The 10 Best Woody Harrelson Movies


The 10 Best Woody Harrelson Movies

Throughout his lengthy and established career, Woody Harrelson has been one of Hollywood’s most indelible actors. Often, he can blend into supporting roles or take the lead. His wide range is shown in comedic films like Kingpin to heavy drama like The Messenger. His southern, Texas drawl is perhaps his most recognizable quality. Branching into several aspects of entertainment including wonderful work in the first season of HBO’s True Detective, Harrelson’s work encompasses several decades. Though he’s had his fair share of clunkers, Harrelson’s hits are usually some of the best films of whatever year they come out.

Wag The Dog

Barry Levinson’s political satire features an all-star cast of Harrelson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, and Anne Heche. His small role is felt throughout the film as he plays a psychotic former soldier. His ability to command the screen and be memorable, even in limited duty, is a truly felt in this wonderful film.

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The People vs. Larry Flynt

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Earning his first Oscar nomination, Harrelson portrays Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt. In this compelling drama, Harrelson takes on of the role of one of America’s most controversial figures, a pornographer. The late great Milos Forman’s steady eye and a tight script help to make this one of the most interesting biopics of the 90’s. It also featured exemplary work from Courtney Love.

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The Edge of Seventeen

Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson in a New Edge of Seventeen Clip

Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age tale boasts a terrific performance from budding star Hailee Steinfeld. However, it also features a steady, reliable performance from Harrelson. His character of Mr. Burner grounds the film and serves as our main character’s therapist in a way. He’s cold, but he cares. Harrelson delivers some funny one-liners and also finds himself in some of the most emotional scenes of the movie.

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Relying heavily on his southern charm in this film, Harrelson stars in one of his more memorable roles. As Tallahassee, a veteran zombie killer, Woody is funny, charming and seems to be having a blast with this role. How could you not? Aside from being a breath of fresh air in the zombie genre, which has been played out, the movie has fun while exploring grief. It features a great cast for Harrelson to be a part of, and they work incredibly well together.

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The Messenger

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In this reflective drama about two officers tasked with one of the most difficult jobs in the military, Harrelson delivers an outstanding performance. The film focuses on Will (Foster) and Tony (Harrelson), both former Army officers who’ve had a brush with death themselves. As Will’s mentor, Harrelson’s performance is nuanced, sympathetic and earned him his second Oscar nomination. It is perhaps among the top of his filmography when it comes to his best performances.

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No Country for Old Men

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Much like his role in Wag the Dog, Harrelson’s performance is short and sweet, but incredible. Further proving his ability to stand out, Harrelson plays Carson, a Texas bounty hunter given the seemingly impossible chore of killing Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), the film’s chilling villain. Ultimately, in the Coen brother’s masterpiece and one of the best films of the 2000’s, Harrelson and the rest of this stellar cast turn in some of the most impressive acting of their careers.

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Seven Psychopaths

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Harrelson is no stranger to playing unpredictable and often psychotic characters. Just look at Natural Born Killers for example. In Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy, Harrelson plays Charlie, a vengeful gangster with a gleeful knack and propensity for killing. Just like John Wick, Charlie is not someone to mess when it comes to the love of his dog. However, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell steal it anyway. What follows is a very funny, violent film filled with some great acting and snappy dialogue.

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Re-teaming with Martin McDonagh in this Oscar-nominated black comedy, Harrelson delivered another darkly funny performance. Nominated for his role here, and losing to his co-star Sam Rockwell, Harrelson helps paint the portrait of a beloved small-town sheriff under scrutiny. Offering some very poignant social commentary, Three Billboards is a brilliant look at grief and the dynamics of small-town interactions though McDonaugh’s incredible dialogue.

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Natural Born Killers

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Controversial at the time of its release, Oliver Stone’s violent, still relevant film about mass media culture and the way violence is often coveted, Harrelson gives a stellar performance. Woody has made a career of playing charming villains and in this film, based on a story by Quentin Tarantino that he now disowns, he hits the nail on the head. Stone’s films have always found controversy one way or another, but there’s nothing controversial about Woody’s work here, it’s fantastic.

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War for the Planet of the Apes

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In the thrilling and emotional climax to the recent Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy, Woody dives into a truly evil character. Drawing inspiration from Marlon Brando’s iconic role of Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, at times The Colonel is a sympathetic villain. Often, however, he draws out the worst in human nature. The apes do take center stage in this epic film, Woody crushes this role with believable, and never cartoonish rage.

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