Top 21 Kevin Bacon Roles

For our first Ranked! of 2012, we decided to take a look at the film career of Kevin Bacon. Here are our twenty-one favorite Kevin Bacon roles:

21. The River Wild, Wade

20. JFK, Willie O'Keefe

19. He Said, She Said, Dan Hanson

18. Hollow Man, Sebastian Caine

17. Super, Jacques

16. Murder In The First, Henri Young

15. X-Men First Class, Sebastian Shaw

14. The Woodsman, Walter

13. The Big Picture, Nick Chapman

12. Diner, Timothy Fenwick Jr.

11. Animal House, Chip Diller

10. Sleepers, Sean Nokes

9. Stir Of Echoes, Tom Witzky

8. Mystic River, Sean Devine

7. Flatliners, David Labraccio

6. Apollo 13, Jack Swigert

5. She's Having A Baby, Jake Briggs

Skeevy Kevin Bacon is a thing of glory, but Kevin Bacon in a John Hughes film is surprisingly winning. As Jake Briggs, Bacon is charming, funny, awkward, and just plain entertaining as a newlywed twentysomething trying to make that transition from youth to adulthood. It's a film that often gets overlooked when talking John Hughes but its a good little film and a great performance by Bacon.--Archphoenix

4. Wild Things, Ray Duquette

I'm going to admit right up front that I went to see Wild Things for two reasons... both of them belonging to Denise Richards. (Sorry, she's really hot.) Other than the rumors that this was going to be a revealing role for her, I really knew absolutely nothing about the movie.

It turns out that Wild Things is a movie that, as a whole, is far more than the sum of Denise Richards' parts. It ranks high on my list of favorite movies of all time. I don't know that I've ever seen a film that had more plot twists than Wild Things. And not just crazy, pointless ones; really well thought out twists that make perfect sense. The plot keeps on twisting right through (and past) the end credits. You even get to see some of the scenes from earlier in the movie from a different perspective as things are summed up at the end. Most of the time, when I'm talking about a film that was released this long ago, I'd go into detail. But honestly, this film's twists and turns are so awesome that, if you haven't seen it, you need to experience it as the story unfolds. It really is that good.

But of course, we're talking about Kevin Bacon here. Obviously, my high ranking of this film is based on the story rather than any of the actors. They're all good. In fact, this is one of the better ensemble cast films I've seen. Every character is an important cog in the machine that is the plot. Bacon is a police detective who gets caught up in the intricate web of intrigue woven by pretty much every character. He does an excellent job playing off the other characters. The one negative thing I recall is a shower scene late in the film. I really don't think anyone needed to see Kevin Bacon's sausage. (And yeah, I realize that's a double standard. So sue me.)

One funny non-Kevin Bacon-related story about the film. There are plenty of good chuckles in the movie; there's some good dark comedy interwoven into the mix. But the biggest laugh from the audience when I saw Wild Things in the theater resulted from an audience member's outburst. Denise Richards and Neve Campbell are a couple in the film, and they make out several times. The third time it happened, the theater was dead quiet and a guy at the back of the theater said, "This film's fucking awesome!" The audience was in stitches.

So, is Wild Things' Detective Ray Duquette Kevin Bacon's best or most memorable role? Maybe not. But there are so many other great things about this movie that it's easily one of my favorite films in which Kevin Bacon appears.--Dave

3. A Few Good Men, Capt. Jack Ross

Like Wild Things, A Few Good Men isn't ranked this high solely on Bacon's performance. This is an ensemble movie where Kevin Costner isn't the centerpiece.

Kevin Bacon stars as Capt. Jack Ross, the prosecuting attorney in the film. It's not a flashy role, but it's a necessary role. Bacon brings his usual charm and chops to the performance, and makes you like him despite the fact you're hoping he'll lose the entire movie.

If nothing else, A Few Good Men was the first film that Bacon appeared alongside Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, and Demi Moore (and remains the only film he's done with Nicholson and Cruise), making that Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon game a lot easier for us all.--Chag

2. Tremors, Valentine McKee

Ah, Mr. Bacon. You've done so much for cinema. You've been a teen idol and an over-the-top villain, been a troubled loner and a voice of authority, and connected the entire world with only six degrees. Yet for my money, your crowning achievement came in what has always been and will forever be my first submission when friends and I have cult movie nights: Tremors.

Granted, Tremors isn't Oscar material, despite being far more watchable (or rewatchable) than Dances With Wolves or the Godfather Part III. It does have a few things that more lauded movies from that era don't, though. It has monster worms that tunnel underground and eat their victims from beneath. Just typing that sentence makes the movie awesome, but the cast elevates what would otherwise be a B-movie toss off into a cult classic. There are gun-toting, slightly unhinged survivalists played by Reba McEntire, the dad from Family Ties, Remo Williams, and the always amazing Victor Wong. And in the swirling center of all that stands Kevin Bacon's Val McKee, anchoring the chaos and providing the can-do spirit and gravitas (so to speak) that the situation demands.

Did I mention that they tunnel underground and eat you from beneath? So freakin' sweet.

All great actors have a moment where their craft transcends genre and achieves something truly sublime. Jeff Bridges has "The Dude." Robert De Niro has Harry Tuttle. Rowdy Roddy Piper has Nada. And Kevin Bacon has Val McKee, and he should have left town a day earlier.--CroutonBoy

1. Footloose, Ren McCormack

Is it any wonder that the movie that made Kevin Bacon a gigantic star took the top spot?

After Footloose became a mega-hit, it propelled Kevin Bacon from unknown actor to once of the most prolific and recognizable actors of our generation. In this rockin' good time movie that earned more than ten times its $8 million budget, Bacon portrays city boy Ren McCormack who is transplanted to the Bible Belt where dancing is outlawed.

McCormack is a rebel and an outsider, and fights the ban on dancing - and eventually the tightwad but powerful reverend (John Lithgow) that has helped uphold the law concedes - and in fact does a little boogie with his wife while McCormack and the rest of his school party like it's 1984 in an abandoned mill. Nothing says prom like dancing it up in an ancient factory! And this movie is actually based on a real life event that took place in Oklahoma.

Bacon has been asked countless times if he did his own dancing in the movie, in which he has replied proudly, "Yes." Although the flips and other ninja dance moves depicted in Kenny Loggins' video for Footloose were done by a stuntman, Kevin Bacon is absolutely convincing as the cocky rebel, and we get a glimpse of the talent that has kept him busier than most actors in the last 25 years.--Jay Noel


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