Black Panther premiered a few weeks ago and since then, in addition to the film itself breaking box office records, the soundtrack holding tight at the №1 spot on the Billboard album chart, and being the most buzzed-about movie released this year so far — it has also made superstars of its already pretty superstar-esque cast.
You probably already knew their faces before this movie, but never before had they been quite so larger than life, and never quite so cool. (I take that back: Danai Gurira as Michonne on The Walking Dead was already this cool.) If you’re as obsessed with this cast as I am, then you’ll definitely want to check out the list below.
Captain America: Civil War (starring Chadwick Boseman) — Netflix
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already seen this one, starring Boseman in his first turn as Black Panther himself. Even so, how grateful are we that Netflix has this streaming so we can get our Black Panther fix any night of the week?
Friday Night Lights (starring Michael B. Jordan) — Netflix
I know that Mikey B. didn’t join the cast of this amazing show until season four, but it is definitely worth watching all five seasons. This was the first project I’d seen Jordan in, and I knew he was going to be “kind of a big deal” from the moment he showed up on screen. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely want to see one of his earliest works. I mean, that’s if you don’t count this tiny little show that nobody’s ever heard of called The Wire.
Urban Hymn (starring Letitia Wright) — Netflix
Every once in a while, there’s a beautiful small film in which an actor or actress at the very beginning of their career gets to shine: a starring role that feels like it was tailor-made for them. (Think: Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone.) The lovely Urban Hymn is that movie and that role for Letitia Wright.
Queen of Katwe (starring Lupita Nyong’o) — Netflix
“She’s winning!” In the Queen of Katwe, Nyong’o fills a supporting role as the mother of the titular character, a young Ugandan girl with a gift for chess. This is one of those feel-good, based-on-a-true-story films that are totally worth it.
The Kill Hole (starring Chadwick Boseman) — Tubi TV
This low-budget flick starring Chadwick Boseman was one of his first roles. Omer Mozaffar called it curiously entertaining, and I have to agree. But more than entertaining, it’s a movie about the human consequences of war and about dealing with the choices that we have had to make, and this film does a remarkable job within the confines of its budget.
Chronicle (starring Michael B. Jordan )— FX/Fox/DirecTV Now
Black Panther wasn’t Jordan’s first foray into a world of characters with extraordinary abilities. Think of it as superpowers with, like, actual consequences.
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (starring Forest Whitaker) — Starz
From famed writer/director Jim Jarmusch, Ghost Dog made Forest Whitaker a legend in the eyes of many. The film, particularly its score, does suffer a bit with age, but it is well worth the watch especially if you’re a Whitaker fan.
Get Out (starring Daniel Kaluuya) — HBO
Well Daniel Kaluuya is just having a banner year, isn’t he? Along with accolades for his performance in this film, Get Out has also been nominated for Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards, an honor that has only been bestowed upon eight other horror movies in the past 90 years.
Get On Up (starring Chadwick Boseman) — Rent or buy for $2.99 and up.
Biopics can be heavy, and I know that some people tend to avoid them for that reason. However, Get On Up, the story of James Brown’s ascent to stardom, while not without its heartaches, is positively joyful in comparison to most. This is certainly Chadwick Boseman’s biggest role prior to Black Panther, and you won’t be sorry you gave it a shot.
Fruitvale Station (starring Michael B. Jordan) — Netflix
Full disclosure: After seeing this film in theaters, I had to excuse myself to the ladies room to sob profusely. There are not many movies that most people can say that about. It is as affecting as it is timely. Even now, five years after the film’s release and nine years after the death of its real-life protagonist, Oscar Grant. Just another reason that Michael B. Jordan is, and will likely continue to be, a powerful performer.
This Is Us (starring Sterling K. Brown) — Hulu/NBC/DirecTV Now
There might only be a half dozen or so people in the country who haven’t yet watched this show. It’s just killing it right now! And it has to be mentioned that this is the role that won Sterling K. Brown a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama Series. He is the first black actor to ever win this prestigious award. (He was previously nominated for his outstanding supporting role in the show American Crime.)
The Walking Dead (starring Danai Gurira) — Netflix/AMC/DirecTV Now
Danai joined the cast of The Walking Dead in season three, and her character Michonne quickly became one of the series’ most beloved. Michonne. Katana. Killing zombies. Enough Said.