For Hollywood entertainers, versatility is key to maintaining a successful career. Actor, singer, and comedian Jamie Foxx is pretty much the personification of the term “triple threat.” The 53-year-old has constantly evolved throughout his career and seems driven to push the limits of what fans expect from him.
Born Eric Marlon Bishop, he started taking piano lessons at five and later earned a scholarship to a music school in San Diego to advance his musical prowess. While in school, Foxx cut his teeth at local comedy clubs and open mikes. He would earn his rise to fame as a hilarious comic known for his impersonations on the 90’s sketch-comedy show In Living Color.
Since then, Foxx has starred in a variety of movies and projects, ranging from biopics to superhero blockbusters.
You might be familiar with his music or comedy specials, but here are 11 of the renaissance man’s best film projects:
In a mildly funny, dark comedy, a trio of friends come together to conspire the murder of their terribly awful and horrendous bosses that have made the lives of the band of friends unbearable. In search of a hitman to “do the job,” the friends (played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis) come across Dean “MF” Jones (Foxx) whom they contract to be their murder consultant. From there, an entire slew of hijinks befall the group of friends before they are finally able to get rid of their bosses. Foxx’s character helps drive the story and his over-the-top personality acts as a good counterbalance to the film’s dry humor.
Director: Seth Gordon
Main Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
Runtime: 98 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.9
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In rapper Ice Cube’s directorial debut, a college student (LisaRaye McCoy) moves in with her cousin, who is a dancer at a club, in hopes of making a better life for herself. After struggling to make ends meet, she gets intrigued by the life of women working at The Player’s Club. Shortly after deciding to strip at the nightclub, the college student who now goes by Diamond, starts dating the establishment’s DJ (Jamie Foxx). Blue, an often undervalued talent at The Player’s Club, helps Diamond find comfort in her new surroundings and encourages her to finally stand up for herself.
Director: Ice Cube
Main Cast: LisaRaye McCoy, Dick Anthony Williams, Bernie Mac
Runtime: 104 minutes
IMDb Rating: 5.9
In one of Foxx’s more raunchy comedies, he plays the virile best friend of an educated but dubious Black man named Rushon. Trying to change his luck with the ladies, Rushon convinces his best bud Bunz to join him on a double date with his new lady friend. As the two pals try to take the women back to their apartments for “night caps,” they fall into a series of wacky and hilarious predicaments.
Director: Jeff Pollack
Main Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, Vivica A. Fox
Run Time: 79 minutes
IMDb Rating: 5.4
Based on the French thriller Sleepless Night, director Bara bo Odar’s film features Foxx as a seasoned Las Vegas police officer who has to go up against the mob in order to rescue his kidnapped son. The veteran cop ends up uncovering corruption within the department, tying it to illegal dealings with mobsters.
Director: Baran bo Odar
Main Cast: Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Clifford “T.I.” Harris
Runtime: 95 minutes
IMdb Rating: 5.6
It took nearly 25 years, but the singer, actor, and comedian finally scored a role as a superhero (or super-powered person, rather). In this Netflix original, Foxx plays a cop in New Orleans who must team up with a teenage drug dealer and a former soldier to stop the spread of a drug that gives users varying powers for five minutes. However, the drug also has a potentially deadly effect on most people.
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Main Cast: Rodrigo Santoro, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.0
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After a successful premiere at South by Southwest in spring 2017, Baby Driver hit theaters in America later that summer to relatively high reviews. The premise of the film involves a young, but immensely talented getaway driver who is trying to get out of a life of crime and pursue a new life with his girlfriend. The driver, aptly named Baby for his youthful appearance, is blackmailed into joining a robbery crew. Foxx plays Bats, one of the more trigger-happy members of the crew, who antagonizes Baby throughout much of the film. It is a fun ride of a movie, shot in a slick and artistic way that lends itself to the excellent acting of the cast.
Director: Edgar Wright
Main Cast: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6
In what’s considered one of the greatest sports movies of all time, a remarkable ensemble cast that includes Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, and LL Cool J work together to rebuild the once-great football team the Miami Sharks. After the star quarterback (Quaid) and the second-string QB go down with injuries in the first game of the season, the head coach (Pacino) resorts to the upstart Willie Beamen (Foxx), who surprises with his aptitude in the role. In next to no time, Beamen goes from zero to city hero and changes the fortunes of the team. Foxx’s performance among big name actors showcased the potential star power he accomplished later in his career.
Director: Oliver Stone
Main Cast: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz
Runtime: 162 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.9
This highly acclaimed modern-noir thriller follows a taxi driver named Max (played by Foxx) as he meets and becomes intertwined with a customer (Tom Cruise) who is secretly a hitman. After the assassin pays Max to take him to several locations, the taxi driver discovers Vincent’s true intention is to kill marked individuals throughout the city. Foxx really shines opposite a star like Cruise in one of the year’s highest rated features.
Director: Michael Mann
Main Cast: Tom Cruise, Mark Ruffalo, Jada Pinkett Smith
Runtime: 120 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5
The Italian Job director F. Gary Gray’s action thriller tells the story of a man who is driven to vigilante-like justice against the killers of his family and a corruptly negligent criminal justice system. 300 star Gerald Butler stars as Clyde Shelton who tries to take the justice he felt he was robbed of into his own hands. Attorney Nick Rice (Foxx) tries to thwart Shelton’s elaborate scheme but finds himself relating to Shelton’s pain.
Director: F. Gary Gray
Main cast: Gerard Butler, Colm Meaney, Leslie Bibb
Run Time: 118 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.4
In a career-defining role, Foxx stars as Django, a runaway slave on a mission to slay plantation slave owners and rescue his German-speaking wife. Django is freed from captivity by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, who encourages the formerly enslaved man upon his perilous quest. Together, the German bounty hunter and Django claim bounty after bounty, slaughtering numerous Confederate supporters in their wake. After some time, they draw the attention of the nefarious Calvin J. Candie, who owns the plantation where Django’s wife is being kept.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Main Cast: Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington
Runtime: 165 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Some actors are born to play certain iconic roles. Foxx’s casting as the titular character Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford’s independently produced biography is a great example of this. In one of the top performances of Foxx’s career, Ray covers the life and story of the legendary musician from his humble beginnings, to his rise to stardom as well as the impact he left on the country. Foxx was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor and became the second actor to win all five major lead actor awards for the same film.
Director: Taylor Hackford
Main Cast: Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell
Runtime: 152 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.7
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