In the last 10 years, Michael B. Jordan has proven that he is undoubtedly one of the best actors working in the business today. His career may have started on television, but he has blossomed into a big screen star, and it’s been tremendously exciting for film fans to watch him evolve as a performer. That’s particularly true this year, because Jordan’s work in the upcoming drama and AMC Artisan Film JUST MERCY has an excellent shot at earning him his first Academy Award® nomination.
The highly buzzed-about film is set to come out next month following its lauded run on the fall festival circuit, so now is the perfect time to get yourself ready. Join us in looking back at some of the best films of Michael B. Jordan’s filmography thus far.
When it comes to the subject of fantastic Michael B. Jordan movies, it makes sense to start with the title that turned him into a breakout star. It’s a very different kind of film than the more Oscar®-friendly JUST MERCY, but CHRONICLE is a thrilling and well-made mashup of what were two very popular genres back in 2012: superheroes and found footage. Jordan’s role in the movie is a supporting one, but he shines brightly.
If CHRONICLE was the project that put Michael B. Jordan on people’s radars, FRUITVALE STATION is the film that proved to everybody that he is a special talent. The debut of writer/director Ryan Coogler, the film is based on the true story of Oscar Grant III — a young man who was unjustly shot and killed by a police officer — and is a harrowing, gripping and emotional experience. Much like the developing conversation surrounding JUST MERCY, some argue that Jordan should have earned his first Oscar nomination for the performance.
Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler proved to make a tremendous team in the making of FRUITVALE STATION, which is why it made all the sense in the world that Warner Bros. handed them the keys to the legacy of ROCKY in the making of CREED. While there was initially some question about whether or not the boxing franchise still had life in it, Jordan and Coogler proved all of the doubters wrong by putting together an excellent sports film. CREED proved that the actor could not only do amazing work in more serious dramas, like JUST MERCY, but also carry a tentpole on his shoulders.
Sticking with blockbusters, Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler teamed up a third time to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while BLACK PANTHER is a very different role for the star, playing a villain for the first time, it’s further proof of his immense talent. Erik Killmonger is one of the great antagonists of the entire MCU franchise, and while the film did ultimately pick up a few Oscars®, it’s a shame that Jordan’s performance didn’t earn more recognition.
Just a few months after the release of BLACK PANTHER last year, Michael B. Jordan was back in the ring once again playing Adonis Creed in CREED II. And unlike the majority of ROCKY sequels, it’s a well-made and entertaining ride, anchored by an excellent turn from the man in the titular role. It’s tremendous proof of the power of his presence, and just thinking back on it makes us that much more excited to see JUST MERCY and everything else he does from this point forward.
JUST MERCY will be in limited release starting Christmas Day.