Nolan, who described Johansson as possessing an "ambiguity...a shielded quality", In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick La Salle said "there's something painful about watching Scarlett Johansson, who looks as if she never had an indecisive moment in her life, struggle to seem ineffectual." Writing for Rolling Stone, Pete Travers criticized the film for moving "in frustrating herks and jerks", but praised Johansson and Portman, "What works is the combustible teaming of Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, who give the Boleyn hotties a tough core of intelligence and wit, swinging the film's sixteenth-century protofeminist issues handily into this one." Variety credited the cast as "almost flawless ...
She made the transition to adult roles with her critically acclaimed performance in Sofia Coppola's film Lost in Translation opposite Bill Murray, for which she won a BAFTA Award, and Girl with a Pearl Earring, the latter two earning her Golden Globe Award nominations in 2003.
Johansson appeared on the cover of the March 2006 issue of Vanity Fair in the nude alongside actress Keira Knightley and fashion designer Tom Ford.
During the filming of Match Point, director Woody Allen described Johansson as "sexually overwhelming", saying that he found it "very hard to be extra witty around a sexually overwhelming, beautiful young woman who is wittier than you are." About her religious affiliation, Johansson described herself as Jewish when she was talking about Woody Allen.
A role in A Love Song for Bobby Long earned her a third nomination for Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Following an appearance in The Island, Johansson again garnered critical acclaim and a fourth Golden Globe nomination, for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in Woody Allen's Match Point.