Film sidekicks have been with us since Hollywood first started shooting movies. Having just spoken to Johnny Depp, who is currently filming The Lone Ranger as Armie Hammer’s sidekick Tonto, Movie Fanatic was inspired to discover: Who are the best movie sidekicks?
The following Top 10 is something we look to revisit each year because the lexicon of main movie character backups is immense. These are our absolute favorite, the Top 10 Movie Sidekicks.
10. Watson: Sherlock Holmes movies
As embodied by Jude Law, he is the absolute yin to Robert Downey Jr.’s yang. The banter and chemistry between Watson and Holmes is also what makes this franchise sizzle. The last film, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, out-earned the first film and if we had our way, these guys would play these characters forever.
9. Silent Bob: Clerks, Mallrats, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
Silent Bob is one of those characters in film history that is, in many ways, a complete mystery. That is why Kevin Smith’s portrayal of him is iconic in popular culture. As his moniker suggests, he is rather quiet. But don’t mistake his silence for absence of commitment. When it comes to Jay, he’s got his back on a multitude of levels.
8. Cameron Frye: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Where would Ferris be without Cameron? Although he may complain about it, Cameron Frye always asks, “How high?” when Ferris tells him to jump. Yet, in the process, not only does the dynamic duo of high school friends manage to have the day of a lifetime, Cameron’s life situation allows his BFF to grow as a person in the same day that finds him lying, cheating and living complete bliss.
7. Samwise Gamgee: The Lord of the Rings
How committed is Samwise Gamgee to being the loyal sidekick? Try making the journey to Mt. Doom to destroy some ring that your buddy Frodo happens to have to get rid of. It may seem as if the world is ending on a multitude of occasions, but Samwise Gamgee is ever present. Honestly, in many ways, he is the true hero of Peter Jackson’s epic J.R.R. Tolkien cinematic saga.
6. Cal Naughton Jr.: Talladega Nights
John C. Reilly plays the bake to Will Ferrell’s shake in Talladega Nights to perfection. We can forgive his dalliance that almost ruins Ricky Bobby, because Cal is there in the end when it matters, catapulting his best friend to triumph.
5. Goose: Top Gun
We’re entering iconic pair territory with our top five. Where would Maverick be without his Goose? Besides being a partner in the air that is priceless, the death of Goose also provides the catalyst for our hero to find his way. Plus, who better to play beach volleyball with?
4. Ron Weasley: Harry Potter series
Since they were first year Hogwarts students, Ron Weasley has had Harry Potter’s back. The two went through puberty together and even stared down the Dark Lord to bring peace to the world in the final chapter of J.K. Rowling’s series.
3. Walter Sobchak: The Big Lebowski
Perhaps a surprise selection, but in our world, The Dude isn’t so dude-ish if he doesn’t have that maddening confidant that is John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak. The Vietnam vet packs a punch and is all too eager to join his friend’s foray into criminal madness. Walter is certainly in the top 10 of Coen brothers' characters and totally belongs high on this list.
2. Buzz Lightyear: Toy Story
To infinity and beyond, indeed. Some could argue that Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear is a cohort to Tom Hanks’ Woody, but let’s be real. Woody is the star, and Lightyear is the sidekick. He is a classic sidekick at that. Always willing to go the extra mile and even lay down his life for his friend, Buzz Lightyear is adored by generations for that very reason. Thus he is the true definition of a beloved sidekick.
1. Chewbacca: Star Wars
What can be said about Han Solo’s right hand Wookie? A whole lot, in fact -- there could be a book written about how the entire Star Wars universe owes its soul to the selfless acts of the furry one. Ready to cover your back with impeccable accuracy with a blaster? Check. Handy with tools that can get your spaceship back flying? Check. Moral support when you need it, even if he speaks in a language that is hard to understand but somehow easy to comprehend? Check! Chewbacca is the cat’s meow of movie sidekicks. In fact, why didn’t he get a medal at the end of A New Hope? We would have given him the first one given Chewy’s valor.