10 Movies That Will Make You Wish Tommy Lee Jones Was Your Angry Grandpa

Tommy Lee Jones has been wowing audiences with his combination of southern charm and stone-cold toughness for decades now, and the results are almost always some pretty great movies. In particular, we think these 10 movies are some of the man’s best.

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Rolling Thunder (1977)

In this intense revenge-thriller, Jones plays the best friend of Vietnam veteran Charles Rane (William Devane), who wants revenge on the thugs who stole his severance pay and killed his wife and son. Devane and Jones are chilling and gritty, and you find yourself rooting for them even as they commit some pretty horrible acts.

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Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

Jones co-starred with Sissy Spacek in this biopic of Loretta Lynn, earning them a Golden Globe nomination and an Oscar win respectively. As Lynn’s husband Oliver, Jones is charismatic, devoted, and likable, giving the film a lot more heart than biopics tended to have at the time.

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JFK (1991)

One of the defining movies of Oliver Stone’s career, JFK has an all-star cast that most movies could only dream of having. Jones stars as Clay Shaw, a mysterious New Orleans businessman whose every action is sinister as hell. He’s a great antagonist; so much so that he won an Oscar for the role.

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Under Siege (1992)

One of the few arguably good movies of Steven Seagal’s career, Under Siege finds Seagal facing off against Jones, whose mercenary group has taken over a Navy battleship and plans to unload its store of nuclear warheads. It’s cheesy as hell, but a lot of fun.

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The movies just get better from here…

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The Fugitive (1993)

When Harrison Ford’s Dr. Richard Kimble is framed for the murder of his wife and flees the authorities, U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones) will stop at nothing to capture him. It’s one of the great action thrillers of the 90s, and the cat and mouse game between Ford and Jones is about as close to perfect as you can get.

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The Client (1994)

Based on the best-selling John Grisham novel of the same name, Jones stars opposite Susan Sarandon as a District Attorney determined to use an 11-year-old witness to a mob killing to try to take down the mafia, regardless of the risk to the kid’s safety. It’s tense, thrilling, and Jones is great as ever.

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Natural Born Killers (1994)

Another star-studded Oliver Stone thriller, this time Jones is a warden tasked with dealing with some of the most dangerous and unhinged inmates the world has to offer. He’s foul-mouthed, tough as nails, and kind of hilarious.

Men In Black (1998)

Starring opposite Will Smith in this classic action-comedy about a secret agency that deals with alien appearances on Earth, Jones plays Agent Kay as a stoic badass who’s been around the block a few times and has seen it all. He’s a great foil to Will Smith’s reluctant comic hero, and it makes for a great movie.

U.S. Marshals (1998)

Jones reprises his role as Samuel Gerard from The Fugitive, this time going after Wesley Snipes’ escaped former Black Ops operative. It was meant to capitalize on the success of the 1993 movie, but ultimately wasn’t loved anywhere near as much by critics or audiences. It’s still good fun though.

No Country For Old Men (2007)

In this chilling adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel directed by the Coen Brothers, Jones is a small-town sheriff forced to deal with the aftermath of a murder spree. As Javier Bardem tears through the countryside after Josh Brolin, things just get crazier, and Jones is always the one cleaning up the mess. Great stuff.

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Emma C
Freelance Writer