In her first major role, the 2001 Walt Disney Productions feature film Princess of Thieves, Knightley played the daughter of Robin Hood. To prepare for the film, she trained for several weeks in archery, fencing and horse riding. Concurrently, she appeared in The Hole, a thriller that received a direct-to-video release in the United States. The film's director Nick Hamm described her as "a young version of Julie Christie". Knightley also took on the role of Lara Antipova in the miniseries adaptation of Doctor Zhivago, which first aired in 2002 to positive reviews and high ratings. In the same year, Knightley starred as a pregnant drug addict in Gillies MacKinnon's drama film Pure. Co-starring Molly Parker and Harry Eden, the film had its world premiere at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. In a retrospect review for AboutFilm. com, Carlo Cavagna noted Knightley's screen presence and wrote that "[although Knightley] doesn't have half of Parker's ability [. . . ], she has spunk and grit [and] shines brightly in Pure".
In its 2008 list, Forbes identified Knightley as the second-highest-paid actress in Hollywood, with reported earnings of US$32 million in 2007, making her the only non-American on the list of highest-paid actresses that year.    In 2014, she was nominated for a Golden Globe , a SAG , a BAFTA Award , and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the historical thriller The Imitation Game . In October 2015, Knightley made her Broadway debut in the title role of Thérèse Raquin .
Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.
I had an actual "aha" moment with my youngest. It had nothing to do with her having reached a physical milestone. But at the moment it occurred I suddenly felt certain that I'd just witnessed her crossing over into womanhood.