The Many Faces of Jack Black

We explore one of contemporary cinema's most memorable mugs.

by | June 16, 2009 | Comments

Whether it expresses befuddlement, exuberance, or just plain goofiness, Jack Black‘s countenance is one of the most expressive and distinctive in contemporary movies. With Year One hitting theaters this week, we at RT thought it would be a good time to take a look at the many faces of Black.

Bob Roberts


Even in his debut movie role, the political satire Bob Roberts, Black had already perfected his patented mugging. And as with later roles, he played a young man who paid tribute to his musical heroes, in this case, the folk singing right-wing politician of the title.

High Fidelity


In High Fidelity, Black nearly stole the show as a vulgar, hyper-opinionated record store clerk. However, it was his relatively straightforward (but still plenty ribald) rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” that brought this occasionally wistful meditation on modern love to a soaring and satisfying close.

Saving Silverman


Black and Steve Zahn will do anything to keep their best buddy from tying the knot in Saving Silverman. And by anything, we mean anything. Black’s character, J.D., is motivated by a similar urge as many of the actor’s other characters: to keep the band (in this case, a Neil Diamond tribute group) together at all costs.

Shallow Hal


Black is known for his portly frame and his Falstaffian vigor. However, in Shallow Hal, he didn’t realize that his true love outweighed him by quite a bit because he could only see her inner beauty — which is just one more reason we love him.

Orange County


It isn’t always laughs and smiles for Black. Here, in Orange County he plays Lance, who is determined to get his younger brother Shaun (Colin Hanks) into Stanford through blood, sweat, and yes, tears.

School of Rock


If there’s on thing that Jack Black takes very seriously, it’s rock ‘n’ roll. Here in School of Rock, he leads his prep school charges on a magical mystery tour through the different strands of rock music, making sure they learn everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top.



In Envy, Black plays a man who becomes rich overnight after inventing a spray that vaporizes dog waste. As you can see here, he’s a fervent believer in his creation.

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny


Tenacious D, Black’s satirical metal band with Kyle Gass, is one of the funniest musical comedy acts since Spinal Tap. However, as this still from The Pick of Destiny proves, it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll.

Nacho Libre


In Nacho Libre, Black plays a humble monk who takes up wrestling in order to win the approval of a beautiful nun and save the children at the orphanage where he was raised. Don’t let his kindly nature fool you; as this pic demonstrates, Nacho is not someone you want to test.

Be Kind Rewind


Black and Mos Def demonstrate both industriousness and a profound knowledge of cinema in Be Kind Rewind. Here, Black wonders aloud, “What’s happening to our hood?!”

Tropic Thunder


Black’s serious demeanor in the image above belies an inner turmoil. His character, Jeff Portnoy, is deep in the throes of addiction. He’s also much more comfortable in flatulence-happy comedies than on the set of a war movie.

Year One


Jack Black and Michael Cera star in Year One as a pair of hunter/gatherers who traverse the ancient world. If the press photos are any indication, we won’t have to search high and low for funny faces from Mr. Black.

Check out Black’s filmography here. And click here for the latest reviews and news for Year One.