The 9 Best Will Smith Movies
No. 3. Men in Black (1997)
Not long after Will Smith saved the world from an alien invasion in Independence Day, he returned to save the day from nasty aliens (well, one nasty alien) again in the hilarious Men in Black, which has him playing a young cop who is recruited into a secret agency that polices extraterrestrial movement to and from the Earth.
Smith and Tommy Lee Jones make for a surprisingly great pair, with Smith’s youthful energy contrasting perfectly against Jones’ curmudgeonly attitude toward all things living, most notably Will Smith. The sequel wasn’t nearly as good, but here’s hoping that Men in Black III brings back the magic. I’m doubtful.
No. 2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
In this adaptation of a true story, Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a smart and driven father who hits rock bottom repeatedly on his way to become a successful financial analyst. Without money or a home, he struggles to make ends meet for his son (played surprisingly well by his real son Jaden Smith) while taking a major gamble to change his life permanently.
Though it has a happy ending (sorry, spoiler!), The Pursuit of Happyness is an often depressing tale, but Will Smith’s brilliant performance – his best since Ali – makes it all worth it.
No. 1. Independence Day (1996)
I’m a sucker for alien invasion movies, and if there is one movie on this list that I’ve watched over and over again, it’s Roland Emmerich’s disaster epic, which stars Will Smith as a fighter pilot who becomes a critical piece in efforts to save the Earth from a horde of seemingly invincible nasties from outer space.
ID4 has its cheesy parts, but makes up for them with what is easily the best alien-inflicted destruction sequence of all time. And now you know… when aliens invade, all you have to do is give them a computer virus.
Watch the movie trailer for Men in Black III, and then see a more complete list of Will Smith movies.