Last Updated on March 8, 2022
If Hollywood stars were to be ranked based on the number of Academy Awards they’ve earned throughout their careers, Kevin Norwood Bacon would probably feature at the tail end of that list. It’s difficult to imagine that an actor who has starred in multiple critically-acclaimed movies since the late 70s is yet to win an Academy Award. However, no number of prestigious awards can serve to immortalize Bacon’s tremendous contribution to the film industry.
Kevin Bacon made his cinematic debut in the 1978 American comedy film National Lampoon’s Animal House. But his acting career didn’t take off immediately and he had to return to his previous odd job of waiting tables. After a couple of minor film, television, and theater appearances, Bacon landed his breakout role in the 1984 musical-drama film Footloose. He went on to star in the controversial conspiracy thriller JFK in 1991, and the legal drama movie ‘A Few Good Men’ the following year.
Since then, Bacon has become a household name in the film industry. He has featured in movies that transcend different genres, in addition to lending his voice to numerous characters. Here’s a list of the top ten Kevin Bacon movies.
10. Sleepers (1996)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Sleepers is set in the summer of 1967 in Hell’s Kitchen. Four teenage friends – Tommy Marcano (Jonathan Tucker), Lorenzo “Shakes” Carcaterra (Joe Perrino), John Riley (Geoffrey Wigdor), and Michael Sullivan (Brad Renfro) – are sent to a reform school after a prank goes wrong.
While at the detention center, the young men are physically and sexually brutalized by the guards, so much that the abuse damages their psyche. Thirteen years later, the now-grown men – played by Billy Crudup as Tommy Marcano, Jason Patric as Lorenzo “Shakes” Carcaterra, Ron Eldard as John Riley, and Brad Pitt as Michael Sullivan – decide to bring their abusers to justice.
However, the four childhood friends do not exactly seek justice the conventional way. Two of them, Tommy and John, have since grown up to become hit men. They recognize one of their abusers and kill him. Their prosecution is handled by another member of their gang who now happens to be the assistant DA.
In this movie, Kevin Bacon plays the role of Sean Nokes, one of the abusers.
9. Hollow Man (2000)
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10
Hollow Man is a film about an incredibly gifted but highly arrogant molecular biologist named Dr. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon), who makes a discovery that changes his personality forever.
After years of experimentation, Dr. Caine’s research team develops a serum for the military that can render a subject invisible. But instead of reporting to his superiors, Dr. Caine asks for more time so he can test the limits of his discovery. He decides to test the serum on a human body, using himself as the subject.
Unfortunately for him, the experiment becomes irreversible. It transforms the ambitious doctor into a lethal creature who must now hunt down and kill his colleagues.
8. A Few Good Men (1992)
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
A Few Good Men shines a light on the dilemma that lower-ranking military personnel usually face while attempting to strike a balance between following orders and acting in the public interest.
U.S Marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison) and Private First Class Louden Downey (James Marshall) are accused of killing a fellow Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. The two accused get legal representation from unlikely quarters. Their attorney, Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), is notorious for seeking plea bargains.
However, Kaffee’s fellow lawyer, Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), convinces him that the accused were probably following orders from their commanding officer. That raises some pertinent questions – could there be a major cover-up going on? Kaffee calls Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) to the witness stand in a bid to uncover the truth.
In this film, Kevin Bacon plays the role of Captain Jack Ross, USMC – Judge Advocate Division.
7. Tremors (1990)
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Two handymen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are tired of their boring lives in Perfection, Nevada. They decide to leave town in pursuit of greener pastures.
But on their way out, they stumble upon the deceased body of a friend. They soon realize that there’s a mysterious underground creature killing people.
Val and Earl are determined to uncover what this creature is. They team up with a concerned seismologist who specializes in studying unnatural readings beneath the ground, as well as an eccentric couple.
The group finds themselves fighting for survival against monstrous human-eating worm-like creatures.
6. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Planes, Trains & Automobiles is one of the many critically-acclaimed Kevin Bacon movies in which he only makes a cameo appearance. In the film, Bacon appears as a man running for a taxi.
The comedy film stars an easily excitable marketing executive Neal Page (Steve Martin) and a kindhearted but highly irritating curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy).
Neal is trying to get home to Chicago in time for the upcoming Thanksgiving. However, his flight is rerouted to a city in Kansas due to a snowstorm. The sudden change in flight schedule doesn’t go down well with a man who’s already risking arriving home late for a major celebration.
But Neal’s woes are complicated further when he meets annoying, talkative, and goofy Del. The two must endure three days of misadventure to arrive at their respective intended destinations.
5. The Woodsman (2004)
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
The Woodsman is a drama film that stars Walter (Kevin Bacon) as a convicted child molester who struggles to adjust to life after prison.
Walter returns home after serving 12 years in prison. Few people know about his conviction, which should be great news for him.
As a way of piecing his life back together, Walter rents an apartment and begins working at a lumber mill. A romantic relationship simmers between him and a coworker (played by Kyra Sedgwick).
But just when it seems like things are working in his favor, Walter’s past slowly begins to catch up with him.
4. Frost/Nixon (2008)
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
Frost/Nixon is a historical drama film inspired by the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon’s administration. This film attempts to reenact the exclusive interviews that happened in 1977, three years after President Nixon’s resignation.
When President Nixon resigned, it’s estimated that some 400 million people watched on television as the disgraced head of state departed the White House aboard Marine One. British television personality David Frost was among those who watched this historic resignation.
The movie Frost/Nixon presents the one-on-one interviews between the president (portrayed by Frank Langella) and the refined journalist (played by Michael Sheen). The interviews were made possible due to sustained pressure on Nixon from various quarters, including his post-presidential chief of staff Jack Brennan (played by Kevin Bacon).
3. Mystic River (2003)
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
The teenage daughter of Jimmy Marcus (Sean Penn), Katie Markum (Emmy Rossum), is murdered in cold blood.
It soon emerges that one of Jimmy’s friends, Dave (Tim Robbins), might be involved in Katie’s murder. At least he was the last person that saw her alive.
The case is headed by another one of Jimmy’s friends, homicide detective Sean (Kevin Bacon).
As Sean attempts to crack the case, Jimmy also carries out his own investigations. Eventually, he begins to suspect that Dave could be the man responsible for his daughter’s murder and decides to take the law into his own hands.
2. Diner (1982)
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
This Kevin Bacon movie chronicles the struggles of young men gracefully embracing the reality of age.
In the late 50s, five Baltimore friends attend a Christmas dance and then drive to their usual late-night hangout joint, Fell’s Point Diner. They include Modell (Paul Reiser), Edward “Eddie” Simmons (Stephen Guttenberg), Laurence “Shrevie” Schreiber (Daniel Stern), Robert “Boogie” Sheftell (Mickey Rourke), and Timothy Fenwick, Jr. (Kevin Bacon).
Although they’re now somewhat grown, the friends spend their time reminiscing about their days as carefree boys. But they must accept the stark reality that they’re adults now.
1. Apollo 13 (1995)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Apollo 13 is a Hollywood drama that reenacts the events of the Apollo 13 lunar mission.
Astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon), and Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) successfully exit the earth’s orbit and begin exploring outer space. Everything seems to be working out according to their plans.
Suddenly, a sinister plot to shut down power in the astronauts’ spacecraft leaves them stranded in space. The explorers must pull together and find a solution to their spacecraft’s technical hitches. But the growing tensions among the crew only escalate their predicaments.
Kevin Bacon has been acting since the late 70s. Despite his advanced age, Bacon continues to star in Hollywood blockbusters. The above list contains his greatest movies ever.