10 Best Idris Elba Movies And TV Shows
10 Best Idris Elba Movies And TV Shows
Idris Elba is an A-list actor who has appeared in several hit movies and TV shows, from the live-action The Jungle Book to the gritty drama The Wire. He reprised his role as the unorthodox DCI John Luther in the newly-released Luther: The Fallen Sun. The sequel movie hit Netflix in early March 2023 and became one of the most streamed movies on the platform during its release week.
Elba has no problem portraying a hero, villain, or a morally ambiguous character. His physicality, innate charisma, and versatile acting skills have made him a fan-favorite for legendary leading roles like James Bond, so it's no surprise that he has numerous great performances under his belt.
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10 The Suicide Squad (2021)
Fans considered James Gunn's The Suicide Squad to be far better than its 2016 predecessor, which also followed the bloodthirsty group of anti-heroes. Elba stood out in the stacked ensemble cast that included Margot Robbie, John Cena, and Viola Davis. Elba played Robert DuBois, also known as Bloodsport, an assassin who was originally commissioned to kill Superman and later became the leader of Task X. With his bizarre humor and tough demeanor, Elba brought Bloodsport to life perfectly. He captured the hardened mercenary's ruggedness and compassion with ease.
9 The Jungle Book (2016)
There have been many live-action remakes of animated Disney classic movies to varying levels of success, but 2016's The Jungle Book was an instant hit. Idris Elba is an impressive voice actor who effortlessly captured Shere Khan's villainy in The Jungle Book.
Elba manages to take Shere Khan's mindless villainy to dramatic new heights, turning him from a fearsome tiger to a villain who had a clear history of mistreatment, which explains his antagonism. Elba's deep voice made Shere Khan all the more intimidating.
8 The Wire (2002-2004)
The Wire is largely considered one of the greatest HBO shows of all time, and it's easily one of Idris Elba's best performances. Elba played Russell 'Stringer' Bell, a drug lord's right-hand man who eventually takes over the cutthroat business in his boss's absence.
Stringer was neither a hero nor a villain, but someone who could stay afloat and even thrive in the toxic environment of Baltimore's drug racket. Business-minded Stringer is one of the most iconic The Wire villains because of how he could shift between calculative and soft. Elba's captivating performance was cut short when Omar and Mouzone killed Stringer in Season 3.
7 Beasts Of No Nation (2015)
Idris Elba starred in Netflix's Beasts of No Nation, a war drama, in 2015. Elba played Commandant, the leader of a rebellion faction battalion who groomed child soldiers. Beasts of No Nation focussed on Commandant's relationship with Agu, a child soldier, amidst a civil war in West Africa.
Commandant was an evil, charismatic, and sinister warlord who forced his recruits to do horrific things, like assaulting and killing civilians. Elba's unnervingly believable portrayal will have every audience member rooting for Commandant's downfall.
6 Luther (2010-2019)
The BBC's dark and gritty thriller series, Luther, was the crowning glory in Idris Elba's career. He played the eponymous DCI John Luther, a flawed but well-intentioned police officer who navigated the seedy criminal underworld of London. Luther's tone was set by Elba's leading man, who struggled to not get too involved in what he was investigating.
The titular Luther is one of Elba's longest-running roles, which ultimately culminated in Luther: The Fallen Sun. Throughout Luther's five seasons, Idris Elba won six awards for his performance.
5 Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was a perfectly cast biopic, as Idris Elba charted Nelson Mandela's journey from his early life to his 27-year-long imprisonment before his presidency. Elba effortlessly portrayed the South African anti-apartheid activist in a restrained but refined manner.
Idris Elba was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globes for his work in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Nelson Mandela's humanity, politics, and life were played out beautifully, and Elba gave a powerhouse performance as the inspirational activist.
4 The Office (2005-2013)
Idris Elba may have appeared in only seven episodes of The Office, but his swoon-worthy Charles Miner left a mark on fans. Elba's character played the ideal foil to the rest of the Dunder Mifflin employees in The Office with his stoic and straightforward mannerisms, which contrasted Michael Scott's hilarious and absurd antics.
Miner was another anti-hero of sorts. He drove Michael out of his position and messed with Jim while Angela and Kelly competed for Miner's affections but was fired in Season 6.
3 Thor (2011-2022), Avengers (2015, 2019)
Idris Elba has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, as he played the ethereal Heimdall in Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. His casting was spot-on as an ancient Asgardian who saw and heard it all.
Elba highlighted the Asgardian character's age and omniscience flawlessly. He was a warrior and a guiding light, playing scenes of emotion and action with equal pizzazz. All five of these Marvel movies were successes, but the epic Avengers vs Thanos battle made Avengers: Infinity War one of the most successful MCU movies to date.
2 Three Thousand Years Of Longing (2022)
Magic, mythology, and romance came together in Three Thousand Years of Longing where Idris Elba starred opposite Tilda Swinton. In the film, Alithea Binnie travels to Istanbul, buys an antique bottle, and unleashes the Djinn within it. He grants her three wishes, and when she declines, he tells her three stories from his lifetime. Elba gave an impressive performance as the unique, entertaining, and amorous Djinn.
Elba was mesmerizing in this rare romance role as the Djinn unravels the complexity of time, love, and the expected role of a mythical creature like himself. Although critics praised Three Thousand Years of Longing's spectacular visuals, direction, and performances, it was a box-office bomb.
1 Molly's Game (2017)
Aaron Sorkin's 2017 drama Molly's Game sees Idris Elba as a lawyer named Charlie Jaffey. He starts working on Molly Bloom's case, an ex-skier who runs a secret high-value poker game, after the FBI begin investigating her. Based on the real Molly Bloom's memoir, Charlie's reasons for fighting Molly's case change over time. Elba delivers some of the most stunning monologues as the high-profile lawyer.
Elba captivates viewers with his impressive performance, and his character shapes the course of Molly's Game. When Charlie is investigating Molly's case, Elba and Jessica Chastain's chemistry is palpable.
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