Jada Pinkett Smith is one of those actors that doesn’t seem to get the credit she deserves for all of her outstanding performances throughout her career. In the comedy A Different World, Jada Pinkett Smith got her big break.
She went on to act in films such as Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled before starring in The Matrix Reloaded and the animated comedy Madagascar.
There are some pretty amazing Jada Pinkett Smith movies out there, whether it’s in comedies like The Nutty Professor or Girls Trip, thrillers like Collateral, or even one of the most lucrative and influential science fiction franchises of all time, The Matrix sequels.
That’s not even mentioning her illustrious 30-year television career, which she balanced with her varied film roles. So, in case anyone forgot or will always remember her for her brief but stunning presence in the opening of Scream 2.
Let’s take a look at 10 of her best performances throughout her career as one of Hollywood’s fiercest and hardest-working figures.
Will and Jada Smith play boxer Cassius Clay and ex-Playboy Bunny Sonji Roi in Michael Mann’s respectful biopic Ali, in which art imitates life.
Ali’s battles in and out of the ring as the world’s undisputed heavyweight boxing champion are chronicled in this sweeping life tale of possibly the greatest athlete in history.
While a conscientious Vietnam War objector and an adherent of the controversial Malcolm X, he absorbs punches outside the ring as he pulverizes his opponents.
9 ) Return to Paradise
Return to Paradise and Brokedown Palace, both released in 1998 and 1999, were big drug-smuggling films in the manner of Midnight Express.
Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, and David Conrad star as a group of pals having a good time in Malaysia in the first film. The three split ways after a night of hard partying.
However, when a lawyer (Anne Heche) seeks down the trio and informs them that enormous amounts of hashish were discovered during a police search on their compound, they are all placed in grave legal danger.
8 ) The Matrix Reloaded
Big Willy Smith, Jada’s husband, was almost cast as Neo in The Matrix, but the role went to Keanu Reeves instead. Jada finally got the last laugh four years later!
Jada put her name in the hat for The Matrix with Reloaded and Revolutions, the second and third installments of the Wachowski trilogy.
In the films, she portrays Niobe, a human manifestation of Zion who rebels against the Machines in the long-running conflict. Let’s hope she makes an official return in Part 4!
7)Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Throughout her three-decade career, Pinkett Smith hasn’t shied away from contributing her voice to family-friendly animated films. She played Gloria in the Madagascar trilogy three times between 2004 and 2012.
However, according to RT, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best choice for our goals. The third chapter follows a group of African animals on a trip to Europe, where they join a rinky-dink circus in order to return to New York.
6) Scream 2
For all you horror enthusiasts out there, here’s a fun bit of information. Scream 2’s opening scene, in which Jada Pinkett Smith is mercilessly slain in front of a packed theatre, was taken verbatim from Tom Hanks’ 1980 slasher film He Knows You’re Alone.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is in college when a new string of copycat murders resurrects the horrors of Woodsboro from a year ago. The premise of several killers remains true, which is a huge win for the genre.
5) Menace II Society
Jada Pinkett Smith emanates the strength, heart, and moral compass of the entire piece in the Hughes Brothers’ searingly realistic narrative of urban street crime, Menace II Society. For her debut feature film, she has accomplished quite an accomplishment!
The film recounts the criminal escapades of Kane, a Los Angeles gangster and street hustler who will do anything to stay alive.
With gang violence at every turn, drugs in every hand, and 40s in every hand next to a pistol, Ronnie (Pinkett Smith) is the only one who can talk sense into Kane.
Jamie Foxx goes toe-to-toe with Tom Cruise, a crafty hitman with more tricks up his sleeve than Penn and Teller, in Michael Mann’s deftly crafted criminal saga.
However, it is Foxx’s unassuming cabbie Max who saves his dear friend Annie (Pinkett Smith) from the ruthless assassin in the end.
Pay close attention to the film’s dialogue. When Vincent compliments Max on arriving across town on time, Max explains how he “got lucky with the lights.” Lights, it turns out, are exactly what saves Max’s life during the climactic train battle. Brilliant!
3) If These Walls Could Talk
Cher (above) and Nancy Savoca co-directed If These Walls Could Talk, a little-known yet star-studded TV movie. The three-part anthology follows the progression of medical abortion from 1952 to 1974 to 1996.
In the 1996 part, Pinkett Smith co-stars with Cher, Anne Heche, Rita Wilson, Craig T. Nelson, and others as a woman named Patti. Roe V. Wade had been upheld as the law by that point in history, which was a far cry from how abortion was seen in 1952.
2) Girls Trip
Thanks in large part to Tiffany Haddish’s coming-out party, Girls Trip was the unexpected breakout comedy of 2017. However, without Pinkett Smith’s uptight Lisa (to balance the craziness), the outcomes would most certainly be mediocre.
You’re aware of the situation. When the four members of the “Flossy Posse” meet after years apart, they make the most of it with a posh New Orleans female-only vacation.
There are high-octane antics galore, including a wild Absinthe trip, zip-line urination, sexual grapefruit, and a lot of giggles!
1) Princess Mononoke
Pinkett Smith honed her vocal cords as Toki in the 1997 English-language adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke before providing her voice to the Madagascar franchise.
The film is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the undisputed king of Japanese animation. It follows Ashitaka, a noble young warrior who is cursed with the task of guarding his homeland against a monster.
As a result, Ashitaka embarks on a quest for a cure in the forest, where he encounters Princess Mononoke, a brave young girl nurtured by a wolf god.