In 2006 it was reported that Samuel L Jackson movies had grossed more than any other actor in movie history. Whether, 10 years later, that is still true is irrelevant. Jackson is one of the finest black actors around. It wasn’t until he was 40 that he received his first major role (in Do The Right Thing) which makes the success of his career all the more special. Netflix are currently streaming 15 of Samuel L Jackson’s movies. Here are our top 5.
5. The Samaritan (2012)
Although originally released as The Samaritan, the movie was subsequently renamed The Fury. Sadly, the movie is carried by Jackson and little else. The story of a grifter who’s past won’t let him go never really breaks ground. The supporting cast are mediocre and we have to write this one off to Jacksons philosophy of making movies for personal fun.
4. Reasonable Doubt (2014)
Again, far from a triumph Reasonable doubt struggles through it’s less than 1.5 hours thanks to Samuel L Jackson. He plays the bad guy who is thought at first to be a good guy but is actually a bad guy. This fact is given up far too early in the movie which leaves no room for twists and turns that might have made this movie better.
3. Freedomland (2006)
Despite the talents of Julianne Moore playing against Samuel Jackson this white woman black cop detective story never reaches it’s potential. The truth is that Moore really doesn’t put in a very good performance in Freedomland. As an under privileged woman living in the wrong part of town, the opportunity to explore race issues has been completely missed by the writers. Worth watching, as usual for Jacksons performance though.
2. Django Unchained (2012)
Django Uncahained is true Tarantino. Lots of violence and blood. And a typically complicated story to achieve a relatively simple end. Jacksons role in Django borders on comedic – it is certainly a parody of all the stereotypes he has spent a career avoiding. For all Tarantino buffs, Django has many subtle references to other movies and it’s a good party game to try and spot them.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Jules Winnfield, as played by Samuel L Jackson, is one of the finer cinema characters of all time – he was nominated for this performance. The quasi-religious hitman has some of the best lines in the movie which are deliberately and outrageously out of place. Pulp Fiction has three parallel stories and no story, morality which is hopelessly misplaced and great writing, great acting, unforgettable and characters. This is a masterpiece.