Will Smith

Will Smith’s 10 Best Movies

Will Smith

Will Smith is undeniably a wildly talented actor and musician.  From his days on TV as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was launched into a movie career that skyrocketed so high so quickly, that there was a period of time in the late 1990s that summer didn’t seem complete without a Will Smith blockbuster.  Unfortunately, when that run of hits ended, Smith has never quite regained his career equilibrium.  Not merely a blockbuster or comedy actor, Smith has extremely powerful dramatic acting muscles as he’s shown in films like The Pursuit of Happyness, Ali, and Concussion.  He also has an affinity for science fiction from the hits that made him: Independence Day and Men in Black (not the awful two sequels) to the underrated I, Robot and I Am Legend (which, yes, I do in fact think is a really good film).  His project choice, though, is spotty, and the days when he was a bankable box office draw seem to be slipping away.  Knowing his upcoming schedule, I’m not sure that’s going to change soon, but given his unlimited charisma and potential, it does have the potential to change given the right projects down the line.

Will Smith and Jaden Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness
Will Smith’s Best 10

1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Chris Gardner
2. Men in Black (1997) Agent J
3. I, Robot (2004) Del Spooner
4. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996, NBC) Will Smith
5. Concussion (2015) Dr. Bennet Omalu
6. Enemy of the State (1998) Robert Clayton Dean
7. I Am Legend (2007) Robert Neville
8. Ali (2001) Muhammad Ali
9. Six Degrees of Separation (1993) Paul
10. Independence Day (1996) Capt. Steven Hiller
Honorable Mention: Collateral Beauty (2016) Howard

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black

Oscars, Golden Globes & Emmys

Oscar Wins (0): None

Oscar Nominations (2): Ali (2002), The Pursuit of Happyness (2007)

Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan in I, Robot

Golden Globe Wins (0): None

Golden Globe Nominations (5): The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1993 & 1994), Ali (2002), The Pursuit of Happyness (2007), Concussion (2016)

Will Smith in Concussion

Emmy Wins (0): None

Emmy Nominations (0): None

Will Smith and James Avery in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

My Favorite Smith Scene:
“The Job Interview” from The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Next Film: Smith is next returning to his science fiction roots in another Netflix attempt to break into big-time movies with December’s Bright.  Following that, he’s unfortunately agreed to join Disney’s misguided and doomed-to-fail live action adaptation of Aladdin.  Smith will be playing the role of the genie where, not even his charisma, will be able to overcome the ghost of Robin Williams.  That, and a reprisal of his role as Deadshot in Suicide Squad 2 are both tentatively scheduled for 2019 releases.

 

24 thoughts on “Will Smith’s 10 Best Movies”

  1. I don’t think Aladdin is doomed to fail. Not at the box office, anyway. Critics and old people like us will complain about the shadow of Robin Williams. A lot of people are not going to care, because try to imagine the world of that movie realized in live action. Imagine the cave of wonders, and the action scenes playing out. It’s going to be like an Indiana Jones musical. People are going to eat it up. I’m not worried about Ritchie either, Disney does not let its directors fly off. If he’s supervised, he’s an interesting choice. Hopefully the Genie will be deemphasized, and Smith won’t be instructed to be “manic.”

    There is very little chance of this being a good movie, don’t get me wrong. But this will not be a bomb. No chance, unless it’s one of the worst movies ever made.

    I continue to love Will Smith. Concussion is a terrific movie, and important. I, Robot is I, Robot in name only, and I Am Legend needed to keep the ending of the novel, though I guess that would only have happened if hell had frozen over. But Smith elevates all. And kudos to him for doing SS instead of ID2. Even if his future in the DCEU does not pan out, he clearly knows where the money is these days, and it was the better gamble.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love Will Smith. I think he’s personally one of the most positive and charismatic people you’ll ever find, and despite his making some baffling choices, I’m always rooting for him and he does elevate everything he’s in which is a common thread among the 36 actors and actresses that I’ve profiled so far (keeping track is getting to be a thing as I have to figure out if any need to be updated each week). I think Ritchie is uncontrollable. If his manic style comes to this film, it’s a trainwreck, and Smith isn’t the only landmine in this remake. It got a lot of flak from Muslim groups when it came out in 1992 at a COMPLETELY different time in global culture. Yeah a live Cave of Wonders is cool, but take away the genie’s presence from that movie and it’s just ok. Smith has to somehow fill that and they have said they are doing the songs, so….yeah. And who knows how the Disney live-action remake train will be rolling after Mulan and Dumbo precede this. It’s at an apex right now, but in 2019…..who knows? I loved his Deadshot and thought he and Viola Davis were the best parts of SS. I hope he has an even bigger role in SS2. I also hope he looks for more roles that stretch him, because he’s the kind of person who is as talented as he needs to be and if he’s pushed he always meets or exceeds expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew about Dumbo, but I did not realize Mulan was coming before Aladdin too. If they cannot make an awesome live-action Mulan they are absolutely insane. And whatever else you want to say about Burton’s Alice and CATCF, they delivered financially. He makes gobs of money when he is hired to make gobs of money. That way everyone is comfortable letting him make Sweeney Todd. Dumbo sounds like Dumbo in name only (hope I’m wrong) but the synopsis sounds quite Burtonesque, and holds a lot of promise.

        I would not put any money on it, but in the context of here, I am going to proclaim that the live-action gravy train will continue.

        I ran out and bought the Aladdin soundtrack the moment the original film finished, so I own a copy of a cassette tape where the narrator starts the movie by singing, “I come from a land, from a far away place / where caravan camels roam / Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face / It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.” At the time there was a problem with that, as I am sure you know, and the lyric was quickly changed to something lame. And I am not entirely unsympathetic with people who had a problem, given the Tom Cruise thing, ect. I agree that Disney cannot win, that they will be attacked for something, anything, but if they keep casting racially appropriate actors, and stay careful, the criticisms will not gain traction with the public, because the public, while fickle, understands when these kinds of problems are not real.

        Aladdin is not Disney’s best at all, but even without Robin, the setting and scope are perfect for a live action film. And while Ritchie’s first Sherlock Holmes was an abomination in a way, in another way it was really entertaining (we will not speak of 2). I remain optimistic that Ritchie will bring something that sets the film apart. Jungle Book and BATB were wonderful, but as the remake thing goes on, I’m interested in seeing where directors like Burton and Ritchie will take things. It’s been a long time since Edward Scissorhands and Snatch, but these guys still have distinct styles.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hate Snatch. In fact, I hate every Guy Ritchie movie aside from the first Sherlock Holmes, so I have no hope for this film. I’m not really optimistic about Dumbo. Mulan seems like the best option, but it got delayed because they wanted to put songs in it (the originally were just going to make it a martial arts epic) after the success of BATB. So who knows? I just want Will Smith making good movies again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I may have mentioned this before but I once came across an interesting observation: Superstardom is always limited to four years. Someone can be popular, even hugely so, before or after the four year period, but for four years water is walked on and the guy can do no wrong. The exception to this is if the guy in question reinvents himself. Then he gets another four years. The Beatles spent 4 years as mop tops, and 4 as avant garde visionaries, starting with Sgt. Pepper. They qualify.

        I don’t know how true this is, but it always seems to fit when I apply the metric. Smith has the air of a man whose biggest successes are behind him, and there is nothing wrong with that, because he is Will Smith, and he must know that when he smiles onscreen, the entire world follows suit.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been taking it badly lol. I don’t think they ever should touch that film for a lot of reasons, but primarily because Robin Williams’ genie is so integral to why it worked that it seems disrespectful to his memory to think they can work around it. They have 60 years of animation if they want to remake stuff; pick something else!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The premise is weird and borderline disturbing. An emotional tale is spun out of it, but I found it hard to get past the way the characters set out to abusively manipulate their emotionally damaged friend. I suppose the film did not deserve the hate it got, but the central conceit is absolutely horrible.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I completely disagree with that and the critics on this. You can’t help yourself until you’re ready and sometimes you need a push from the people you love. Some of his friends were exasperated with his inability to move on, but some were trying to get him back and ultimately I thought it was touching and inspiring. At least they cared enough to do SOMETHING. You’d be surprised how quickly “friends” disappear in a pinch.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? It’s so surprising I, Robot ended up being as good as it was. The man doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He’s just filled with this joy that bursts out of him. You are required as a human being to like Will Smith lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did you ever actually see the beautiful disaster that was Wild Wild West? I’m sure that as a Sandman fan you already know what I’m about to tell you, but just in case you don’t: When Jon Peters was overseeing Superman Lives, he was adamant that Superman fight a giant mechanical spider. Later, when he was overseeing Sandman, he wanted to recycle the idea, and include a battle with a giant mechanical spider. In Sandman, just to be clear. I think that must have been the moment Gaiman realized that it wasn’t going to come together.

    Apparently Peters got it out of his system with Wild Wild West. It’s things like this that so vividly illustrate why he advanced in life.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Why even try? Gaiman attained near perfection in one medium. Not everything translates, nor should it. No one would bankroll a faithful version anyway. In the best case scenario it would wind up a frustrating compromise.

        WWW is one of the worst big budget movies I have ever seen. It’s reputation is spot on. Yet if someone had told me, right after MIB, “Smith, Sonnenfeld, cool gadget-filled Western version of MIB,” I would have greenlit the misbegotten thing. So I give everyone a pass. Except Peters.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think Joseph Gordon Levitt sincerely wanted to try, but ran into the wall of pushback anyone is going to get trying to make this a film, which it can’t be. You either do what I said and go the HBO route with extreme care, or leave the greatest comic book series ever written alone.

        Like

    1. YES! Ok, I actually made the honorable mention spot “critically mocked movies that I think Will Smith actually made good” and Collateral Beauty edged out Seven Pounds. Do not get the hate for the film. Like you said, it’s not phenomenal, but it is good.

      Liked by 1 person

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