If you are a film lover, chances are you’ve encountered the magnetic charisma of Samuel L. Jackson. With over a hundred credits to his name, Jackson has a filmography that spans an incredible array of characters and genres.
This post will guide you through the best Samuel L. Jackson movies currently available on Netflix. So grab some popcorn, get comfy on your couch, and prepare for a movie marathon filled with Jackson’s dynamic performances.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
When we think of Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino’s iconic masterpiece ‘Pulp Fiction’ often springs to mind. Jackson’s portrayal of Jules Winnfield, the philosophical hitman, is arguably one of his finest performances.
His character’s transformation from a ruthless killer to a man seeking redemption is memorable, especially the scene where he recites the chillingly poetic Ezekiel 25:17 speech. The unique narrative structure, unforgettable characters, and Tarantino’s sharp dialogue make ‘Pulp Fiction’ a must-watch film.
2. Django Unchained (2012)
Another Tarantino classic, ‘Django Unchained,’ sees Jackson in a challenging role as Stephen, the head house slave of a brutal plantation owner. He masterfully delivers a complex performance that showcases his versatility as an actor.
The film itself is a brilliant blend of spaghetti western and blaxploitation tropes, offering a unique take on the pre-Civil War Southern United States. It’s a testament to Jackson’s acting prowess that his character remains memorable amidst a star-studded cast.
3. The Hateful Eight (2015)
In ‘The Hateful Eight,’ Jackson plays Major Marquis Warren, a former Union soldier turned bounty hunter. His performance is as gripping as it is provocative, embodying a man who, despite his brutal exterior, carries an underlying sense of justice.
The film is a slow-burning mystery, rich in suspense and Tarantino’s trademark violence. It’s an immersive cinematic experience, complete with stunning cinematography and a haunting Ennio Morricone score.
4. Unbreakable (2000)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, ‘Unbreakable’ is a unique take on the superhero genre. Jackson plays Elijah Price, a man with a severe form of osteogenesis imperfecta, who believes he is the antithesis to a man incapable of being injured.
The film blends elements of mystery, drama, and comic book lore to create an engrossing narrative that slowly unveils its secrets. Jackson’s portrayal of Price is both poignant and chilling, making ‘Unbreakable’ a standout in his filmography.
5. Jackie Brown (1997)
In ‘Jackie Brown,’ Jackson plays Ordell Robbie, a ruthless gunrunner planning his retirement. His character is menacing yet charismatic, and Jackson delivers each line with his signature flair.
The film, a homage to 70s blaxploitation cinema, is another Tarantino gem that offers a compelling story, memorable characters, and a killer soundtrack. It’s a slower burn compared to other Tarantino films, but it’s well worth the watch for Jackson’s performance alone.
6. Coach Carter (2005)
Showing his versatility, Jackson shines in ‘Coach Carter,’ a sports drama based on a true story. He plays Ken Carter, a high school basketball coach who makes headlines when he benches his entire undefeated team due to poor academic performance.
The film offers a powerful message about the importance of education and responsibility. Jackson’s portrayal of Carter is both stern and inspiring, grounding the film with his compelling performance.
7. The Negotiator (1998)
In ‘The Negotiator,’ Jackson plays Danny Roman, a top-notch police negotiator falsely accused of murder and embezzlement. Trapped in a desperate situation, he takes hostages in a government office to buy time and prove his innocence.
The film is a gripping cat-and-mouse game, with Jackson delivering an intense performance that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
8. A Time to Kill (1996)
In ‘A Time to Kill,’ Jackson plays Carl Lee Hailey, a father who takes the law into his own hands after the legal system fails him.
The film is a gripping courtroom drama that tackles heavy themes of racism, justice, and morality. Jackson’s portrayal of Hailey is emotionally charged and raw, offering a powerful exploration of a man pushed to his limits.
9. Shaft (2000)
‘Shaft’ sees Jackson stepping into the shoes of the legendary detective John Shaft.
The film, a modern take on the 1971 blaxploitation classic, has Jackson delivering a charismatic performance filled with swagger and grit. While the film is an action-packed thrill ride, it’s Jackson’s commanding presence that truly carries the movie.
10. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
In ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight,’ Jackson plays Mitch Henessey, a private detective who helps a woman recover her lost memories, only to find she’s a former CIA assassin. Jackson provides much of the film’s humor, creating a memorable character that perfectly complements Geena Davis’s lethal protagonist.
The film is a high-octane action thriller with a surprisingly heartwarming core, thanks to the chemistry between Jackson and Davis.
11. 187 (1997)
In the gritty and intense drama ‘187,’ Jackson plays Trevor Garfield, a dedicated high school teacher who moves from New York to Los Angeles after a near-death experience involving a student.
The film explores the hardships and dangers teachers may face in severely underfunded and neglected school districts. Jackson’s performance is powerful and nuanced, delivering an authentic portrayal of a man grappling with the dire realities of urban education.
12. Changing Lanes (2002)
‘Changing Lanes’ is a riveting drama where Jackson stars alongside Ben Affleck. He plays Doyle Gipson, a recovering alcoholic fighting for his parental rights. A minor car accident with a hotshot lawyer (Affleck) escalates into a day-long series of retaliations. Jackson brilliantly portrays a man trying to regain control over his life amidst escalating chaos.
13. Rules of Engagement (2000)
In the military court drama ‘Rules of Engagement,’ Jackson teams up with Tommy Lee Jones. He portrays Colonel Terry Childers, a Marine officer court-martialed for ordering his men to fire upon civilians during an embassy siege. Jackson’s commanding performance and the moral complexities of the story make this a compelling watch.
14. Freedomland (2006)
In ‘Freedomland,’ Jackson plays Lorenzo Council, a police detective investigating a racially charged kidnapping case in a New Jersey public housing community.
The film, based on Richard Price’s novel, explores racial tensions and social issues while delivering a gripping mystery. Jackson’s performance as the dedicated detective is a highlight of this intense drama.
15. Lakeview Terrace (2008)
‘Lakewiew Terrace’ is a thriller that explores the dark side of suburban life. Jackson stars as Abel Turner, an LAPD officer who disapproves of his new neighbors, an interracial couple. His gradual descent from a stern authority figure to threatening antagonist is both unsettling and engaging, making this a suspenseful watch.
16. Black Snake Moan (2006)
In ‘Black Snake Moan,’ Jackson plays Lazarus, a deeply religious farmer who finds and helps a young woman battling personal demons.
The film is a unique blend of Southern Gothic drama and blues music, with Jackson even performing some songs on the soundtrack. His performance as the tormented savior is one of his most distinctive roles.
17. The Red Violin (1998)
‘The Red Violin’ is an epic drama tracing the life of a perfect violin from its creation in 17th-century Italy to an auction house in modern-day Montreal. Jackson plays Charles Morritz, an expert appraiser who discovers the violin’s true value. Though not a lead role, his performance adds a layer of intrigue to this sweeping narrative.
18. Sphere (1998)
‘Sphere’ is a science fiction thriller based on Michael Crichton’s novel. Jackson plays mathematician Harry Adams, part of a team investigating a mysterious spacecraft at the bottom of the ocean.
The film combines elements of psychological thriller and science fiction, and Jackson’s performance adds depth to the fascinating premise.
Don’t miss out on exploring other superstar actors like Chris Hemsworth that has left a mark with his charismatic roles, providing a perfect recipe for a binge-worthy movie marathon.
Samuel L. Jackson’s filmography is as diverse as it is impressive. His ability to breathe life into a vast array of characters while maintaining his unique screen presence makes him a true icon of cinema. So whether you’re a long-time fan or new to his work, these films on Netflix offer a fantastic look at some of the best performances of his career.
Remember, this list is subject to change as Netflix’s catalog varies over time. So, make sure to check these movies out while you can, and keep an eye out for any new additions!
Whether you’re in the mood for an intense drama, a captivating thriller, or a high-stakes action film, Samuel L. Jackson’s diverse range has something for everyone. His charismatic performances, filled with intensity and depth, ensure that every film he is in becomes a must-watch. So sit back, relax, and let Samuel L. Jackson take you on a cinematic journey like no other.