Top 10: Will Smith - Rooftop Film Club

Top 10: Will Smith

Now, this is a story all about how this sitcom star and cheesy rapper went from Jazzy Jeff duo to Oscar nominee. Willard Carroll Smith Jr leapt away from his Bel Air kingdom and right into features that have seen him named as ‘the most powerful actor in Hollywood.’

Sure, we love when he gets jiggy wit’ it, but he’s got some amazing films under his belt now. In no particular order, here are our favourites…

The Pursuit of Happyness

If you don’t cry at various intervals throughout this film, you’re probably dead inside. But enough about that. This true story sees Will as Chris Gardner, an out of work father who becomes homeless with his young son, Christopher Jr (Jaden Smith). He begins an unpaid internship in a bid to become the one selected candidate at a brokerage firm. Will is basically brilliant in this whole film, but the scene in which Chris and Christopher Jr are hiding in the subway toilets is a heartbreaker.

His Best Quote:

“Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

Will Smith Pursuit

Men In Black

In this ‘97 sci-fi comedy, Will plays James Darrell Edwards III, aka Agent J, originally an NYPD cop who was dragged into a secret agency of alien fighters. Who hasn’t though, you ain’t special, boy. Being trained by K, the pair fight several aliens who are hiding in the body of humans and erasing memories with a little gadget, sparking an entire generation of kids (and now adults) who pretend to erase memories with a biro.

His Best Quote:

“All right, I’m in. ‘Cause there’s some next level shit going on and I’m OK with that. But before y’all go beaming me up there’s one thing you gotta remember: You chose me… so you recognized the skills, so I don’t want nobody calling me son or kid or sport or nothing like that, cool?”

Will Smith Men In Black

Six Degrees of Separation

Going pretty against type, Will plays Paul, a gay con artist, trying to hustle upper Manhattan’s elite. Pretending to be a beaten up friend of their kids as well as the son of Sidney Poitier, Paul knocks on the door of Rizzo from Grease, aka Ouisa Kittredge (Stockard Channing) and her art dealer husband Fla (Donald Sutherland). Because he seems like such a babe, they give him cash and let him stay with them, just like so many others did before them. They eventually discover who he really is, kick him out and use the story as megalolz at the rest of their cocktail parties.

His Best Quote:

“The imagination. It’s there to sort out your nightmare, to show you the exit from the maze of your nightmare, to transform the nightmare into dreams, that become your bedrock. If we do not listen to that voice, it dies, it shrivels, it vanishes. The imagination is not our escape. On the contrary, the imagination is the place we are all trying to get to.”

Will Smith Six Degrees

I Am Legend

Based on the ‘54 Richard Matheson novella, this sci-fi film stars Will as Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville, one of the last survivors of a worldwide viral apocalypse. He spends his days wandering around an abandoned NYC, and his evenings hiding from zombies. He plays continuous radio broadcasts asking other survivors to meet him, whilst doing daily experiments on infected rats in the hope of finding a cure, all the while becoming bezzies with mannequins.

His Best Quote:

“I can help. I can save you. I can save everybody.”

Resized I Am Legend

Ali

Will put on over 200 pounds of muscle for this Muhammad Ali biopic. Beginning as Cassius Clay, he shows off his bold and outspoken persona as well as his totally unapologetic belief that he is the best boxer ever. The victorious Olympic gold medal winner was controversial, with his allegiance to Islam, friendship with Malcolm X and dropping his slave name in favour of Muhammad Ali, and Will plays it perfectly.

His Best Quote:

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”

will ali

I, Robot

It’s the year 2035 (which is all kinds of terrifying because it’s not that far into the future and we’re not really feeling the ‘bot vibe just yet…) and Will stars as Del Spooner, who effing hates the mechanical bastards. When a death is declared as a suicide, Del is convinced that something shady is going on and sets out to investigate. As luck would have it – if you consider luck as being when you’re right about something completely horrific – Del’s on to something when he discovers that a robot was the only other being in the room at the time of death… dun dun dunnnnnn.

His Best Quote:

“[sneezes] … Sorry, I’m allergic to bullshit.”

Will Smith I Robot

Hitch

Will stars as Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens in this rom com that FINE, alright, is not his best but shut up we don’t care. So Hitch is a secret professional date doctor because apparently that’s a thing. He helps hapless men all over New York to woo the object of their affections, and whilst coaching Albert Brennaman (Kevin James), he meets Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a gossip columnist who is trying to find out about this elusive date doctor… Bet you can’t guess what happens next. Kidding, obv you can.

His Best Quote:

“One dance, one look, one kiss, that’s all we get, Albert. Just *one shot* to make the difference between happily-ever-after, and oh-he’s-just-some-guy-I-went-to-some-thing-with-once.”

Will Smith Hitch

Independence Day

Going maximum Action Man, Will plays pilot Captain Steven Hiller who has to save all of mankind from an alien invasion which is totally casual, we don’t even know what he’s moaning about. As it becomes clear that the extra terrestrials plan to annihilate the planet over the Fourth of July weekend, Steven and a group of others band together to try and stop the destruction. Piece of pie. Y’know, apple pie. For Fourth of July.

His Best Quote:

“[talking to the unconscious alien he’s dragging] Y’know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo. You got me out here draggin’ your heavy ass through the burnin’ desert with your dreadlocks stickin’ out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin’ all big and bad…”

Will Smith Independence Day sub

Enemy of the State

Will heads to Washington for this thriller as he plays lawyer Robert Clayton Dean. Corrupt agency official, Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) gets some guy from congress assassinated and when a recording of the murder lands in Robert’s lap, he’s framed. He enlists the help of Edward ‘Brill’ Lyle (Gene Hackman) and together they protest his innocence. Drama.

His Best Quote:

“This is my life, I worked hard for it and I want it back. I grew up without a father, I know what that is. And I will not allow my family to go through that.”

resized enemy

Bad Boys

Will stars as Miami detective Mike Lowrey who, alongside his partner, Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), tries to track down a $100 million worth of heisted heroin that they’d previously confiscated. They reckon that it’s an inside job and then, for some reason, Marcus pretends to be Mike to gain the trust of a call girl who happens to be a key witness. Yeah, this film is absolute trash. We love trash.

His Best Quote:

“My shit always works sometimes!”

resized bad boys

Special Mention:

Shark Tale

We cannot resist this fishy film, as Will voices Oscar, an underachieving tiny fish who is connected to the accidental death of a mob-connected great white shark. He quickly becomes known as the Shark Slayer, despite having no shark slaying skills to his fins at all.

His Best Quote:

“Big shark comes at me. Seventy-five, hundred feet long, with razor-sharp teeth. I say to him, “You coming at me like that? You come at the O like that?””

will smith shark

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