Welcome to the Reel Star Series where Movie Reelist Contributors pool our favorite movies starring Hollywood’s biggest stars. In this edition, we come together to celebrate the filmography of Will Smith, one of the biggest summer blockbuster heroes of all-time. Smith got his start rapping under the name Fresh Prince, but his big break came with TV’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. His popularity exploded during those six seasons at NBC. Smith would eventually make his jump to the big screen where his films have grossed a combined $6.6 billion at the global box office. The Fresh Prince actor shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon!

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Will Smith's biggest draw has always been his sense of humor and how it seamlessly blends with any role, none more surprising than when he entered the comic book movie genre. Smith plays the part of Hancock, a superman-type with an enfeebled drinking problem and a really really bad attitude. His social skills stink and he generally causes more problems than he fixes. Smith and Jason Bateman's character Ray, have great chemistry as the latter positions himself as Hancock's public relations fixer. The icing on the cake though is Charlize Theron (read her Reel Star feature) whose character is harboring a very big secret.

Bad Boys

"Bad boys. Bad boys. What you gonna do?" Go see this movie. That's what I did, and so did everyone else the summer of '95. The dream team-up of Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, and Michael Bay gave us the funniest and explosive buddy cop movie of the decade. Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence) are Miami cops whose big cocaine bust is lifted straight from Police headquarters by a violent French drug lord. Bad Boys spawned two sequels, the latest which drops early next year. "Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?!"


The least known Smith movie on this list comes from Netflix. Yep. Netflix. We're suckers for fantasy films and Bright, from the brilliant mind of Max Landis (American Ultra), delivers in spades with its eclectic cast of fairies, orcs, humans, and elves that make up this present-day action-thriller set in a gritty L.A. landscape. Cop partners Ward, a human (Smith), and Jakoby, an orc (Joel Edgerton) are on their regular night patrol when confronted with protecting an elf from falling into the wrong hands. Bright is Netflix's most expensive movie to date. Huge budget + Will Smith = see this movie. I mean, you already have a Netflix subscription anyway.

Men In Black

"Here come the Men in Black. Galaxy defenders." Who wasn't jamming this chart-topping hip-hop tune back in the day? Writing out this list, I'm convinced there was nothing more bankable in Hollywood than Will Smith fighting aliens. Despite Men In Black's heavy special-effects use, the film captured audiences with a one-two punch of endearing performances and dead-pan comedic tone. Smith and Tommy Lee Jones play off each other spectacularly and Rip Torn is the icing on the proverbial cake. Men In Black is certainly not one of Smith's highest performing box office hits, but it is one of his best-reviewed films. The franchise has been rebooted with Chris Hemsworth. We love the Thor actor, but "J" needs a cameo.

Independence Day

Independence Day is the film that launched Will Smith's career into hyper-drive. There was so much hype for this big-budget alien-invasion flick that without Smith, I'm not convinced would have ever lived up to its promises. The moment Capt. Steven Hiller (Smith) punched an alien and dragged it across the desert all the way to Area 51, we all became Will Smith fanboys and fangirls. His heroics didn't stop there either, Capt. Hiller would go on to fulfill his lifelong goal of becoming an astronaut and risks his life to deliver a nuclear payload to the invading mothership. The greatest achievement ID4 ever made was its re-playability. My kids and I enjoy watching this at least once per year.

Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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