As one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson has starred in some of the most memorable movies of all time. From Quentin Tarantino movies to Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s a force to be reckoned with on the big screen. Here are 10 of his best roles.
1. Pulp Fiction
A burger-loving hit man and his philosophical partner, a drug-addled mob boss’s wife, a washed-up boxer, and master fixer Winston Wolfe all converge in this ultra-hip crime caper. Their storylines are ingeniously intertwined in this sprawling, comedic drama. Quentin Tarantino’s script is a triumph of inventive storytelling. Its use of eclectic dialogue to reveal character perspectives and a blending of humor with strong violence were groundbreaking at the time.
Pulp Fiction is a must-see for m4ufree lovers. Families can discuss the film’s groundbreaking direction, cinematography, soundtrack, and extraordinary performances (especially by Uma Thurman, John Travolta, and Samuel L. Jackson). Families should be aware of the mature content including some drug use and sexuality, and moderate violence. MPAA: Rated R for some language, sexuality, and violent content. In his role as Jules Winnfield, Jackson cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men. He would work with Tarantino again on Kill Bill Volumes 2 and Django Unchained.
2. Snakes on a Plane
A custom-written role as a bible-quoting hitman conquering his homicidal tendencies elevated Jackson’s career. The movie explores powerful themes and is one of his finest films. It wasn’t a hit in theaters but the film earned cult status after it became available on DVD and home video. The movie is a funny and action-packed thriller that’s definitely worth your time.
FBI agent Neville Flynn is transporting witness Sean Jones from Hawaii to California to testify against gangster Eddie Kim. Kim and his men take the precaution of smuggling snakes aboard the plane to bring it down mid air. Jackson is bad-ass as always and the motley cast of cliches and stereotypes abound. The snakes are also fun, biting people in humorously painful ways. The production is cheesy but enjoyable. The ending is a little anticlimactic but fun nonetheless.
3. The Negotiator
As much as Jackson is a talented performer who can deliver both violence and black comedy, there’s also a streak of idealism in his acting. This is evident in The Negotiator, a film that pits him against corrupt cops and ruthless criminals.
After being expertly railroaded for embezzlement and murder, a police negotiator takes hostages in an effort to clear his name. He’s matched against another negotiator played by Kevin Spacey and the two are able to build a strong chemistry on screen.
This movie doesn’t quite have the same punch as Pulp Fiction or Snakes on a Plane but it does offer an entertaining and suspenseful ride. It’s also a good look at Spacey before he became the cult actor he is today. It’s well worth the watch.
One of Jackson’s most dramatic roles to date, this movie was the result of a risk-taking collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino. He portrayed the character of Gator, a crack addict who is forced to make a drastic decision at the end of the film.
Unbreakable is a M Night Shyamalan movie, and while it may not be as good as the Sixth Sense, it still packs an awesome surprise ending. The film follows David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a security guard who discovers that he has superhuman abilities after surviving a train accident. He is tracked down by a man named Elijah Price who believes superhero comics contain the truth about these invincible individuals.
Jackson plays a small role in this film, but he is definitely a standout. His acting is great, and the scenes are well-shot.
5. The King of Pop
In a career that spans 178 films, Jackson has established himself as more than just a hardened tough guy. There’s a gentleness that collides with thunderous fury in many of his roles. This tense film about a man who takes in a beaten nymphomaniac is one of the more underrated gems of Jackson’s catalog. Christina Ricci and Jackson make a convincing pair in this borderline exploitation flick.
This first Tarantino movie that Jackson starred in cemented his reputation as an excellent dramatic actor. His Bible-quoting hitman Jules Winnfield is a character that will live on in movies to come. His gruesome death scene at the end of the second act is one of the most memorable in movie history. This movie earned multiple Oscar nominations for its outstanding performances. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe.