I'm working on a theory about Paula Patton, wherein she's so beautiful that it's hard to imagine you could have ever seen her before, which is why there were three or four movies where I saw Paula Patton and raved about this fun new actress. She's been around for a good while, since at least her co-starring role in Deja Vu, opposite Denzel Washington. This week, she's back on screen with Denzel, co-starring in his latest action-drama, 2 Guns, and if you're like me, you need a bit of a nudge to remember all the movies she's been in for the last decade or so. Here's a quick primer.

You've Most Likely Seen Her In ...
Certainly, Patton's most high-profile role in a major blockbuster film was in director Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. As part of the stylish team of covert operatives, along with Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner, Patton got to evade danger and wear bangin' green dresses, and if she's indeed back for a 5th Mission: Impossible, it will be a very good thing.

Unless You've Really Been Paying Attention, in Which Case You Remember Her From ...
Patton's big critical breakthrough was as the kind teacher who takes an interest in the title character in Precious. With an air of both sensitivity and authority, Patton's character was an oasis of kindness in an often brutal film. Certainly the lion's share of critical awards went to Mo'Nique and Gabourey Sidibe that year, but Patton's performance was very often singled out as an unheralded gem.

"Wait, So She's That Woman From ..."
The wedding comedy Jumping the Broom, where she got to work with a ridiculously talented cast that inclided Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Patton nabbed the lead role, as a bride preparing for her wedding amid family craziness.

You Can Also Go Back and Spot Her In ...
...Seriously so many movies, seemingly in every available genre. The supernatural Mirrors, opposite Keifer Sutherland, the period musical Idlewild, the rom-com Just Wright (playing Queen Latifah's best friend!), the political fantasy-comedy Swing Vote.

Perhaps Your Cultural Tastes Lie in Music, In Which Case...
...It will be very interesting to learn that Patton contributed to Usher's Confessions album, providing background vocals, not to mention a featured vocal on "Can U Handle It?" Also, FYI, Patton is married to current red-hot Robin Thicke, of "Blurred Lines" fame.

Where You Can Find Her Now ...
In 2 Guns, she gets somehow mixed up in a plot involving NCIS agent Mark Wahlberg and DEA agent Denzel Washington, as well as a bunch of drugs and at the very least two guns.