I’ve got to say it… I’ve done a lot of these lists over the years. Inevitably, regardless of the actor, by the time I reach the bottom of a Top 10, I find myself reaching to find quality movies or picking films that I have a soft spot for. Films that might not make other people’s lists. However, this is, by far, the most solid Top 10 I have ever posted. Top to bottom good films.
Don’t get me wrong, Bruce Willis has made some bad films (*cough**Hudson Hawk**cough). We somehow forgive it though because Bruce Willis is just a bad ass. We also feel redeemed when, every few films, he comes back with another solid film to keep us hanging on. Gotta love this guy. Here’s my favorites from his filmography…
HONORABLE MENTION: ALPHA DOG.
Alpha Dog is a great, underrated little film. I definitely had to mention it but am only giving it an “honorable” since Willis really just has a glorified cameo in the film.
10. BLIND DATE.
I could have put a few films in the last spot. I went with this one because it’s one of those films that I saw as a kid in the 80s and have always loved. How could you not with this cast that features a nearly unknown (at the time) Bruce Willis, a young Kim Bassinger and the sleazy lawyer from TV’s Night Court. All joking aside, it’s actually a fun movie. I’m surprised that Hollywood hasn’t tapped this one for a remake because it is ripe for it.
9. THE LAST BOYSCOUT.
This film has everything I love about late 80s/early 90s action flicks. Sure, there’s nothing fresh in this story of a washed up detective who teams up with a football player to investigate a murder sprinkled with deeper conspiracies. I’m also not a huge fan of Damon Wayans when he does films (though I do like the man’s other work). What sets this film apart is that it’s written by Shane Black and I’m a sucker for anything that guy writes. It also features one of my favorite movie scenes of all time where Willis asks his kidnappers for a cigarette and warns, “Hit me again and I’ll kill ya.” Find it on youtube and watch it!
8. THE FIFTH ELEMENT.
Whenever Luc Besson has his hand in a film, I find myself interested. Sure, he’s put out some stinkers (From Paris With Love) but they’re still usually fun to watch. This particular film could’ve been an epic failure because it is a very strange Sci-Fi film with ridiculous components Strange casting, bad alien costumes, Gary Oldman’s… head… thingy. In the end though, like other Besson films, it’s just a fun watch that is grounded in the performances of Willis and a very sexy Milla Jovovich.
7. THE SIXTH SENSE.
If we were judging these films on how well they were made, this film would rank near the top. If we were ranking them on greatest twist endings, this would be my number one of all time. Unfortunately, I’m judging them on how much I enjoy watching. Now, while I think this is a truly twisted and enjoyable film, the problem I have with this movie is it has a very low rewatchability factor. Something that most Bruce Willis score high on. While I love the film, the seven spot is the best I can do.
6. SIN CITY.
Sin City doesn’t get enough credit for being as good a film as it is. Many films have tried to literally adapt the page of a comic book to the big screen. Some have been successful (Watchmen) and others have failed miserably (Ang Lee’s Hulk). For this film, Robert Rodriguez literally bucked the system and made a truly faithful comic book adaptation featuring some very innovative filmmaking techniques. Within the film, Mickey Rourke’s Marv and Bruce Willis’ Hartigan have always been my favorite characters. In fact, Hartigan is one of my favorite movie cops of all time.
5. 12 MONKEYS.
I’m not a very big Terry Gilliam fan but it’s hard not to like this film. In fact, I have a hard time not liking any movie that features time travel. They happen to be my favorite kind of films. The film probably doesn’t need to be defended because everyone that’s seen it seems to love it. I will give Willis some props though. This is one of my favorite of his performances. Rarely does he play these kinds of roles when he’s not working with M. Night Shyamalan. In this film, Bruce “Bruno” Willis is gone and you see a very stripped down and vulnerable performance.
On paper, this film shouldn’t rank this high. It’s completely over the top. It’s completely illogical. Worst of all, it’s Michael Bay. Yet Armageddon is one of the greatest guilty pleasures ever caught on celluloid. An absolute must watch every time it comes on cable. It’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s awesome and I can’t get enough of it!
3. DIE HARD.
It’s a testimony to Bruce Willis’ filmography that this film only ranks as high as number three on my list. Most people might have it at number two or maybe even number one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a slight. Die Hard was a game changer. I often say that Die Hard did to the Action genre what Nirvana did to hair bands. In fact it’s so good that I’ll suffer through all the sequels Hollywood wants to make. Still, I have it at number three.
If Christopher Nolan didn’t exist, I think I could make an argument that this is the greatest comic book movie ever made. Something that is made more impressive by the fact that it wasn’t based on any existing property and came out a year prior to the comic book movie boom. If Hollywood were to show characters like Spiderman and Wolverine the care that M. Night Shyamalan showed David Dunn the comic book genre wouldn’t feel tired at times. It would be exciting every time.
1. PULP FICTION.
For me, this was the easiest pick on the list. Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite films of all time. It’s also a monumental film in the history of filmmaking spawning many imitators and changing the way films were structured. Not to mention, it’s just a crazy ass flick. I think Willis deserves some of the credit for it’s success because he’s one of the major players in the film and he’s great in the role of a washed up boxer named Butch.
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.