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The Ten Best Billy Bob Thornton Movies Ever

by Michael Buffalo Smith



1. Sling Blade - (1997) Without a doubt Billy Bob’s most famous role. What makes it even more special is that he wrote it, created the character of Karl himself and directed it. A great story and one of the finest examples ever of an actor becoming the character.

2. Bad Santa - (2003) Billy plays Willie T. Stokes, an alcoholic department store Santa. Absolutely hilarious, and the DVD “Badder Santa” is even funnier. Thurman Merman forever.

3. Daddy and Them - (2001) Another example of Billy Bob’s ability to write, direct and star. I find Thornton is at his very best when portraying southern characters. With Andy Griffith, Laura Dern and even singer John Prine, it’s a hoot.

4. A Simple Plan - (1998) This one is just great. Again, Billy Bob stretches his thespian wings to play Jacob, who, along with his brother and a friend stumble upon the wreckage of a plane crash in the snow, and a bag filled with massive amounts of money. A great study of how money and greed can pit friends and family against one another.

5. Pushing Tin - (1999) Billy is downright spooky as the new guy at air traffic control, and his hot onscreen wife (Angelina Jolie) helps him create some great scenes alongside John Cusack.

6. Levity - (2003) Manuel Jordan has just been released from prison after 20- something years plus prior juvenile detention, and he is having a bit of a hard time fitting in. Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dundst are perfect characters who help Jordan adjust to life on the outside.

7. The Bad News Bears - (2005) Morris Buttermaker is the coach, and the kids on the little league team are just great in this re-make of the seventies film of the same name.

8. Monster's Ball - (2001) Billy stars as Hank Grotowski, a law officer with a racist family who falls in love with a beautiful black girl (Halle Berry, who won the Oscar for this role).

9. Friday Night Lights - (2004) Billy is again at home playing a southerner as Coach Gaines, the coach of a southern high school football team. The movie depicts the true to life obsession of small town football fans. Of course, it inspired a successful TV series as well.

10. The Badge (2002) Billy teams with one of my favorite actresses, Patricia Arquette. He is a southern sheriff who doesn’t cary a gun (reminiscent of Andy Griffith). He is investigating a homicide which turns up one surprise after another al the way until the end.

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