A Definitive Ranking Of Kevin Smith’s Movies

Kevin Smith

Writer/director Kevin Smith has been a hot topic in the film industry ever since his 1994 indie smash Clerks.

His star power has risen to the very pinnacle of the entertainment industry. Movies like “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Chasing Amy” have become cultural touchstones.

Although his talent is undeniable, not all of his movies have been critically acclaimed. We’re going to watch every single one of his movies right now.

Jersey Girl (2004)

Jersey Girl holds a special place in our hearts. It wasn’t a particularly good movie, but it was Smith’s attempt to make something family-friendly, free of the profanity that had distinguished his previous work.

While he’s known for his skill with the obscene, this touching family drama bombed with audiences and reviewers alike.

Yoga Hosers (2016)

The story of two convenience store employees, Yoga Hosers is a spinoff of Tusk (another poorly rated Smith film), and is reminiscent of Clerks.

Yoga Hosers, on the other hand, is badly written and not hilarious, so the comparisons end there.

And while it has the on-screen offspring of Will Smith and Johnny Depp, that fact alone isn’t enough to recommend the film.

Tusk (2014)

Tusk is slightly outside of our regular comfort zone in terms of concept, but we still like it. It’s humorous in a strange way to imagine a man who has undergone plastic surgery to make him seem like a walrus.

We thought it would be funny, but after seeing the movie, we realize it would have been better off as a joke.

A film running time of 100 minutes is excessive for a plot with no real resolution.

Clerks II (2006)

Fans will likely argue that Clerks II deserves a better ranking. We wouldn’t go so far as to call the movie a money grab, but we also didn’t feel like it was necessary.

Certainly, there are hysterical parts. The first picture was so grounded in reality that it was frightening, but the over-the-top parts (such as the donkey show) ruined it.

Zack and Miri Make a P*rno (2008)

We think this is Smith’s best and most underappreciated picture. The heart of Zack and Miri makes up for the fact that it’s very racy (as the title might imply).

Only a few movies have managed to strike this delicate balance between icky jokes and heartfelt romance.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)

Although Jay and Silent Bob: The Reboot, like Clerks II, was unnecessary, at least it knew how to make fun of itself.

As Smith puts it, “playing with [his] old toys again,” this movie succeeds in that regard.

Even though the characters have become a bit bland after 25 years, there is still a lot of fun to be had.

Cop Out (2010)

Smith’s first film as director that he didn’t also write.

Perhaps the movie could have been elevated from being a standard buddy-cop comedy if Smith had written the script.

The worst part of Cop Out, though, is clearly Bruce Willis, who looks bored the entire time.

Apparently, he and Smith had a falling out on set, and he decided to slack off in his role as a result.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

After seven years of directing films for View Askewniverse, Smith decided it was time to move on. (This didn’t last long, though; five years later, Clerks II hit theaters.)

He wanted the last VA picture to stand apart, so he made Jay and Silent Bob, who had previously appeared in supporting roles, the film’s stars.

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back is everything you could want in a VA film, and that’s about all there is to say about it.

Like sweets, it’s probably not good for you but, in moderation, it’s delightful; the picture is filled to the brim with smart and nasty humor.

Red State (2011)

Smith makes a better effort to break from his usual style in Red State.

It’s a grim horror film that convincingly shows how religious extremism is bad, and it was inspired in part by the real-life monstrosities of Fred Phelps.

Even Smith’s most ardent defenders have to concede that Red State has something unique to offer that simply couldn’t be reproduced in a picture set in the View Askewniverse.

Dogma (1999)

Dogma’s criticism of established religion made it a controversial release, prompting demonstrations from the Catholic League (which Smith personally attended).

However, upon closer inspection, Dogma does not completely criticize religion.

Instead, it makes light of the fantastical side of religion while acknowledging the positive impact it may have on an individual’s life.

Mallrats (1995)

Given that Clerks catapulted Will Smith to fame, it could make sense that Mallrats wasn’t as “hungry” a picture as its predecessor.

That isn’t to suggest he’s utterly disconnected from regular people, but Mallrats is more of a silly comedy.

Chasing Amy (1997)

After the success of Clerks and Mallrats, Smith’s fans weren’t holding their breath for a love story. Even less anticipated was that he would make a very powerful argument.

However, Chasing Amy strikes a nice mix between the characteristic Smith humor and a very devastating tragedy. 

It almost topped our list, but we had to settle for second place.

Clerks (1994)

A resounding “yes”; Clerks is hysterical. However, its comedic value is not the only element that sets it apart.

It’s an unusually insightful look at the human condition, less a movie about its characters than a movie about people.

Those of us who have ever been working class can empathize with Dante and Randall. The low production value adds to the film’s genuine feel.

Smith, who was working as a clerk when the film came out, wanted desperately to be a director.

Though he eventually found freedom from the grind, his film will stand as a memorial to all workers past and present.

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