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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Posterized: Michael B Jordan

by Nathaniel R

Photographed by Kayla Reefer for The New York TimesAny list of the newest generation of exciting movie stars would have to include Michael Bakari Jordan (aka Michael B Jordan), and presumably way up top. The Jersey-raised actor, started young on television as a teen actor with acclaimed work on The Wire. With a name so reminiscent of a superstar in another field, it felt like a dare; How could he be that big for the movies? When he hit his mid 20s, though, the movies came calling to make good on the pop culture connotations of that name. It's been a match made in heaven thus far.

All that said he's been strangely absent from our movie screens since proving his film-carrying charisma so thoroughly with the one-two punch of Fruitvale Station and Creed. But then came 2018 to prove to us that he'd been hard at work all along but movies have their own temperamental calendars and sometimes they all get bunched up together. Four movies arrived in quick succession, one of them likely to be the biggest hit he'll ever have. He's already an Emmy nominee for producing the TV movie Fahrenheit 451 earlier this year, but the Oscar nomination has to date eluded him. Will that change with the Black Panther campaign? We don't yet know though we definitely hope so since it's his second, not his first, nomination worthy role; Oscar was sleeping on that whole Creed success back in 2015, a movie that was wildly better than it had any right to be given its provenance.

How many of his Michael B Jordan's key movies and TV shows have you seen? The posters are after the jump.

Chapter 1 - Promising Actor
THE WIRE Season 1 (2002)

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Season 4 and 5 (2009-2011)
PARENTHOOD Season 3 (2011)

Chapter 2 -Young Leading Man, Rising Star.

RED TAILS (2012)

CREED (2015)

KIN (2018)
FAHRENHEIT 451 (2018)

Chapter 3 - Movie Star

CREED II (2018)

Just a guess but you're unlikely to see movie posters from this point forward that don't feature his name or face prominently. At 31 years of age with multiple hits under his belt and critical acclaim (and maybe even an Oscar nomination soon)  he's likely to have a tremendous decade in the 2020s... Stay tuned. 

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Reader Comments (21)

He's still Wallace and my heart is still broken

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Too early for this type of retrospective.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

"Fantastic Four " was horrible

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I want his balls to swing inside my cheeks like Newton’s cradle. I want to suck his dick to the hilt and let the tip hit my neckbones so hard it sounds like the beginning of Under the Sea. I want him to cum on my teeth and leave it there until the chemicals break down the bones and I’m all gums. I am READY.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBushwick

Was it a deliberate choice to exclude his three year run as Erica Kane’s stepson on All My Children (a role Chadwick Boseman played prior to MBJ)? Sigh. We’ve had so many greats get their feet wet on soaps....Moore..Tomei..Heche........

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

4 movies + The Wire & Parenthood (great show!).

I think he's super hot and super talented but he really doesn't need a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Black Panther.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I've seen 7. I'm definitely interested to see where his career goes.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Hardball (where I don't remember him), Fruitvale Station, and the two Creeds. From what I've seen it looks like he's a good actor but not with limited range. Have his other roles provided different character types?

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Yeah, who would have thought little Wallace would have seized the brass ring to become arguably the most legit "young" movie star (he's only 31!). I know on certain parts of the internet, people act like Timothee Chalamer and Lucas Hedges are THE great young actors, but maybe that's white privledge talking, because Jordan shits all over them in talent and charisma. Nothing to do with talent, but being blessed with a ridiculous sculpted physique has defintely given Jordan an edge when it comes to amassing a following.

I actually thought it might be John Boyega to get to where Jordan has, but those Star Wars movies are not starmakers, nobody watched Detroit and Pacific Rim 2 was a dud. And he hasn't got Jordan's body either. Not sure Boyega is a movie star, but I bet he could be a great lead in TV series.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKJ

His face has a soft marshmallow quality to it, but the ultra buff physique seems to be counteracting it nicely. Also facial hair is his friend.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTaquandoo

surprisingly, i've only seen one [black panther]

but if you factor in the many, many still photos i've studied in forensic-like detail, it bumps my average up

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

@cal roth - me too!

I've seen "The Wire", "Friday Night Lights", "Fruitvale Station", "Creed", and "Black Panther" and I'm just realizing now how small the movie part of his filmography is for how strongly I think he will be around for decades and is one of the best/most promising of his age.

I'm very much looking forward to Creed II.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I think he is competent in an A-B range.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSylvester Stallone

Every time I see him now I think of the girl who made national news when she broke her retainer from clenching her teeth in thirst during his scenes in Black Panther. I’ve never felt such kinship with a total stranger before in my life.

November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJay

He gives a stronger performance in Creed I and II than he does in Black Panther.

November 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I've seen ten. I hope he plays more challenging characters like he did in Fruitvale Station in the future. That was such a revelatory performance that he hasn't topped yet. Even though I don't think he's deserving, I would be happy to see him get an Oscar nomination for BP since it would solidify him as a serious actor.

@KJ strongly agree with your stance on those two white actors, particularly Hedges who I'm still waiting to be impressed by. Definitely MBJ should be in consideration too.

November 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMya

I first saw him in Chronicle -- so much on-screen charisma!

November 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCash

He better thank God he found Coogler.

November 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHoneybee

I've been a fan since Friday Night Lights (so much emotional accessibility in that face). I think CREED (2015) is his best performance thus far. I've seen two of his tv shows and six of his movies thus far... haven't yet seen Creed II

November 25, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I've seen Friday Night Lights, Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther. I like him and think he's talented. Also, for what it's worth, I think he has a great sense of style and knows how to work the red carpet. A lot of men with athletic builds tend to stick with really safe clothing choices, but he has a good sense of what works for him, spices it up a bit, and picks great suits/outfits.

I thought he was good in Creed but never had the thought, "This performance is amazing and should be nominated for an Oscar." I do think he deserves a nod for Black Panther, though, and I think he has a strong chance of getting in. I've seen Elliott, Grant, and Driver, and I'd put him in before Elliott and (especially) Driver. Grant is my favorite in the Supporting Actor category so far this year, though.

November 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

he's excellent in creed 2 and if i had it my way that would be the performance he'd get awards traction for. tessa thompson 2.

to me, he shows vulnerability so beautifully. his best scenes in black panther were the scenes were he got be vulnerable (the scene with sterling k brown in particular come to mind). his entire work in fnl,his small stint in parenthood, him in the wire, etc. his work in those shows brought me to tears and as someone who has followed his work on tv, i'm so glad his transition into movies has been so successful.

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

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