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20 Great Films with Samuel L. Jackson: From Pulp Fiction to Hitman's Bodyguard
20 Great Films with Samuel L. Jackson: From Pulp Fiction to Hitman's Bodyguard

Lifehacker recalls the best on-screen images of his beloved actor Quentin Tarantino

20 Great Films with Samuel L. Jackson: From Pulp Fiction to Hitman's Bodyguard
20 Great Films with Samuel L. Jackson: From Pulp Fiction to Hitman's Bodyguard

Samuel L. Jackson is one of those actors who came to fame far from immediately. It was not the first or even the tenth film that brought him popularity. At first, he regularly appeared in small roles, even starred in Martin Scorsese, but then due to drug problems he almost lost everything.

After treatment, Jackson successfully embodied the image of a former drug addict in "Tropical Fever", got his first leading role - in the comedy "Loaded Gun" - and even flashed in "Jurassic Park" by Steven Spielberg. But all these roles can still be considered preparation for real fame, because then the actor met Quentin Tarantino.

1. Pulp Fiction

  • USA, 1994.
  • Drama, crime.
  • Duration: 154 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 9.

Bandits Vincent Vega and Jules Winfield carry out the orders of their boss Marcellus Wallace, while talking about the cultural differences between Europe and the United States, as well as about divine salvation. In addition, Vincent entertains Marcellus's wife. And boxer Butch confronts the boss of the mafia himself, trying to escape from a fixed match.

Only Tarantino's second directorial job instantly turned into a real cult, raising the popularity of everyone who starred there. And for Jackson, it was a real breakthrough. The role of Jules seemed to have been written especially for him, although the producers suggested Paul Calderon. But now it is no longer possible to imagine that someone else could also read the psalms with a pistol in their hands. Unsurprisingly, Jackson received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for this role.

2. Die Hard 3: Retribution

  • USA, 1995.
  • Action movie.
  • Duration: 128 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

Famed Officer John McClain gets into trouble again. This time, the terrorist Simon requires him to complete various tasks. If you lose, a bomb will go off in New York. A casual acquaintance, the owner of a small shop Zeus Carver, helps McClane.

Samuel L. Jackson had previously worked with Bruce Willis on the set of Pulp Fiction, although there their characters did not intersect in the frame. And then the actor was invited to the famous "Die Hard" franchise. And, by the way, the audience rated the third part higher than the previous one. Perhaps just because Willis was accompanied by a new charismatic hero.

3. Time to kill

  • USA, 1996.
  • Drama, crime, thriller.
  • Duration: 149 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 4.

In Clanton, two white guys raped a black girl. Upon learning that they could be released on bail, the victim's father (Samuel L. Jackson) killed both of the accused. And now he himself must appear before the court. At first, the case looks hopeless: a black man killed two whites. Lawyer Jake Brigens is trying to get an acquittal. Meanwhile, representatives of the Ku Klux Klan are arriving in the city.

This emotional legal drama is primarily based on the actors' play. Once again, Samuel L. Jackson stood out with his emotional speeches. His phrase: "Yes, they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in hell!" - became the hallmark of the actor, almost like the lines from "Pulp Fiction". And the role of his hero's lawyer was played by Matthew McConaughey.

4. Long kiss goodnight

  • USA, 1996.
  • Action, crime, drama.
  • Duration: 121 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 8.

Eight years ago, schoolteacher Samantha Kane lost her memory. But this does not at all prevent her from enjoying a quiet life with her daughter, who is just eight. But she suddenly begins to notice some strange skills in her, like using a cold weapon. And then Samantha learns that she was once a professional assassin in the service of the CIA. Together with the detective who unearthed her past, Samantha finds herself drawn into dangerous spy games.

The contrast of the main character with the funny and charismatic detective Mitch Hanessy, played by Jackson, adds brightness to the picture.

5. Eve's refuge

  • USA, 1997.
  • Drama.
  • Duration: 109 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 3.

Ten-year-old Eva lives in a happy family: her father is a successful doctor, her mother is a loving housewife. But then it turns out that dad regularly cheats on his wife. This becomes a shock for the girl, and her ideas about good and evil immediately collapse.

Father Louise Baptiste, played by Samuel L. Jackson, can be controversial. But what you can't deny is the style: suits, ties and hats make you literally admire his character.

6. Jackie Brown

  • USA, 1997.
  • Drama, crime.
  • Duration: 154 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 5.

Jackie Brown works as a flight attendant while secretly transporting cash for an arms dealer. Federal agents catch her by offering a deal: she gives up her employers and remains at large. But Jackie decides to avoid punishment and make money.

After Pulp Fiction, Tarantino, of course, invited Jackson to his next film. True, "Jackie Brown" was not received with such enthusiasm as the previous picture. But the actors' play nevertheless turned out to be on top. And Jackson even received a Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival.

7. Negotiator

  • USA, Germany, 1998.
  • Action, crime, drama.
  • Duration: 140 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 3.

Danny Rouman is one of the best negotiators in Chicago. He negotiates with the criminals about the release of the hostages, and if necessary, he himself surrenders. But one day they set him up, and now Danny himself captures people and calls the negotiator.

Another leading role of Samuel L. Jackson. And again, he manages to perfectly combine the image of the tough guy from the action movie with the real dramatic talent. And, by the way, here he again plays with Kevin Spacey, who played the role of the prosecutor in the movie "Time to Kill."

8. Star Wars. Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

  • USA, 1999.
  • Science fiction, adventure, thriller.
  • Duration: 136 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 5.

Unwilling to pay taxes, the trade federation attacks the peaceful planet of Naboo. And then the Jedi Council sends its warriors to the aid of the queen - Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. They find the boy with amazing powers of strength, but the council fears that he may go to the dark side.

When George Lucas invited Jackson to star in Star Wars, he agreed without hesitation. He was ready to play even a simple stormtrooper, but he got the role of Master Windu - one of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. When the actor returned to this role in the second part, he set the only condition: his lightsaber must be purple, although no one had such before. And Lucas agreed.

9. Invincible

  • USA, 2000.
  • Science fiction, drama, action.
  • Duration: 106 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 3.

David Dunn is the only one who survived the terrible train accident. Moreover, he did not even receive a single scratch. And then he is found by Elijah Price, who was nicknamed Mister Glass because of his very fragile bones. He claims that David is a real superhero because he is completely invulnerable.

Another on-screen duet with Bruce Willis and another bright role of Samuel L. Jackson. His Elijah Price is one of the most charismatic villains in film history. And soon he will reappear in this image in the movie "Glass".

10. Formula 51

  • USA, 2001.
  • Action, comedy, crime.
  • Duration: 93 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 3.

The talented chemist Elmo McElroy has invented a new drug. He comes to Liverpool trying to sell it, but the plans are thwarted over and over again. Meanwhile, Elmo's former boss sends a hitman after him.

This picture has been criticized for copying the style of Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. But Jackson in a Scottish kilt makes up for almost all the shortcomings of the plot.

11. In someone else's row

  • USA, 2002.
  • Drama, thriller.
  • Duration: 98 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 5.

Wall Street lawyer Gavin Bainek and insurance worker Doyle Gipson collided on the road. The accident is not very serious, there are no casualties. But they are both in a hurry. Then Baynek hides from the accident scene, forgetting an important folder there, and Gipson refuses to give it out because of resentment. This becomes the beginning of many mutual intrigues.

Often, the most difficult task for actors is not some vivid character role, but the image of an ordinary person who is gradually changing. And the authors of "In Another's Row" did not lose, taking on the main roles of Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. The whole action is built on their emotional game.

12. Coach Carter

  • USA, Germany, 2005.
  • Biography, drama, sports.
  • Duration: 136 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 3.

New coach Ken Carter joins the school basketball team. Under his leadership, adolescents practically do not know defeat. But then he makes a very ambiguous decision - he forbids the players to train until they improve their overall performance.

Jackson managed to embody a very interesting image: on the one hand, he is a real mentor who appreciates his team, on the other hand, he is a leader who is not afraid to make tough decisions. The plot, based on a real story, would not have been so bright without his participation.

13. The groan of the black snake

  • USA, 2006.
  • Drama, musical.
  • Duration: 116 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 0.

Farmer Lazarus Red finds a battered girl Ray on the road. He takes her to his home and tries to help cope with internal problems that result in nymphomania. He even has to keep Ray on a chain. But in fact, Lazarus is showing her that life is not so bad.

This film is worth watching, if only because Jackson specially learned to play several songs on the guitar for the role of Lazarus. One of them gave the name to the painting.

14. Unthinkable

  • USA, 2010.
  • Drama, thriller.
  • Duration: 97 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 1.

The veteran of the war in Iraq went over to the side of the terrorists and planted nuclear bombs in three cities. He is captured, but refuses to say where the explosions are to occur. Then the government sends an agent to him, who is ready to go to unimaginable cruelty in order to get information.

Jackson is a very versatile actor. Some roles make you think that simple and even funny images suit him more. But "The Unthinkable" reminds that sometimes its heroes are as cruel and inevitable as fate itself.

15. The Avengers

  • USA, 2012.
  • Superhero thriller, fantasy.
  • Duration: 143 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 1.

Thor's brother Loki decides to enslave the land and brings with him an entire army. And then the head of the international organization "Sh. I. T. " Nick Fury decides to gather all the strongest superheroes to repel the invaders.

Jackson has previously appeared in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nick Fury. And it was his hero who had the honor to bring together all the defenders of the Earth. In the following films, Fury practically disappeared and for some time was even presumed dead. But everyone knows that he will definitely return. And in "Captain Marvel" they promise to show his hero in his youth - at a time when he has not yet lost his second eye.

16. Django Unchained

  • USA, 2012.
  • Drama, western.
  • Duration: 165 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 4.

In the days of the Wild West, an eccentric bounty hunter nicknamed the Dentist takes on an escaped slave named Django as his assistant. He becomes an excellent hunter, and things are going well. But Django wants to free his wife from slavery.

In Quentin Tarantino's previous film, Inglourious Basterds, the actor did not find a suitable role, and he read the voiceover. But then the director again called Jackson into his film. True, here he got a small image of the servant of the character Leonardo DiCaprio. But the grumpy old man was remembered by many no less than the main characters.

17. Kingsman: The Secret Service

  • UK, USA, 2014.
  • Action, comedy.
  • Duration: 129 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 7.

Eggsy is a smart and prepared young man. But he grows up in a poor area, and therefore inevitably leans towards the path of a petty criminal. Then Eggsy finds a representative of the Kingsman secret service Harry Hart and offers him to train as a special agent. And together they will have to defeat the villain Richmond Valentine, who decided to reduce the population of the Earth.

If Mr. Glass in "Invincible" was the image of the most realistic villain, then Valentine, played by the same Jackson, is an obvious parody of all the villains from the comics. He is rich, but he looks ridiculous and speaks, and even eats expensive wine with hamburgers.

18. The Hateful Eight

  • USA, 2015.
  • Crime, drama, western.
  • Duration: 187 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

During a blizzard, a motley crew got stuck in the inn: bounty hunter John Ruth and his prisoner, another hunter Marquis Warren, a Confederate general, a Mexican and a few other people. But gradually the heroes have a suspicion that one of them is not who he pretends to be.

Again, a whole galaxy of bright images from Tarantino, and in the foreground Samuel L. Jackson in a yellow scarf and red tie. His image is remembered from the first frames and remains the most colorful until the finale.

19. Home for Peculiar Children of Miss Peregrine

  • USA, 2016.
  • Adventure, fantasy, drama.
  • Duration: 127 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 7.

From childhood, Jacob listened to his grandfather's stories about a strange orphanage for children who could fly or disappear. It was directed by Miss Peregrine. And at the age of 16, a teenager has the opportunity to personally meet the heroes of these stories.

Again, not a very big, but memorable role. Jackson played a villain with white hair and the same white eyes. Bright appearance and comical replay - the very thing for a fairy tale from Tim Burton.

20. The killer's bodyguard

  • USA, 2017.
  • Action, crime, comedy.
  • Duration: 118 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 9.

Michael Bryce was once an elite bodyguard. But after the loss of a client, his career went downhill. And now he has the opportunity to rehabilitate himself. True, he will have to protect the world famous killer, whom he himself would have gladly killed.

Jackson paired up with Ryan Reynolds to deliver a great comedy action movie. It seems that their heroes are very tough guys, but they constantly get into funny troubles. And Jackson's character constantly swears.

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