Walter Hill is a legendary director, writer, and producer, so let's revisit his work from worst to best. Hill began his career as a screenwriter on projects like Steve McQueen's The Getaway. After launching his directing career in 1975 he quickly established his own style; terse dialogue, brutal action scenes, and non-flashy camerawork.
Hill also produced and rewrote the original Alien, and it was his suggestion to make Ripley the sole survivor; he returned to produce Aliens and Alien 3. Hill's writing and directing style would be highly influential on other filmmakers, and he's considered a true auteur.
With all that said, here are all Walter Hill movies, ranked worst to best.
Walter Hill Movies Ranked: #21-#16
21. The Assignment (2016)
Walter Hill's most recent project is sadly his weakest. Aside from the controversial gender reassignment storyline, The Assignment is a cheap, cheerless thriller just barely propped up by a talented cast, including Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver.
20. Supernova (2000)
The backstory of Supernova is WAY more interesting than the end product. Hill shot the movie, only to drop out during post-production over creative disagreements. Following extensive reshoots by another director and additional re-edits by Francis Ford Coppola, this messy sci-fi horror flick was released under the pseudonym Thomas Lee.
19. Undisputed (2002)
Undisputed is a competent but drab prison boxing drama, where Wesley Snipes (Blade) must fight imprisoned heavyweight champion Ving Rhames. The Undisputed STV sequels starring Scott Adkins are much more entertaining.
18. Bullet To The Head (2012)
This mismatched buddy movie finds Sylvester Stallone's hitman paired with Sung Kang's uptight cop for a boilerplate action flick. Bullet To The Head is undemanding fun with a menacing villain turn by Jason Momoa, but Hill has done much better in the same genre.
17. Wild Bill (1995)
Wild Bill is a handsomely mounted Western with a great central performance by Jeff Bridges, who is backed by Ellen Barkin and John Hurt. Unfortunately, the film's lax pacing and slow burn tension make it feel a tad flat.
16. Brewster's Millions (1985)
Hill tried his hand with a wacky comedy with Richard Pryor / John Candy vehicle Brewster's Millions, but while the central duo work hard to make the best of the material, most of the comedy is pretty stale.
Walter Hill Movies Ranked: #15-#11
15. Red Heat (1988)
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Russian cop teams with James Belushi's cynical Chicago detective. Schwarzenegger's deadpan turn and some pulpy action scenes, including a climatic bus chase, make Red Heat decent Friday night action fare.
14. Last Man Standing (1996)
Hill combines John Woo's two-fisted gunplay with the plot of Yojimbo for Bruce Willis star vehicle Last Man Standing. The action scenes are some of the finest of Hill's career, but when the gunfire stops the plot tends to slacken.
13. Johnny Handsome (1989)
Johnny Handsome features Mickey Rourke's (Sin City) gangster putting his new life in trouble by seeking revenge on the gang that betrayed him. Mickey Rourke gives a great central performance and the movie has intriguing themes, but for a thriller, it's rarely tense and a little dull in parts.
12. Another 48 Hrs. (1990)
Another 48 Hrs reteamed Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte for another two days of angry banter and gunfights. This sequel is bizarrely committed to recreating the key beats of the original, but the chemistry between the leads and lean pacing keep it entertaining.
11. Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
Western biopic Geronimo features a fantastic cast - Wes Studi, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon - and is directed with class, but it also feels like a big budget TV movie.
Walter Hill Movies Ranked: #10-#6
10. Crossroads (1986)
Alongside Brewster's Millions, Crossroads is one of the odd men out of Hill's filmography, being a coming of age story centered around blues music. The film was described as a musical take on The Karate Kid upon release - right down to Ralph Macchio playing the lead role - but the sweet student/mentor relationship and a great soundtrack make it worth checking out.
9. Trespass (1992)
A siege movie where two firemen uncover treasure before running afoul of a criminal gang in an abandoned building. With a script co-written by Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future), Trespass milks a lot of tension from its limited location and features a cast that includes Bill Paxton, William Sadler, and Ice Cube.
8. Hard Times (1975)
Hill's directorial debut is a bare-knuckle boxing drama starring Charles Bronson (Death Wish). Bronson makes for a charismatic lead and Hill directs the fights with brutal efficiency. Later movies would see Hill refine his style, but Hard Times was solid proof he made a natural director.
7. Streets Of Fire (1984)
Probably Hill's strangest movie is a mixture of action movie, musical and even comedy. A former soldier rescues his ex-girlfriend, a talented singer, from Willem Dafoe's bike gang, and all sorts of craziness ensues. Streets Of Fire was a box-office dud, but Hill directs with flair and clearly had a great time blending genres.
6. Extreme Prejudice (1987)
Extreme Prejudice stars Hill's regular collaborator Nick Nolte as a sheriff who has to face his former best friend, who is now a violent drug lord. The movie feels like Hill's ode to Sam Peckinpah, particularly the blood-drenched finale, and Extreme Prejudice is a muscular, fast-paced thriller.
5. The Long Riders (1980)
Hill first Western was famous was casting real-life brothers like Dennis and Randy Quaid to play the title outlaws. The Long Riders was a modest success upon release but has been reappraised as one of Hill's best. The performances are great and it takes a complex view of the main characters.
4. 48 Hrs. (1982)
48 Hrs is the movie that made Eddie Murphy a movie star, with the story finding Murphy's criminal forced to work with Nolte's hard-edged cop to catch an old accomplice, The chemistry of the leads is what makes the movie work, alongside Hill's taut direction.
3. Southern Comfort (1981)
Southern Comfort is a thinly veiled Vietnam parable, where a bunch of Army Guardsmen make enemies of Cajun locals while on maneuvers. Southern Comfort is incredibly tense and atmospheric, and is probably the closest Hill came to a horror movie. The concept later provided inspiration for Aliens.
2. The Warriors (1979)
Probably Hill's most popular film as director, The Warriors finds the titular gang framed for a murder and having to fight their way home. The film's iconic gangs, relentless pace, likable heroes and great use of music made it a hit and its reputation only seems to grow year after year.
1. The Driver (1978)
The Driver is Walter Hill at his purest, from characters through to dialogue and editing. The film follows an unnamed cop chasing an unnamed getaway driver, and the film is a stylish, pulpy delight with excellent car chases. Edgar Wright admitted Baby Driver was massively inspired by Hill's movie.