Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight Slated for release on Netflix on July 14, 2022, fans can see the beloved panda Po thrive on the small screen in an episodic TV series. The story follows Po as he teams up with an English knight named the Wandering Blade to recover a collection of mystical weapons, leading to an epic stint of misadventures sure to entertain the masses.
Po’s voice actor, the acclaimed Jack Black, has made a living playing incredibly likeable characters in big, wide-ranging comedies that film fans on Ranker tend to favor over his more dramatic fare. Overall, it seems that, in Ranker’s eyes, Black’s best films tend to feature his funniest leads.
Note: Leaderboards are live and continue to collect votes, so some leaderboards may have changed after publication.
10 Ice Age (2002)
In one of his few supporting roles to make it, Black voices the character of Zeke in the animated adventure ice agean excitable saber-toothed tiger who quickly pounces on enemies and mauls them while constantly teasing Diego with sarcastic remarks.
Zeke draws on Black’s boisterous sense of humor, which is much of the Hyper-Smilodon’s amusing appeal. While Black only played Zeke once, the original ice age remains for many the best in the franchise due to its stellar voice cast, clever novel premise, and lovable, relatable anthropomorphized characters that reflect the best and worst of humanity.
9 Saving Silverman (2001)
Save Silverman Stars Jack Black and Steve Zahn as two slackers desperate to prevent their best friend Darren from marrying a domineering tyrant. The crass and gritty comedy was absolutely gored by critics with a 22 Metascore and 19% Rotten Tomatoes score. Still, Ranker voters seem to find the film to be one of Black’s funniest cinematic outings.
While the film is anything but Oscar-caliber, Black gives a grossly underrated comedic twist as JD, who not only has wonderful on-screen chemistry with Zahn, but also steals the entire show thanks to his sophomoric jokes and slapstick body comedy. Between the failed kidnapping attempt, the side-splitting spaghetti scene, or the nacho lounge chair scene, it remains a memorable film for viewers today.
8th Bernie (2011)
Reuniting with acclaimed film director Richard Linklater for the first time since School of RockBlack delivers arguably his best performance in the short biographical dramedy Bernie. Based on a true story, Black rises as Bernie Tiede, a friendly Texas undertaker who befriends a wealthy widow, both of whom harbor dark secrets.
Black’s tour de force turn, in which he must sing, laugh, cry, and morbidly manipulate the public with a good-natured facade that serves as a facade for the darkness beneath, is certainly memorable. The way Linklater takes a documentary approach while brilliantly oscillating between comedy and drama is the hallmark of a director in full control, seemingly putting the Ranker voters’ decision on par with critics who also hailing the film as one of Black’s best.
7 King Kong (2005)
As Bernie, General moviegoers on Ranker seem to agree with professional film critics King Kong, Peter Jackson’s epic remake of the 1933 classic. Interestingly, the film gives Black an opportunity to stray from his typically funny persona for a more direct dramatic lead. It worked out quite well and opened up a new lane for Black’s performative abilities.
Black plays Carl Denham in the film, an ambitious filmmaker who is willing to do anything to find his leading lady. But when King Kong also takes aim at Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), Denham must decide what really matters most. Truly epic filmmaking at the highest level of craftsmanship, King Kong proves that black can carry massive blockbusters on its back with the best.
6 Flat Hall (2001)
In the eyes of most, a mediocre comedy film by the Farrelly brothers, voters seem to be supporting Ranker Black’s lead flat necka beauty-obsessed bachelor who undergoes a major change of heart when he gains the ability to see the inner beauty of women.
Hal’s progression from a mean, immature, and superficial character to a genuine adult willing to follow his true feelings and align himself with Rosemary (Gwynyth Paltrow) accounts for much of the film’s friendly appeal. In his first starring role, Black proves he can be the center of attention and rival comedic heavyweights like Jason Alexander, who steals the show as Mauricio’s Hal pal.
5 Tenacious D in Fate’s Choice (2006)
A rock ‘n’ roll comedy tailor-made for Black and his Tenacious D band member Kyle Gass, The choice of fate is everything fans want. The story follows JB and KG on their journey to becoming the biggest rockers in the world by acquiring a magical guitar pick that gives them supreme musical ability to perform some of the funniest Tenacious D stage songs.
Critics may have been a little less impressed, but it’s clear the film wasn’t made for prestige, but to serve the fans who had previously supported the band for a full decade. Black is most authentic when portraying his stage persona, which is why Ranker voters, including the film, are not at all controversy.
4 Kung Fu Panda (2008)
A nearly universally popular piece of replayable family entertainment, Ranker fans seem to share the opinion of critics (87% on Rotten Tomatoes) and general movie fans (7.6 IMDb rating) about the first franchise to be considered popular today.
Kung Fu Panda Black plays the voice of Po, the lovable lazy bear who is cast so perfectly that he has performed the role four times to date. In the original story, the lazy misfit is thrust into action when he is chosen to guard the Valley of Peace, leading him on a harrowing series of misadventures filled with memorable characters.
3 Nacho Libre (2006)
Ranker fans don’t seem to agree with the mixed critical mass in terms of overall potency Nacho Libre, but almost everyone can agree that Black is genuinely hysterical as the titular Mexican luchador. Black is lovable as Ignacio/Nacho, a convent cook who breaks new ground and follows his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
Though tall, broad, and wildly absurd, Black’s brand of physical comedy has rarely been so impressive. Part of the appeal comes from screenwriter Mike White, who also wrote School of Rock and instinctively knows how to write Black’s droll comedic sensibility. As such, the film is fun for its feel-good vibes, hilarious Nacho Libre Quotes and for really touching moments.
2 Tropical Thunder (2008)
Black’s Time in the Jungle via tropical thunder is rightly hailed as one of his most amusing films to date. The plot follows a war film production that becomes all too real for the spoiled Hollywood cast.
The film beautifully blends big-budget action with excellent characters and hilariously risqué comedic material that might never be made today. Black really stands out as Jeff Portnoy, a drug-addicted actor who’s scared of being typecast, giving Black the perfect opportunity to balance his comedic and dramatic skills.
1 Rock School (2003)
Unsurprisingly, Ranker fans are considering School of Rock Jack Black’s best film to date. Black plays Dewey Finn, a wannabe rocker who takes a job as a substitute music teacher for junior high school students after being kicked out of his band. Together, the misfit and misfit class form a band to compete in the school’s talent show.
The rousing crowd pleaser is uplifting and inspiring as can be, proving what can happen when misfits band together and express themselves together. Packed with great songs, unforgettable quotes, Black’s on-screen chemistry and a true feel-good vibe, it’s no wonder Ranker fans seem to have the feeling that Black has never been better than Dewey Finn.
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