Sherlock Holmes" is a well-crafted foil to Holmes' logic and cold deduction.
"Wedding Crashers" Her turn as the girl that brings Owen Wilson back to earth from his prolonged adolescence and then breaks him like a fragile vase makes you feel not just for Wilson but for Rachel McAdams as well. She never falters from her characterization of a girl who thinks she knows what she wants and believes that compromise is the path to her goals. That is not to say that her character in "Wedding Crashers" doesn't evolve from an almost submissive stance to an independent one; rather, she allows the change to happen naturally versus an abrupt 180. This is a film that proves that Rachel McAdams can nail the part of a strong woman who has enough foibles to keep her humanity ragged enough to be believable.
"Red Eye" For most people, the real villains on airplanes are colicky babies or shut-ins who have decided to take a plane ride and share their stories with the unfortunate soul seated next to them and not a hitman as a flight companion. Rachel McAdams does an excellent job of playing a role that starts out surprised and weak and ends strong as her natural instincts and will emerge from deep recesses. Normally, the villain would steal the show but in "Red Eye," McAdams holds her own not by portraying something equally as crazy as an assassin but by playing a woman pushed to her farthest limits.
"The Notebook" Romance piles on top of romance in "The Notebook," and it keeps enough potential tragedy and sorrow to protect the film from landing on the gooey feel good side of things. Rachel McAdams gets to take the emotion of love and wears it like a second skin in this role. She allows herself to become almost a vessel for one of the mightiest of feelings, letting it engulf her completely. That she manages to avoid burning out either her character or the audience shows off her talent at letting the role become her with a sincerity and fierceness that is a rare treasure to view.
"The Family Stone" A close knit family means that someone needs to make room for the outsiders to join in, and Rachel McAdams does just that. A bit of mischievousness and insider's perspective give her character a realness that made-for-film families tend to lack in some form or another. With "The Family Stone," McAdams proves that she can handle the dramatic and the amusing side of life without breaking a sweat. It's nice showcase for her skills as supporting versus lead, and not every actor can pull both off.
- Matthew Langenfeld