It's been a decade since Will Smith soared into cinemas as the titular superhero everybody loved to hate in "Hancock," which debuted on July 2, 2008. In honor of the action-comedy's 10th anniversary, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the actor's best movie roles over the years. Keep reading to see where John Hancock and more of your favorite Will Smith characters rank…
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No. 20: Cypher Raige in "After Earth"
Will Smith portrayed the leader of a group of warriors capable of completely suppressing their fear, while his son, Jaden Smith, portrayed his character's offspring in 2013's "After Earth." While it was fun to see the real-life father-son duo share the screen for the first time since 2006's "The Pursuit of Happyness," that's where the fun ended. (Remember their awful made-up futuristic accents? WHY!) The disappointing sci-fi flick scored a laughable 11 percent rotten rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Yikes!
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No. 19: James West in "Wild Wild West"
How can something so bad be so good? Will Smith! Our favorite Hollywood star portrayed a U.S. Army captain on the hunt for a devious Confederate general in the 1999 steampunk Western-comedy "Wild Wild West." (Never forget: The A-list actor earned a Grammy nomination for the flick's theme song.)
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No. 18: Oscar in "Shark Tale"
Will Smith put his instantly recognizable voice to use in 2004's "Shark Tale," a lame attempt at recreating the under-the-sea magic of Disney's "Finding Nemo," which debuted the previous year. He voiced an underachieving fish (a bluestreak cleaner wrasse, to be exact) named Oscar, who takes the credit for killing a murderous shark in the confounding cartoon, which featured an all-star cast including Angelina Jolie, Renee Zellweger, Robert De Niro and Jack Black — its only saving grace.
No. 17: Bagger Vance in "The Legend of Bagger Vance"
Will Smith is so likeable in the role, we're almost willing to forgive the problematic elements inherent within "The Legend of Bagger Vance." The Oscar nominee starred as the titular mystical caddy, who mysteriously appears to help a wealthy white WWI veteran with PTSD (Matt Damon) improve his golf game, in the 2000 sports-drama. Plenty of movie-goers enjoyed the sappy story when they caught it in cinemas nearly two decades ago, but it just doesn't stand the test of time.
No. 16: Ben Thomas in "Seven Pounds"
Like many of Will Smith's movies, critics and audiences wildly disagreed on 2008's "Seven Pounds," in which the Oscar nominee starred as a man posing as an IRS agent while attempting to atone for his past by donating his possessions (and organs) to those in need. He's great in the role, but the befuddling film is just so depressing, we never wanted to see it again after the first time we caught it in theaters. (And in case you were wondering, the drama scored a 26 percent rotten rating with critics and a 75 percent fresh rating with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.)
No. 15: Daryl Ward in "Bright"
He could've shot this one in his sleep: Will Smith starred as a disgruntled police officer (a role he's played countless times before) in the 2017 Netflix original "Bright," which takes place in an alternate version of present-day Los Angeles where humans live alongside mythical beings like elves and orcs. Critics despised the crime-fantasy, awarding it a 26 percent rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But Netflix viewers (including us!) loved it. It has an 85 percent fresh audience rating!
No. 14: Deadshot in "Suicide Squad"
We know, we know: 2016's "Suicide Squad" is not a great film. But we still love it, critics be damned! We especially loved Will Smith as Deadshot, an expert marksman and assassin who really just wants to provide for his young daughter. He becomes the de facto leader of the titular group of antiheroes in the maligned action flick, which scored a brutal 27 percent rotten rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
No. 13: Nicky Spurgeon in "Focus"
No. 12: Detective Del Spooner in "I, Robot"
Will Smith was perfect as a police detective who hates humanoid robots but is forced to investigate the purported suicide of the man who created them in the 2004 sci-fi murder-mystery "I, Robot." The film earned mixed reviews from critics, but audience were less harsh, awarding it a 70 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
No. 11: Dr. Bennet Omalu in "Concussion"
Will Smith earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as a real hero: Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-American physician and neuropathologist who discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a brain disease that affects individuals who've suffered repetitive brain trauma (like professional football players), and subsequently took on the NFL. Again, the biographical drama failed to impress critics but performed well with average theater-goers.
No. 10: Robert Neville in "I Am Legend"
It's by far his most horrifying and heartbreaking role yet: Will Smith starred as virologist Robert Neville — the last survivor of a deadly plague that wiped out most of the world's population and turned the rest into vampire-like mutants — in 2007's "I Am Legend." In addition to being absolutely terrifying, the horror film is devastating in its depiction of Robert's loneliness. (Don't get us started on his dog, Sam, his only friend and companion in post-apocalyptic New York City.)
No. 9: Robert Clayton Dean in "Enemy of the State"
Critics and audiences alike adored Will Smith as a labor lawyer caught in the middle of a government conspiracy in the Tony Scott-directed 1998 thriller "Enemy of the State."
No. 8: Alex Hitchens in "Hitch"
Surprisingly, Will Smith hasn't starred in many straight-up rom-coms over the years. Maybe that's why we loved him so much as the titular dating coach struggling to woo his crush (Eva Mendes) in 2005's "Hitch."
No. 7: John Hancock in "Hancock"
Will Smith killed it as a sarcastic alcoholic superhero in 2008's "Hancock." Critics might not have loved the action-comedy, but that hasn't stopped us from watching it every time it's on TV.
No. 6: Detective Mike Lowrey in the "Bad Boys" franchise
More proof that critics aren't always right? "Bad Boys." The first installment in the franchise scored a 78 percent fresh rating with audiences but a 42 percent rotten rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. (Blasphemy!) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence starred as Miami-based narcotics detectives investigating the disappearance of a huge cache of heroin seized from the mafia in the 1995 action-comedy, which spawned a 2003 sequel and an upcoming 2020 threequel. Laughs abound as bullets fly — courtesy of two of our all-time favorite funnymen!
No. 5: Paul in "Six Degrees of Separation"
One of Will Smith's earliest and least remembered performances is also one of his best: He portrayed a young con artist in the 1993 dramedy "Six Degrees of Separation," which has an 88 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. (Stockard Channing scored her first and only Oscar nomination for her work as one of Paul's marks.)
No. 4: Chris Gardner in "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Will Smith earned Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his performance as real-life entrepreneur Chris Gardner, who lived on the streets with his young son (portrayed by the actor's real son, Jaden Smith), in the 2006 biographical drama "The Pursuit of Happyness." It's as heartbreaking as it in inspirational!
No. 3: Muhammad Ali in "Ali"
Will Smith scored his first Oscar nomination for his performance as the iconic boxer in 2001's "Ali." He also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the biopic.
No. 2: Agent J in the "Men in Black" franchise
Will Smith might not have won an Oscar for his work as street-smart Men in Black Agent J, a fast-talking former NYPD officer, but that doesn't mean people don't love the 1997 sci-fi-comedy, which spawned two sequels. The first film has a 92 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the highest rated movie of the actor's career.
No. 1: Captain Steven Hiller in "Independence Day"
Will Smith starred as aspiring astronaut Steven Hiller, who just wanted to set down roots with his exotic-dancer girlfriend and her son before aliens invaded the planet, in the beloved 1996 sci-fi film "Independence Day." He's sweet, smart, silly, sexy and oh-so quotable — everything we love in a Hollywood star!