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The 9 Best Will Smith Movies

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After a four year hiatus, Will Smith returned to theaters last year with Men in Black III, which reunited the star with  Tommy Lee Jones. A year later, his latest sci-fi action movie After Earth debuts in theaters this week. Once again, it seems only fitting to look at the best Will Smith movies, dating back nearly 20 years (now doesn’t that make you feel old?).

No. 9. Enemy of the State (1998)

Having cemented his title as a box office tour de force with three consecutive hits over the last three years (Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black), Will Smith teamed with director Tony Scott for this action-packed thriller about a lawyer who becomes the target of an NSA manhunt when he stumbles across a piece of evidence that could ruin the career of a major but corrupt politician (Gene Hackman).

 

No. 8. Hancock (2008)

This massive hit ($624 million worldwide) has Will Smith playing a superhero who is extremely hard to like. Alone in the world, he spends his time getting drunk, screwing women and occasionally fighting crime, though he often causes more damage than it’s worth. After an especially damaging incident, an eager publicist (Jason Bateman) attempts to clean his image.

Though not nearly as good on repeat viewings, Hancock is funny and at times action-packed. Its main problem is that it doesn’t have a primary villain; the filmmakers instead opt for a much stranger (though admittedly unpredictable) opponent. Still, Will Smith is a riot and it’s hard to imagine any other person in the role.

 

No. 7. Bad Boys II (2003)

Sure, it’s loud, ridiculous (a two-man invasion of Cuba, anyone?) and a perfect example of Michael Bay’s affinity for style over substance, but Bad Boys II is also loud, ridiculous (a two-man invasion of Cuba!) and a perfect example of how Michael Bay is more capable than anyone at making something awesome when there is no substance to back it up. Yeah.

The worst part about Bad Boys II? It extended the career of the obnoxious Martin Lawrence, who by this point was way out of his league when pitted against Will Smith. Oh, and Bad Boys III is rumored to be in early stages of development.

 

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By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Comedies, Science Fiction Movies
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