The Best and Worst of Bruce Willis

Updated on March 1, 2018
Alec Zander profile image

Alec is a film critic with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his reviews and articles will help launch his career.

Bruce Willis is an action legend, but what are his truly legendary films? What are the not-so-legendary ones? I will list the top 5 best films and the 5 worst films of Bruce Willis's extensive career, and then I will give my individual ratings of his complete filmography. Ready?

Yippee-ki-yay!

The Top 5 Films of Bruce Willis

  • Sin City - Possibly the coolest, slickest, funniest, and craziest comic adaptation of all time, Sin City adapts three different storylines from Frank Miller's incredible graphic novels and does it well. Everyone gives top-notch performances, Willis's being the most heartbreaking of all. 4 out of 4.
  • Looper - Imagine a future where your job is to be at a certain place at a certain time, assassinate someone from the distant future, then collect your money and wait to be contacted again. Now imagine finding out the man you're about to assassinate is your future self. Would you do your job, or try to save yourself? A gripping film with gripping performances, the film gets a 4 out of 4.
  • The Sixth Sense - The father of all psychological thrillers, The Sixth Sense pairs Bruce Willis with Haley Joel Osment as Haley tries to understand why he can see and communicate with the dead. 4 out of 4.
  • Moonrise Kingdom - A touching and often hilarious story about two kids who want nothing more than to be together. Bruce Willis is memorably funny in a wonderful film about the power of love. 4 out of 4.
  • Die Hard - The film that launched Bruce Willis's action career, the film pits a lone Willis against a team of terrorists. Full of incredible action and sarcastic hilarity, Die Hard is still a classic 30 years later. 4 out of 4.

HONORABLE MENTION
In Country - A Vietnam vet trying to forget his experiences in the war is forced to remember in order to help his niece find out what happened to her father who was reported KIA (killed in action) with no explanation or body for burial. There are some incredibly emotional moments, especially the ending. This film truly respected and honored the fallen soldiers who sacrificed themselves for the betterment and protection of their country. 3.5 out of 4.

The Worst Films of Bruce Willis

  • Breakfast of Champions - A film about a car salesman whose life is spiraling downwards quickly would seem like a dramatic film with lots of emotional moments. Sadly, it wasn't. This was a film that couldn't decide whether it was a comedy or a drama or a fantasy. It wouldn't have been too bad if it didn't switch modes all the time. 1 out of 4.
  • Precious Cargo - This was a film with very little plot that tried to compensate with humorless arguments trying to be funny and inane action sequences. The film wasn't even lengthy but still it felt stretched. Perhaps it would have been better as a short film? It gets a 1 out of 4.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard - The fifth entry in the popular and successful Die Hard series takes John McClane international as he tries to locate and rescue his son Jack. It was a good concept with a horrible execution. It turned into just another mindless series of shootouts instead of a smart thriller as the previous entries were. 1.5 out of 4.
  • Grindhouse: Planet Terror - Now, don't go grabbing your crucifixes just yet, I'm not possessed. I rather enjoy Robert Rodriguez's work but Planet Terror crossed the line in so many ways. It was intentionally, overly, and unnecessarily gross. It had a good overall plot and a fun cast, but some moments were just too over-the-top disgusting. 1.5 out of 4.
  • Assassination of a High School President - This was another film that couldn't decide what it wanted to be. It didn't help that the people you're supposed to be rooting for are just as deplorable as the villains. I also feel like the film made light of school shootings when that is a very real and sensitive subject. 1.5 out of 4.

DISHONORABLE MENTION
The Expendables 2 - Cheesy and overstuffed with puns, the sequel to Stallone's comeback film The Expendables is just not done very well and feels rather rushed as if they wanted to spit a sequel out to grab some quick cash. 1.5 out of 4.

Filmography and Ratings

  • Blind Date - 2.5 out of 4
  • Sunset - 2 out of 4
  • Die Hard - 4 out of 4
  • In Country - 3.5 out of 4
  • Look Who's Talking - 3 out of 4
  • Die Hard 2 - 3.5 out of 4
  • Look Who's Talking Too - 2.5 out of 4
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities - 2.5 out of 4
  • Mortal Thoughts - 3.5 out of 4
  • Hudson Hawk - 3 out of 4
  • Billy Bathgate - 3.5 out of 4
  • The Last Boy Scout - 2 out of 4
  • Death Becomes Her - 3.5 out of 4
  • Striking Distance - 3 out of 4
  • Pulp Fiction - 4 out of 4
  • North - 3 out of 4
  • Color of Night - 4 out of 4
  • Nobody's Fool - 3 out of 4
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance - 3.5 out of 4
  • 12 Monkeys - 4 out of 4
  • Beavis and Butthead Do America - 2.5 out of 4
  • Last Man Standing - 2.5 out of 4
  • The Fifth Element - 3 out of 4
  • The Jackal - 2 out of 4
  • Mercury Rising - 3.5 out of 4
  • Armageddon - 3 out of 4
  • The Siege - 4 out of 4
  • Breakfast of Champions - 1 out of 4
  • The Sixth Sense - 4 out of 4
  • The Story of Us - 2.5 out of 4
  • The Whole Nine Yards - 3.5 out of 4
  • The Kid - 3 out of 4
  • Unbreakable - 4 out of 4
  • Bandits - 3.5 out of 4
  • Hart's War - 3.5 out of 4
  • Grand Champion - 2.5 out of 4
  • Tears of the Sun - 3.5 out of 4
  • The Rugrats Go Wild - 1.5 out of 4
  • The Whole Ten Yards - 1.5 out of 4
  • Hostage - 4 out of 4
  • Sin City - 4 out of 4
  • Alpha Dog - 3 out of 4
  • Lucky Number Slevin - 3.5 out of 4
  • 16 Blocks - 3 out of 4
  • Over the Hedge - 3 out of 4
  • Fast Food Nation - 3 out of 4
  • Perfect Stranger - 2.5 out of 4
  • Live Free or Die Hard - 3 out of 4
  • Grindhouse: Planet Terror - 1.5 out of 4.
  • Assassination of a High School President - 1.5 out of 4
  • What Just Happened - 2 out of 4
  • Surrogates - 3 out of 4
  • Cop Out - 2 out of 4
  • The Expendables - 3 out of 4
  • RED - 3 out of 4
  • Set Up - 2.5 out of 4
  • Catch .44 - 2.5 put of 4
  • Lay the Favorite - 2.5 out of 4
  • The Cold Light of Day - 2.5 out of 4
  • Moonrise Kingdom - 4 out of 4
  • The Expendables 2 - 1.5 out of 4
  • Looper - 4 out of 4
  • Fire with Fire - 3 out of 4
  • A Good Day to Die Hard - 1.5 out of 4
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation - 2 out of 4
  • RED 2 - 3 out of 4
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - 3 out of 4
  • The Prince - 2 out of 4
  • Vice - 3 out of 4
  • Rock the Kasbah - 4 out of 4
  • Extraction - 3 out of 4
  • Precious Cargo - 1 out of 4
  • Marauders - 3 out of 4
  • First Kill - 1.5 out of 4
  • Once Upon a Time in Venice - 2 out of 4
  • Acts of Violence - 2 out of 4
  • Death Wish - 3 out of 4

What's your favorite Bruce Willis film?

See results

Conclusion

Bruce Willis has become one of the most well-known actors in Hollywood. He started out as a private detective in the hit TV show Moonlighting, which labeled him as a charming and comedic actor. But when the script for Die Hard finally landed in his lap, he made the choice that changed his life forever. He became an action star, a hero, and a legend.

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    © 2016 Alec Zander

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