7. Hancock, 2008
Personally, this writer feels like this movie was incredibly under-appreciated. The sidewalk-splintering, building-bashing Hancock presented us a new kind of superhero. One that was rough around the edges, unappreciated for the help he provided, however unorthodox, and perhaps the more believable than most superhero stories. Will Smith regresses a bit into his comedic background and combines it with his unique Will Smith style to a tee.
6. I, Robot, 2004
One of many science fictions in Smith’s repertoire, I, Robot is perhaps the most unique. Threatened by the possibility of robots taking over the world, Smith, as Detective Del Spooner, makes it his mission to expose the plot to the unbelieving and naÃ¯ve world. Once his credibility is questioned and he is forced to work rogue, high-speed chases in auto-drive cars ensue and allies are formed. I, Robot was also Smith’s first venture as a producer.
5. I Am Legend, 2007
If anyone can do basically an entire movie as the only cast member, it’s Will Smith. Were there other characters in the movie? Sure, but the basic premise of the movie consisted of Will Smith, as Dr. Robert Neville, searching for a cure that only he thought was possible to find to battle a virus that doctors of all people created. At “Ground Zero”, Manhattan island, Neville looks for not only a cure, but a way to survive while fighting off the infected around him.
4. Hitch, 2005
The only rom-com the Fresh Prince has ever done, Hitch appeals to most all audiences. Alex “Hitch” Hitchens was an absolute nerd in college. After a terrible relationship that broke his heart, Hitch wasn’t only heart broken by the situation, but also learned from it. He studied the art of dating, and slowly but surely became: smooth. He starts a business to try and relay his newly found information to those who feel like they have no chance, most specifically Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) and in the process learns a little from himself and the girl he’s pursuing, Sara Melas (Eva Mendes).
3. Independence Day, 1996
Two days prior to the title of the movie’s date, an alien ship begins to orbit the earth. Just before the ship lays waste to Washington D.C. and a few other big cities, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is able to relay information to the president on the timings of the attacks. That’s when Captain Steve Hiller (Smith) enters the scene. After being home on furlough with his girlfriend (Vivica A. Fox), he is recalled due to the international emergency. Working together with Levinson, a plan is made to destroy the ship, and more than likely sacrifice some good guys in the process. Smith delivers a terrific performance in his first more serious role, and is even awarded Best Kiss by MTV.
2. Pursuit of Happyness, 2006
The most touching of Smith’s roles to make this list, Pursuit of Happyness follows the true story of Chris Gardner, and out of work, out of luck salesman who discovers the world of the stock broker. Without any education passed high school, Gardner is worried that the powers that be will view his lack of higher education as a weakness. He works his tail off and has to do work twice as fast as a single dad.
1. Men in Black, 1997
After being recruited by a set of highly secret agents, James Edwards (Smith) finds his way onto a force that, by any legal standards, doesn’t exist. Apprenticed by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), James is stripped of his fingerprints, identity, and any life he may have had prior to his recruitment, and is thenceforth known simply as Agent J. The men in black like him initially because of his unprecedented speed and his ability to catch aliens on foot. Though Men in Black II reeled in a higher gross, the original is the one to see.
Men in Black II
Enemy of the State