DMX Movies: The Ruff Rider's Legacy in Cinema

Given the recent passing of American rap legend DMX, we're shining a spotlight on some of his best performances in movies.

Jesse Conner

By Jesse Conner

DMX Movies: The Ruff Rider's Legacy in Cinema

© Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

We received tragic news last week that rap icon DMX had passed away. DMX was a staple in the music industry, touring and rubbing elbows with artists new and old. In addition to his music, though, DMX was in movies as well. Actually, saying that feels like an understatement. DMX was the leading man in most of his films, acting alongside actors like Jet Li, Steven Segal, and others. So, to honor the memory of the idol, we've pulled together the best DMX movies we could find for your viewing pleasure.

Belly (1998)

This is DMX's cinematic debut where he plays a young street criminal named Tommy. His partner Sincere, played by fellow rap artist Nas, is the narrator of the story as well as Tommy's closest confidant. The two characters dive headfirst into a life of crime. From murder to building a heroin empire, nothing is off limits for Tommy. Sincere, on the other hand, is a little more reluctant. And, for DMX's first shot in the industry as a leading man, he makes sure to bring the heat.

Now streaming on: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

Romeo Must Die (2000)

Our next film on the list features DMX as a nightclub owner named Silk. Though his role is small, DMX brings a strong presence with the time he is on screen. DMX has the ability to command any room he's in and he's never afraid to stand his ground. The film marks the first time he had the opportunity to work with Jet Li and it's also his highest grossing film.

Now streaming on: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, VUDU, & iTunes

Exit Wounds (2001)

Here we have another relatively big budget film with DMX and he's one of the leading men again. He takes on the role of Latrell Walker, a local drug dealer with an assistant T.K. Johnson (Anthony Anderson). Or at least he appears to be a dealer on the surface. The other lead character, Detective Orin Boyd (Steven Seagal), is on a man hunt for Walker and Johnson. But, once Boyd comes across some information that Walker might not actually be a criminal, his priorities change. We don't want to give too much away but we'll say that this is one of DMX's best performances.

Now streaming on: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

Cradle 2 the Grave (2004)

A professional thief named Anthony (DMX) and a government agent named Su (Jet Li) start as enemies when Anthony steals some precious black diamonds. Once Anthony's daughter is pulled into the mix, the two join forces to uncover a huge conspiracy. We give you that context because once DMX and Jet Li are on the same team, they're unstoppable. This Warner Bros film brings some "Rush Hour" level action, and DMX further proves he has no problem running with the heavyweights in Hollywood.

Now streaming on: Tubi, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

Never Die Alone (2004)

The final pick on our list of movies not only has DMX as the lead character King David, but he's also a producer and created original music for the film. There's no question that this is DMX's most complex film. The movie also features one of Michael Ealy's earliest performances, and he plays a pivotal role.

Now streaming on: YouTube, Cinemax, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

Honorable Mention: Top Five (2014)

We added this one as an honorable mention because he's only in one scene in the film, but it's DMX playing himself. After having such an incredible career, it's great to see him make fun of himself a little bit in a comedic role. Also, we're loving his rendition of "Smile" by Nat King Cole, especially since he keeps it true to himself throwing in his signature "WHAT!" Rest in peace DMX, you will be truly missed but your legacy will live on forever.

Now streaming on: Pluto TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, VUDU, Apple TV, & iTunes

Jesse Conner

Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.

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