1. King Richard (2021)
The story is about how Richard Williams did the groundwork for the successful sporting career of his daughters — tennis stars Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Smith won an Oscar, and the film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Smith also received acting honors at ceremonies such as the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA in the 2022 awards circuit.
2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith’s emotionally driven performance, The Pursuit of Happyness, is a drama film based on the life of American businessman and motivational speaker Chris Gardner. The film is about the early life of Gardner, a struggling salesman who is asked to leave his home and is forced into shelters with his five-year-old son. Smith’s real-life son, Jaden, made his film debut as Gardner’s son Christopher.
3. Ali (2001)
Smith bagged his first-ever Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for playing the boxing icon Muhammad Ali in this biographical film. The film is set between 1964 and 1974 during Ali’s storied life and career. It showcases all his wins and controversies which came along with his success. In addition, Smith’s co-star Jon Voight received a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.
4. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-96)
Smith rose to fame early named Will Smith in the NBC sitcom. The story of this show revolves around Smith, the character, who is sent to reside with his wealthy uncle and aunt in Los Angeles from Philadelphia. Smith’s lifestyle, shaped by his working-class neighborhood back home, contracts in hilarious ways with the upper-class lifestyles of his cousins Carlton and Hilary.
5. Men in Black (1997)
Men in Black was amongst the first films Will Smith acted in as Agent J — a member of a secret service that protects Earth from aliens. This film revolves around how Jay eventually became Agent J, guided by Agent K, Tommy Lee Jones. When an alien comes to Earth and commits crimes that threaten to drag Earth into an intergalactic conflict, Agent K and Agent J are ready to save the day.
6. Enemy of the State (1998)
The movie is based on a lawyer, Bobby (Smith), who unknowingly lands in the middle of a conspiracy involving the NSA and a corrupt politician. Faced with a State bent on destroying his life, Bobby goes on the run to clear his name.
Enemy of the State received wide critical praise upon release. It also stars Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, and Lisa Bonet in pivotal roles.
7. Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
The story is about Paul (Smith), a conman who deceptively enters the home of a wealthy New York City couple — Louisa and Flanders. But, as he starts living with them, their way of living is too much influenced until the truth emerges. The film is an adaptation of John Guare’s 1990 play of the same name.
8. I Am Legend (2007)
Robert Neville is a scientist who manages to survive a man-made plague and remains unaffected. With his loyal dog, Neville roams the streets of a dangerous New York City during the daytime to hunt for food and tools for survival. He tries to find a cure from his immune blood while contacting anyone like him who may have survived.
9. Independence Day (1996)
An alien invasion hits Earth from nowhere, and the technologically-advanced invaders obliterate several significant cities. As nations join forces to battle the aliens, Marine fighter pilot Captain Steven Hiller (Smith) and scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) go on a daring mission into space to destroy the invaders’ mothership.
10. Bad Boys For Life (2020)
Mike and Marcus are two Miami detectives who are tasked with bringing down a drug lord, Armando Armas (Jacob Scipio), as part of a special operations group named AMMO. While doing so, the two also struggle with happenings in their personal lives. The third part of the Bad Boys film series, Bad Boys For Life, is also the most well-received.