Samuel L Jackson: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

The L doesn't always stand for luxury...

If he was honest with himself, even Samuel L Jackson would probably admit that there are two Samuel L Jacksons. The first is the nuanced actor, able, thanks to his near chameleonic abilities, to play characters as broad in range as supervillains, drug-addled nearly men, assassins and leaders of clandestine superhero policing forces with the same success, and the other is the caricature who shouts about snake infestations, inter-racial couples and being a washed-up soul man. And despite Jackson's almost perennial flirtation with the same school of acting as Al Pacino where spit, volume and bluster rank higher than all artistry and technique, the actor is still capable - unlike Pacino - of committing some seriously impressive performances. That he continues to rub shoulders with the very upper echelons of the industry elite on projects like the upcoming The Hateful Eight, despite some seriously mediocre releases says a lot. But then, those missteps and bewilderingly low-quality decisions still reflect badly on Jackson's overall portfolio of work, and unfortunately he carries something of a caveat that still reflects poorly on even his best performances. That means that somewhat under-publicised fare like this week's release, Big Game, are inevitably met with some trepidation. Would someone as comparatively unexperienced as the actioner's helmer Jalmari Helander be able to coax only the best out of him? Early reviews - thankfully - have been positive, and while it seems unlikely to trouble the very best of his performances, it's far from among the worst. And in honour of that release, now is the perfect time to look at the best and worst of what Jackson has done...

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