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SPY Guide: The 10 Best Samuel L. Jackson Movies

* One of the most prolific actors alive
* Currently ranks as the highest all-time box-office star
* Iconic roles include Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained

With more than 122 films under his belt, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most versatile and prolific actors of our generation. From playing a rugged cop to a snake-fighting crusader, Jackson’s done it all.

His latest film, The Hitman’s Bodyguard debuted at the top of the box office. In honor of the film’s debut we’ve rounded up our picks for the ten best Samuel L. Jackson movies.

1. Unthinkable

This 2010 thriller stars Sam Jackson as H, a hard-nosed investigator who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Superb acting and an original script make this thriller standout among the gamut. Unthinkable will undoubtedly keep you on the edge of your seat.


2. A Time to Kill

Jackson plays a father who’s looking for justice after his daughter is brutally raped and murdered in a small Mississippi town. Directed by Joel Schumacher, this gritty courtroom drama features a stellar cast and a tour-de-force by Jackson and then-newcomer Matthew McConaughey.


3. The Long Kiss Goodnight

The Long Kiss Goodnight features classic Sam Jackson as a mysterious assassin with an odd sense of humor, and Geena Davis as a mom who’s slowly remembering her sordid past. The chemistry between Jackson and Davis is palpable, helping this dark comedy hit all the right notes.

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4. Kingsmen: The Secret Service

While Jackson shines as a hero, he revels in being a villain, and here he plays one of his most memorable villains yet. This 2015 action flick was a runaway hit due in great part to Jackson’s off-kilter performance as the hilariously hateable Richmond Valentine. It’s hard to imagine this is the same guy who played Shaft.


5. Rules of Engagement

This film features Sam Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones as two top marines. When Jackson faces a court martial, he’s forced to turn to Jones for help. There’s something about Samuel L. Jackson and war movies that always seems to work, and the Rules of Engagement is no different.


6. Pulp Fiction

“You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in France?” The classic gangster film features Sam in one of his most iconic roles of all time. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction features an incredibly intricate story line and an all-star cast, though Jackson and Travolta steal every scene they’re in.


7. The Negotiator

Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey star as two veteran hostage negotiators who go head to head in this tense thriller. After Jackson is falsely accused of murder, he goes on the lam to prove his innocence. A solid thriller from start to finish, one reviewer called it the Dog Day Afternoon of the 90s.


8. Shaft

Perhaps his most famous role, Samuel L. Jackson plays Shaft, a tough-as-nails detective with a penchant for trouble and a nose for crime. While this 2000 update may not have the same impact as the original, Jackson is a pleasure to watch. Rumor has it he’s in talks for a sequel.


9. Django Unchained

No one does bad better than Samual L. Jackson. This 2012 film has Jackson again teaming up with Tarantino in this pre-Civil War film. Fun fact: When the script was first written some 15 odd years ago, it was written with Jackson in mind as the hero.


10. Snakes on a Plane

Leave it so Sam Jackson to turn a movie like Snakes on a Plane into a cult classic. While this 2006 film may not be his renowned movie, it’s certainly one of his most memorable. As FBI agent Neville Flynn, Jackson takes on a plane full of criminals (and snakes) with enough gusto to send this flick straight into the fresh category on Rotten Tomatoes.

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