The Top 10 Kurt Russell Films

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures
April 29th, 2014

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Kurt Russell is a veteran actor who has had his fair share of cinematic success over the years. Best known for his roles in films like "Escape From New York" and "The Thing," Russell has effortlessly slipped into incredibly varied character roles ranging from mysterious tough guys to comic relief characters. He is notorious for his action films and thrillers, but he branches out into comedy and even Westerns on occasion. From "Backdraft" to "Tombstone," the following are the top 10 Kurt Russell films of all time.



backdraft.jpgPhoto Credit: Universal Pictures

10. "Backdraft"

In this 1991 action film directed by Ron Howard, Kurt Russell plays a hot-shot firefighter who does not believe that his brother, played by William Baldwin, has what it takes to succeed at the job. This action-packed film is full of mystery and suspense, and Russell's character brings plenty of witty dialog.



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9. "Big Trouble in Little China"

Russell fills the role of tough trucker Jack Burton in this 1986 comedy adventure that follows the story of Jack, who takes his friend to the airport to meet his fiancée when he becomes entangled in a bizarre supernatural fight between the forces of good and evil.


breakdown.jpgPhoto Credit: Paramount Pictures

8. "Breakdown"

When his car breaks down in the desert, Kurt Russell's character Jeff Taylor lets his wife hitch a ride with a trucker to locate assistance in a nearby town. When her absence stretches on for too long, Jeff sets out on a quest to find his missing wife. This 1997 thriller is perfectly orchestrated with Russell's more serious acting, and the plot is just as compelling.


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7. "Captain Ron"

Kurt Russell shines in this 1992 comedy about a family that decides to sail their new yacht with the help of the goofy, laid-back Captain Ron. Although the rest of the cast is also entertaining, Russell brings the film together with his hilarious character.


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6. "Escape from New York"

Kurt Russell plays the tough antagonist-turned-protagonist, Snake Plissken, in this classic dystopian action flick from 1981. In a future New York, which has been turned into a huge maximum security prison, the government requests the aid of a convicted felon to rescue the U.S. president, who crash-landed there. After the film's release, Snake Plissken became an iconic character that is still discussed today.


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5. "Tango and Cash"

This buddy cop film from 1989 follows two Los Angeles detectives who are framed by a notorious crime lord and, after breaking out of prison, embark on a journey to clear their names. Russell plays Gabriel Cash, the younger of the two, and Sylvester Stallone plays Raymond Tango in this exciting cinematic work. The relationship between the two detectives, who cannot seem to stand each other despite having to work together, makes for an entertaining film.



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4. "Stargate"

This sci-fi adventure from 1994 tells the story of a group of soldiers and a researcher who use an ancient technology to travel to an Egypt-like land governed by aliens on another planet. Kurt Russell plays Colonel Jack O'Neil, a no-nonsense expedition leader who is more interested in national security than learning about the new world.



overboard.jpgPhoto Credit: MGM/UA Distribution

3. "Overboard"

In this hilarious flick from 1987, Russell plays a poor carpenter and single father who is mistreated by a spoiled, rich client. When she falls of a yacht and acquires amnesia, Russell's character claims her and convinces her that she is his wife and housekeeper. Although her spoiled ways at first leak through into her personality, she eventually becomes more humble and begins to fall in love with her fake husband.



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2. "The Thing"

Russell plays a helicopter pilot for an Antarctic research facility in this 1982 sci-fi horror classic. When a shape-shifting alien begins killing off researchers, taking on their appearances to make itself harder to catch, pilot R.J. MacReady may be the only one who can stop it.



tombstone.jpgPhoto Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

1. "Tombstone"

This 1993 Western became a classic soon after its release, and it can easily be counted as Russell's best film to date. Kurt Russell plays the protagonist Wyatt Earp, a lawman who moves to Tombstone to get rich and retire. However, when a band of outlaws known as The Cowboys are causing mischief, Earp meets up with his friend Doc Holiday and his brothers, and together they set out to clean up the city of Tombstone once and for all. Russell puts forth his best performance in this film, playing the tough lawman with unrivaled passion.

Kurt Russell has become a movie legend for his numerous major hits in the 1980s and 1990s, and though the actor has slowed down since his heyday, these 10 incredible films continue to amaze audiences decades after their release. Russell's more recent titles include "Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story," "Poseidon" and "The Art of the Steal."