British actor Daniel Kaluuya is one of cinema’s rising talents and has already starred in several acclaimed films. Here’s a ranking of all his movies.
Since making his theatrical feature debut in the 2008 film Cass, British actor Daniel Kaluuya has appeared in more than a dozen movies, all of which can be ranked in order from worst to best. Thanks to his work in critically acclaimed thrillers and top-grossing blockbusters in recent years, as well as his Oscar-winning performance in the historical drama Judas and the Black Messiah, Kaluuya is fast becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. To date, Kaluuya has appeared in 13 theatrical feature films, but he also has an impressive body of work including TV and stage performances.
Daniel Kaluuya was born on February 24, 1989, in London, England, to Ugandan parents. At a young age, Kaluuya was involved in improvisational theater, and he began acting at his local art school. In his 20s, Kaluuya starred in several theater shows, most notably his leading performance in Sucker Punch, which earned him the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomers. One of Kaluuya’s earliest TV roles was in the popular UK series Skins alongside other young actors who have gone on to have successful careers, including Dev Patel.
At 33 years old, Daniel Kaluuya has established himself as one of today’s most in-demand movie stars, most recently being named as a contender for either the next James Bond or the next Bond villain. Frequent collaborator Jordan Peele named Kaluuya his favorite actor in the world, and there’s no doubt the versatile performer has an exciting career ahead of him. For now, here’s a look at all of Daniel Kaluuya’s movies so far, ranked worst to best.
Chatroom is a thriller directed by Hideo Nakata based on the Edna Walsh novel of the same name. Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as William, a British teenager who lives his life online and opens a chatroom where he meets other troubled teens, including Daniel Kaluuya’s Mo. Each member of the chatroom has problems that William tries to solve in unconventional ways that continually backfire. Chatroom‘s interesting concept is let down by disconnected storylines and superficial characters that waste the talents of its young cast.
Written and directed by Eran Creevy, Welcome to the Punch is a police drama starring actor James McAvoy. The movie centers around an elusive criminal named Jacob Sternwood, played by Mark Strong, who returns to London for the first time in years. This homecoming gives Detective Inspector Lewinsky (McAvoy) one last chance to arrest him. Daniel Kaluuya has a supporting role as one of the members of Lewinksy’s intelligence team. While Welcome to the Punch has been deservedly praised for its action set pieces, the movie is ultimately let down by its unoriginal storyline, which even McAvoy can’t save.
Oliver Parker’s spy comedy Johnny English Reborn is the second installment of the James Bond-parodying Johnny English movie trilogy. The sequel again stars Mr. Bean comedian Rowan Atkinson as the titular Johnny English, whose latest mission is to stop an assassination attempt on the Chinese Premier. Kaluuya plays English’s sidekick, Colin Tucker, in what was his most high-profile movie role at the time, but unfortunately Johnny English Reborn received largely negative reviews because of its lazy spoofing of the spy genre.
Directed by Jacqui Morris, this adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol retells the well-known story as a narrated ballet. Joined by an ensemble cast including Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, and Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya voices the Ghost of Christmas Present. While the movie is visually impressive, the adaptation is less exciting and less rewatchable compared to other famous A Christmas Carol movie adaptations, such as The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Cass is a British crime biopic directed by Jon S. Baird that follows the real story of Carol “Cass” Pennant, a former soccer hooligan. Daniel Kaluuya has a small role as a younger version of the titular Cass, who grows up to become a key member of the widely-feared Inter City Firm, a violent group of West Ham United fans. Cass is full of good performances but does little to separate itself from other soccer fan movies that were released at a similar time, like Green Street Hooligans.
The sequel to 2010s Kick-Ass, Jeff Wadlow’s Kick-Ass 2 is a satirical superhero movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the titular vigilante. Set five years after the original, Kick-Ass 2 sees Kick-Ass join a group of street heroes, led by Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes, who go head-to-head with a villainous gang that includes Daniel Kaluuya’s Black Death. Kick-Ass 2 did not reach the same heights as the first movie and received mixed reviews, with its high level of violence causing controversy.
Steve McQueen’s Widows is a thriller that follows a group of women who attempt a high-risk heist in order to pay back Jamal Manning, a crime boss who had $2 million stolen by the women’s late husbands. The ensemble cast stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki as the titular widows, and Daniel Kaluuya plays Jatemme Manning, Jamal’s younger brother and enforcer. As well as delivering action, Widows also covers important issues such as sexism and police brutality. Although Widows didn’t win any major awards, it did make several critics’ lists of the top 10 movies of 2018.
In his second collaboration with Jordan Peele, Daniel Kaluuya stars in the sci-fi horror movie Nope. Kaluuya plays OJ, a ranch owner who tries to record evidence of a UFO with sister Em, played by Keke Palmer. The performances of Kaluuya and Palmer have been widely praised, and although Nope might not be Jordan Peele’s best movie to date, it once again showcases the talented filmmaker’s knack for creating original horror movies fit for the 21st century.
Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario is an action thriller that boasts an ensemble cast, including Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio del Toro. The movie follows FBI Special Agent Kate Macer’s (Blunt) mission to bring down a powerful drug lord. Daniel Kaluuya has a supporting role as Reggie Wayne, Kate’s partner who is training to become a Special Agent. The excellent performances by Sicario‘s cast, particularly Blunt, were widely praised. Marking the seventh of Denis Villeneuve’s feature-length movies, Sicario also received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Sound Editing.
Queen & Slim is the feature directorial debut of Melina Matsoukas, best known for her work on music videos for Beyoncé and Rihanna. A modern take on a classic Bonnie and Clyde-type story, Queen & Slim centers on a young black couple who go on the run after killing a police officer in self-defense. Daniel Kaluuya co-stars as Ernest “Slim” Hines alongside Jodie Turner-Smith’s Angela “Queen” Johnson. One of Daniel Kaluuya’s best yet underseen movies, Queen & Slim received multiple accolades and nominations, including four Black Reel Awards.
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther follows Chadwick Bosman’s T’Challa as he fights for his crown as king of Wakanda while challenged by Killmonger, his cousin who wants to use Wakanda’s vibranium technology to start a global revolution. Daniel Kaluuya plays W’Kabi, T’Challa’s former best friend. He joins forces with the enemy when Killmonger kills Ulysses Klaue, another Marvel villain who had killed W’Kabi’s parents. Black Panther is one of the MCU’s best and most successful movies, having grossed over $1.3 billion and has the distinction of being the only Marvel film to have won at least one Academy Award — it actually took home three: Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score.
Comedian-turned-filmmaker Jordan Peele made his feature directorial debut with Get Out. Starring Daniel Kaluuya in his breakout role as Chris Washington, Get Out tells the twisted story of a family who transplants their brains into other people’s bodies to achieve immortality. Get Out pays homage to classic horrors and in its own right is one of the best horror movies of the 2010s. Despite its small budget, Jordan Peele’s debut movie was a box office hit, and Get Out also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, while receiving a further three nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Daniel Kaluuya.
Shaka King’s biographical crime film Judas and the Black Messiah tops the list of Daniel Kaluuya’s best movies. Kaluuya stars as Fred Hampton, the real-life American activist who was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Judas and the Black Messiah tells the true story of Bill O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) a petty criminal who was recruited by the FBI to infiltrate the Black Panther Party and befriend Fred Hampton to provide intelligence. The global pandemic stunted the movie’s box office returns, but Judas and the Black Messiah received positive reviews thanks to its exhilarating take on history and a standout performance from Daniel Kaluuya that won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Next: Judas & The Black Messiah True Story: Biggest Changes To Hampton & O’Neal
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