Tommy Lee Jones has a career of crusty and cantankerous curmudgeons stretching back nearly 50 years. From working oil rigs in Texas, Jones ended up at Harvard rooming with eventual US Vice-President Al Gore. Despite some early successes in The Coal Miner’s Daughter and The Executioner’s Song, the veteran career actor really didn’t become a star until the early 1990s: after over 20 years of putting in his dues. Lonesome Dove, JFK, Under Siege, and then his Oscar-winning turn in The Fugitive turned him into one of Hollywood’s most reliable actors. Jones’s Texas roots always give him a grounded authenticity whether he’s playing a Man in Black, an ally of Lincoln, a military man or a grieving father. He is a master of economy with emotional range, allotting just enough for what the scene requires, but always leaving the audience with a feeling that there’s more going on behind his steely gaze. Quite simply, if you see Tommy Lee Jones is in a movie, you have to pay attention to it.
Tommy Lee Jones’s 10 Best Movies
1. Lonesome Dove (1989 – CBS) Woodrow F. McCall
2. The Fugitive (1993) US Marshal Samuel Gerard
3. Men in Black (1997) K
4. Lincoln (2012) Thaddeus Stevens
5. The Company Men (2010) Gene McClary
6. No Country for Old Men (2007) Ed Tom Bell
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Col. Chester Philips
8. JFK (1991) Clay Shaw
9. In the Valley of Elah (2007) Hank Deerfield
10. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) Doolittle Lynn
Honorable Mention: The Client (1994) Roy Foltrigg
Oscars, Golden Globes & Emmys
Oscar Wins (1): The Fugitive (1994)
Oscar Nominations (4): JFK (1992), The Fugitive (1994), In the Valley of Elah (2012), Lincoln (2014)
Golden Globe Wins (1): The Fugitive (1994)
Golden Globe Nominations (0): Coal Miner’s Daughter (1981), Lonesome Dove (1990), The Fugitive (1994), Lincoln (2014)
Emmy Wins (1): The Executioner’s Song (1983)
Emmy Nominations (2): The Executioner’s Song (1983), Lonesome Dove (1989)
My Favorite Jones Scene:
“We Have a Fugitive” from The Fugitive (1993)
Next Film: Jones will next appear in July’s Shock and Awe about the lead-up to the Second Iraq War before appearing in next year’s Ad Astra alongside Brad Pitt.
5 thoughts on “Tommy Lee Jones’s 10 Best Movies”
The Fugitive was definitely my favourite Tommy Lee Jones role.
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The Fugitive ought to be one of the templates for turning old properties into new properties. And it really was the Tommy Lee Jones version of Gerard that spun the old series around and turned it into something utterly different. Jones anchors whatever he’s in, keeps it tethered to the ground even when he’s in his “cold, aloof” mode, or hiding the existence of UFO aliens from us all. Lonesome Dove BTW is maybe one of the top 5 things that have ever appeared on television.
My favorite’s the one with Pamela Anderson!
OMG! Such range: loved him in The Fugitive and Men in Black!
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