There are many adjectives that could be used to describe Woody Harrelson, and "average" is not one of them."
Since busting onto the scene as bartender Woody Boyd on "Cheers" in 1985 -- and who can forget his touching rendition of the song "Kelly, Kelly, Kelly" -- the 48-year-old Harrelson has grabbed headlines for good performances, poor roles and bad behavior.
He has brawled with police and been arrested numerous times, and has made the news for his pro-hemp/marijuana and environmentalist stances. On a major side note, he also found himself in the headlines when it became known that his father was serving two life sentences for the gang-related murder of a judge.
Now, Harrelson hits the big screen today with "Zombieland," a gory comedy about a group of people who are trying to survive in a world overrun by the undead. Here are 10 quality films starring Harrelson, usually in supporting roles. Considering he starred in two of the worst movies of the 1990s -- "Money Train" and "Play it to the Bone" -- it's kind of surprising there are that many, isn't it?
10. "Edtv" (1999): Far better than the annoying TV spinoff, this Ron Howard film starred Matthew McConaughey as an affable video store clerk who agrees to have his life filmed as a reality show. Harrelson is spot on as his obnoxious brother, Ray.
9. "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006): This Robert Altman valentine to Garrison Keillor's radio show was a rambling, charming film in which Harrelson played "Dusty," half of a country-western singing duo (with John C. Reilly). The small role showed Harrelson at his charming best.
8. "White Men Can't Jump" (1992): Harrelson's big-screen break after "Cheers," this buddy tale (with Wesley Snipes) about two basketball hustlers who are virtually unstoppable on the courts also boasts a wonderful supporting turn from Rosie Perez. The smart script came from Ron Shelton, best known for "Bull Durham."
7. "After the Sunset" (2004): Pierce Brosnan plays a jewel thief, Salma Hayek plays his girlfriend/accomplice, and Harrelson plays Stan Lloyd, an FBI agent who has been chasing them for years. This was a small but good movie that few people saw, like Brosnan's "Tailor of Panama" and "The Matador."
6. "Natural Born Killers" (1994): I never found this Oliver Stone film to be as great as many of its fans do, nor as bad as detractors found this violent tale. But it is hard to argue that Harrelson and Juliette Lewis (Mickey and Mallory Knox) did not make one of the most frightening couples in screen history.
5. "People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996): Harrelson's only Oscar nomination came for his lead role in Milos' Forman's stylized look at the pornography publisher who became one of the leading fighters against censorship in the 1970s and 1980s. Courtney Love and Edward Norton co-starred.
4. "Kingpin" (1996): The Farrelly Brothers are incredibly crude and hilarious, and Harrelson and Bill Murray have never been funnier. Harrelson plays Roy Munson, once a bowling prodigy who squandered his talents and now wants to ride to the top by managing an Amish kegling sensation played by Randy Quaid.
3. "Welcome to Sarajevo" (1997): Harrelson is strong as an American journalist, Flynn, who is covering the war-torn Balkans in the 1990s. Stephen Dillane and Marisa Tomei also star in Michael Winterbottom's film. Great line from Woody: "Only two good things ever came from England: One, America; two, the Beatles."
2. "No Country for Old Men" (2007): While the attention in this film is rightly paid to Javier Bardem, a very bad man with a very bad haircut, Harrelson is good as Carson Wells, a hit man tracking down Bardem. Based on a Cormac McCarthy novel, this Coen Brothers film is a shout back to their first movie, "Blood Simple."
1. "Wag The Dog" (1997): Barry Levinson's biting satire about a political spin doctor (Robert De Niro) hiring a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to create a war -- to take attention away from the president having an "inappropriate" relationship with a teen-age girl. Harrelson plays psychotic soldier Sgt. Bill "Shoe" Schumann, who is propped up as a war hero. If you haven't seen this film, one of the best of the 1990s, please do so.
Check out this trailer from "Wag the Dog":
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