Chris Rock is an American actor and stand-up comedian who has made his mark in the entertainment industry by making films that make people smile, laugh, and think. The Brooklyn, New York native first took to the stage as a standup comedian at the age of 19, where he quickly gained recognition for his wit and charm. As his career progressed and his fan base grew, Rock decided to take his talents to the big screen, making films and delivering performances that are regarded as some of the best in Hollywood.
From the politically charged Death at a Funeral to the box office hit Grown Ups, and the Emmy winning Everybody Hates Chris, Chris Rock has earned his place as one of the top comedic actors of this generation. But Rock can also add thoughtful drama to his list of accomplishments as seen in films such as Nurse Betty and New Jack City.
In this article, we will take a look at some of Chris Rock’s most hilarious comedies and most thoughtfully crafted dramas.
Hilarious Rom-Coms starring Chris Rock
Head of State
Head of State is a 2003 political comedy directed by Chris Rock, who also co-wrote, starred in and produced the film. The movie follows Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock), a low-level alderman from Washington D.C. who is unexpectedly chosen to run as the presidential candidate for his party. With the help of his fearless and outspoken girlfriend, Nicky (played by Rock’s real-life partner, Tamala Jones) and his slick campaign manager, Mitch (Bernie Mac), Gilliam takes the lead in his imaginative unorthodox campaign that challenges conventional ideas of presidential politics. Head of State is an amusing look at the not-so-glamorous side of American politics that features an all-star comedic cast.
Pootie Tang is a 2001 comedy written by Louis CK and Chris Rock, who also produced the movie. The story follows the titular character Pootie Tang (played by Lance Crouther), an illiterate yet lovable gangster who uses his charm and various street-wise talents to fight the corrupt forces of marketing and media that threatens his community. Pootie Tang is a surprisingly levelheaded yet goofy comedy that follows the adventures of its charismatic hero as he attempts to make the world a better place.
Thoughtful Dramas Produced by Chris Rock
Nurse Betty is a darkly comedic drama directed by Neil LaBute and produced by Chris Rock. The movie stars Renee Zellweger as Betty, a naive and optimistic small-town waitress whose life takes a wild turn when she mistakenly believes her husband (played by Aaron Eckhart) has been murdered. Shortly after, two hitmen arrive in town searching for her, prompting Betty to leave her home in search of her darling “doctor”. With the help of a friendly cab driver (Morgan Freeman), she embarks on a journey that leads her to a real doctor (Greg Kinnear) and towards a newfound enlightenment.
New Jack City
New Jack City is an intense crime drama starring Chris Rock as “Pookie”, an inner-city drug addict who joins with an NYPD task force to take down a drug trafficking empire run by a charismatic gangster (Wesley Snipes). Set in New York City during the late 1980’s crack epidemic, the movie examines the alluring yet dangerous world of drug trafficking and the dealers that inhabit it. Produced by Chris Rock and directed by Mario Van Peebles, the movie is a powerful and moving portrayal of the dark side of the city that exposes the grim realities of the streets.
From funny and light-hearted rom-coms to thoughtful and powerful dramas, Chris Rock has proven to be an adept filmmaker and actor who can tackle any genre. In the span of two decades, Rock has made some of the most memorable films of the past, such as Head of State, Pootie Tang and Nurse Betty, while also bringing a refreshing comedic presence to the box office hits Grown Ups and Death at a Funeral. With an impressive resume of comedies and dramas under his belt, it is no surprise that Chris Rock is considered one of the top entertainers of his generation.