A Guide To Beyoncé's Cinematic History

Photo: Snap Stills/Rex/Shutterstock.
There are plenty of ways to honor Beyoncé's 35th birthday on September 4. You could listen to "Formation" over and over until the neighbors call to complain. You could round up your squad for a round of "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" choreography at the club. Or, you could Netflix and chill with your favorite Bey films as entertainment.

We're not talking about Lemonade, folks. Long before we even knew what a "visual album" was, Ms. Knowles was beefing up her IMDB profile with acting credits in films like The Fighting Temptations and Obsessed. She demonstrated her range by playing everyone from a singer in a church choir, to an international pop star, to the front-woman of a '60s girl group. (Just kidding! She pretty much always plays singers.)

And the costumes! Oh, the costumes. They're so splendid that you barely even noticed that the dialogue is, for the most part, pretty average.

Now that Lady Gaga's been cast in the remake of A Star is Born, it seems that Bey's return to the cineplex is still a long way out. Until then, we'll always have gems like, er, The Pink Panther.

Behold, a few highlights.
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Video: Courtesy of MTV.
Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001)
The Role: Carmen Brown, a wannabe actress who seduces men to get her way.
The Love Interest: Mekhi Phifer as Sgt. Derek Hill.
Best Line: "I want to move to L.A. I want to be an actress, a star. I want my own movies, my own TV show, my own sitcom."
Does She Sing?: It's a hip hopera. What do you think?
The Takeway: Translating Bizet — who composed the Carmen opera which inspired this modern remake — for the MTV audience isn't easy, which is a nice way of saying that this TV movie is cheesy as hell.
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Video: Courtesy of New Line Cinema.
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
The Role: FBI agent Foxxy Cleopatra, who moonlights as a disco singer.
The Love Interest: Austin Powers (Mike Myers), baby.
Best Line: "You're under arrest, sugar!"
Does She Sing?: Yes, with "Work It Out" and the less memorable "Hey Goldmember" (featuring Solange!) on the soundtrack.
Takeaway: The wig, the bell bottoms, the attitude... not bad for Bey's theatrical film debut.
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Video: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
The Fighting Temptations (2003)
The Role: Lilly, a single mom who trades performing in the local nightclub for singing in the gospel choir even though she's been branded a "sinner."
The Love Interest: Cuba Gooding, Jr. as fib-telling choir leader Darrin.
Best Line: "I can smell when a man is trying to use me and mister, you stink."
Does She Sing?: Yes. Lots of gospel and a saucy cover of "Fever."
Takeaway: If you can ignore the Pepsi product placement (really, Bey?), you'll be charmed by the fun vocal performances. Citizen Kane it's not, however.
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Video: Courtesy of Sony Pictures.
The Pink Panther (2006)
The Role: Xania, an international pop star whose football manager boyfriend is killed.
The Love Interest: Jason Statham (the aforementioned boyfriend), and a brief, very uncomfortable near-seduction of Steve Martin's Inspector Clouseau.
Best Line: "I have something vague to do in New York."
Does She Sing?: Yes, including the hit "Check On It."
Takeaway: This film is such a stinker it's not really fair to single out Bey's wooden performance.
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Video: Courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures.
Dreamgirls (2006)
The Role: Deena Jones, the beautiful girl group member who replaces Jennifer Hudson's Effie and basically ruins her life.
The Love Interest: Effie's ex Curtis (Jamie Foxx).
Best Line: "That what I love about it. There's no pretense. No fucking bullshit."
Does She Sing?: Is the Pope Catholic?
Takeaway: You'll root for Effie all the way, but Bey's hair, makeup, and costumes are beyond supreme.
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Video: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures.
Cadillac Records (2008)
The Role: Real-life singing legend Etta James, who struggled with alcoholism and addiction.
The Love Interest: Adrien Brody as record exec Leonard Chess.
Best Line: "Don't be looking at me like I ain't got no draws on."
Does She Sing?: Maybe her cover of "At Last" rings a bell?
Takeaway: Bey tackles some pretty edgy material, resulting in a Satellite Award nomination.
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Video: Courtesy of Screen Gems.
Obsessed (2009)
The Role: Sharon Charles, a new mom who is not pleased to see Ali Larter's Lisa going all Glenn Close on her husband.
The Love Interest: Idris Elba as Derek, the object of Lisa's obsession.
Best Line: "Come here, bitch! I'ma wipe the floor with yo skinny ass."
Does She Sing?: Shockingly, no.
Takeaway: So bad it's good, especially when Bey teaches "Becky with the good hair" a lesson.
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