Bruce Willis has been an action movie star during the ’90s and early 2000s. His bold nature, stoic attitude, and muscular appearance made him the perfect fit for the role of a hero or even the villain in an action movie.
Bruce Willis had a blockbuster-filled career during his run in Hollywood, with a Golden Globe to his name, he is one of the most coveted actors in the industry. With the ongoing medical problems affecting his cognitive abilities, he decided to step away from his acting career for good. In light of this, it is worth looking back at the best movies he created during his Hollywood career.
Also Check: Jason Statham Movies
During his television career, Bruce did the impossible by carrying his success in the TV industry over to the Big Screen. Although marked as an ‘Action Actor’ Bruce has proved his acting is not just limited to action movies through movies like Death Becomes Her, Moonrise Kingdom, and even Pulp Fiction.
- 1 15 Best Bruce Willis Movies of All Time
- 1.1 Die Hard
- 1.2 The Last Boy Scout
- 1.3 Pulp Fiction
- 1.4 12 Monkeys
- 1.5 The Fifth Element
- 1.6 Armageddon
- 1.7 Mercury Rising
- 1.8 The Sixth Sense
- 1.9 Sin City
- 1.10 The Siege
- 1.11 Live Free Or Die Hard
- 1.12 RED
- 1.13 Cop Out
- 1.14 Looper
- 1.15 Moonrise Kingdom
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 Best Bruce Willis Movies Sorted By Their IMDB Ratings
- 4 Best Bruce Willis Movies Sorted By Their Box Office Collection
- 5 FAQs
15 Best Bruce Willis Movies of All Time
Streaming On: Starz, Amazon Store, Apple TV
Director: John McTiernan
Writer: Roderick Thorp
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov
Genres: Action, Thriller
Hoping to reconcile with his estranged wife Holly and his two daughters, John McClane, an NYPD detective travels to Los Angeles. After Joining in on the festivities of Holly’s company at the Nakatomi Plaza, McClane finds himself in a tough spot. The plaza is taken over by terrorists who threaten to steal $640,000 in untraceable Bearer Bonds. McClane is the only person to slip away from the terrorists and sets himself to the duty of saving the hostages.
This NYPD detective is left with a handgun and his extraordinary skills to fight against Hans Gruber and the dangerous terrorists and decides to save the hostages and the lucrative heist that they have planned on executing by all means. However, it is interesting to see what the limo driver has in store for them.
Die Hard was the big break that helped Bruce Willis convert his acting career from a TV star to a movie star. Many people criticized the 5 million dollars paid to him for the role as he was considered a rookie with a diminishing reputation but, after the movie’s release, he was praised for his acting skills and called the perfect fit for this role.
The Last Boy Scout
Streaming On: HBO Max
Director: Tony Scott
Writer: Shane Black, Greg Hicks
Stars: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field
Genres: Action, Comedy
A former Secret Service agent named Joe, played by Bruce Willes, teams up with Damon Wayans as Jimmy, who is playing the role of a former quarterback. They team up to solve a freak case of another quarterback who pulled out a gun and went on a killing spree during a game.
The Last Boy Scout starts with violence being introduced in the film and has a fair share number of laughing sequences and thrills with unexpected twists and turns and how Willis gets around solving his troubles. Overall, it is a good example of a bleak and deeply misogynistic action-packed thriller with a dash of intellect and smartness displayed by Bruce Willis.
A movie jam-packed with action sequences, plot twists, and the role of a hardboiled cop, this movie seems right up the alley of a Bruce Willis movie. The surprise came in the form of critics praising the humor used in the movie and the lengths this movie goes to land a joke well.
Streaming On: Prime Video
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Bruce Wills, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta
Genres: Crime, Drama
Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega, played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, are two small-time hitmen who incline philosophical talks. They work for gangster Marsellus Wallace, played by Ving Rhames. When handed a case to do a drug deal, Jules and Vincent royally screw up the deal and are saved by Winston “The Wolf”. After this Vincent is set to the duty of taking care of Ms. Wallace who ends up falling for Vincent.
A struggling boxer Butch Coolidge, played by Bruce Willis is fed up with his fading career which makes him take up a fixed fight intended on losing for the gangster but plays clever and bets on himself to knock out his opponent and take the entire winning amount.
Two novice thieves, Pumpkin and Honey Bunny decide on the spur of the moment to rob a diner and run into Jules and Vincent, who are experienced. The lives of these characters begin to intertwine and convert into one giant mess.
Violence and redemption develop through this classic movie along with several bizarre and uncalled-for incidents where the lives of these people, however completely unknown to each other, are entangled, creating mindboggling chaos and keeping you hooked on your seat for the entire runtime of 2 hours and 34 minutes.
With a cast filled with superstars, the performance of Bruce Willis was praised by the masses, and the movie was a huge hit. With a budget of $8.5 million, the movie went on to earn nearly $214 million worldwide. That year, the movie was also nominated for 7 Oscars, and in 2020, Pulp Fiction was named one of “The Best Movies That Lost Best Picture at the Oscars” and one of the most popular Quentin Tarantino movie.
Streaming On: Prime Video, Redbox, Apple TV
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Chris Marker
Stars: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe
Genres: Science, Fiction, Thriller
In 2035, A deadly virus released in 1996 killed nearly all of humanity, and now they have to live underground because of the virus. A group known as ‘the Army of 12 Monkeys’ is said to be behind the development of this virus. In return for a reduced jail sentence, our main character James Cole accepts to go to the past to collect data and, to help create a cure for the virus.
At the time of its release, 12 Monkeys was considered to be one of the best time travel movies, the film was released on December 29 of 1995 and it held the number 1 spot at the box office till two weeks into January. The movie was also adapted into a 4 season TV series which also has risen to almost a cult status and competes with Dark as the best time travel series.
The Fifth Element
Streaming On: Prime Video, Apple TV, Tubi
Director: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Writer: Luc Besson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman
Genres: Sci-fi, Comedy
In a sci-fi movie set in the 23rd century The Fifth Element Korben Dallas (Played by Bruce Willis), is a Taxi driver in New York City. Leeloo, a humanoid (played by Milla Jovovich) falls from the sky and crashes into Dall’s cab. This event makes Dallas the central figure on which the fate of the whole world lies upon. With Leeloo being the embodiment of the fifth element, Dallas has to go around and help her collect the other four to save the world from eternal doom.
The Earth is threatened by evil and only the Fifth Element can save it from being completely destroyed into ashes. Accompanied by Dallas and with the prince’s help, they all try to retrieve a powerful cosmic weapon, the only hope for saving the Earth from Zorg and the evil.
The Fifth Element is the perfect example of Bruce Willis stepping out of his forte and showing off his flexibility as an actor. It was the most expensive European movie ever made at the time of its release, and until the 2011 release of The Intouchables, it held the record for the highest-grossing French movie worldwide.
Streaming On: Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Robert Roy Pool, Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler
Genres: Science, fiction, Disaster
With a comet the size of Texas starting to head toward the Earth, NASA decides to hire Harry Stamper (played by Bruce Willis) a deep-core oil driller in an attempt to save all of humanity. Harry decides to accept the mission, but only on one condition, he gets to bring his oil drilling team of roughnecks who, when trained can perform the task exceptionally well. Ben Affleck plays the role of the crew member who is difficult to control but is proficient in his work.
The timing of the detonation of the bomb with Harry’s life at stake, this movie shows complete chaos that develops when the teams fall behind the schedule and only manual detonation of the bomb is their last option. The exclusive save by Harry from Asteroid hitting the Earth from a few hundred miles defends Earth from an unfortunate extinction-level event.
In a year when two blockbuster movies about ‘asteroids heading towards the earth for mass destruction’ were released, according to Wikipedia, Armageddon was a huge commercial success, even becoming the most successful movie of that year.
Streaming On: Prime Video, Apple TV, VUDU
Director: Harold Becker
Writer: Ryne Douglas Pearson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes
Genres: Action, Thriller
Mercury Rising is the story of Simon, a nine-year-old with Autism and Savant Syndrome. One, while solving a puzzle book he received from his teacher, he quickly solves one puzzle and uncovers a highly encoded secret. To keep the secret from being let out, an organization sends two assassins to kill Simon. Art Jeffries, an FBI agent (played by Bruce Willis) sets himself up to save Simon’s life.
Bruce Willis fits the role of Art Jeffries perfectly, with this experience in this genre added to the premise of this story, the movie was a success in the theaters. Seeing the bond between Art and Simon grow from strangers to nearly father and son is a treat to watch.
The Sixth Sense
Streaming On Disney+
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Genres: Psychological, Thriller
After returning from receiving an award for his work, Malcolm Crowe, a psychologist is ambushed by a former patient of his Vincent Grey who says Malcolm failed him and then proceeds to shoot Malcolm and himself. Months later, Malcolm starts treating Cole, a nine-year-old who can see dead people. Malcolm feels a sense of duty toward helping Cole as he reminds him of Vincent. Slowly as mysteries unfold Malcolm finds himself in deep and dangerous waters.
1999’s second highest-grossing movie, the sixth sense was a huge success. Staying at the top of the box office for 5 consecutive weeks. After a single read of the script, David Vogel the then-director of Disney bought the rights to the script and even accepted all the stipulations that came with it. If inflation is accommodated for May 2022, this movie still ranks 74 in the top 100 highest-grossing movies.
Streaming On – HBO Max, Apple TV, Hulu
Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Writers: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jesica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson
Genres: Crime, Thriller
Sin City was produced by Frank Miller and adapted from a graphic novel of the same name (also written by Miller himself). Bruce gave an excellent performance playing Hartigan, Basin City’s last honest cop who is trying to deal with his last case, a redeeming one at that, before his retirement. Putting his life on the line, he tries to protect an 11-year-old from a child molester who just so happens to be the son of a senator.
This neo-noir thriller has loads of gruesome imagery, which is why the movie was rated R on release. It is an entertaining Saturday night movie that will keep you on your toes throughout its run time.
Streaming On: Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video
Director: Edward Zick
Writers: Lawrence Wright, Menno Meyjes, Edward Zwick
Stars: Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, Annette Benings
Genres: Action, Thriller
After Terrorist bombings on a bus, a Broadway Theater, and even the FBI Headquarters William Devereaux (played by Bruce Willis), a sadistic racist, is put in command of the Army General, and he immediately starts putting Arab-Americans in detention camps. When Anthony Hubbard and Elise Kraft, who were working together on the investigations of the bombings come to know about William’s actions, they have to fight together for their right to freedom.
On release, the movie was not very successful at the box office. In the current state of the world, this movie holds up very well. Themes like terrorism, military domination, and racism were handled very well and with a lot of care, making this movie quite timeless.
At the time of its release, the movie was not as successful as Bruce’s other movies but in a post 9/11 world, the movie holds up very well. Themes like terrorism, military domination, and racism were handled very well and with a lot of care, making this movie quite timeless.
Live Free Or Die Hard
Streaming On: HBO Max, tru TV
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Mark Bomback
Stars: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant
Genres: Action, Thriller
As the US gets ready to celebrate Independence Day, an all-out cyber attack takes all telecommunication, transport, financial, and even power networks out. With the help of a computer hacker that McLane brought in earlier that day, he has to use his tough ways to help restore the US to glory.
As the 4th addition to a franchise people wrote off as dead long ago, Die Hard 4 surpassed all of their fans’ expectations. As of 2023, Live Free or Die Hard still stands as the most successful Die Hard movie.
Streaming On – HBO MAX
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber,
Stars: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Marie-Louise Parker
Genres: Action, Comedy
The movie starts with establishing a love interest for Frank (played by Bruce) who routinely calls the pension office to talk to one specific person, Sarah, his account manager. On his way to an appointment at the said office, Frank is attacked by a team of hitmen. He barely escapes for his life and darts straight for Sarah to check in on her. He ends up saving her as well, and with Joe, an old acquaintance, they work to find out who is responsible for all of this.
A team-up crime thriller where our protagonist has to fight against insurmountable odds is the exact specialty that one looks for in a Bruce Willis movie and, RED does not fail to deliver on that notion.
Streaming On HBO Max, Netflix, Roku
Director: Kevin Smith
Writers: Mark Cullen, Rob Cullen
Stars: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody
Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime
Cop Out is a comedy crime thriller that stars Bruce Willis as Detective Jimmy Monroe and Tracy Morgan as Detective Paul Hodges. Jimmy and Tracy are veteran NYPD detectives being suspended, without pay, for carelessly engaging in a shootout in a cell phone store. Following the suspension, Jimmy finds out that he is short on cash for his daughter’s wedding. To get this sum of money, he decides to sell one of his prized possessions, which in turn also gets stolen. While uncovering the mystery behind this theft, Jimmy uncovers a big secret to a big case and tries to solve it with the help of his partner
A comedy movie with Bruce Willis as its lead? As weird as that sounds, Willis fits the role of the Hardboiled cop well and his cop buddy chemistry with Tracy Morgan helps elevate the level of humor in the movie.
Streaming On: Apple TV, Prime Video
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt
Genres: Science, Fiction, Action, Thriller
In the year 2074, Assassinations have plummeted as tracking systems have made it nearly impossible to get away after murdering someone. As a solution to this, the syndicate decides to send its enemies into the past to be killed off by a looper. In the year 2044, Joe works for the syndicate as an assassin or a “looper”. A looper is someone who assassinates someone who is sent back from the future. One day Joe is placed in a tough situation as the person he has to kill is HIS OLDER SELF?! (played by Bruce Willis)
Looper is a refreshing take on the assassin genre with an added little spice of time travel. Many critics have praised Looper for taking a new direction in a flooded genre and for being thought-provoking. With a budget of 30 million, this movie like The Matrix earned a total of $176.5 million on worldwide release, making it a huge success.
Streaming On: Vudu, Apple TV
Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Stars: Bruce Wills, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Moonlight follows the tale of two kids falling out of society and falling for each other, Sam(12) and Suzie(12) meet each other for the first time, in a church and immediately hit it off. They become pen pals and with time, their relationship becomes romantic, and plan to run away together the next time they meet. They set this plan in motion during scout camp and ran away together, baffling the scouts.
Bruce playing the role of a stern but loving father figure proves the versatility of his acting. Seeing him go from a Strong Armed police officer to a soft-hearted caring dad is an absolute delight for the audience.
Bruce Willis has had a significant impact on the Hollywood industry, and his influence on action movies is still very prevalent. In an era where actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Selvester Stallone, and Jean Claude Van Dame were praised as the best in the category, Bruce Willis established himself in the niche of “Common Man’s Hero” or the “Man of People”.
As the recent news revealed the health condition affecting Bruce to be dementia, and Bruce himself announced his retirement from the industry, we can only wish him good health and reminisce about the masterpieces he worked on.
Best Bruce Willis Movies Sorted By Their IMDB Ratings
- Pulp Fiction – 8.9 with 2.1M
- Die Hard – 8.2 with 898k
- Sixth Sense – 8.2 with 1M
- 12 Monkeys – 8.0 with 627k
- Sin City – 8.0 with 777k
- Moonrise Kingdom – 7.8 with 356k
- The Fifth Element – 7.6 with 484k
- Looper – 7.4 with 585k
- Live Free or Die Hard – 7.1 with 412k
- The Last Boy Scout – 7.0 with 107k
- RED – 7.0 with 315k
- Armageddon – 6.7 with 434k
- The Siege – 6.4 with 75k
- Mercury Rising – 6.1 with 76k
- Cop-Out – 5.5 with 89k
Best Bruce Willis Movies Sorted By Their Box Office Collection
- The Sixth Sense – $673 Million
- Armageddon – $554 Million
- Die Hard 4 – $384 Million
- The Fifth Element – $264 Million
- Pulp Fiction – $214 Million
- RED – $199 Million
- Looper – $177 Million
- 12 Monkeys – $169 Million
- Sin City – $159 Million
- Die Hard – $141 Million
- The Siege – $117 Million
- Mercury Rising – $93 Million
- Moonrise Kingdom – $68 Million
- The Last Boy Scout – $60 Million
- Cop-Out – $56 Million
Bruce Willis starred in many Popular movies like the Die Hard franchise, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, and The Sixth Sense.
“Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill the one with feet smaller than my sister.” And “Yippee ki yay, Motherfucker”. Both of these lines are from the first Die Hard movie.
Bruce Willis mostly starred in Action and thriller movies but did not shy away from doing comedy movies.
Bruce Willis has not been nominated for an Academy Award and as he is retired there will be no more nominations for him. However, he was nominated for Golden Globe for his movie “In Country” in 1989.