Top Ten Best Harrison Ford Movies
The legendary actor turns 75 today, so we decided to count down his ten best movies!
The Ten Best Harrison Ford Films
American actor Harrison Ford has been around for 75 years now, and during most of that times he's been acting in some of the best movies audiences have had the joy of being entertained by. Ford has played various roles in all kinds of movies and worked with some of the most talented directors in Hollywood. So, we decided to take a look back at the ten best films of his long and continuing career. Ranging from action films to science fiction flick to intimate dramas and historical epics, these are our picks for the most well-made movies Harrison Ford has starred in.
Honorable Mention: Air Force One
Harrison Ford played the best onscreen leader of the free world in Air Force One. As the President of the United States, the actor brings a tough-as-nails Commander-In-Chief to life as he has to get some nasty Russian terrorists off his plane. As the main villain Gary Oldman portrays an intense extremist and the two veteran actors play so well off each other every scene they're in together is electric. This claustrophobic action click is one of Ford's best, bringing the drama as the family man must outwit his opponents to survive.
10. Star Wars
Han Solo is certainly one of Ford's most memorable characters as he introduced the space pirate by blasting away bounty hunters at a cantina and taking off into space at lightspeed. George Lucas helped jump-start the young actor's career with this 1977 sci-fi blockbuster after he was unable to find anyone who could play the role as well as Harrison. His character arc is what's impressive though, as he takes the role from a simple, selfish smuggler to a friend and hero of the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the Galactic Empire. Ford has some of he best lines of dialogue in this one, and while some of them were more difficult to deliver than others, they all are believable because of his iconic performance.
9. K19: The Widowmaker
In this harrowing true story of loyalty and patriotism, Kathryn Bigelow's K19: The Widowmaker features Ford as a Russian submarine commander who takes the experimental nuclear vessel on it's maiden voyage. The drama and action are palpable here as mutiny is always lurking under the surface of each crew member. Ford's character Alexei Vostrokov gets his men to unite through a take-no-prisoners, tough-love approach that doesn't sit well with his friendly first mate, Mikhail Polenin played by Liam Neeson. The two give excellent performances as their characters have great respect for one another, but eventually come to an impasse and battle for command of the sub. It's a claustrophobic drama, but most of all it's an amazing tale of survival.
8. Patriot Games
The thinking man's action film, Patriot Games has Ford as CIA analyst Jack Ryan caught in the middle of a deadly terrorist attack. This is a smartly constructed narrative with the fast-paced feel of an action/thriller. The character is a family man who doesn't want to get involved, but has the courage to leap into the midst of a firefight and save lives. It's a great film with a stellar performance by Ford as he frantically navigates his way through the world of international espionage to take down the bad guys and rescue his wife and child.
7. The Empire Strikes Back
With his second outing as the Rebel pilot Han Solo, Ford manages to gives the character a lot more depth. His relationship with the late Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia is the main reason to watch the film, though. Their chemistry in every scene is absolutely fantastic. The dialogue is outstanding and Ford delivers it with weight and believability. Each action sequence is exhilarating and the entire movie flows very well. It's probably the most well made movie in the entire Star Wars saga and also the most complex. A huge part of what makes it work is Ford's ability to bring us a complicated and relatable character we like for his charm, wit, and brashness.
6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Closing the original Indiana Jones trilogy was this 1989 classic from director Steven Spielberg which had the famed archaeologist on the hunt for the Holy Grail with his father along for the ride. Played to perfection by acting legend Sean Connery, the role of Jones Senior helps give our lead character some backstory, as well as welcome character development. Ford plays wonderfully off his onscreen father and the two give us some of the funniest and most heartfelt moments of the entire series. This one also features a few of the best action scenes in any of his films, some surprising twists, and a lot of family drama. It's a fun movie with something for everyone.
5. The Fugitive
As Dr. Richard Kimble, Ford gives us what might be his most intense performance as he plays a man accused of murdering his wife. Quickly, Kimble escapes prison and goes on the run while he tracks down his wife's real killer. It's a thrilling film, full of action and suspense at every turn. Co-star Tommy Lee Jones plays the relentless U.S. Marshal assigned to bring Kimble in and when the two are onscreen together, it is incredible to watch them play the cat-and-mouse game as they outsmart and outrun one another. Ford also goes through a physical transformation here and does a great job of selling the obsessive character.
4. Blade Runner
This is one of Ford's most criticized performances, but it's actually one of his best. Portraying soulless detective Rick Deckard, the actor shows the audience perhaps his most dramatic character arc ever. It's a great character which Ford plays very subtly, but continues to be developed throughout the narrative as he comes into contact with the "replicants" or synthetic humans he must kill or "retire" with prejudice. The emotionless performance is intentional as it slowly becomes more emotional as the film progresses. It's really astounding to watch and features the most stylish neo-noir production design ever seen onscreen which influenced many other movies to come. Great action, intense drama, and a striking romance drive this 1982 sci-fi noir by director Ridley Scott, to cult classic status.
Playing undercover cop John Book, Ford delivers an Oscar-nominated performance in this film about a young boy who was the only witness to a murder that Book must solve before the killer strikes again. Coming to the Amish community where the boy lives, the film has hilarious fish-out-of-water elements that play well against the serious storyline. As his love interest Kelly McGillis also does great work opposite Ford here, making their relationship realistic. It's a dramatic movie full of romance and comedy with thriller aspects, giving audiences an edge-of-your-seat finale.
2. Regarding Henry
Writer and director J.J. Abrams penned this early script about a selfish and greedy man who suffers a head injury resulting in a changed life. Ford plays the titular role well, giving us essentially two totally different characters in the same movie. Before the incident, Henry is a workaholic without time for his wife and daughter, but after his brain is damaged and he has to relearn everything, he becomes closer to his family than ever before. It's a touching story and features some of the best acting Ford has ever put on screen with a great supporting cast as well.
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford's best role is also his best film and maybe the greatest film of all time. Raiders of the Lost ark follows the adventures of Dr. Henry Jones as he crosses the globe in search of famous artifacts and rare antiquities. Going by the alias Indiana, the archaeologist fights Nazis, supernatural cults, and rival treasure hunters to get the goods, win the girl, and save the day. He's the ultimate movie hero because he's smart, tough, charming and doesn't always win. The character is both relatable and believable because he messes up, makes his plan up as he goes, and is even afraid of snakes. In his first film, he's racing the Nazis to find the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, and pulls off some heroic stunts to get it. From the action to the special effects, to the writing and acting, this movie has it all and it's all flawless. Karen Allen is his perfect foil as former lover with a mean right hook Marion Ravenwood and the two are one of the best parings in cinematic history. This 1981 movie from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg defines Harrison Ford's career and remains his best movie.