Daniel Kaluuya’s 10 Best Movies, According to Letterboxd

Jordan Peele’s New Horror Release Nope bombs theaters July 22, finally allowing fans to decode the mysterious alien invasion movie that’s been teased for months. The film features Peele’s get out star Daniel Kaluuya, the excellent English actor who recently won his first Oscar for his role inspired by Fred Hampton in Judas and the black messiah.

Although Kaluuya has gained notoriety following his performance on black mirror as of 2011, his filmography dates back to 2006, with most of his highly acclaimed films having been released in the past five years. To dig a little deeper, moviegoers on Letter box weighed in on Kaluuya’s cinematic highlights.

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ten Johnny English Reborn (2011) – 2.8/5


Johnny and Colin are sitting on a plane in Johnny English Reborn

In a rare chance to show off his comedic acting skills, Daniel Kaluuya starred alongside the iconic Rowan Atkinson in the satirical spy sequel Johnny English Renaissance, which finds the bumbling secret agent battling international assassins targeting Chinese leader, Xiang Ping. Kaluuya plays Colin Tucker, an MI7 agent who becomes Johnny’s assistant and eventual partner.

While most Letterboxd users agree the movie isn’t as good as the original Johnny English, Burrows makes a good point by stating “some of the spy parody in Johhny English is only mediocre, but alongside Atkinson’s Bond-wannabe antics there’s a top-notch cast of straight foils playing perfectly – Daniel Kaluuya, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Gillian Anderson… they’re all perfect.”


9 Cass (2008) – 2.9/5


Split image of Daniel Kaluuya with an afro wearing a school uniform in Cass.

Based on a true story, Jon S. Baird’s detective film cass traces the unlikely rise of Cass (Nonso Anozie), a Jamaican orphan adopted and raised by wealthy white British parents in London, who rose through the ranks to become one of Britain’s most powerful hooligans. For her part, Kaluuya portrayed Cass at the age of 14.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7wcm0zCBow

While the film garnered mixed reviews on Letterboxd, Scott Rudd declares Cass as “the Citizen Kane of football hooligan movies, down to a movie about One Eye Baz (Barrington Patterson). But cool to see Daniel Kaluuya in a starring role.”


8 Random (2011) – 3.3/5


Brother sits on his bed in Random

Debbie Tucker Green’s BAFTA-winning TV movie Random follows an ordinary day in the life of a black family in south London who are forever altered by a senseless act of violence. Kaluuya plays Brother, providing an early effective twist in the groundbreaking theatrical adaptation that blends cinematic and theatrical qualities.

While Kaluuya’s performance is praised, most Letterboxd users single out Nadine Marshall’s lead role and voice-over narration as a sister, with Logan Baker noting “Nadine Marshall is a revelation, and helps this bizarre comedy descending into heartbreaking drama into something special.”


seven Shoot the Messenger (2006) – 3.4/5


Joe opens a school cupboard in Shoot the Messenger

Daniel Kaluuya made his screen debut in the 2006 TV movie Shoot the messager, which Letterboxd considers among his best films to date. However, it is David Oyelowo, who plays Joe, a black teacher from South London. He is falsely accused of hitting a white student and faces serious backlash from the public.

Despite the difficult subject matter and his limited screen time as Reece, orzoelso states “teenager Daniel Kaluuya had 10 lines and still stole the show.” Simon Costello seconds the notion, adding “couldn’t get behind the main character or this movie one bit… Clive Rowe and Daniel Kaluuya’s cameos steal the show.”


6 Widows (2018) – 3.5/5


Jatemme wears a leather jacket in Les Veuves

by Steve McQueen widows is a sleek, cerebral heist image of four Chicago strangers who, to clear their mounting debt, conspire to steal $5 million from the home of a mob-linked local politician. Kaluuya stars as Jatemme Manning, a terrifying mob enforcer for her brother Jamal (Brian Tyree Henry).

For such a minor but memorable role, praise for Kaluuya’s performance is worth no more than having the filmmaker Sean Baker beam about his work on Letterboxd, saying of widows: “The whole cast is great. Daniel Kaluuya is the star for me. Guy has range.” The film spotlights Kaluuya’s more antagonistic role, which proves effective even with her limited screen time.


5 Queen & Slim (2019) – 3.6/5


Queen and Slim are sitting on the bonnet of their car in Queen & Slim

Kaluuya gives one of her most touching performances in Queen and Slim, a truly moving romantic road movie that also explores the horrors of racial profiling and police brutality. The story follows Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Kaluuya), a mismatched couple whose first date is interrupted by a police check. When the officer quickly pulls the trigger, Slim quickly acts in self-defense, leaving Queen and Slim on the run from the law.

Whereas molly notes that “Daniel Kaluuya is the best actor of this generation I think,” Matt Neglia goes a step further by adding “Queen & Slim is beautiful, raw, lively and moving, but above all, human. Director Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter Lena Waithe told us a gripping and honest story that features phenomenal chemistry and performances. by Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith.”


4 Black Panther (2018) – 3.7/5


W'Kabi looks stern in Black Panther

Acclaimed Director Ryan Coogler Black Panther took the world by storm in 2018 en route to becoming one of the most critically and commercially successful films of the year. The triumphant story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his relentless mission to protect his beautiful home planet of Wakanda and its priceless resource of Vibranium has been universally praised for its excellent ensemble, world-building, and messaging.

As Kaluuya makes the most of his role as W’Kabi, T’Challa’s best friend and border tribe security chief, many on Letterboxd sadly celebrate the lasting contributions of Chadwick Boseman, the true heart and soul of the film that will continue to be felt for centuries. Although Kaluuya only has a supporting role, he leaves an effective presence in the film, showcasing his character’s revenge for the death of his parents and contrasting with King Wakandan.




3 Sicario (2015) – 3.9/5


Reggies wears tactical gear alone in the desert in Sicario

Directed by revered director Denis Villeneuve from a screenplay by Taylor Sheridan, Sicario is a smart morality play that follows Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt), an upstart FBI agent pressed for action along the US-Mexico border to bring down the leader of a drug cartel. Kaluuya plays Reggie Wayne, Kate’s inexperienced partner in the FBI.

Without lacking praise on Letterboxd, silent dawn articulates the sentiment well, saying of the film “With (Roger) Deakins’ heartbreaking cinematography, Johan Johansson’s explosive score and Villeneuve’s follow-up mindset of ‘firecrackers’ and splashing blowouts; Sicario is a experience that will enthrall any fan of artfully presented darkness.” Kaluuya’s character is killed off within the first few minutes, but that takes into account Kate’s motivation to hunt down the cartel to seek justice for her fallen colleague.


2 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – 4.0/5


Fred speaks on the microphone in Judas and the Black Messiah

Kaluuya won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for brilliantly bringing Fred Hampton to life with courage and grace in the fact-based film. Judas in the Black Messiaha revealing historical drama that traces the infiltration of the Black Panthers by FBI agent Bill O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield).

Earning over 4,600 likes for her incisive insight, demi adejuyigbe notes how the director “Shaka King takes a pivotal moment in the story that could seem so sickening and hazy in the hands of a less cautious director, and gives us an intelligent, uncompromising take on fear and power.” more effusively, Francois Hoepfner adds “in my opinion, we don’t have a more bewitching, magnetic, bubbly, romantic, mesmerizing and endlessly watchable actor in our generation than Daniel Kaluuya.”


1 Get Out (2017) – 4.2/5


Chris cries in the room below in Get Out

A rare milestone whose critical and commercial success lined up like few others, Jordan Peele turned the horror genre on its head with the deeply unsettling get out, a film that explores racial subjugation in the most terrifying way imaginable. Kaluuya gives one of his best performances as Chris, a black man who senses something is wrong when he first visits his white girlfriend’s seemingly idyllic family.

On Letterbox, tasha robinson makes a salient point saying “This movie is funny. This movie is political. This movie is smart and mean, and very, very calculating. This movie is visually stunning at times and impeccably acted. But mostly, it’s scary as the hell.” As for Kaluuya’s work, Todd Gaine rightly notes that “Daniel Kaluuya is in the lead. He carries every scene he’s in. This is his movie, and he’s going to be a star.” Kaluuya’s breakthrough performance as Chris never fails to show the horrors but the determination of survival. He has since sparked a collaboration between himself and Peele, with Nope as their last.

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