In a whirlwind of talent and versatility, Snipes burst onto the scene in the late ’80s, dazzling audiences with his on-screen presence and captivating range. Rising to superstardom in the ’90s, he became the superhero we all rooted for in the iconic “Blade” trilogy.
But like any blockbuster journey, there were ups and downs. Personal struggles aside, Snipes’ artistry never faltered, and his contributions to the world of cinema are undeniable.
In this countdown, we celebrate the top 20 roles that define the brilliance of Wesley Snipes. From the action-packed to the heartwarming, each performance is a masterclass in the art of storytelling. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the magic of Snipes, prepare to be swept away on a cinematic adventure like no other.
From the top of the drug game in “New Jack City” to the futuristic battlegrounds of “Demolition Man,” check out the 20 best Wesley Snipes’ roles.
Blade | Eric Brooks / Blade:
As the titular character in the “Blade” franchise, Wesley Snipes portrayed Eric Brooks, a vampire hunter who is half-human and half-vampire. His mesmerizing performance in this action-horror series earned him widespread acclaim and catapulted him to superstardom.
Demolition Man | Simon Phoenix:
In “Demolition Man,” Snipes took on the role of Simon Phoenix, an ex-con with deadly combat skills who wreaks havoc in a futuristic society. His chilling portrayal of the ruthless antagonist provided a captivating contrast to Sylvester Stallone’s heroic character.
White Men Can’t Jump | Sidney Deane:
Teaming up with Woody Harrelson, Snipes played Sidney Deane, a street-smart basketball hustler in this beloved sports-comedy. His on-screen chemistry and comedic timing added flair to the film’s dynamic basketball duo.
Jungle Fever | Flipper Purify:
Directed by Spike Lee, “Jungle Fever” featured Snipes as Flipper Purify, an architect entangled in an interracial affair. Snipes delivered a poignant and nuanced performance, exploring themes of love, race, and societal expectations.
New Jack City | Nino Brown:
In the gritty crime drama “New Jack City,” Snipes portrayed the infamous drug kingpin Nino Brown. His magnetic presence and intense performance made Nino Brown one of cinema’s most memorable villains.
Passenger 57 | Chief John Cutter:
As Chief John Cutter in the action-packed thriller “Passenger 57,” Snipes showcased his martial arts skills and charisma. His portrayal of the resourceful hero elevated the film’s high-flying excitement.
U.S. Marshals | Mark J. Sheridan / Mark Roberts / Mark Sheridan:
In this gripping crime thriller, Snipes portrayed multiple identities as Mark J. Sheridan, a man wrongfully accused of murder. His character’s journey through suspenseful twists and turns showcased Snipes’ ability to handle complex roles.
Dolemite Is My Name | D’Urville Martin:
Stepping into the realm of comedy, Snipes brought humor and charm to the role of D’Urville Martin, a filmmaker in “Dolemite Is My Name.” His performance alongside Eddie Murphy added comedic brilliance to this biographical comedy-drama.
Money Train | John:
In the action-comedy “Money Train,” Snipes and Woody Harrelson reunited as two foster brothers working as transit cops. Their on-screen chemistry and humorous escapades made for an entertaining ride.
Sugar Hill | Romello “Rome” Skuggs:
In this crime drama, Snipes portrayed Romello “Rome” Skuggs, a streetwise drug dealer searching for redemption. Snipes’ gripping performance added depth to the film’s exploration of the drug trade’s consequences.
Major League | Willie Mays Hayes:
Stepping into the world of sports comedy, Snipes played Willie Mays Hayes, an agile and fast outfielder in “Major League.” His charismatic portrayal added charm and humor to this beloved baseball film.
The Fan | Bobby Rayburn:
In this intense thriller, Snipes starred as Bobby Rayburn, a baseball superstar with a dangerous stalker. His performance conveyed the escalating tension and gripping suspense of the film.
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar | Noxeema Jackson:
In a transformative role, Snipes played Noxeema Jackson, a drag queen on a cross-country road trip. His portrayal added heart and humor.
King of New York | Detective Thomas Flanigan:
As Detective Thomas Flanigan in “King of New York,” Snipes delivered a compelling performance in this gripping gangster flick.
Mo’ Better Blues | Shadow Henderson:
Teaming up with Spike Lee again, Snipes portrayed Shadow Henderson, a talented saxophonist in this musical drama.
Rising Sun | Web Smith:
Snipes starred as Web Smith, a police lieutenant investigating a murder in a Japanese corporation, in this crime thriller.
Murder at 1600 | Detective Harlan Regis:
In this political thriller, Snipes played Detective Harlan Regis, investigating a murder at the White House, delivering a suspenseful and engaging performance.
The Art of War | Neil Shaw:
Snipes assumed the role of Neil Shaw, a covert operative entangled in international conspiracies, in this action-packed espionage thriller.
Brooklyn’s Finest | Casanova “Caz” Phillips:
In this gritty crime drama, Snipes played Casanova “Caz” Phillips, a recently released convict returning to a life of crime.
Disappearing Acts | Franklin Swift:
In the romantic drama “Disappearing Acts,” Snipes portrayed Franklin Swift, an electrician entangled in a passionate but complicated relationship.