As we collectively mourn the passing of Chadwick Boseman, there is also an effort to establish his contribution to the world of cinema. Boseman was more than just Black Panther, he was a stellar performer who could mould himself into all kinds of roles, from musical legends to sportsmen. In memory of the man, here are some of his best movies.
1. Get On Up
Personally, this is my favourite movie of his, no questions asked. A musical biopic of the Godfather of Soul, Dr. Dynamite himself – Mr. James Brown, Get On Up covers the dizzying highs and PCP-laden lows of Brown’s life. Boseman’s performance is unsurpassable, excelling in the moves, mannerisms, and all-encompassing funkiness of this musical legend.
2. Black Panther and the extended Marvel movies
His role as Black Panther landed him breakout fame, and for good measure. The tale of King T’Challa, returning to Wakanda after his father’s death was not just a blockbuster movie, but also made waves for its social commentary (along with the action, of course). It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes, if that’s even possible.
3. Message from the King
Not for the weak of heart, this revenge film is a gritty, brutal story where Boseman’s character is a Cape Town man who’s come to Los Angeles in search of his missing sister. He methodically tracks down each of the people suspected in her disappearance, and unleashes his wrath.
While Baseball doesn’t exactly have an audience in our country, Chadwick’s intense and dedicated role as sports legend Jackie Robinson in this film is one for the books. He brings out the emotions that follow being racially abused by not just other players, but your own team as well. The film was released to critical acclaim back in 2013.
5. Da 5 Bloods
This Spike Lee war drama came out just this year, and it tells the tale of 4 veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their squad leader, who is played by Boseman and is seen in flashbacks. While there, they also search for a gold fortune that their leader helped them find.
Another biographical drama, this time Boseman played the part of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Judge. He takes on the case of an African-American man who is accused of raping a rich white lady. If you’re a fan of courtroom dramas, this film is a great choice.
7. 21 Bridges
Boseman plays a world-weary police detective in this action thriller. The film is about a massive manhunt for some suspected cop-killers, which leads to all 21 bridges of Manhattan being closed. The action is compelling and the titular character’s performance is rock solid, even if the plot may sometimes feel a little weak.
It’s tragic that Chadwick Boseman is gone, and as you can tell from his performances in these films – he still had a lot of talent left to give.