DAR Films: The 5 Best And Worst Martin Lawrence Movies

By @TrueGodImmortal

For me, growing up, one of my favorite comedians and actors was Martin Lawrence. From his smaller work as Bilal in House Party or Tyler in Boomerang to his legendary sitcom Martin, he was always entertaining to watch. When he got his shot at a starring role in a film, I was eager to watch and support. In his early years, Martin delighted audiences with his comedic timing and his ability in TV and film. Some of his best work came during the 1990s. Unfortunately, as the 2000s started, Martin saw his career take a steep decline. Nothing seemed to work for him during this period. With that in mind, today we wanted to do a collection of the 5 best and worst movies of Martin's career. What will be his best and worst? Read on to find out. We'll start with the worst.

The Worst
It's really hard to narrow down these choices because in his later years, Martin took a backseat in film, but when he did show up, most of his movies were underwhelming from Big Mommas House 2 to Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, and that's just a few of the bad selections. Picking his 5 worst was no easy task, but here goes nothing.

5. What's The Worst That Could Happen (2001)

-I was such a huge Martin fan that I went into this movie expecting something great. I was sadly mistaken. Sadly. Instead what I got was one of the most god awful movies I saw in my life. Martin had made so many good movies during the late 90's that somehow his power had diminished quickly in the early 2000s. His worst movies came in the 2000s decade and this was honestly the start of his downfall. Maybe Martin was losing his humor or maybe he was forced to take some of these roles, but alongside Danny Devito (the oddest combination in a film ever) and a small role from Bernie Mac, Martin just didn't connect on any of his jokes and nothing seemed to flow in this one. It's hard to pinpoint what went wrong with this movie. Could it be the boring premise? The lackluster jokes? No chemistry? All of the above.

4. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011)

-One of the quotes from this movie was "Freak with it, freak with it". I could stop right there and you'd already know that this was a horrible piece of work. The premise, which I don't feel the need to even go into, was centered around crime, family, and the return of Big Momma. Why? Who knows. What I do know is that Martin and Brandon T. Jackson had very little comedic chemistry and the jokes ranged from not funny to just extremely juvenile, a sign that Martin had truly lost it by this point. Also, stop putting black actors in drag/women's costumes for unfunny movies. This was yet another cringe worthy movie from Martin.

3. College Road Trip (2008)

-I don't even have much to say here. Speed once did a review on this film and honestly, it was fairly light compared to how I feel about this movie. Years ago, I watched this against my will and realized quickly that Martin in a Disney film is just NOT something I could stomach. The only laughs and enjoyment I had from this movie was laughing at Martin and his attempt at sincere facial expressions. Raven Symone was in this as well, but she added nothing to the movie. At all.

2. Rebound (2005)

-There was a point where I had written Martin off. This was the start of that point. I mean, what the hell was this. Martin stars as a basketball coach of a kid's team and this just spells of a washed comedian trying to cling to a child's movie for relevance. I'm not sure why Martin thought this was a good look for him, but I remember watching this movie hoping for the best, and I laughed twice. Not at any of the jokes, but at how pitiful Martin seemed in this role and this movie. I could go on and on about why this movie was so horrible, but the movie poster tells you more than enough.

1. Black Knight (2001)

-The absolute worst of the worst. No, it's not a kid's movie and that's the worst thing about it. If it was a kid's movie, I could probably try and give it a pass or have it ranked lower, but this honestly is just the worst premise I've ever seen in my life. Martin stars as a man trapped in the medieval world, and there's a weird reference to Florence and Normandy that somehow ties him into that world. The comedy here is really bad and though I used to find Martin dancing as funny, in this movie, the dance scene is cringe worthy. Everything about this movie is cringe worthy and there are no redeeming qualities in this one. Absolutely terrible.

The Best
-This was easier to come up with. Martin has a number of funny movies, but his best are head and shoulders above the rest of his filmography. Let's get into the top 5.

5. Blue Streak (1999)

-Some people might not like this movie but I've always found it to be one of the final films starring Martin to REALLY have laugh out loud moments. Playing a former jewel thief who was arrested and placed in prison for an extended period of time, when his character Miles Logan gets out of jail, he goes to find the diamond. He would pretend to be a cop to get into the place where he stashed the diamond... which is now a police station (surprise). Dave Chappelle steals the show at times, but Martin is hilarious in this film and he manages to carry this dope movie and though I wouldn't consider it a classic, I think it's a really fun watch and the last of Martin and his lead role greatness.

4. Bad Boys 2 (2003)

-The 2nd installment of the Bad Boys series is one of the more slept on movies in his career in a way. Reprising his role as Marcus Barnett, Martin became even more of a family man in this movie, and had to protect his sister played by Gabrielle Union. What I find interesting about the movie is the way they employed comedy and action together perfectly and even the action felt more explosive. Both Will and Martin continued their great chemistry and I truly enjoyed this movie a lot. I've seen it about 20 times now, if not more and it never gets old.

3. A Thin Line Between Love And Hate (1996)

-In one of the more slept on movies of his career, Martin directed the hilarious movie that saw him get caught in a fatal attraction. Playing the role of Darnell, with a supporting cast of Lynn Whitfield, Bobby Brown, and Regina King, the tale of fatal attraction has some hilarious turns and Martin is at his comedic best while attempting to play the role of a player who moves from woman to woman. I consider this to be an underrated comedy with a slight dark side (Lynn Whitfield's character commits murder in response to men and their abusive behavior), and one of Martin's best projects. Very solid.

2. Bad Boys (1995)

-There's something to be said about the chemistry between Martin and Will Smith. When this move debuted, I had no idea what to expect, but the two played their roles of Mike Lowry and Marcus Barnett to perfection. This story here is pretty fun and the scenarios that both men find themselves in within the movie makes for a very fun ride throughout the 2 hour duration. It's one of the most infamous roles in Martin's career and probably the best of his entire career just about.

1. Life (1999)

-I've spoke about this movie with the Eddie article. This one is a hit different for me as I think it's one of the best comedies of all time and both Martin and Eddie Murphy are at their best. It shows that they could make a classic together and as Ray and Claude, you root for them at every turn to win. Martin is a bit annoying at times as Claude, which I think is on purpose, but it all works. Bernie Mac is also hilarious in this movie and showcases a different side as an actor, but it's Martin and Eddie who control the film and without a doubt, this is the best film in Martin's career. Point blank.



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