The Top 10 Will Smith Movies

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10. Hitch

Hitch is a 2005 romantic comedy film directed by Andy Tennant and starring Will Smith. The film, which was written by Kevin Bisch, co-stars Eva Mendes, Kevin James, and Amber Valletta. Smith plays a professional matchmaker, who makes a living teaching men how to woo women. It was released on February 11, 2005 by Columbia Pictures. Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) is a professional “date doctor”, who coaches other men in the art of wooing women.

9. Hancock

Hancock is a 2008 American action-comedy film directed by Peter Berg and starring Will Smith, Jason Bateman, and Charlize Theron. It tells the story of a vigilante superhero, John Hancock (Smith) from Los Angeles whose reckless actions routinely cost the city millions of dollars. Eventually one person he saves, Ray Embrey (Bateman), makes it his mission to change Hancock’s public image for the better. The story was originally written by Vincent Ngo in 1996.

It languished in development hell for years and had various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino before going into production in 2007. Hancock was filmed in Los Angeles with a production budget of $150 million. In the United States, the film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America after changes were made at the organization’s request in order to avoid a “restricted” (R) rating, which it had received twice before. The film was presented and widely released on July 2, 2008 in the United States and the United Kingdom by Columbia Pictures. Hancock received mixed reviews from film critics and grossed more than $620 million in theaters worldwide.

8. Ali

Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of boxing icon Muhammad Ali from 1964 to 1974 featuring his capture as of the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston (Michael Bentt), his conversion to Islam, criticism of the Vietnam War, banishment from boxing, his return to fight Joe Frazier (James Toney) in 1971, and, lastly, his reclaiming the title from George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle fight of 1974. It also discusses the great social and political upheaval in the United States following the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

7. I, Robot

I, Robot is a 2004 science-fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman and Hillary Seitz and is loosely based on Isaac Asimov’s short-story collection of the same name. Will Smith stars in the lead role of the film as Detective Del Spooner. The supporting cast includes Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, and Shia LaBeouf.

It was nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. I, Robot was released in North America on July 16, 2004 and on July 22, 2004 in Australia. The film was later released in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2004 and in other countries between July 2004 to October 2004. Produced with a budget of USD $120 million, the film grossed $144 million domestically and $202 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $347 million.

6. I Am Legend

I Am Legend is a 2007 post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name, following 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and 1971’s The Omega Man. Smith plays virologist Robert Neville, who is immune to a vicious man-made virus originally created to cure cancer. He works to create a remedy while living in Manhattan in 2012, a city inhabited by violent victims of the virus.

The film’s plot is an example of a “Last Man on Earth” story. Warner Bros. began developing I Am Legend in 1994, and various actors and directors were attached to the project, though production was delayed due to budgetary concerns related to the script. Production began in 2006 in New York City, filming mainly on location in the city, including a $5 million scene at the Brooklyn Bridge, the most expensive scene ever filmed in the city at the time.

5. Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State is a 1998 spy-thriller film directed by Tony Scott about a group of rogue NSA agents who kill a Congressman in a politically-motivated murder, and then try to cover up the murder by destroying evidence and intimidating witnesses. It was written by David Marconi and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film stars Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet and Regina King. It grossed over US$250,000,000 worldwide ($111,549,836 domestically).

The film seems to have been strongly influenced by Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 classic, The Conversation. Enemy of the State appears to borrow the character of surveillance expert Brill, and his electronically-shielded home/workplace from The Conversation. However, the Brill character has different names in each movie, and it was probably not intended for Enemy of the State to be a sequel as such. See the analysis under the heading Influences below.

4. Bad Boys

Bad Boys is a 1995 American action comedy film directed by Michael Bay in his directorial debut, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. The film, starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, spawned a 2003 sequel, Bad Boys II. Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) are best friends and detectives in the narcotics division of the Miami-Dade Police Department. One night, $100 million of seized heroin is stolen from a secure police vault.

This is a major blow to Burnett and Lowrey, because it was the biggest drug bust of their careers. Internal Affairs warns Miami PD that if they do not recover the drugs in five days the narcotics division will be shut down. One thief, a former cop named Eddie Domínguez, is found dead at a hotel suite, shot to death by his boss, French drug kingpin Fouchet. Fouchet also kills an escort, Maxine “Max” Logan, who was hired by Eddie. It is revealed that she is also one of Lowery’s ex-girlfriends and one of his major informants. The only witness to the crime is Max’s best friend Julie Mott (Téa Leoni), who watched the crime from the upper balcony of the suite.

3. Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino and based on the life of Chris Gardner. The film stars Will Smith as Gardner, an on-and-off-homeless salesman-turned stockbroker. The screenplay by Steven Conrad is based on the best-selling memoir written by Gardner with Quincy Troupe. The film was released on December 15, 2006, by Columbia Pictures. For his performance, Smith received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and a Golden Globe nomination.

In 1981, in San Francisco, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) invests his family’s savings in portable bone-density scanners. The investment proves to be a white elephant which financially breaks the family and as a result, his wife Linda (Thandie Newton) leaves him and their son Christopher (Jaden Smith). While downtown trying to sell one of his scanners, he meets a manager for Dean Witter and impresses him by solving a Rubik’s Cube during a short cab ride.

2. Men in Black

Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D’Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Aircel Comics. The film featured the creature effects and makeup of Rick Baker. The film was released on July 2, 1997 by Columbia Pictures and grossed over $587 million worldwide against a $90 million budget. It was followed by a 2002 sequel, Men in Black II, an animated series titled Men in Black: The Series as well as a second sequel which will be released in 2012, Men in Black III.

The MIB, a top-secret agency (headquartered in a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority ventilation station) that polices, monitors and directs alien activity on Earth, has established the Earth as an apolitical “neutral zone” for alien refugees (as Agent K explains, like Casablanca without the Nazis). The MIB answer to no government; their funding comes from the patents they own on technology confiscated from aliens, such as velcro, microwave ovens, and liposuction. When a new agent joins the MIB, every public record of his/her existence is deleted and all identifying marks (including fingerprints) are physically removed from his/her body.

1. Independence Day

Independence Day (also known by its promotional abbreviation ID4) is a 1996 science fiction film about a hostile alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance retaliation on July 4 – the same date as the Independence Day holiday in the United States. It was directed by Roland Emmerich, who co-wrote the script with producer Dean Devlin.

While promoting Stargate in Europe, Emmerich came up with the idea for the film when fielding a question about his own belief in the existence of alien life. He and Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack when noticing that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Principal photography for the film began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was officially completed on June 20, 1996.

The film was scheduled for release on July 3, 1996, but due to the high level of anticipation for the movie, many theaters began showing it on the evening of July 2, 1996, the same day the film begins. The film’s combined domestic and international box office gross is $816,969,268, which at one point was the second-highest worldwide gross of all-time. It holds the 27th highest worldwide gross of a movie all-time, and was at the forefront of the large-scale disaster film and science fiction resurgences of the mid-to-late-1990s.

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