Best movie: Way of the Dragon (1972)
On his own, Chuck Norris made several enjoyable action flicks, like Good Guys Wear Black (1978), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), and Code of Silence (1985), but it's work alongside Bruce Lee that reigns supreme.
Even though he’s not in the movie for too long, Norris’ role as one of the villains in Lee’s Way of the Dragon (titled Return of the Dragon in the states) ranks as his most memorable foray onto the silver screen. Playing a fighter hired to take down Lee’s character, Norris got to show off his masterful martial arts abilities in a climactic final battle with the Asian sensation that helped launch his young career.
Unfortunately for Norris, the rest of his movie career was spent churning out junk B-movies aimed at appealing to the lowest common denominator, but for this one brief role he was acting opposite from a legend. It’s also interesting to note that it appears that Chuck Norris’ iconic beard used to apparently reside on his back. Seriously dude, grab a razor.
Runner-up: Missing in Action (1984)
In terms of clichéd ‘80s action fare, nothing quite lives up to Missing in Action. Its plot is paper thin, the characters are stereotypical, and it fails to deliver anything remotely close to being satisfying.
Still, Missing in Action somehow manages to be Norris’ second-best picture. There's an undeniably cheesy charm to this film that makes the whole thing come across as one big joke; unfortunately, if it is a joke, Norris certainly doesn’t seem to be in on it. On the bight side, this movie is the type of thing to ironically enjoy on a rainy Saturday afternoon in front of a cooler of adult beverages.