The best Chadwick Boseman movies
On August 28th, we were shocked and saddened by the news of Chadwick Boseman‘s passing. The actor’s outstanding film roles and transcendental representation of the African-American culture, including his famous characterization of Black Panther, have undoubtedly left a mark for which he will always be remembered.
On this account, we created this MFC Playlist to remember Chadwick Boseman.
Black Panther (2018)
After introducing T´Challa in Civil War (2016), Chadwick Boseman had the opportunity to star in Black Panther and tell the story of the first African-American superhero to have the leading role in a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
After returning to Wakanda, the current king of the African nation must assume his role as regent. However, a threat shows up to question his power’s legitimacy: Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) tries to reveal the secrets of Wakanda in order to begin a war on behalf of his people. As a consequence, a battle is triggered and Black Panther’s beliefs and even his own past are questioned.
Director Ryan Coogler had already shown in Creed (2015) that he has talent for telling origin stories and, although Black Panther had made an appearance in the past, on this occasion we are able to get to know the protagonist more closely. Chadwick Boseman leads a brilliant cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett, among others.
The film grossed over $700 million and became the first Marvel film to be nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars. A colorful costume and an Academy Award-winning soundtrack are the finishing touches of this action-adventure packed movie that is a must-watch to pay homage to our cherished hero.
21 Bridges (2019)
In this crime thriller, Chadwick Boseman plays the role of a policeman whose past has turned him into a tough justice seeker after his father was murdered while on service 19 years ago. When a crime is committed, in order to arrest those responsible for it, he is forced to pursue a race against time when the 21 bridges of Manhattan city are closed as an unprecedented police measure.
Director Brian Kirk presents us with a detective story produced by Joe and Anthony Russo, who have previously brought us Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Having a well-constituted cast that includes J. K. Simmons, Sienna Miller, Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch, this time the movie has a dark plot that, although it is not a masterpiece, satisfies fans of the genre who are also able to enjoy a Chadwick Boseman that represents the last trace of justice in a city wrecked by corruption and crime.
This movie, aimed at sports lovers, tells us through baseball the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American man to play in the major leagues of the United States. Chadwick Boseman portrays an athlete who is hired by the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Harrison Ford) to win the championship. Nevertheless, not only will Robinson have to prove that he is better than his rivals on the field, but also he will have to fight against prejudice and racism at a time when it was not common to see a person of color as a major league player.
Once again, Chadwick Boseman stands out representing one of the most popular sports in the United States. Baseball has already given us memorable films like The Natural (1984) and Field of Dreams (1989) but, on this occasion, the director and screenwriter Brian Helgeland makes the actor shine alongside the brilliant Harrison Ford. While this movie sometimes resorts to melodramatic means but does not focus on deep matters, it thoroughly explores the motivations of someone who significantly contributed to sports history. Besides, for those who look for coincidences between real life and movies, perhaps fate determined that Chadwick would leave us on the day known as the “Jackie Robinson day.”
Get on Up (2014)
Undoubtedly, Chadwick Boseman‘s role in Get on Up is the best performance of his career. The godfather of soul comes to life with the movements, charisma and performances that only Chadwick could stage in front of the camera. In this biographical musical we can accompany James Brown throughout his successful and turbulent career. Not only do we watch his live performances, but also we learn about the musical context that led him to share the stage with the Rolling Stones and to play in Vietnam during the war.
Thanks to impeccable makeup and costumes, Chadwick Boseman makes the audience forget who they are really seeing. In this film, we can see his wide acting range demonstrating a much more histrionic and controversial character compared to the roles he had previously performed. The reproduction of the dances and movements that Chadwick learned for the occasion earned him at least one Oscar nomination. However, the Academy decided to ignore this special and different performance. Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson and Dan Aykroyd are part of the solid cast that will encourage anyone to deepen in Brown’s life and know a little bit more about such a talented artist.
On this occasion, we see Chadwick Boseman starring in another biopic, portraying Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American judge of the Supreme Court. The film covers one of Thurgood’s most important cases as an attorney for wrongfully accused people of color in which he had to defend Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), a driver accused of raping his white employer. Side by side with Thurgood is Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), an inexperienced lawyer who must forget his own prejudices to collaborate with the African-American lawyer in order to return justice to the Bridgeport court.
After 42 (2013) and Get on Up (2014), Boseman, in his third role portraying a real-life story, provides a fresh and relaxed performance. Marshall is a courtroom drama that deals with issues such as segregation and injustice for people of color who have to face a jury that seems to be arbitrary. This is a film that does not have the weight of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) or the rhythm of A Time to Kill (1996), but depicts a more thoughtful and subtle Boseman who is willing to stand up for other individuals’ rights.