Will Smith’s 5 best and worst movies of his career, ranked

Will Smith
Will Smith. Pablo Cuadra / WireImage /
  • Here’s a look back at Will Smith’s incredible career.
  • We look at his 5 best and worst movies.
  • See where Smith’s latest, “King Richard,” made it on the list.

5. (tie) Best – “Bad Boys” (1995)
Bad Boys II Sony
‘Bad Boys.’ Sony
After starring in a few movies that didn’t help him escape the general public’s connection with him as a hip-hop artist or his popular character from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Smith was cast opposite Martin Lawrence in Michael Bay’s feature directing debut and the rest is history. The movie would go on to be a box-office hit, spawn sequels, and make Smith an action star.
5. (tie) Best – “King Richard” (2021)
Still from 'King Richard'
‘King Richard.’ Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment
Smith’s latest could be the one that finally gets him his much-deserved Oscar.

Played Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, Smith delivers an emotionally-charged performance as he plays a man with a troubled past who is determined to give his children a better life but at the same time doing it on his own terms.

It’s a role that Smith is perfect in as he sprinkles in great comedic moments throughout but it never diminishes the dramatic tone of the movie.

4. Best – “Men in Black” (1997)
Men in black
‘Men in Black.’ Columbia Pictures
A year after kicking alien butt and saving the world in the box office sensation “Independence Day,” Smith was at it again with this movie. Smith plays his role perfectly opposite the gruff Tommy Lee Jones, and with the movie featuring some amazing CGI, people flocked to see it. The hit cemented Smith as a global movie star. And with “Independence Day” and “Men in Black” both opening huge over the 4th of July, Smith became the box-office king of that all-important holiday weekend.
3. Best – “Hitch” (2005)
Hitch pick up line
‘Hitch.’ Colombia Pictures
It’s a movie that only gets better with age. Smith plays a relationship expert who can get any man to land the date of his dreams. But when it comes to his own love life, he’s a complete mess. Smith, Eva Mendes, and Kevin James are all at their best.
2. Best – “Independence Day” (1996)
Will Smith Independence Day
‘Independence Day.’ 20th Century Fox via YouTube
Smith’s bigger-than-life persona is in full glow in this movie and it made a fun end-of-the-world movie into a can’t-miss sensation. Imagine this movie without Will Smith.
1. Best – “Ali” (2001)
Ali Columbia Pictures
‘Ali.’ Columbia Pictures
After the 1990s, Smith focused more on Oscar gold than box-office receipts and up until “King Richard” this was his best shot. Playing Muhammad Ali in the Michael Mann biopic, Smith gives one of the best performances of his career. Smith received an Oscar nomination for his work and proved to his critics that he had major acting chops.
5. Worst – “Seven Pounds” (2008)
Seven Pounds Columbia Pictures
‘Seven Pounds.’ Columbia Pictures
Smith’s talents are no match for this dull drama in which he plays a man who sets out to change the lives of seven people.
4. Worst – “Collateral Beauty” (2016)
Collateral beauty warner bros
‘Collateral Beauty.’ Warner Bros.
Another drama that didn’t fire on all cylinders. Smith plays a man coping with the death of his daughter.
3. Worst – “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000)
The Legend of Bagger Vance DreamWorks
‘The Legend of Bagger Vance.’ DreamWorks
Robert Redford directs this fantastical story starring Matt Damon as a golfer and Smith as his mystical caddie. Yes, this movie is as bad as it sounds.
2. Worst – “Wild Wild West” (1999)
Wild wild west 1999
‘Wild Wild West.’ Warner Bros.
Smith tried to get lighting to strike twice by working again with his “Men in Black” director Barry Sonnenfeld, but this time it didn’t work. In fact, the result was horrifically bad and the movie went on to become known as a movie you have to see because it’s so terrible.
1. Worst – “After Earth” (2013)
After Earth Columbia Pictures
‘Another Earth.’ Columbia Pictures
Starring opposite his son, Jaden, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the movie was panned by critics and audiences. Smith even told Esquire that “After Earth,” the idea of which he conceived himself, was the “most painful failure” of his career.