Last Updated on July 27, 2020
Will Smith will go down in the history books as one of the most talented actors the world has ever known. Smith is an embodiment of all the traits that most actors aspire for, from good looks to a charming personality, matchless wit, and a profound sense of humor.
Most notably, Will Smith has this incredible ability to perfectly fit into every role that he is cast in. He is also one of the few actors to have starred alongside his son in some of Hollywood’s most sensational films.
The following is a rundown of the top 15 movies starring Will Smith.
1. Bad Boys (1995)
Bad Boys is a 1995 thriller that stars Will Smith as Mike Lowrey, alongside Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett. Lowrey and Burnett are two dedicated Miami cops who are determined to pull all the stops in bringing criminals to justice.
Their main targets include drug lords that have overrun the Sunshine State. In their quest to restore the elusive state of law and order in Miami, Lowrey and Burnett face a violent French drug lord named Fouchet (Tchéky Karyo).
Fouchet is infamous for mercilessly dispatching his targets and leaving no witnesses behind. Fortunately, his only surviving victim, Téa Leoni, teams up with Lowrey and Burnett, bolstering the duo’s quest for justice. After watching this movie, you can also try its 2003 sequel, Bad Boys II. Though Bad Boys II is a bit less action packed compared to Bad Boys, the movie makes up for that with loads of rib-cracking comedy.
2. Hitch (2005)
In this film, Will Smith plays a New York-based date doctor named Alex Hitchens. Hitchens takes up one of the most challenging match-making assignments of his life. Apparently, he coaches the shy and somewhat reserved Albert on how to win the heart of a beautiful heiress named Allegra Cole. However, Hitchens himself has his eyes set on wooing a gossip columnist, Sara Melas.
Hitch is a classic case of a matchmaker who’s determined to make his client happy while also taking care of his own heart’s desires. In this movie, Will Smith artfully weaves in comedy to portray ordinary life situations that average people go through.
3. Independence Day (1996)
Independence Day is arguably one of the best Will Smith’s movie with the theme of alien invasion. Global communication systems are thrown into disarray by unexplained extraterrestrial beings. These interferences are initially attributed to meteors. However, it later emerges that there were powerful gigantic spacecraft behind them. These spacecraft are piloted by aliens who have come to wage one of the deadliest wars on earth.
Global defense forces are marshalled to avert a possible Armageddon, with Americans right at the center of the planning. The main characters in the movie include Will Smith who plays a cocky but competent pilot, Bill Pullman as an idealistic president, and Jeff Goldblum as tech geek with matchless skills.
4. Hancock (2008)
Will Smith is famous for assuming the role of superhero in most of his action thrillers. In Hancock, Smith plays a different kind of superhero. He is a homeless, anti-social drunkard who is easy to dismiss at first glance.
But beneath this drunk nobody lies a man with incredible powers, including lighting speed, impressive strength, and indestructibility. Think of a superhero who also doubles up as an asshole!
5. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Don’t read too much in the title of this movie. The Pursuit of Happyness simply lives up to its name, and is one of the most popular movies that Will Smith has featured alongside his son, Jaden Smith. In the movie, Smith stars as Chris Gardner, a San Francisco-based salesman in dire straits.
After Gardner and his 5-year-old son are evicted from their apartment, he is determined to secure the best future for the two of them. The film is based on the real-life story of the famous entrepreneur, Chris Gardner, particularly his struggles as a homeless man.
6. I Am Legend (2007)
As of 2007, Will Smith was no stranger to alien-themed movies. But in I Am Legend, he is not trying to salvage the future from a possible annihilation by extraterrestrial beings. Playing Robert Neville, Will Smith takes up a more challenging but rewarding role.
His mission is to develop a cure for a highly contagious virus that has mutated humans into ravenous beasts. The virus is actually Dr. Neville’s creation, albeit unintentionally. And so far, he is the only survivor. Although this movie lacks the characteristic heroic ending to similar alien-themed films, it’s definitely worth watching.
7. Focus (2015)
When you’re a hard core criminal, you must always be on top of your game for you never know when someone might come along and outsmart you. In the film, Focus, Will Smith takes pride in being the greatest con man ever to have graced the criminal underworld. But he’s about to meet his match.
Smith stumbles upon a fellow criminal, Margot Robbie, who proves to be a little wittier than he is. Amidst their struggles in the dark world of crime, some chemistry develops between these two con artists.
8. Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
This 1995 satirical dramedy film stars Will Smith, Donald Sutherland, and Stockard Channing. Will Smith (playing Paul) pays Donald and Stockard (Flan and Ouisa Kittredge) a visit that’s about to turn these Manhattan-based art dealers’ worlds upside down.
Six Degrees of Separation is another Will Smith’s movie on this list whose plot was inspired by real-life events. The film follows the real-life story of David Hampton, a 1980s con artist who swindled several people under the pretext that he was actor Sidney Poitier’s son.
9. Enemy of the State (1998)
When an innocent lawyer and dedicated family man stumbles upon evidence to a government conspiracy, he’s not about to sit on it and let the conspirators have a field day. However, his quests to salvage the situation put him right on the warpath with a corrupt politician.
In this film, Will Smith takes a break from his usual bad boy roles. Instead, he accepts to play a mild-mannered lawyer who just happens to find himself entangled in the intrigues of state operatives.
10. I, Robot (2004)
I, Robot fuses the elements of time travel and science fiction to deliver an action-packed masterpiece. Will Smith plays the role of Del Spooner, a detective who doesn’t believe in technological progress. An innovative tech wizard dies of supposed suicide.
But unlike everyone else, detective Spooner isn’t quick to rule out foul play. Interestingly, Spooner believes that the deceased was a victim of his own creation, a robot named Sonny. With all the technological chaos around him, the detective’s quest to unravel the truth proves a bit challenging.
11. Ali (2001)
This film chronicles the life and times of the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali. The movie starts from 1964 when Muhammad Ali won the World Heavyweight Championship, to 1974 when he reemerged to beat the overly-hyped George Foreman.
Not only does Will Smith succeed in capturing the struggles of the best boxer the world has ever known. He also portrays the socio-political politics of the time and the numerous controversies the former boxer had to contend with at the height of his career.
12. Men in Black (1997)
You can hardly review Will Smith’s movies without making reference to the 1997 thriller, Men in Black. The film revolves around a veteran agent named K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) and a rebellious, opinionated motormouth (played by Will Smith).
Men in Black basically refers to a special state agency comprising of men who are dressed in all black uniforms. Their new assignment is the recovery of an ornament that was stolen by an intergalactic terrorist.
However, the mission threatens to plunge the whole world into interstellar war unless the two buddy cops act fast. Men in Black was so successful that it has since been followed by two sequels, Men in Black II (2002) and Men in Black III (2012).
13. Suicide Squad (2016)
Playing an elite hitman named Deadshot, Will Smith stars in Suicide Squad as one of the founding members of Task Force X. Task Force X is a team of dreaded criminals serving jail terms at Belle Reve Special Security Barracks.
Besides Deadshot, Task Force X also comprises a former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, an opportunistic thief named Captain Boomerang, pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, special assassin Slipknot, and a genetic mutant called Killer Croc.
The members of this task force are to be deployed as disposable assets in high-profile missions by the US. Government. To ensure that they all toe the line, they each has a nanite bomb implanted in their necks.
14. Where the Day Takes You (1992)
This film by Will Smith revolves around a group of young people who are fleeing from their various hardships. The group is led by King, who has had his fair share of trouble with the law enforcement agencies. Coming from a two-month incarceration, King believes that the group must have disintegrated in his absence, and he is determined to bond the members together.
But without solid income streams, several members of this group are eventually lured into crime. Elements of ethical dilemma, repressive memories, and mistrials run throughout the movie.
15. Bright (2017)
We’re already familiar with Will Smith playing the superhero who heals the world from alien attacks. So, it was only fair that the Bright movie took a slightly different approach. This 2017 thriller depicts a world of harmonious coexistence between humans and mythical creatures, including elves and orcs.
The center of attention is an LAPD officer named Jacoby, who nobody likes because he is an orc. Therefore, his partners believe that he might not side with humans when it comes down to it. When Jacoby is partnered with Daryl Ward (Will Smith), their partnership doesn’t seem to work out at first. Why? Ward was once wounded by an orc and the LAPD’s Internal Affairs division believes Jacoby willfully let the suspect escape.
Will Smith has starred in scores of critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies. However, the films we’ve reviewed here are undoubtedly some of his best works.