Ranking 16 Of Will Smith’s Best Films

Despite having no acting experience prior to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith has become one of the biggest movie stars of our time. With a fantastic filmography featuring varied and diverse characters, Smith has proven that life as the Fresh Prince was just the beginning for him. Here is a definitive ranking of Will Smith’s best films to date.

The Legend of Bagger Vance
Directed by Robert Redford, The Legend of Bagger Vance has some serious flaws concerning the representation of race in the film. However, Will Smith's performance is still excellent. In this Great Depression era film, Smith proves he can command a screen in any decade. Smith plays Bagger Vance, a golf coach who helps a struggling golfer get back in the game. 
Independence Day
Will Smith joined a huge cast of actors for this disaster thriller. In Independence Day, the globe is attacked by some unknown alien forces, and Smith and his comrades try to defend the world against them. Though Will Smith will not be reprising his role, a long awaited sequel for Independence Day is due out in 2016.
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Where the Day Takes You
In his debut film, following the success of the freshman season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith stars as Manny, a disabled man who befriends a group of homeless teens in Los Angeles. Transitioning from television to film is no easy feat, especially with an extremely complicated character. However in Where the Day Takes You, Smith proves he was more than up for the task.
Six Degrees of Separation
In Six Degrees of Separation, Will Smith proved that he could stand with acting greats like Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland. In the film, Smith plays Paul, a con-man claiming to be legendary actor Sidney Poitier's son. Paul cons his way into the lives of New York City's most elite, leaving them them all connected in the wake of his lies and deception.
Enemy of the State
Technology and power can be an extremely deadly combination, especially when those things are being used to hurt you. In Enemy of the State, Will Smith stars as Robert Clayton Dean, a labor lawyer who is framed for murder. The film is thrilling and heart-stopping until the very end. It also shows off Smith's ever improving dramatic acting chops.
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Men in Black 3
While Men in Black II, was very similar to the original, 2012's Men in Black 3 upped the ante for both Will Smith, and the franchise as a whole. In the film, Smith's character Agent J goes back to the 1960's to prevent Agent K's murder. Though Josh Brolin plays a young Agent K,  Tommy Lee Jones still represents the original icon.  The Men in Black franchise got a whole lot more fun with the third film.
Men in Black
In Men in Black, Will Smith stars opposite Tommy Lee Jones, as James Edwards a NYPD officer who gets recruited to the Men In Black agency as Agent J. As the duo continue to monitor alien activity on Earth, they realize they have a much bigger problem on their hands then they had originally anticipated. Men in Black was so popular that a sequels were also made, one in 2002 and another in 2012.
I, Robot
Will Smith certainly can't be confined by time or space.  I, Robot is set in the year 2035 and Smith stars as Detective Del Sponner, a man who has become increasingly suspicious of the humanoid robots that were designed to help and protect people. Smith is always great in action films and I, Robot just proves he can do anything.
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What happens when a conman and his protegee begin conning each other? Will Smith stars in the psychological crime drama Focus as Nicky, a season con-artist whose protegee Jess (played by Margot Robbie) shows up out of nowhere, putting his entire act in jeopardy.  Focus made it clear that after all of these years, Smith can still play a leading man while playing homage to his thriller roots.
Will Smith was nominated for a Golden Globe, for his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian coroner who discovered the horrific affects head trauma has on NFL players. Though the film doesn’t quite have the fast-paced tone of Focus, Smith holds his own here (despite his awful Nigerian accent), as a man who would do anything to bring the truth to light. Concussion, is a story about a beloved sport that has given us both great joy and sorrow. More than anything, it's Smith outside of his comfort zone in a role you may not even recognize him in.
Will Smith has played a ladies man since his days in the Banks' mansion, and in 2005 he proved he could stand his ground as a leading man in a romantic comedy. In Hitch he plays the ultimate guy's guy, a dating coach who helps men land their dream dates. However, when Hitch's techniques don't work on the woman that he wants to pursue, he's left to rethink his strategy.
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Seven Pounds
Redemption certainly isn't an easy road to embark on, but Will Smith does so eloquently in Seven Pounds. In this tearjerker, Smith plays Ben Thomas a man who is tormented by a devastating secret and embarks on righting his wrongs by changing the lives of seven strangers. Smith is truly at the top of his game in this film.
I Am Legend
Few actors are able to successfully carry a film in which they are alone onscreen for the majority of it. Will Smith stars in I Am Legend as Robert Neville, one of the only survivors of a man-made plague that turns humans into blood thirsty mutants. Not only does Smith command the screen alone, the film's twists and turns of make it an amazing thriller.
Will Smith received an Academy Award nomination for his role as the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in the 2001 film, Ali. It can be extremely taxing for any actor to play a world renowned figure; especially when that actor is so well known themselves. However, Smith was not intimidated by the pressure of the role, and instead he poured everything he had into the film, paying homage to the greatest boxer of all time.
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The Pursuit of Happyness
In what is perhaps his best performance to date, Will Smith stars in The Pursuit of Happyness as a homeless single father who lands a non-paying internship in his last stitch effort to get his life back on track. The film marks the acting debut of Smith's son Jaden Smith. The film is so remarkable because the chemistry between the father and son onscreen is simultaneously beautiful and overwhelmingly heartbreaking. Will Smith was nominated for his second Academy Award for his performance.