 2012 American supernatural horror film written by Christopher Landon and directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost. The story here centers around a teenage girl named Alex Nelson, played by Newton, whose family allows a young boy in their neighborhood named Robbie to stay with them while his mom is sick. Weird things would start occurring once Robbie steps into their home. This horror film stars other acts like Stephen Dunham, Alexondra Lee, Brady Allen, and Alisha Boe.

8. Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by American filmmaker and actor Jake Kasdan. The film mainly follows the life of Elizabeth Halsey, played by Cameron Diaz, as a poor Chicago-area teacher who seems to despise everything: her job, her students, and her co-workers. She’s stuck in the teaching job because she got dumped by her wealthy fiancé and she needs money for breast implants. Things would, however, take a turn when a cute and rich substitute teacher named Scott Delacorte arrives in the school. Newton here stars as Chase Rubin-Rossi, a popular schoolgirl who’s the object of attraction for many, especially a fellow student named Garret Tiara. 

7. The Society

This Netflix original, which was created by Christopher Keyser, was one of the better shows in the year of its release. The show stars a host of young acts including Newton, Gideon Adlon, Jacques Colimon, Sean Berdy,  Rachel Keller, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Olivia DeJonge, Alex Fitzalan, Kristine Froseth, and Toby Wallace. It follows a group of small-town teenagers who must run their community alone after everyone else in town mysteriously disappears. Even though the series got axed after the first season — due to effects of the COVID 19 pandemic — it received very favourable reviews from critics and it still remains a fan favourite. 

6. Ben is Back

Directed by novelist, screenwriter, and film producer Peter Hedges, Ben Is Back is a 2018 American drama that stars the likes of Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, Rachel Bay Jones, Alexandra Park, Michael Esper, and others. In this moving drama, Holly Burns is the mother of Ben, an addict, who has just returned from rehab on Christmas Eve. While Holly is relieved to see her son, she’s still very much wary about his addiction. The proceeding 24 hours after his return sees Holly try to do everything in her power to keep her son clean. Newton here plays a supporting role as Ben’s sister. 

5. Little Women

This 2017 Vanessa Caswill-directed British historical miniseries adapts American novelist Louisa May Alcott’s two-volume novel of the same name. The show, which features three one-hour episodes, casts brilliant acts like Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, Angela Lansbury, Kathryn Newton, Dylan Baker, Jonah Hauer-King. It centers around the lives of the four March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — during the American Civil War as they learn to navigate love, loss, and the trials of growing up. Newton plays Amy, the youngest of the siblings and she does an excellent job in bringing the character to life. 

4. Halt and Catch Fire

This AMC period show, which stars Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Toby Huss, Aleksa Palladino, and others, follows a group of characters during the ’80s and gives an inside look at the rise of computers and eventually, the world wide web. The show’s title refers to a computer machine code which causes the computer’s central processing unit to cease meaningful operation. Newton here plays Joanie Clark, the older daughter of Gordon and Donna, two of the show’s most important characters. 

3. Lady Bird

This Greta Gerwig coming-of-age comedy-drama is set in Sacramento, California from fall 2002 to fall 2003. It focuses on a teen girl’s strained relationship with her mother as she prepares to head off to college. It stars the brilliant Saoirse Ronan as the lead character and features other names like Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, appearing in supporting roles. Newton also appears in the supporting cast, playing Darlene Bell. 

2. Big Little Lies

Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, this HBO series is a tale of murder and mischief in the peaceful beachfront town of Monterey, California. It follows a group of mothers in California who get caught up in an unexpected murder investigation. It stars an excellent ensemble cast of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz, along with other recurring cast members like Newton who plays Abigail Carlson, the daughter of Reese Witherspoon’s character. 

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

This 2017 crime drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Martin McDonagh is without a doubt the best thing Kathryn Newton has starred in. It stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Željko Ivanek, and it follows Mildred Hayes, a Missouri woman who rents three roadside billboards — which read “Raped While Dying,” “And Still No Arrests?,” “How Come, Chief Willoughby? — to draw attention to her daughter’s unsolved rape and murder. This drama was highly lauded by critics and it won numerous awards including the Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award for Best Picture.