Bruce Willis initially gained international fame through his Die Hard role, and is now known as one of the legendary movie stars of the industry. While his first major role was in a fairly successful detective series for television, Willis is now among the major names in movie history. In his prime, he was known to be an actor who could make the success of any movie very likely.
While not every movie that Bruce Willis starred in was a success, there’s no denying that he’s a very interesting actor to follow. His acting talent is apparent, but what really stands out are his eclectic and unusual choices at times. For instance, he’s been known to take a massive pay cut at the peak of his career just for the chance to work with an actor he admired. Willis has also played many supporting roles solely for the purpose of working alongside an actor or director who inspired him. These learning experiences might have shaped him as an actor and a person, so it’s worth looking at the top movies that he made during his career so far. Let’s discuss a few of them now:
Unlike the action series Die Hard, this film is in the genre of science fiction. It’s one of his more recent movies, and one that allowed Willis to play a character that was around his actual age. He also doesn’t have to play an indestructible character.
This movie has an interesting premise and a memorable lesson. It talks about time, how violence can affect a man, and the ambiguous role of humans. While the story also had the attraction of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it was Willis who made the movie and brought in the audience.
You’re kept on your toes throughout the runtime, not sure how far the main character would go in the name of love.
2. Moonrise Kingdom
This was made back in 2012 and might not always get counted as a great work. Willis has just a supporting role here, but he fitted in nicely with the regulars of Anderson such as Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton. Overall, this movie was a chance for Willis to experiment with the genre of comedy under a major filmmaker.
The role of Bruce Willis here is that of Duffy Sharp, who is a police captain in New England. He agrees to house a Khaki Scout when the latter’s adoptive parents kick him out. The Scout runs away and it’s up to Sharp to find him.
In this premise, Moonrise Kingdom was in need of a hero like Bruce Willis. He might not have been in the lead, but he was great in the parental movements and also a rescue mission.
3. Death Becomes Her
This is probably one of the older movies that millennials should check out for themselves. It’s a fun comedy that was made in 1992, with Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep stealing the show. Even though Willis was in another supporting role here, he was also able to make a mark for himself even against such impressive co-stars.
In the movie, the two leads are rivals who drink a potion to get eternal youth. As it turns out, immortality isn’t as glamorous as they thought it would be. Streep’s character eventually argues with the mortician, played by Bruce Willis, and has an accident so severe that even plastic surgery couldn’t fix it.
While Willis’ character is not really a possessive one, he’s also never said to be the villain. Overall, it’s one of those madcap roles that Willis was known to be partial for; it was also just right enough to round off the movie’s story.
4. Pulp Fiction
The magnum opus of Quentin Tarantino might not have reached the popularity it did when Bruce Willis became a co-star in this movie. Moreover, it’s said that playing Butch Coolidge was also good for Willis’ own soul during that stage in his career. This role came after several of Willis’ movies faced high-profile flops.
With ‘Pulp Fiction’, Willis got a chance to portray a boxer who’s part fight and part lover. He also jumped at the chance to work with the likes of Tarantino.
We don’t really get to see Willis throw a punch in the movie, but he does manage a samurai sword while two people try to abduct him and his friend.
5. Die Hard
Of course, the ultimate must-see movie from Willis is the first-ever Die Hard that propelled him to the heights of fame. We would also include Die Hard With a Vengeance and Die Hard two in this same listing, but the original Die Hard also lets us see a movie star just getting ready to soar.
Willis previously had a decent fan base due to his show ‘Moonlighting’, but this was his first venture into action films. John McClane was a role that fit him very well, with Willis also adding a sense of humor and a determined persistence. The performance is so smooth that even repeat viewers are on the edge of their seats every single time.
The other sequels might be just as good, but we would have to see them all to be sure of that. Read up on the plot of ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ and see what it might be worth a shot.
This movie is from Micheal Bay’s Criterion Collection, though some might like ‘The Rock’ better. Willis plays the character of Harry Stamper here, and makes the whole movie a great watch overall.
Since Stamper is the best among deep sea oil drillers in the movie, he soon realized that an asteroid is coming to earth and can wipe out all forms of life. Since he can’t let that happen, he decides to head out to space and attack the asteroid to blow it up.
Ultimately, the hero makes a sacrifice for his country and child, in the hopes that A.J, played by Ben Affleck, will be better at providing for his daughter. There might be some ridiculous moments, but the movie is an excellent watch.
This is one of the top movies by the legendary director M. Night Shyamalan. Bruce Willis’ role here is that of David Dunn, who is a football star but doesn’t get to go pro due to a terrible accident. He ends up as a security guard in a sports stadium, with a marriage and family that’s falling apart.
Eventually, David emerges unscathed by even a train wreck and learns how he’s now above average. One might say that M. Night knows how to get the best out of Willis, which is probably why the movie star is very interested in working under the director whenever possible.
Along with a brilliant screenplay, there’s a nice color platter and Jackson’s performance to make the movie a must-watch. Willis’ performance is quiet yet deafening. Some might even shed a tear while watching this one, so be warned.
8. The Sixth Sense
This is yet another offering from the director M. Night, and one were Willis almost revenants himself. It is a classic film from 1999, and has also given rise to several memes with the words ‘I see dead people’.
Along with Willis’ own performance, he and Shyamalan also helped the child actor along the way. The result was one of the most memorable and terrific child star performances within the history of movies. Willis himself was instrumental here, as he’s the veteran co-star who was always patient with the child.
Bruce Willis shows off his flair for dramatic acting in this deep performance. The movie is still said to have one of the very best endings ever, though it might not be the happiest one. When it came out back in 1999, Willis’ performance was quite an unexpected yet pleasant surprise for most fans.
At the age of 66, Bruce Willis is still listed as being active and working within the entertainment industry. Up until this point, the films that feature him have grossed somewhere between $2.64 and $3.05 billion US dollars at the box offices in North America. This made Willis the 8th highest grossing actor in 2010, at least as far as leading roles were concerned. In the supporting role category, he stood as the 12th highest grossing actor. He’s won an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award twice each, and also has four nominations for a Saturn Award. Here are some more interesting facts about Bruce Willis.
The list of achievements for Bruce Willis is a long one, as is the list of films he has been in. We have tried to discuss some of his best offerings to date, so that those interested can find a good selection of Bruce Willis movies. Choose one of these during your next movie night; you can’t go wrong with the top picks of Bruce Willis movies.