In recent years James Woods has been kind of a polarizing figure thanks to his comments and presence on social media, but during his movie career he’s been pretty solid and it’s easy enough to like him if you don’t get into the political aspects of his comments. That being said he’s been around for quite some time now and he’s played some of the worst characters along with some of the best. As action heroes go he’s not exactly your typical hero or villain, he’s more like the guy that you don’t look at seriously until it’s too late and all of sudden he’s in your grill and you’re regretting not paying attention to him. But in a movie setting that’s where he tends to get really interesting since at that point he’s become one of the most dangerous or at least intriguing people in the movie and he’s no longer easy to ignore, even if you want to.
Here are some of his best movies so far in his career.
5. Any Given Sunday
There are plenty of rumors that go around about what goes down behind the scenes in the NFL and whether or not everything is above board. But in this movie the full-time doctor is a guy that has kind of fallen in love with the fame and prestige that his position gives him since he caters to pro athletes and is therefore important to them. Unfortunately this also means that he’s given in and decided that his prestige and their ability to play is a little more important than their safety, meaning that he treats them as they ask to be treated, which gives way to a great deal of injury and possibility of misuse of his authority in terms of handing out prescriptions that they don’t really need.
It’s always nice to see a vampire movie that shifts away from the idea that they’re romantic and in any way capable of existing among humans. This one by John Carpenter shows vampires as the bloodsuckers that legend speaks of them as, meaning that they’re nasty, they’re insanely strong, and when they’re looking for blood there’s not a lot that’s going to stop them. The fact that a single master takes down a team of trained and seasoned vampire hunters isn’t that impressive since he strikes when they’re at their weakest, but the idea that three men, two hunters and a priest, take on a coven of masters is insanely impressive.
3. Scary Movie 2
Okay, so this was just flat out silly and some folks might want to think that it’s not one of his best appearances. But in the name of comedy and of all spoof movies this had to be one of the best ones that’s ever been released to the public since it didn’t just over the top, it WENT THERE in a big and profound way that made people laugh until they were crying. The idea that this initial scene didn’t have of anything to do with the rest of the movie didn’t matter since it was so uproariously funny and featured a few moments that you couldn’t help but widen your eyes at since it took things to a new level for spoof movies.
2. The General’s Daughter
His role in this film wasn’t quite that big but it did serve a very real purpose since Travolta’s character is understandably pissed off throughout part of the film when he’s trying to get answers and can’t get anyone to cooperate with him. When he drags in Woods’ character he does his best to question the man, but considering that this character is a high-ranking officer in PsyOps it’s not hard to think about how he might resist all but the most illegal of torture. But the manner in which he’s taken out of the story does go a long way towards establishing just who was really responsible for the death of the general’s daughter, it just doesn’t point a definitive finger at anyone.
By far and large this is one of his absolute best films since it’s one of the most memorable. He actually plays a decent guy with a big heart that hides it behind a hustler’s manner. When he decides to take on a local businessman/hustler in Diggstown he arranges for a fight between “Honey” Roy Palmer and a group of young boxers that are all eager to be the one to knock Roy down. As the stakes increase however he finds out more than he bargained for about the man he’s betting against and eventually prepares to take him down in epic fashion as Roy goes through one opponent after another, proving to the town that a boxer does in fact get older, but they also get tougher with age.
Like him or not, James Woods has done some great things when it comes to the movies.