Authored by Phil Dotree in Movies and Television
Published on 11-01-2009
Tommy Lee Jones has had an amazing career. Usually playing some type of authority figure, he’s been in films and TV since the 1970’s. He’s gradually built a reputation as a fantastic actor.
Here’s a look at a few of the best Tommy Lee Jones movies out there.
1. Natural Born Killers – Tommy Lee Jones nearly stole the show from Woody Harrelson in this controversial 1994 film. Jones plays warden McClusky. His downfall is caused by his psychotic hatred of the titular killers. Jones’ character is as frightening as the serial killers themselves. In some ways, he’s more disturbing. Natural Born Killers was originally extremely controversial, but seems tame by today’s standards. The violence might not even be considered gratuitous for some. Nevertheless, Jones and the other characters make Natural Born Killers a deeply disturbing film.
2. Under Siege – Tommy Lee Jones plays a psychopathic CIA agent who sends waves of mercenaries after Steven Seagal. As ridiculous as that sounds, Under Siege is actually a pretty great action movie. Seagal is stronger than normal (acting wise). Tommy Lee Jones steps up to his task to play a great villain that seems to seep evil. He’s almost scary in the role. It’s Seagal’s best movie, and shockingly ends up being one of Tommy Lee Jones’ best too.
3. The Fugitive – The Fugitive was based on a television series. For a movie, that usually means that it won’t be especially good. Not so in this case–strong acting from Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones made the action thriller come alive. A well-written plot fleshes everything out. Jones plays a U.S. Marshall who must track and arrest the (unknown to Jones) innocent Harrison Ford. It’s one of cinema’s most gripping movies, and one of Tommy Lee Jones’ finest roles.
4. Men In Black – One of the greatest alien movies of all time. Tommy Lee Jones deadpans most of his lines opposite a bombastic Will Smith. Their chemistry made the film somehow believable, and incredibly entertaining. More serious alien movies may be considered better by film buffs, but Men In Black was fairly complex entertainment. It’s an incredibly creative and well done action comedy. The sequel failed to live up to the original. Still, the first MIB holds up very well. The effects are still realistic, and Tommy Lee Jones is both a cool and complex character as government agent Kay.
5. No Country for Old Men – Tommy Lee Jones delivers the title line of this movie. He’s actually not in it too much than that. He owns every scene that he’s in. Jones plays a somewhat despondent and tired older policemen. His eventual realization that he can’t stop the crime that happens around him feels very weighty and heartbreaking. In American cinema, there’s often a hero that rights all of the wrong. Jones’ character in No Country for Old Men is the antithesis of that. He’s fed up, he’s tired, and he’s not strong enough to fix everything that’s wrong. It’s a chilling role from a magnificent actor.
What are your favorite Tommy Lee Jones movies? Post your thoughts in our comments section below this article.