In this week’s Sunday night movie, Creed II, Michael B. Jordan steps into the ring to reprise his role as Adonis in the Rocky franchise. That’s exactly why we’re pulling no punches (sorry, we just had to be punny at least twice), and taking a look at the talented young actor’s top five roles.
Wallace, The Wire
Jordan’s career started on a solid note with an appearance on The Sopranos. He would appear in several popular and acclaimed shows thereafter, but his harrowing stint as a teenage drug dealer on the gritty crime series The Wire remains one of his most memorable.
Oscar Grant III, Fruitvale Station (2013)
Director Ryan Coogler has made three films with Jordan. Kickstarting their regular collaboration was Coogler’s feature directorial debut, Fruitvale Station. Based on the true story of the fatal police shooting of Oscar Grant III, Jordan delivered a moving performance as the young Grant, nudging the actor into the spotlight.
Mikey, That Awkward Moment (2014)
Landing a role in this rom-com allowed Jordan to dabble in the world of frothy, popcorn fare. It may not have been the most highly lauded of films, but it displayed the actor’s ability to play funny, sweet, and charming.
Adonis Johnson, Creed (2015)
If Fruitvale Station nudged Jordan into the spotlight, his second film with Coogler, and the seventh film in the Rocky franchise, shoved him firmly into position. As Adonis Creed, son of Rocky’s rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed, Jordan delivers a powerhouse performance that displayed both physical prowess and emotional poignancy.
Erik Killmonger, Black Panther (2018)
His third collaboration with Coogler was the box-office-smashing, stereotype-busting eighteenth movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was praised for its costumes, music, and production design. Weaving all these elements together was a strong ensemble cast, of which Jordan’s character and performance were a definite highlight. Although touted as the movie’s antagonist, Killmonger took a Darth Vaderesque turn in this superhero epic. Through both the writing and Jordan’s performance, Killmonger revealed complexities that elevated the character to more than mere villain.