With the recent release of A Good Day to Die Hard, I decide to look back on Bruce Willis’ lengthy career, which provided plenty of great action movies. Having gotten his big break in TV (Moonlighting), Willis has still managed to go on and have a very fulfilling career on the big screen. Here, I delve through his filmography and present to you my top 10 movies starring Bruce Willis. So, without further ado, here they are.
Red is just old fashioned fun. Not the greatest thrill-ride, nor the most intriguing of plots, Red still manages to be be full of wit and charm and just a fun ride. Bruce Willis turns in his typical badass guy performance, but the real icing on the cake here is the great actors he’s surrounded by and their comedic performances that enhance the movie (especially John Malkovich).
Many may disagree with me, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Whole Nine Yards. The chemistry between Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry here really makes for a good time. Couple this with a clever enough script, plenty of laughs (usually provided by Perry) and plenty of charm, and you have a worthwhile time here. The sequel, The Whole Ten Yards, even provides for a fun time as you see Bruce Willis turn from the badass hitman into an emotional and blustering “housewife” which makes for some funny moments that breaks from Willis’ typical character.
Lucky Number Slevin may not be quite as clever as it hopes to be, but it’s still a clever little movie, nonetheless. I think this one really is an underrated gem. It’s an extremely stylish movie with some good dialogue, which all combines for a fun ride with plenty of twists and turns along the way which keep you right there in it.
It’s not often that you’ll find a M. Night Shyamalan movie make it onto a list of mine that is praising movies, so enjoy this moment. The Sixth Sense is the only truly good movie the director has made, but it was a damn good one. The Sixth Sense harkened back to the classical slow-burn horror films like The Exorcist. From the delicate direction to the emotional impact (thanks to Osment), the whole movie creates a mood and atmosphere that leaves you on the edge of your seat right up to the end, when we’re given one of the best twists in movie history.
This crime-comedy may not be the best movie or the most well-scripted, but the performances here make Bandits an absolute delight. The chemistry between Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton bring a Odd Couple feel to the movie that provides plenty of laughs along the way and has you sucked into these characters.
In my opinion, this is Terry Gilliam’s best movie. While a tad convoluted and a bit too clever for its own good at times, Twelve Monkeys is still a well-written and enthralling thriller backed by great performances that give down-to-Eartch character to the sci-fi concept. The gritty and tense movie is a great addition in the sci-fi genre and one every one should see.
The Fifth Element is one visually creative and stylishly inventive movie. While the story plays out like it was written by a teenage boy (probably because it was), it still manages to plenty loads of fun along the way and dazzle you with the visual splendor that Besson provides. What really saves the movie, besides it’s visual creativeness, is that it never really takes itself too seriously. The Fifth Element owns its own goofiness and even accents it with Bruce Willis’ humor, saving it from falling into dreaded B-movie ground.
Sin City is one of the more stylish and visually striking movies of the last decade. A visual breakthrough and an utter bloodfest, Sin City is a graphic but incredibly fun ride that is pretty on the eyes. A very stylish noir film that isn’t for everyone, but a definite must-see for those who can stomach the brutality of it.
What can I say about Pulp Fiction? In fact, do I even need to say anything? This is, in my opinion, Tarantino’s masterpiece. That should be enough said there. Hell, just the fact that it’s a Tarantino film should be enough alone. I don’t think there will be any arguments about this movie landing this high.
First, let me say I’m going ahead and counting the Die Hard franchise as only one entry here. This will avoid having to put multiple movies from the same franchise on the list. Now, while Moonlighting launched his career, Bruce Willis was really made by his role in Die Hard. Over the years, many have emulated this classic but failed to reach its heights. For me, Die Hard is still the quintessential Hollywood action flick. There is just no other that can compare. With good writing (that even pokes fun at itself) to great supporting characters, there’s nothing not to love here. And Bruce Willis’ badass yet sarcastic and witty character just makes it all that much better. You just can’t think of Bruce Willis without immediately being reminded of Die Hard.
So, there you have it. My top 10 Bruce Willis movies. I’ve included some honorable mentions below. What do you think? Agree with my choices or think I’m out of my mind? Feel free to share your opinions below and let me know your top Bruce Willis movies as well.
These are ones that don’t star Willis in any great capacity. So, for that reason, they weren’t included on the list. But I did find them to be good movies that do feature Bruce Willis and aren’t mentioned all that often usually. So, I wanted to give them at least a nod:
Four Rooms, Assassination of a High School President, Alpha Dog