best film: This all depends on what you think of his pit-stop of a performance in Goodfellas (which I have ever-so-slightly above Pulp Fiction).  I don’t think it’s enough of a performance so I’m going with Pulp Fiction here. There’s no short of other fantastic films that Samuel L has been here over the course of his prolific career. Other highlights include Do the Right Thing, Jurassic Park, Out of Sight, Kill Bill and Django. Wow.

best performance:  Pulp Fiction by a mile here though he’s fantastic in films 2-5 as well below (four of the five coming in Tarantino films). He’s a perfect match for Tarantino’s dialogue and I’d have no problem if someone says Jackson emerges from QT’s masterpiece here with the best single performance. He clearly has the most memorable line-delivery (though the most memorable scene is the dance sequence with Travolta and Uma).

stylistic innovations/traits: 18 films in the archives but we have 178 IMDB credits and running. He’s busy. It’s easy to take Samuel L. for granted with his 4-5 movies a year plus commercials but he’s a supremely talented actor who can play toughness and intelligence in equal measure. He’s a late-bloomer, too. He was 40+ when Do the Right Thing came out in 1989. I guess my one problem with Jackson (outside of just how many bad movies he’s in) is that I don’t even remember him in about 7 of the 18 films below in his filmography.

directors worked with:   Tarantino (4) and this is the key partnership as much as like his three films with Spike Lee. He’s incredibly well-suited to QT’s dialogue like I said above and 4 of his top 5 performances are in QT films. Lee (3) and then once with Soderbergh, PT Andreson, Spielberg and Scorsese though if you blink you’ll miss him in all of those films.

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. Django Unchained
  3. Jungle Fever
  4. Jackie Brown
  5. The Hateful Eight

Archiveable films

1981- Ragtime
1989- Do the Right Thing
1989- Sea of Love
1990- Goodfellas
1990- Mo’ Better Blues
1991- Jungle Fever
1992- Patriot Games
1993- Jurassic Park
1993- True Romance
1994- Pulp Fiction
1996- Hard Eight
1997- Jackie Brown
1998- Out of Sight
2003- Kill Bill Vol. 1
2004- Kill Bill Vol. 2
2012- Django Unchained
2012- The Avengers
2015- The Hateful Eight