- Willis' roles in the Die Hard franchise, 12 Monkeys, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable are memorable
- Willis's works go far and beyond the action films be became synonymous with, especially 'Die Hard'
- In comedies Moonrise Kingdom, Death Becomes Her, Willis was a like a completely different actor
In a piece of heartbreaking news for movie fans across the world, Hollywood star Bruce Willis' family announced that he will be retiring from acting due to aphasia diagnosis, a language disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," the statement read.
During his career, Willis worked in many movies that have a loyal following and gather a new fanbase with each of the coming generations. Undoubtedly, most of the viewers remember him from the mega-successful Die Hard film franchise, in which he plays Hollywood's favorite 'tough guy', but his filmography goes far and beyond the brawny police detective he is in those action-fueled movies. His ability to express without exposition was best witnessed in films like The Sixth Sense and 12 Monkeys where he laid bare his emotions through his piercing eyes.
The past two decades have been defined by superhero films, but turning back the clock, Willis portrayal of the unlikely superhero in Unbreakable was remarkable and memorable. Willis portrays David Dunn, a man who can’t get hurt physically. But once the infinite layers are peeled off, he appears to be a scarred human being just trying to fit in.
Willis also worked in comedy films, though action movies were his mainstay. We take a look at some of the best works that he has left behind in his decades-long and inimitable career in Hollywood.
There's not really a good Die Hard movie to pick! Running from 1988 to 2013, all of the five Die Hard movies are great movies. John McClane got his signature identity from Willis' portrayal. This franchise propelled him to A-lister status in Hollywood, one he would use to support indie films.
The Sixth Sense
It's one of the most emotionally draining films Willis has ever appeared in. Directed by M Night Shyamalan, it will forever remain Willis' best work. In the climax scene, Willis emotes the pain through his eyes and slight twitching that will forever be a distinct memory for movie watchers.
Long before superheroes became a fad, Willis wore the hoodie in Shyamalan's directorial Unbreakable. Not able to come to terms with his power to endure any amount of pain David Dunn seems like a conflicted and lost vigilante. This character has layers within layers and remains one of his most revisited films. Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense Sense gave his filmography a lift, a distinct edge above all.
This romantic comedy about runaway kids tugs at your heartstrings. Willis truly ditches his action image and does a total makeover for the Sheriff's role. He effortlessly becomes one of the characters of Wes Anderson's lovable and innocent world.
The plot of this sci-fi film is a bit jumbled up but powerful performance by Willis, who plays a tormented patient, was a revelation in 12 Monkeys. He plays a 'madman' in the movie, but his acting appeals to the mind and the conversation lingers on about sanity and insanity.
It is one of the most visually striking projects Willis has been a part of and he brings his best in the action genre to this stylised and striking film.
Death Becomes Her
It is a rom-com and Willis is the most un-Willis-like in this love triangle. He is funny and charming and the stuff that makes rom-coms work wonders.
The role of an astronaut embodies the quality of perseverance and Willis did it best in Armageddon. He hits all the right emotional notes in this Michael bay movie about space travel.
It's a time travel film and one of the best movies of Willis in the recent past. He is relatable and human-like, which he isn't in most of his other action films.
It is a well-made thriller with Willis playing the role of ex-hostage negotiator who becomes entangled in a hostage situation after a home invasion goes wrong. His performance keeps us on the edge the whole time and Willis has done really well to let us hang in the 'what's next' balance.