While local rep theaters are out of commission, we'll be putting together weekly watchlists of films readily available to stream. This week, in honor of the great actor Chadwick Boseman's passing, we highlight some of the most memorable and under-the-radar roles of his all-too-short career.
In his breakout role, Boseman plays the groundbreaking Jackie Robinson, chronicling his myriad struggles and triumphs that pepper his journey to becoming the first Black Major League Baseball player. His layered, tenacious performance was cited by Marvel execs as being a key factor in his casting as T'Challa in Black Panther (2018). Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube.
Get On Up (2014)
Another biopic, this one centers on the life of funk singer James Brown (Boseman), is told nonlinearly, jumping around sporadically from the 1930s to the 1990s. Boseman performed all of his own dancing and even some of the singing, earning critical acclaim for his dynamic portrayal. HBO Go, HBO Max.
Message From the King (2016)
After learning his younger sister Bianca is in danger, Jacob King (Boseman) is drawn from his home of Cape Town, South Africa, all the way to Los Angeles to save her. When he arrives, he embarks on a bloody tour of vengeance. In addition to starring in this tense revenge thriller, Boseman also served as executive producer. Netflix.
Boseman co-produced and starred in this legal drama as the titular Thurgood Marshall before he became the very first Black Supreme Court Justice. Here, he's an NAACP lawyer in the 1940s, tasked with navigating one of the most complex cases of his career. The film premiered at Howard University, where Boseman earned a BFA and delivered a compelling commencement address. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube.
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Spike Lee's epic follows a group of Vietnam War vets who return to the country in order to recover the remains of their late squad leader: the valiant Stormin' Norman (Boseman). While it's not technically his final performance (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is slated for release on Netflix later this year), it's nevertheless a fitting farewell. Netflix.