What makes Samuel L Jackson so popular? Well it’s a combination of many things, but mainly his ability to be in any type of film, including dramas, science fiction or action. The films he has starred in have grossed the most out of any actor in history, so if that is not a strong indication of his skills as an actor then it at least shows he has good judgement when it comes to picking scripts. With a career spanning over 30 years, Jackson has had a variety of roles that were all memorable, but here are my top 5 which I think make him so great.
In this thriller, Samuel L Jackson plays a corrupt police officer (Abel Turner) who has a problem with his neighbour’s interracial relationship. Kerry Washington and Patrick Wilson Star as the couple who are continuously taunted and terrorized by Turner. Although we all love Jackson, you find yourself as the film progresses eagerly anticipating this nut getting his comeuppance.
This film has become somewhat of a cult classic, mainly because it is so bad that it’s good. With its poor script, numerous clichés and dubious acting, it is only Samuel L Jackson’s no-nonsense role as FBI agent Neville Flynn that makes this film somewhat bearable. Then again this film’s purpose was not to win Oscars but to entertain, and that it did. And of course there is ‘the line’ that Jackson says that will probably go down as one of the most memorable movie lines ever.
Many thought that it would be hard for M. Night Shyamalan to direct something as great as The Sixth Sense, but he did come extremely close with his following film in 2000 with Unbreakable. Bruce Willis stars as David Dunn, a man who has never been sick or injured in his life. Samuel L Jackson plays Elijah Price, a man with a rare bone disease that causes his bones to break easily. In yet another role we have never seen him in, Jackson conveys Price’s insanity and desperation to find the “opposite” of himself with ease.
To make a remake of the classic 70s film there was only one actor that could have given Shaft the treatment it deserved. Samuel L Jackson was a perfect choice, and it was a great chance for him to bring what he naturally exudes to the role. Christian Bale, Jeffrey Wright and Richard Roundtree who was the original John Shaft also star.
Here Jackson plays Carl Lee Hailey, a father in the deep south of America whose 10 year old daughter is brutally attacked by two white men. Hailey takes swift justice and kills the perpetrators for which he is then put on trial for their murder. Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock also star in this courtroom drama, as his legal team trying to stop him from being convicted. Both riveting and thought provoking, this film highlighted the injustices and racial issues that have occurred in the United States for years, and Jackson proved to be both powerful but unfortunately underrated in this role.