The 20 finest Will Smith movies – ranked! | Will Smith

Will Smith has made many greater than 20 movies, however the economic system of important ache means this should all the time characteristic on the backside of any checklist of any size. A horrifyingly cutesy, poisonous dramedy with Smith because the tech entrepreneur, who loses his baby to most cancers after which begins writing impassioned letters to summary ideas comparable to Demise, Love and Time.

This romantic thriller weepie is assured to make you escape in hives. Smith is a haunted, troubled, first rate man; a authorities worker who has launched into an enigmatic mission: to hunt out good folks – wheresoe’er they be – and reward them. Why is he engaged on this supremely condescending quest? Who cares?

A powerful profession strand for Smith is sci-fi (of which extra later) however M Evening Shyamalan was nonetheless in his part of continuous awfulness when he directed this completely horrible, ponderous sci-fi drama. Smith performs an astronaut of the longer term with the unlucky title of Cypher, who crashes on the ruined and abandoned planet Earth together with his son, Kitai, performed by Smith’s son, Jaden. A reminder of what Sam Goldwyn as soon as stated to Albert Einstein: “I obtained a idea of relations, too: don’t rent ’em.”

With Matt Damon in The Legend of Bagger Vance. {Photograph}: twentieth Century Fox/Allstar

Robert Redford directed Smith on this sentimental slice of naively picturesque Americana set within the Jazz Age south. Matt Damon is a rich younger golfer whose traumatised experiences within the first world conflict trigger him to – gasp! – lose his love for golf. However the beamingly clever Bagger Vance, performed by Smith, turns up as his caddy and guardian angel, the black character whose operate is to facilitate the white hero’s redemption.

Smith took a important and industrial tub on the finish of the 90s with this steampunky western comedy-thriller. It’s supremely annoying, however generally amusingly daft and Smith performs the catchy theme tune (sampling Stevie Surprise) over the closing credit. Within the publish Civil Conflict US, he’s attractive authorities agent James “Wild Wild” West taking up Kenneth Branagh’s evil genius Dr Loveless, who has entry to Twenty third-century expertise.

15. Hitch (2005)

In addition to troubled emotional-journey-takers, Smith has performed his share of romcom heroes-with-a-twist. Here’s a ripe instance. He’s relationship coach Alex “Hitch” Hitchens who teaches lonely guys the best way to be successful with girls; then he falls for gossip columnist Eva Mendes, who disdains him. His nickname adorably fuses the idea of “getting married” with “drawback”, geddit?

Hancock
Will Smith in Hancock. {Photograph}: Sony Footage/Allstar

Again once more to Smith sci-fi, and right here is an offbeat, oddball comedy variant on the style. He’s Hancock, the smelly unshaven superhero that nobody likes, who flies round irresponsibly, by accident smashes up automobiles and buildings and annoys everybody. PR man Jason Bateman makes it his enterprise to scrub up Hancock’s act and reposition him within the crime-fighting market.

Right here’s a sci-fi thriller with state-of-the-art youthification expertise from director Ang Lee that possibly gestures at Smith’s sense of his personal mortality as an motion hero. He’s Brogan, a supercool particular forces murderer who discovers that his corrupt authorities bosses have employed a gunman to whack him – and it’s a creepy cloned model of his twentysomething self.

Will Smith
Will Smith in I, Robotic. {Photograph}: Digital Area/twentieth Century Fox/Allstar

Smith bulked up and toughened up for this hit sci-fi film taken from the Isaac Asimov quick story assortment. The yr is 2035 and Smith is taking part in troubled technophobic Chicago cop Del Spooner, who can’t stand the robots which might be more and more being utilized by law-enforcement. And who can blame him, when one among these robots goes terrifyingly rogue? Sadly, there’s something robotically bland about the entire movie.

Suicide Squad was the DC Prolonged Universe movie that was by no means as unhealthy as everybody stated, and Smith made an amiable contribution as somebody with each comedy and motion chops. He’s Floyd Lawton, or Deadshot, a part of the Suicide Squad of supervillains assembled to struggle different unhealthy guys. Deadshot is the lethal hitman with the infrared scope over his eye. However he’s a giant softie in the case of his toddler daughter.

Will Smith Bright
Will Smith in Shiny (orc not pictured). {Photograph}: Scott Garfield/Netflix/Allstar

It’s simply so ridiculous you’ll be able to’t assist smiling: a wacky fantasy motion thriller through which Smith performs a troublesome LAPD officer whose accomplice is … an orc, performed by Joel Edgerton in heavy make-up. Sure. On this various universe, these Tolkienian creatures stroll amongst us, topic to racism (there’s an “Orc Lives Matter” theme), and Smith and the orc have quite a lot of “odd couple buddy cop“ vitality. There are additionally depraved elves, good elves and centaur visitors cops.

9. Dangerous Boys franchise

In 1995, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer gave us what’s arguably the final of the large guilty-pleasure dumb motion comedy-thriller franchises, teaming Smith with that misplaced famous person of bad-taste comedy Martin Lawrence as two squabbling Miami cops, Smith being the cool single girls’ man and Lawrence the harassed husband and father. Within the micro-ranking, the overlong and boorish sequel Dangerous Boys II (2003) is available in final, whereas the threequel, Dangerous Boys for Life (2020) acknowledges the passing years. However the unique Dangerous Boys (1995) is one of the best, with the outrageous motion standbys of weapons, car-chases and smart-alec tag traces.

Smith made a really likable lead on this first rate and watchable conspiracy thriller, just a little like The Agency directed by Tony Scott and pairing Smith with Gene Hackman. Smith is the formidable younger lawyer who by accident comes into possession of a video displaying an outspoken congressman being murdered – after which he’s framed by shadowy forces, dropping his job and his marriage. Then the maverick intelligence officer performed by Hackman steps in, a person who loathes authorities corruption and in an “odd couple” manner helps the first rate Smith.

This dystopian sci-fi, primarily based on the Richard Matheson novel (and already filmed as The Omega Man in 1971 with Charlton Heston) obtained a brand new model in 2007, starring Smith taking part in the final man left alive in an eerily empty, ruined Manhattan, an city jungle with zoo-bred animals roaming round. The film performs to Smith’s strengths because the good-natured everyman hero below unimaginable strain.

The Pursuit of Happyness
With Jaden Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. {Photograph}: Sony Footage/Allstar

Only for as soon as, Smith stars in a heartwarmer that isn’t completely sickening, making this retro film style really appear fairly first rate. That is the Horatio Alger-type true story of American businessman Chris Gardner who skilled hardship and homelessness on his strategy to the highest. Smith performs him as a daily man with idealism and excessive requirements, a single dad who finds himself tipping into poverty and fights his manner out.

The clunking 2016 sequel to this movie is now identified mainly for Boris Johnson utilizing it as a pro-Brexit rallying cry, however the unique is a really pleasurable, brash piece of leisure: an alien invasion catastrophe film that featured the (virtually surprising) spectacle of the White Home getting zapped. Jeff Goldblum was the quirky laptop genius, Invoice Pullman performed one of many many quasi-Invoice-Clinton US presidents of that period. However Smith stole the present because the swaggering hotshot fighter pilot who takes on the creepy invaders.

Will Smith
Will Smith as Muhammad Ali. {Photograph}: Allstar Image Library Ltd./Alamy

4. Ali (2001)

With care, gravitas and appeal, Smith gave an excellent impersonation of Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s virile biopic, taking us from the boxer’s defeat of Sonny Liston in 1964, by to his conscientious stand towards the Vietnam draft and the “Rumble within the Jungle” towards George Foreman within the subsequent decade. It’s a robust and heartfelt efficiency, a uncommon and maybe distinctive instance of Smith being actually technically challenged as an actor.

Many had been nervous on the considered Smith taking up from Robin Williams because the genie for the Disney live-action remake of Aladdin in 2019; others had been uneasy on the potential for all types of tone-deaf orientalist offence. However, really, Smith’s signature goofy appeal is allowed to flourish on this likably zany, high-energy comedy through which Smith is allowed to steal each scene he’s in. A reminder that comedy was his unique vocation.

2. Males in Black franchise

Smith and (initially) Tommy Lee Jones are the 2 authorities brokers wearing black, the sci-fi model of the Blues Brothers, and their job is to fight aliens whereas masking up proof of their existence, erasing witnesses’ reminiscences with a particular wand. The place of disgrace is occupied by the dismal fourquel Males in Black: Worldwide (2019) through which the joys had gone; subsequent is the low-morale speedy follow-up Males in Black II (2002); oddly, Males in Black 3(2012) was fairly higher with Josh Brolin pepping issues up. However the unique and finest is Males in Black (1997) through which Smith was in his box-office golden age because the humorous, wacky, charismatic Hollywood lead.

Six Degrees of Separation
With Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing in Six Levels of Separation. {Photograph}: Mgm/Allstar

Smith was hardly out of his Contemporary Prince profession part when he scored his most substantial and satisfying success in director Fred Schepisi’s filmed model of the John Guare play. Smith performs an enthralling Mr Ripley determine, a younger man who cons his manner into the lives of two rich high-society varieties, performed by Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland, claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier, so cunningly and tacitly taking part in on their liberal white guilt about race. Smith is charismatic and unsettling; it’s nonetheless his masterpiece.

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