Samuel L. Jackson is the quintessential badass actor. If you need a guy to shoot someone in the face, yelling obscenities the whole time, or a guy that just LOOKS like he could do all of those things while quoting Bible verses at you in a smooth R & B voice, Samuel L.’s your man.
But, Sam’s played in a lot of movies, and while a lot of them were great, some of them were not so great. So, with apologies to Mr. Jackson, here are the 10 worst, in no particular order:
10. Mr. Glass, Unbreakable
Those of you who’ve read around here before know that we have no great love of M. Night Shyamalan. So it should come as no surprise that anything a movie that both Jackson and Shyamalan had a hand in was going to suck because just about everything Shyamalan does sucks.
Unbreakable saw Samuel L. stuck in a wheelchair for the duration of the movie, because if he so much as stubs his toe, he’ll break three bones in his leg. Also, he’s dressed in purple, and has Frederick Douglass hair. What, think that was a joke?
For most of the movie, he gave sage advice to Bruce Willis about how to be a superhero, and then at the end of the film, plot twists happen. We’d expect nothing less from a Shyamalan film–that Mr. Glass was actually a supervillain the WHOLE TIME. Such a shame really, that they paired these two talented actors in such a horrid movie.
9. Lazarus, Black Snake Moan
It usually isn’t a good thing when actors that are not already professional singers decide to actually sing in their films. Clint Eastwood did it a couple of times in various movies over the years, and frankly, it was terrifying.
Sam plays a man who likes his blues with a dash of Jesus, and sports lamb chops you could probably eat for dinner if you had but the courage to harvest them from his face.
After finding a nymphomaniac beat up by the roadside, he decides to nurse her back to health, and when she tries to get away, chains her sexy ass to the radiator, saying it was his mission to cure her of her wicked ways.
Things go south when Justin Timberlake shows up with a gun and a serious gripe with the dude that kidnapped his girlfriend and kept her chained in his bedroom in her underpants but for some reason, did not hit that.
8. Abel Turner, Lakeview Terrace
Ahahaha, reverse racism, that’s hilarious! That must have been what moviemakers thought when they pitched this movie. So we have a black cop who’s been on the force for a long time, and for some reason, he really hates white people. So when an interracial couple moves in right next door, he won’t be having any of that.
He begins a campaign of terror, slashing tires, installing floodlights, sending an informant to ransack the house and then shooting him when it goes all pear-shaped, that sort of upstanding police work. All of it winds towards the inevitable gunfight and police standoff as things burn around them. In theory, it should have been awesome, but, again…
7. Gerald Olin, 1408
This is a horror movie based on a Stephen King story. You may run screaming in terror at any time. In this film, Sam plays a hotel manager who runs a marvelous old hotel that hides a terrible secret: Room 1408 eats people. That is, it melts your brain with a series of optical illusions until you kill yourself. Still, John Cusack wants to go in.
Gerald Olin’s solution to the problem of the screwy room is to not let anyone stay there, because seriously, why would you want to. But John Cusack is a writer who claims to debunk this stuff, so of course he has to go in and be all skeptical.
So of course, Sam stops him…no wait, he gives him a bottle of cognac and wishes him well, sitting in his office as the guy sets himself on fire and chuckling like the demented bugger that he is.
6. Doyle Gipson, Changing Lanes
Two men get into an accident on the highway. One is a lawyer who is in too much of a hurry doing lawyering things to want to mess about with an accident report, while the other is an insurance salesman who is also in a hurry but wants to do the right thing. So the lawyer leaves him there cackling. Now, one of these men is Ben Affleck, and the other is Samuel L. Jackson. Guess which one is the snobbish lawyer?
Now, this accident ended up screwing both parties, Affleck in his lawyering stuff, and Sam in his more important custody of the children stuff. Now you have two very pissed off people, each blaming the other for the messing up of respective lives. What does that call for? Revenge, of course.
Specifically, a cycle of revenge that leads to a family feud between two dudes, until both men have compromised their morals and find themselves bringing knives to kill one another, and just like that, both wake up and say “Let’s be friends.”
5. Roland Cox, Jumper
You know, for some reason, it’s a little hard to believe that Samuel L. Jackson would go around killing people simply because he rocks the Jesus a little hardcore, especially a fellow Jedi Knight in Hayden Christensen. I mean, if he was Darth Vader, sure, but right now he’s just a kid with a bad haircut and Force powers.
Anakin has magical teleportation abilities known as Jumping, because we’re not being creative right now. Sam is Roland Cox, head of the Paladins, an organization determined to kill all the Jumpers because they viewed them as an abomination in the eyes of God. Time portals, cross dimensional gun battles and the inexplicable appearance of certain she-vampires.
Also, look at this image. Seriously, look at it:
4. Detective Lorenzo, Freedomland
All right, a film about the streets! And who better to play a tough as nails detective investigation murder in the projects than Samuel L. Jack…
What the Hell? He looks like he’s dressed for a night out at the pool hall, complete with fedora! Samuel L. Jackson does not wear fedoras, where would the afro go? Even the Frederick Douglass hair wouldn’t work with that hat. Also, apparently this isn’t a badass skull thumping cop on the streets film, it’s a psychological thriller about a woman who killed her own kid after drugging him up on cough syrup so she could get her freak on without him interfering with his accusing looks and whining that he’s hungry.
This movie reeks of Shyamalan, but he’s nowhere to be found. Probably turned down the project after finding out that aliens, ghosts, or other fairy tale creatures wouldn’t be making an appearance.
3. Calvin Hart, Kiss of Death
Take that film poster in for a second, before we get to Jackson. Seriously, just stare at it in sheer wonder. There are no actors that are more ridiculed on this great Internet of ours than David Caruso and Nick Cage. With Caruso, it’s snappy one liners and sunglass fidgeting that earned him the ire of the World Wide Web, with Cage, it’s….more complicated.
Now, picture those two starring in a movie with Sam Jackson. Keep in mind that this isn’t some Marx Brothers slapstick comedy, which should totally be made because that would be the best movie ever, this is a serious film where people get killed by Nick Cage’s beard.
Here’s the French poster, featuring all three stooges on it:
Sorry that this has gotten off track, but Jeeesus. The plot of this movie doesn’t matter, except for Sam’s a detective, Nick’s a Mafioso, and Red’s a career criminal kinda caught in the middle of the soul feud. Puns are the greatest. Look out, Nick Cage’s beard!
2. Elmo McElroy, Formula 51
It’s hard to believe that this movie actually happened and is not some elaborate April Fool’s Day ruse. First of all, Sam is a British dude named Elmo McElroy. Friggin Elmo. MCELROY.
Now, Elmo is a chemist who claims to have invented a drug that’s “51 times more powerful than cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.” His enemy is a drug lord named the Lizard, and take a guess who he is.
Don’t want to give away too much of the plot, spoilers and all, but at the end, Elmo ends up owning a castle that he plays golf naked in. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this film is that all British people are completely nuts.
1. John Mills, Twisted
Now, the only way to give proper justice to this insanity is to tell you the plot, with no jokes added, this all happened. Ashley Judd is a cop that suffers from a bad past involving her father, who killed a bunch of people including her mother before being killed by his cop buddies. She’s investigating a series of murders, all of them former lovers of hers. It seems like someone is setting her up for murder charges.
Her boss is our friend Sam, who was also Ashley’s dad’s former partner. Suddenly, PLOT TWISTS HAPPEN. We come to find out that Sam is actually the killer, not only of the present series of murders, but also for both her parent’s murders and all those murders her dad was supposed to have committed in the past. Why? Because Ashley’s mom was catting around, and he had to kill all her former lovers, or something, it’s really dumb.
Anyway, Ashley shoots Samuel and he ends up floating in a bay with sea lions, and it’s too bad the Internet doesn’t have a picture of that.
In conclusion… look out, Nick Cage’s beard is back!
By Ben Adelman