The best and worst Will Smith movies, ranked
Corrections & clarifications: An earlier version of this report mischaracterized the outcome of Muhammad Ali’s world heavyweight championship fight with Sonny Liston. Ali won but was later stripped of the title when he refused to be drafted into the military.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has long been a reigning king of Hollywood.
Unless you’ve been all about him since the early days of Big Willie Style, it might be hard to think of Will Smith, still one of the world’s biggest movie stars, as a rapper and sitcom actor. The Philadelphia native has come a long way in the last 30 years and now returns to one of his signature roles.
In his new action-comedy threequel “Bad Boys for Life” (in theaters Friday), Smith, 51, and Martin Lawrence reteam as Miami cops and lifelong buds 25 years after first sharing the big screen.
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Smith’s done everything from sci-fi invasion films and buddy action comedies to tear-jerking biopics and schmaltzy Christmas movies in his long career – sometimes with a catchy hip-hop tune he sings in the closing credits. Here’s how the third “Bad Boys” ranks among his best and worst films, starting with the bad
10. ‘Hancock’ (2008)
During a summer of big superhero flicks (“The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man”) the weakest was also the most original. Smith is a superhero who drinks and wrecks stuff in bombastic fashion and agrees to get some help from a PR guy (Jason Bateman), yet the back half of the convoluted plot fumbles a potentially interesting mythology involving ancient immortals.
9. ‘Bad Boys II’ (2003)
This action-packed dud proves bigger doesn’t equate to better. Smith and Martin Lawrence’s lawmen Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett tackle Russian gangsters, Cuban drug lords, the Ku Klux Klan and bro code when it comes to dating your partner’s sister, all without the charm of the 1995 original.
8. ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’ (2000)
The predictable and emotionally manipulative golf drama was pummeled for using the trope of a “magical” black character. In this case, Smith plays the title caddie who pops up out of nowhere to advise an alcoholic World War I vet (Matt Damon) needing to get his game back in order to save the family fortune of his estranged girlfriend (Charlize Theron).