Will Smith is easily one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood today. Since starring in major blockbuster hits like ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Independence Day’, it’s no wonder he was considered one of the most bankable stars in the industry. Even though he has the huge flop that was ‘After Earth’ on his resume, Smith still has quite an impressive list of films he has worked on. With that in mind, here are Will Smith’s five best films so far.
5. Enemy of the State (1998) – Thriller films are at the top of my list of all time favorite genres and this movie certainly delivers the goods. Smith plays Robert Dean; a Washington D.C. lawyer who accidentally acquires a key piece of evidence involving the powerful and corrupt politician Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) performing an illegal act. Dean is suddenly framed for a murder he didn’t commit and must go on the run to clear his name. Gene Hackman fans will certainly enjoy this one as he plays the enigmatic Edward Lyle; a former NSA agent who disappeared long ago and is an expert at covering his tracks. Imagine Raymond Reddington from NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ minus the calm demeanor and the witty banter and you’ll understand what Hackman’s character is like. ‘Enemy of the State’ also has a pretty satisfying and violent ending that makes it so worth watching.
4. I Am Legend (2007) – For those of you who are tired of the whole zombie thing then you might as well skip to the next one on this list. Even though yours truly is a huge fan of ‘The Walking Dead’ and most zombie related stories, not everyone feels the same way. Now if you love the zombie phenomenon then ‘I Am Legend’ will offer all of the suspense and action you are looking for. In this one, Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville who is the sole survivor of the human race after mankind was eradicated from Earth by an infectious disease. Neville’s blood oddly makes him immune and he struggles to find a cure to return the zombies back into human form. This movie gets really intense when Neville is forced to go into pitch black areas to take on the zombies. The only real problem with ‘I Am Legend’ is its suspect ending. If you can, try to watch the alternate ending and see which version you like best.
3. Bad Boys (1995) – Will Smith became famous for his comedy so it is rather surprising that he hasn’t had more success making these types of films. So, if you are looking for a few good laughs and cool stunts then ‘Bad Boys’ should be next on your list. Smith stars as Det. Mike Lowrey of the Miami Police Department who must work with his partner Det. Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) to find out who managed to steal a ton of drugs right from under their noses. ‘Bad Boys’ is your typical buddy cop movie filled with lots of jokes and action, but what makes this one so special is the on screen chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. Smith plays the suave, cool ladies man while Lawrence is the uptight cop who is married with children. They are so much fun to watch that you will want to enjoy this film with multiple viewings. As a matter of fact, this movie is popular that it spawned the sequel ‘Bad Boys 2’ (2003) and two more films are coming in the near future.
2. Seven Pounds (2008) – If someone said that you would be totally depressed for two hours while watching this movie, would that convince you to check it out? Most likely not, but you should give this one a chance anyway because it is absolutely riveting. Smith starts as Ben who is on a secret mission to right the wrongs of his past indiscretion. Ben made a huge mistake that he just can’t let go of and the only way to make things right is to, well, sacrifice everything. You won’t find out Ben’s true intentions until the very end of the film and it will absolutely blow you away. ‘Seven Pounds’ can be hard to watch at times because of its slow pace and Smith’s brooding character throughout. When you finish watching this film, you will ask yourself how far are you willing to go to make amends for your past mistakes. This is a thought-provoking film that is a must see.
1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) – This is the inspirational and true story of a man who loses everything and must fight to become a successful businessman. Smith stars as Chris Gardner (who actually has a brief cameo at the end of the film) who must take care of his young son Christopher (Jaden Smith) after losing his wife, his apartment, and all of his possessions. He is forced to live on the streets while keeping his son safe while he pursues a career as a stockbroker. The sweetest moments take place when Smith talks to his son as they get ready for each day. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ has so much heart that you will certainly shed a few tears watching it. The other reason this film is so good is its encouraging message that anyone can overcome great odds to achieve their dreams no matter how bad life gets. We all root for the underdog so you will find yourself pulling for Gardner to make it out of his horrible financial troubles. This is especially the case right now with unemployment on the rise while millions of people are fighting for the few precious jobs out there today.
An honorable mention has to go to ‘Ali’ (2001) since Smith’s transformation into one of our most influential athletes of all time was simply amazing. Even though Ali’s life outside of the ring was extremely important, it was his work in the ring that audiences really wanted to see. If we had been able to enjoy more of the boxing action, then ‘Ali’ would have been an even better film. Regardless, Will Smith has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in Hollywood as a rapper, actor, and producer. It will be interesting to see what direction his career takes next.
Movie Trailer: ‘Bad Boys’
‘Bad Boys’ starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence is a fun comedy with a few really cool stunts. If you are interested in a few good laughs then you may want to check out this classic from 1995.
Movie Trailer: ‘Seven Pounds’
Will Smith stars as the guilt-stricken Ben Thomas in ‘Seven Pounds’. He spends the entire movie atoning for the sins of his past. He is strong, heroic, and determined to do what’s right.
Movie Trailer: ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’
Will Smith and his real life son Jaden star as father an son in the touching ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. This film has an inspirational message about following your dreams.