Samuel L. Jackson has made quite a splash lately on various topics ranging from Donald Trump to Star Wars to even his own famous cursing. But, honestly, it’s hard to get mad at ol’ Sammy and his bag full of “motherf*ckers” and “sh*ts.” He’ll always be just a big, scripture quoting, gun-toting teddy bear with an amazing wallet.
But in all seriousness, Mr. Jackson is a damn fine actor who thrives even more when incubated by certain filmmakers (cough cough Tarantino). He’s gone from bit roles of sherm-smoking drug smuggler and mafia truck driver to completely embodying Shaft and killing some seriously nightmarish snakes on a plane. So, naturally, our staff weighed in on their favorite Samuel L. film…
I think the obvious answer is basically any Tarantino movie, because he’s been Oscar-worthy in every one he’s been in so far. So I’ll do the “underrated” thing and choose The Long Kiss Goodnight. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about his line read of “No, I usually sock ’em in the jaw and yell pop goes the weasel.”
I guess it’s that it’s mostly a pretty bad movie, but is enjoyable almost solely because of Samuel L. Jackson. I really wish he was in more Shane Black movies.
I’m going with Loaded Weapon One. Everybody is likely saying something about Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Avengers, or even The Incredibles, but I’m going National Lampoon’s.
It’s funny, he’s funny in it, and Emilio Estevez was still near his peak. I would’ve said Amos and Andrew, but I’m a little sore at Nic Cage at the moment.
Without hesitation, one of my favorite Samuel L. Jackson films is Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. It’s not one of Lee’s better films, but Jackson stole the show with his supporting performance as Gator Purify, a crack addict whose girlfriend just happened to be played by Halle Berry. Jackson garnered several awards and nominations for the role, which literally screams SAMUEL L. MOTHERF*CKING JACKSON. Also, he dances. A lot. Then again, if your character’s name was “Gator,” you’d dance, too. Don’t lie.
Pulp Fiction, no question. As I keep re-watching that movie, Jules just keeps getting more and more complicated as a character, a brutal murderer who decides he’s had enough not because of some gory, over the top moment, but because he has to butter up some chickensh*t in the Valley who lectures him about “Dead N*gger Storage” thanks to his idiot partner. I always wonder what happened to Jules.
As Gator in Jungle Fever
Jungle Fever wasn’t a Samuel L. Jackson movie, but it very well could’ve been. The 1990 Spike Lee joint featured Jackson as Gator, the crack-addled brother of the flick’s main character, and the subplot of how his drug addiction affected the whole family put a visible face to how hard crack rattled the black community. There was the preacher father, the good-natured mother, the successful brother and Gator, the one whose disease created major embarrassment and anguish for everyone else. It all culminated in one of the movie’s final, most dramatic scenes where the family squared off: Gator was as high as a kite, his crying mother broken down to as low as she could go and a father who had enough. Decades later, I can only remember glimpses of what happened between Wesley Snipes’ lead character and his love interest, but I can still do the “Gator shuffle” and vividly remember almost all the scenes he was involved in.
Nick Fury, The Avengers.
If it wasn’t for the MCU’s billion-dollar global reach, my only complaint would be that Jackson’s iteration of the cyclops at the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. should be more like he was in Ennis’ MAX Punisher run during the aughts. But besides that overt lack of smoking/drinking/whoring, Jackson is the perfect big-name actor to inhabit the grizzled spymaster.
Also, there’s no way anyone puts this character on this list. Jackson has been in too many other amazing roles. But I always thought he was the smartest choice Whedon made; although, he’s not gonna be around for the last few.
Okay, motherf*ckers, what’s your favorite Samuel L. Jackson movie?