10) Deep Blue Sea (1999): Jackson has repeatedly proven himself to be more than willing to poke fun at his badass persona (see Snakes Like a Plane). And in this B-movie about “smart” sharks his entire role is essentially a punchline, albeit a hilarious one.
8) Coach Carter: In this inspirational sports movie (which is based on a true story), Jackson plays the no-nonsense Ken Carter, who demands excellence on the court and in academics from his players.
7) Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995): In this popular entry in the Die Hard action franchise, Jackson plays a down-to-earth Harlem shop-owner named Zeus who gets swept up into a terrorist’s scheme against his will. Once again, Jackson and Bruce Willis have terrific chemistry.
6) A Time to Kill (1996): In this gut-wrenching John Grisham drama, Jackson plays the embittered father of a young girl who’s been sexually abused by racists. His decision to seek vigilante justice sets the story in motion.
5) Eve’s Bayou (1997): In this critically acclaimed film by Kasi Lemmons, Jackson was able to show a darker side to his persona — playing a well-respected town doctor with more than a few skeletons in his closet.
4) Shaft (2000): Taking on the iconic role originated by Richard Roundtree in the 1971 blaxploitation classic, Jackson was able to show off his smooth and sexy side as a renegade private eye. This terrific remake also features standout performances by Christian Bale and Jeffrey Wright.
3) Jackie Brown (1997): Jackson teamed up with the legendary Pam Grier and Robert De Niro as the dangerous and conniving crook, Ordell Robbie, in this highly entertaining caper film. It boasts a killer soundtrack, too.
2) Jungle Fever (1991): After years of bit parts, Jackson finally broke out with his tragic performance as the drug addicted ‘Gator’ in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. Cannes literally created an award for him after this film.
1) Pulp Fiction (1994): Hyper-articulate hitman Jules Winfield is Jackson’s most iconic role and rightfully so. He scored his one (and so far only) Oscar nomination for this classic which turned him into a superstar.
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In his 40-year big screen acting career, Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in roughly 100 films, averaging four new movies a year. According the Guinness Book of World Records his total box office is the greatest of any actor ever. To commemorate the release of his new blockbuster The Avengers, theGrio has taken on the difficult task of whittling down his impressive filmography to highlight our 10 favorites. Check out slideshow below and see if you agree with our picks.