The Hollywood Reporter critic called her character, Samantha Mackenzie, "a startling example of how a studio film can dumb down and neutralize the comic abilities of a lively young star." she played Rachel Dawes, an attorney in the Gotham City district attorney's office and the childhood sweetheart of the title character. "Holmes is OK", was its critic's sole remark on her performance.
She also appeared in the film version of Christopher Buckley's satirical novel Thank You for Smoking about a tobacco lobbyist played by Aaron Eckhart, whom Holmes's character, a Washington reporter, seduces.
In the 2002 film Abandon, written by Oscar winner Stephen Gaghan, Holmes plays a delusional, homicidal college student named "Katie".
Todd Mc Carthy of Variety and Roger Ebert commended her performance, During the final season of Dawson's Creek, Holmes played the mistress of the public relations flack played by Colin Farrell in Phone Booth, which was both critically and financially successful.
Variety wrote one of the film's "sole relatively weak notes [came] from Holmes, who lacks even a hint of the wiliness of a ruthless reporter" and The New York Times said the cast was "exceptionally fine" except for Holmes, who "strain[ed] credulity" in her role.
The film ended up a success, even earning a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.
She also appeared as Robert Downey, Jr.'s nurse in The Singing Detective (2003).
Dawson's Creek ended its run in 2003, and Holmes was the only actor to appear in all 128 episodes.
She appeared in the 1998 thriller Disturbing Behavior, which won her an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance.
Holmes did her first nude scene for the film, in a scene where her character was about to be murdered.
Her appearance was lamented by Variety's Steven Kotler.
Her marriage to actor Tom Cruise At age 14, she began classes at a modeling school in Toledo which led her to the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) Competition held in New York City in 1996. I've got other commitments.'" The producers permitted her to audition on videotape.
Eventually, Holmes was signed to an agent after performing a monologue from To Kill a Mockingbird. Holmes read for the part of Joey Potter, the tomboy best friend of the title character Dawson, on a videotape shot in her basement, her mother reading Dawson's lines.