Samuel L. Jackson, one of Hollywood’s most adaptable performers, has appeared in a number of classic films. He’s been a major player in several films, from those directed by Quentin Tarantino to those in the MCU as Nick Fury. Here are some of his most memorable parts.
1. The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers straddles genres like a few 123 movies, mixing in comedy, music and action into a thrilling ride. The film’s cult-like popularity has spread throughout the world. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had found a huge audience with National Lampoon’s Animal House and Saturday Night Live, and The Blues Brothers became the next logical step for them. Aykroyd penned the script, his first attempt at writing a screenplay, and he went all in on it.
Universal Studios was eager to greenlight the movie, and they hired director John Landis. Aykroyd pushed hard to secure soul and R&B stars James Brown, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles for speaking roles, pushing the production over budget. It caused friction between Landis and Universal. Landis ultimately got the movie made anyway. The movie features some of the most spectacular chase sequences ever put to celluloid.
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
A classic from Tarantino, this movie showcases Jackson’s acting range. He is able to convey the angst and frustration of the character through his enraged outbursts and simmering monologues. He is also able to add humor and humanity to the character, a combination that makes the movie more interesting. This is a must-watch for fans of the actor.
While he might not have as many top-ranking movies as some of the other actors on this list, this is still a very solid performance. He shines as Jules Winnfield, an enigmatic hit-man with a penchant for philosophical musings. This is definitely one of his best performances.
3. The Reverend Sultan
While Jackson is best known for his overblown characters, in this film he portrays an authentically diabolical drug dealer. His performance is a stark departure from his usual persona and earned him critical acclaim. Jackson’s best work is on display in this Tarantino classic. He shines as Bible-quoting hitman Jules Winnfield and gives one of his most memorable performances.
Despite receiving negative reviews and failing to perform well at the box office, Jackson’s performance in this movie is worthy of inclusion on this list. He is a charismatic henchman for a Russian crime syndicate and proves that he can play more than just a bad guy. He also shows off some comedic chops in this film. This movie is one of the most underrated of Jackson’s career.
Produced in 2014, this underrated thriller about a woman trying to stop gangbangers by chaining them all together was a box office hit and is one of Jackson’s best performances. It also gave the actor a chance to showcase his stripped-down cool and sarcastic sense of humor, which is very similar to Nick Fury’s demeanor.
This movie was one of Jackson’s more wacky and fun roles that proved he wasn’t afraid to jump into borderline exploitation movies. He gives an outstanding performance as Don King-like promoter Frozone. It’s another role that combines a unique premise with big sweaty scenes, showing his range as an actor. This is a movie that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
With a slew of sight gags, celebrity cameos, and pop culture references packed into its short runtime, this comedy is a surprisingly fun ride. Jackson brings the laughs as Don King-like promoter Reverend Sultan. This movie takes a cliche story about a badass police negotiator and elevates it to the next level thanks to the amazing acting of Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey.
This film shows the range of emotions that Jackson is capable of portraying. From enraged outbursts to simmering monologues, this movie proves that he is one of the most talented actors of his generation. It is a must-see for any Samuel L. Jackson fan. He carries this movie effortlessly. He is a true star in every sense of the word. With over 178 on screen appearances, Jackson is one of our most prolific living actors.
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