Top 10 Bruce Willis Performances

This Hollywood heavy-weight is best known for redefining the term "action star." However, he's also starred in a variety of projects from all genres, including suspense, comedy and sci-fi. You may call him Bruce, but to us he'll always be John McClane....and a few other memorable identities. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our Top 10 favorite Bruce Willis performances.
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Top 10 Bruce Willis Performances

He’s always at the wrong place, at the wrong time! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our Top 10 favorite Bruce Willis performances.

#10 – John Hartigan: “Sin City” (2005)


Kicking off our list is Willis’ perfectly-cast role in Frank Miller’s film noir adaptation of “Sin City.” As an aging police officer, he protects a smoking hot, yet allegedly 11-year-old Jessica Alba from a deformed psychopathic murderer. Between the facial scar and the trench coat, Willis gives fans what they want: “a stupid old man” who is gruff, stoic, cynical, yet completely selfless, strong-willed, and sees things through.

#9 – Eddie Hawkins: “Hudson Hawk” (1991)


In this almost cartoon-like comedic outing, Willis plays a master cat burglar who’s been blackmailed into robbing the Louvre. Sure, it was a box office bomb, but we blame the marketing geniuses who promoted the film as a traditional action flick. Trust us: Willis is anything but John McLane here. Instead he’s a cappuccino-craving smart-mouth who gets into wildly bizarre situations, while singing to time his heists!

#8 – Harry S. Stamper: “Armageddon” (1998)


It’s big oil to the rescue! Well, an oil driller and his team to be more specific. As the overprotective dad-turned-world saving astronaut, Willis is charged with blowing up a meteor headed to earth. We can’t imagine any other actor as the roughneck genius who never misses his mark. Willis manages to spit action movie clichés with no trace of irony, and we love him for that. His heartfelt sacrifice is enough to make even the most uptight guy fill his popcorn cup with man tears.

#7 – Korben Dallas: “The Fifth Element” (1997)


Saving the world is Bruce’s thing! Playing a former Special Forces major turned cabbie in the twenty-third century, Willis falls in love with the perfect woman and helps her recover four mystical relics, while sporting an orange tank top and blonde hair. While we’re used to seeing him kick a lot of ass and save the planet, he’s never been so all around deadly or surprisingly tender.

#6 – James Cole: “12 Monkeys” (1995)


As a convicted criminal living in a post-apocalyptic future, Willis is sent back to the ‘90s as an observer to find out what happened. His role is centered on misperceptions and madness, and casting Willis was a stroke of genius: he jumps between strong-willed, vulnerable and incredibly confused, making this high-concept tale a must-see!

#5 – David Dunn: “Unbreakable” (2000)


Willis has the everyman character down to a science, and this movie is a great example. In this M. Night Shyamalan thriller *with a twist,* (are you surprised?) Willis plays a security guard who discovers he cannot be hurt, and is much stronger than everyone else. Awesome poncho aside, he makes us believe an ordinary man can become a superhero, even without the cape and tights. He also convinces us that water can be as deadly as kryptonite.

#4 – Dr. Malcolm Crowe: “The Sixth Sense” (1999)


Bruce Willis and sci-fi is just a good match. Again working with Shyamalan, Willis plays a child psychologist working to cure a boy who sees ghosts. As a gentle professional whose job is to build trust, Bruce manages not only to befriend the child, but also to captivate us with his personal struggle and seemingly broken marriage. No other Bruce Willis flick will leave you questioning so much for so long.

#3 – Butch Coolidge: “Pulp Fiction” (1994)


After several box-office bombs in the ‘90s, this performance spectacularly rejuvenated Willis’ career. Thankfully, he risked it all by accepting to star in Quentin Tarantino’s low-budget classic. Tarantino gets a truly gritty performance out of the actor, as a boxer who refuses to take a dive and ends up in a precarious situation. To say the least. How awesome was this scene?

#2 – David Addison Jr.: “Moonlighting” (1985-1989)


Drama, comedy and romance: this television series has it all! This role gave Willis his first true taste of fame, and allowed him to have all kinds of fun as the carefree, fast-talking detective opposite Cybil Shepard. We’re glad Willis beat out thousands of other candidates for the part…can you imagine movies without him?

#1 – John McClane: “Die Hard” (1988-)


Taking the top spot on our list is his iconic role that launched him onto Hollywood’s A-list and forever redefined the action genre. As McClane, Willis is a modern-day John Wayne: he’s a no-nonsense vigilante cop from New York with an itchy trigger finger, a foul-mouth and a never-say die attitude. The last thing he wants is to be a hero, but someone’s got to do it!

Do you agree with our list? Which is your favorite Bruce Willis performance? Be sure to click the subscribe button, before hunting down more fun videos at WatchMojo.com.
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