Michael B. Jordan already has an impressive resume as an actor. Between his acting chops, dashing good looks, and impressive physique, Hollywood is creating more and more impressive storylines for Jordan characters, and we’re not complaining. Here are our picks for Jordan’s top five roles, brought to you by Reklist: trusted recommendations from the people that know you best.
The Wire (2002)
His role as Wallace is certainly one of the more realistic of Jordan’s roles being discussed here. Wallace is a 16-year-old drug dealer that works in the projects. Despite this inauspicious work, we come to learn that he houses a lot of down and out kids in an apartment and takes care of them, packing their lunches among other things. Then, after giving initial information that leads to a murder, he becomes so disgusted that he leaves “the game”. After a run in with police, he offers to cooperate and testify against his former gang members, a decision which comes with consequences. This role showed Jordan’s incredible range even as an actor just beginning his career.
Friday Night Lights (2009-2011)
In seasons 4 & 5 of the popular TV show, Jordan plays Vince Howard, a high school student who has been in trouble with the law too many times. He is offered a last chance if he agrees to play football with new head coach Eric Taylor. Even though he has never played football before, he quickly becomes a star quarterback and is able to overcome difficult family issues, including his absentee father coming back into the picture, while continuing to succeed in school and football. This role put Jordan in front of a mainstream audience and put him on the map.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
This film catapulted Jordan’s career to stardom (as well as writer/director Ryan Coogler’s), yet still hasn’t been seen by many. Fruitvale Station is based on the true story of the death of Oscar Grant (expertly played by Jordan), a young man who was killed in 2009 by a police officer at the Fruitvale station in Oakland. The film depicts his final day, where he interacts with friends, family, and strangers before his tragic death. While it’s admittedly a heavy film, it’s absolutely one we’d recommend. Jordan won multiple awards for his performance and landed major roles after showing what he can do in this film.
Creed I (2015) & Creed II (2018)
Adonis “Donnie” Johnson is serving time in a youth correctional facility when we first meet him. We learn that his father is the late great Apollo Creed and Creed’s widow, Mary Anne, offers to take Donnie in after seeing his struggles. In just seven short years, he completely turns his life around and is working at a successful financial firm, but that is not impressive enough for him. He quits his cushy job and movies across the country to Philly to train as a boxer, nearly defeating the world champion by the end of the first film. In the beginning of Creed II, we find out that Donnie has not lost since then and has even won the world championship, an incredibly impressive start to a boxing career for someone who had just recently started training full-time. However, he must confront personal demons to defeat a familiar nemesis in the Rocky/Creed universe – Ivan Drago’s son Viktor.
Black Panther (2018)
This movie has a lot of fantasy and science fiction elements to it, and Jordan is again over the top awesome in his role as Stevens, son of Wakandan royalty. Stevens grew up outside of Wakanda after his father was killed by King T’Chaka while Stevens was still young. Nevertheless, Stevens grows up to be one of the fiercest US black ops soldiers in the world. The movie picks up as he infiltrates a major criminal group, ultimately leading him into Wakanda, where he challenges the king for the throne. If you still haven’t seen this film, set aside some time ASAP to check it out.
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