Actor Tommy Lee Jones has had a distinguished acting career that has included memorable performances in both low-budget independent films and high-budget blockbusters. Here are some of his finest efforts.
You can always count on Tommy Lee Jones to draw in an audience whenever he’s on screen. While he’s no slouch when it comes to chomping through the scenery, he’s also a master of subtlety and eloquent delivery.
Jones’ sharp wit and impeccable timing shine in comedic roles. He has a forceful and dramatic presence in dramas. He has the ability to carry a film as a leading man or to shine in a supporting role. He’s as adept at playing a swashbuckling hero or a crazed villain. He is a multi-talented actor who has been in numerous notable films. The following is a list of Rotten Tomatoes’ critics-approved films starring Tommy Lee Jones.
1. A Prairie Home Companion (2006) – 82%
It’s no secret that Robert Altman is famed for his ability to bring together some of the greatest casts in film history. In the fictional account of the namesake and iconic radio show during its final performance, Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, and Kevin Kline form one of his most remarkable ensembles. As a businessman who plans to buy the theater, Jones takes on the role.
As a look behind the scenes of this quirky and dysfunctional show, the film is endearing, sweet, and amusing all at once.” And the ensemble is clearly having a great time interacting with the brilliant dialogue and lovable characters.
2. JFK (1991) – 84%
Films by controversial director Oliver Stone have produced some of the most fascinating depictions of hard-hitting real-life events. Following a New Orleans district attorney (Kevin Costner) who launches his own investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, JFK is set in the aftermath of that event. Jones portrays a central figure in the plot.
JFK, like most of Stone’s films, was criticized for skewed historical accuracy. There are certain flaws in the film, but it’s still a star-studded piece of American history that keeps you riveted.
3. Ad Astra (2019) – 84%
Jones’ most recent picture, Ad Astra, is one of the year’s most underappreciated films. The film stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut selected on a top-secret mission to track down his father (Tom Hardy), an astronaut long thought lost in outer space.
Slow-burning technique may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this film has a lot to recommend it. Ad Astrais a unique space adventure worth finding out for its somber tone, Pitt’s amazing performance, and the strong themes.
4. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) – 85%
Additionally, Jones has demonstrated his ability to work behind the camera, as evidenced by his excellent acting career. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, a neo-Western in which he stars as a ranch worker who sets out to honor his pledge to bury his departed comrade in Mexico, was his debut theatrical film as a filmmaker.
Jones’ performance as a modest but determined man is predictably solid. But behind the camera, he is probably more effective, creating a strong and emotional Western that addresses harder topics than are typically seen in the genre.
5. Rolling Thunder (1977) – 86%
For the first time ever, it was Jones who actually shined in this film and impressed many people. The film stars William Devane as a Vietnam veteran who returns home and goes out on a deadly mission of retribution against the local crooks in his community. A fellow veteran, played by Jones, aides in the search for them.
In this grim, dark film, violence and its effects on people are examined. This isn’t a revenge story you’ll be cheering for, but it’s one you can’t stop watching. Jones is a standout in a minor supporting part.
6. Lincoln (2012) – 89%
Jones has had the opportunity to work with some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors. Lincoln was Steven Spielberg’s first time working with Lincoln, the narrative of Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to enact the Emancipation Proclamation. Jones is an exceptional senator who is fiercely committed to abolishing slavery.
The film tells the story of one of the most significant events in American history under Spielberg’s confident direction. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Abraham Lincoln, and the rest of the cast is outstanding. As a courtroom drama, it’s gripping and heartbreaking.
7. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) – 89%
A musical biography, Coal Miner’s Daughter chronicles the story of Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek), a coal-mining town girl who went on to become one of country music’s most influential artists. Jones portrays Lynn’s spouse, a man she had a rocky relationship with in the film.
The film is carried by the excellent performances of Spacek and Jones. As a story of an unusual ascent to popularity, it is a delight to read. It’s a winner because of the music and the heart at its core.
8. Men In Black (1997) – 92%
Despite the fact that Jones is more commonly seen in lesser films, he has occasionally been in big-budget productions. The sci-fi action-comedy Men in Black was one of his most popular films of this type. The film casts Jones and Smith as operatives for an unnamed organization tasked with keeping tabs on extraterrestrial life forms while they’re on Earth.
An action-packed adventure with a lot of comedy, this film is a must-see for fans of the genre. Smith and Jones are a great team with a great rapport. Even though the subsequent films and the reboot failed to match the original’s brilliance, the enjoyment of the first film cannot be denied.
9. No Country For Old Men (2007) – 93%
For the Coen Brothers’ epic neo-Western, No Country for Old Men, it was a natural choice for Jones to star. It takes place in the 1980s and stars Josh Brolin as a man who uncovers a briefcase of money in the desert. A relentless killer (Javier Bardem) and a steadfast sheriff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) soon pursue him (Jones).
As the picture progresses, it becomes increasingly dark and brutal. Jones acts as the film’s moral center, unable to fathom the violence he has witnessed, while Bardem makes an indelible monster.
10. The Fugitive (1993) – 96%
Jones received his first Academy Award for his role as the movie’s scene-stealing action hero. As a man wrongfully accused of murdering his wife, Harrison Ford plays the role in The Fugitive. A U.S. Marshal is following him as he seeks to track down the man who committed the crime (Jones).
It’s hard to imagine a better hero than Ford, a tough guy who’s out of his element. Jones is having a great time as a hard-working law enforcement officer who is just interested in completing his job to the best of his abilities. Add in some legendary action sequences and a pulse-pounding narrative and it makes for a spectacular journey.