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He’s big. He’s brawny. He’s bald. And he’s badass. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for Vin Diesel’s top 10 moments.
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#10 – One Born Every Minute: “Boiler Room” (2000)
Let’s start with an appearance that shows Diesel is more than just muscle. In Boiler Room, the actor plays a stockbroker in a shady firm who convinces clients to buy worthless stocks. When a cold caller gets a new fish on the line, Diesel literally comes running to ensure he’s the one who reels him in. And when he’s in slick shark mode, no fish stands a chance. Watch out!
#9 – Yo, Mary Poppins: “The Pacifier” (2005)
You think you had tough babysitters? Get a load of Diesel in the action comedy The Pacifier. As a former Navy SEAL, Diesel doesn't exactly connect with the family of kids he’s been assigned to protect. But he scores big points when he takes on the idiot vice principal of their school and proves the guy is full of crap. Diesel? He doesn’t even break a sweat.
#8 – Fool for a Lawyer…Not: “Find Me Guilty” (2006)
“Have you heard the saying that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client?” Playing an already-convicted mobster who’s on trial again, Diesel proves that—on film, at least—being a fool in court can have its advantages. Though the rest of Find Me Guilty received mixed reviews at best, our muscleman’s contribution is hailed as a career high. Let’s see what we can learn from Diesel’s unique courtroom style.
#7 – Diesel, Like the Train: “Knockaround Guys” (2001)
When you’ve got muscles like this, you’d think guys’d know to leave you alone, right? In the gangster-slash-buddy movie Knockaround Guys, Diesel portrays the winner of 500 Brooklyn street-fights who decides to teach a small-town Montana bully a little lesson. The bully may not be afraid to hit a lady, but he never even lays a hand on Diesel—not even close. Our bald friend is one legitimate tough guy.
#6 – Show Off: “Strays” (1997)
Staying in shape is hard work, so how did Diesel find time to also write, direct, produce AND star in a film like Strays? Not to mention: he does a pretty damn good job in all those roles. When he made this gritty urban drama, Vin Diesel wasn’t yet a “name”—but his performance as a bored drug-dealer got him noticed by Steven Spielberg, and fame soon came a-knocking.
#5 – The Letter: “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
Diesel’s part in Spielberg’s epic war drama Saving Private Ryan is small, but he makes the most of it—especially in his “big scene.” Private First Class Adrian Caparzo thinks he can save a young girl in a war-torn town by taking her to a safer place. But Caparzo’s kindness puts him in a sniper’s line-of-fire, which leads to deadly results. But it also creates an especially memorable and moving moment.
#4 – Man of Steel…or Iron: “The Iron Giant” (1999)
Buff bod, bald dome, unmistakable voice—that’s Vin Diesel. He lent that voice to the title character in the overlooked animated classic The Iron Giant. Created as a weapon of destruction, the Iron Giant is taught by a little boy that you can defy fate and choose what—or who—you want to be. With help from a nuanced and compelling Diesel performance, the robot does just that at the film’s heartbreaking climax.
#3 – Riddick-ulously Good: “Pitch Black,” “The Chronicles of Riddick” (2000, 2004)
Talk about good casting: Diesel was born to play Richard B. Riddick, an epically tough intergalactic criminal-turned-reluctant hero. No one can stand up to this dude—not even a vicious alien monster has the guts. And Riddick shows everyone that in the hands of a master, anything—even a teacup—can be a deadly weapon.
#2 – Overdrive: “xXx” (2002)
There’s over-the-top—and then there’s extreme, like the extreme sports addict Diesel plays in xXx. Also extreme is the insane amount of action that’s packed into the flick. It starts with this pulse-pounding bridge jump, and from then on it’s just one thrill ride after another—including an awesome motorcycle jump over a burning barn. Extreme, yeah—but it makes you crave even more.
#1 – Rock Solid: “Fast Five” (2011)
Diesel’s biggest hits have been the Fast & Furious films, where he’s right at home with lots of action, tons of testosterone and hot, hot cars. The series is full of great Diesel moments, but none is better than the scene in Fast Five when Diesel takes on the one and only Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It’s like we’ve died and gone to action movie heaven.
Do you agree with our list? What do you think is Vin Diesel’s best moment? For more top 10s about your favorite actors, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.