Iconic Actor Will Smith’s Most Successful Movies & Must-Watchs


Photo By Hollywood Reporter

Will Smith with co-star Tommy Lee in ‘Men in Black 3’ (2012), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Photo courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

After achieving ultimate success from his sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith went on to star in critically-acclaimed films such as Hancock, which grossed over $600 million worldwide and Independence Day, which became the second-highest grossing movie ever at the time of its release. He has starred in more than 49 movies. Throughout the past three decades, Smith has become a positive figure and has helped to shape the Hollywood we know today.  

One of Smith’s most iconic movie series is Men In Black, in which two agents save the world from aliens. Ironically, he initially turned down the role, saying that he had “done ‘Independence Day’ the year before” and that he wanted to steer clear of another alien movie, claiming he didn’t “want to be the alien movie guy.” It is clear though, that the unrealistic action-comedy would not have been as big a success without Smith. The film went on to receive three Academy Award nominations and it made over $589.4 million in the box office against a budget of $90 million, becoming the third-highest-grossing movie of 1997. 

Unfortunately, Smith’s career also contains some “dud” movies such as Wild Wild West. The film was directed by well-known director Barry Sonnenfeld, who had last worked on Men In Black. Several movie review sources such as FyFyWire, considered it to be “One of the Biggest Flops Of The ‘90s.” The tacky scenery along with the confusion around the flimsy plot only highlighted the mess which made up the rest of the movie. Such an abomination should have severely compromised Smith’s secure reputation but luckily, his career came out relatively unscathed. 

Smith’s portrayal of Attorney Robert Clayton Dean in the 1998 film Enemy of the State, leaves you on the edge of your seat. Clayton Dean finds himself in danger when he becomes the target of a National Security Agency surveillance apparatus after he stumbled upon a recording of a Congressman’s murder. With the thrill-a-minute scene structure including the car chases, explosions, and high-tech dialogue, this movie will certainly leave you in consistent anticipation.

Arguably, one of Smith’s most outstanding works is the 2007 movie, I Am Legend which is set in New York City after a virus that was created to cure cancer turns fatal, wiping out more than half of the human population and turning them into bloodthirsty mutants. The last man standing is an immune scientist named Robert Neville (played by Smith), who must discover a cure using his immune blood. Director Francis Lawrence, acknowledges that the success of the movie largely is due to the strength of Smith’s performance. This sci-fi/horror movie could be described as one of his best character achievements, showcasing a more serious and difficult acting skill, which placed him in a whole other league. 

The majority of movie fans went into a frenzy when they watched Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, where loose-cannon Miami cops investigate the violent narcotics trail leading them to French drug lord Fouchet. The comical interactions between Smith and Lawrence undeniably strengthened the movie as well as leaving a lasting impression on audience members. 

As a modern-day icon and a unique Hollywood figure, Will Smith manages to shine his true personality through every character he plays. He has developed a reputation for himself, allowing just the mention of his name to pull audiences to watch a movie. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email