From comedies to rock albums, Jack Black is one of the most popular celebrities around. His zany antics have been going strong since the ’90s, and they don’t look to stop anytime soon. Jack Black movies are sure to draw in a crowd, even if the film itself is less than stellar. Luckily, fans of Black have more than a few great films featuring the actor to enjoy. From Jack Black comedies to more dramatic roles, here are 10 of Jack’s best films.
10. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot
Based on the life of cartoonist John Callahan, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot is a heartfelt tale about tragedy, recovery, and forgiveness. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, an alcoholic who becomes a quadriplegic after a car accident. He soon learns he has a talent for drawing and becomes a cartoonist. Jack Black portrays Dexter, the man driving the car that paralyzes John in the film. While Dexter’s part isn’t massive, he still plays an essential role in the film. Jack Black is well known for his comedies, but his dramatic work is just as good. For fans who want a Jack Black movie with heart, look no further.
9. Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny
As fans of Black know, his talents extend well past acting. Jack is also a gifted musician and proves as much in many of his movies. Jack even has a metal band with Kyle Gass named Tenacious D. The comedic rock band made the jump to the big screen in 2006. The film follows JB and KG as they set out to become the greatest rock band of all time. They intend to do so by acquiring the Pick of Destiny, a guitar pick made out of the tooth of Satan. The film has developed a cult status and is mostly loved by fans of Jack Black comedies as well as music. The film is a rock musical with music by not only Tenacious D but rock legends such as Meatloaf, Ronnie James Dio, and Dave Grohl.
8. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
The Robin Williams classic Jumanji is about a board game that creates game elements in the real world until the game is over. Over 20 years later, the game returns, although it now takes the form of a video game. When a group of students is sucked into the world of the game, they each have to take the form of an avatar. One of which is a teen girl who takes the shape of Professor Shelly Oberon, played by Jack Black. Part of the comedy of Black’s role is the fact that he has to act like a teenage girl throughout the film. The movie also stars Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, yet Black still manages to stand out. This Jack Black movie rejuvenated the Jumanji series and led to a sequel two years later.
7. Tropic Thunder
Arguably the raunchiest film on the list, Tropic Thunder follows a group of egotistical actors who mistakingly enter a real war while attempting to make a film based on the Vietnam War. The film features countless parodies of other war movies, as well as Hollywood in general. Also featuring Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black stars as Jeff Portnoy. Jeff is a comedy actor looking to break into more dramatic roles. The main trio works off of each other perfectly, making this one of the funniest Jack Black comedies. The film has more than a fair amount of gore, but if that doesn’t bother fans, they need to check this one out.
6. The Muppets
While not a main character, Jack Black still has a memorable part in The Muppets as himself. Muppet superfans Walter and Gary must bring The Muppets back together in order to raise $10 million to save the Muppets Theatre. The group decided to revive The Muppets Show for a special event in order to do this. They have trouble finding a celebrity guest to join the event, so they kidnap one. The unlucky celeb they choose is, of course, Jack Black. Jack is in a handful of scenes, and in each one, he is terrified of his felt captors. Jack is hilarious as always and manages to stand out even though his presence is minimal.
5. Kung Fu Panda 2
Debatably the most popular continuing franchise Jack has been part of is Kung Fu Panda. The second film, released in 2011, follows Po and his friends as they fight to stop Lord Shen from taking over China. Like the first movie, the film was a massive success for both kids and adults. Jack Black movies have proven time and again that the actor doesn’t;t need to appear on screen to give a great performance. The movie is one of Dreamworks’ best-animated films, and every fan of comedy should give not only this film but the entire Kung Fu Panda trilogy a shot.
4. School Of Rock
When one thinks of great Jack Black comedies, School of Rock is likely to be near the top of the list. The film once again showcases Jack’s musical skills and his comedic chops. Jack stars as Dewey Finn takes on the alias of friend Ned Shneebly and becomes a substitute teacher at a fancy school. Dewey soon learns the kids have musical talent and train them to become a rock band. He plans on using them to get back at the band that kicked him out but soon grows close to them. The film is hilarious and quotable but also has a fair amount of heart. While not his first role, many believe this film is Jack’s first leading role that really made him a big name.
3. King Kong
Another Jack Black movie that proves he is more than a comedian is Peter Jackson’s King Kong. The remake of the 1933 classic uses high-end special effects to revive the character of Kong. Black stars as Carl Denham, a filmmaker that brings an unknowing crew to the mysterious Skull Island, protected by the mighty Kong. The film is a long one, but it comes highly recommended by most who have seen it. Jack’s portrayal of Denham is, to many, better than n the original. His character has no malicious intent, but he is almost portrayed as a villain, or rather a misguided hero. Villain or not, Black is a fitting addition to the already star-studded cast of this 2005 epic.
2. High Fidelity
In Jack’s own words, the film that truly helped him breakout was 2000’s High Fidelity. The film stars John Cusack as a record store owner with less than stellar luck with women. Jack plays a record shop employee and friend, Barry. For those who have seen the Kevin Smith film Clerks, there are some similarities in tone. The record store employees are constantly talking about music and mocking customers for their tastes in records. This romantic comedy has plenty of humor and heart. It is no surprise that this was the film that helped make Jack Black a household name.
1. Kung Fu Panda
It should come as no surprise that one of the best-received Jack Black movies is the first Kung Fu Panda. Right from the beginning, this animated movie was destined to become one of the greats. The film deals with mature themes in a way that is fitting for all audiences. Black stars as Po, a bumbling panda who discovers he is destined for greater things. This first film spawned two theatrical sequels and several shows. A new show has been announced for a Netflix release later this year, with Black reprising his role.