Swinton was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in The Deep End (2001). She followed this with appearances in Vanilla Sky (2001), Adaptation (2002), Constantine (2005), Julia (2008), and I Am Love (2009). She won the European Film Award for Best Actress and received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the psychological thriller We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011).
She is also known for her performance as the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia series (2005–10). Her other film appearances include Female Perversions (1996), The War Zone (1998), The Beach (2000), Thumbsucker (2005), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Burn After Reading (2008), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Snowpiercer (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Trainwreck (2015), A Bigger Splash (2015), Doctor Strange (2016), and Okja (2017).