Chadwick Boseman is an actor whose name is associated with talent and resilience in the most bitter sweet way. He was able to create a fanbase full of adoring supporters in a span of less than ten years in the Hollywood industry. From his breakthrough role in 42 to his iconic portrayal of T’Challa in Black Panther, Boseman’s talent was celebrated by audiences and critics alike.

Many know that this remarkable actor’s career was tragically cut short in 2020 after fighting colon cancer for four years. The passing of Boseman was felt across the world by fans of his work, especially fans of his role in Black Panther. However, in his relatively short time in the industry, he left an indelible mark with his powerful performances.

Additionally, Boseman’s silent battle with cancer led to many social media users advocating for society to be less judgmental and express more empathy towards others. After all, there is no way for a person to know what a stranger is going through.

The people’s Black Panther left behind a notable repertoire of movies, so here are the best Chadwick Boseman movies ranked by critical and audience reception according to Rotten Tomatoes scores.

8. 21 Bridges (2019)

IMDb: 6.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%

In the 2019 film 21 Bridges, Boseman played the role of Andre Davis, a skilled and determined NYPD detective known for his uncompromising pursuit of justice. The movie follows Davis as he investigates a complex case involving a citywide manhunt for two cop killers. To capture the suspects, Davis makes the unprecedented decision to shut down all 21 bridges leading out of Manhattan, effectively trapping the perpetrators on the island.

As the film progresses, Boseman’s character realizes he has become embroiled in a conspiracy that goes deeper than he expected. The film showcases his character’s intelligence, resourcefulness and commitment to uncovering the truth while navigating a web of corruption and deceit within the NYPD.

21 Bridges allowed Boseman to demonstrate his versatility as an actor, stepping into the role of a determined law enforcement officer in a gripping thriller. His performance added depth and intensity to the film’s suspenseful narrative.

7. Get on Up (2014)

IMDb: 6.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

In Get on Up, Boseman took on the role of another iconic figure, the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. Boseman’s performance was a tour de force, showcasing his exceptional talent and versatility as an actor. He portrayed Brown’s tumultuous life journey, from his humble beginnings to becoming a musical icon. He also captured the essence of Brown’s charisma, energy and musical innovation, earning praise for his electrifying portrayal of the influential musician.

Boseman’s performance in “Get on Up” cemented his status as a gifted actor capable of embodying complex and iconic characters.

6. 42 (2013)

IMDb: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

Chadwick Boseman gained widespread recognition for his portrayal of baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the biographical sports drama, 42. The actor did not hold back when depicting Robinson’s groundbreaking journey as the first Black American to play in Major League Baseball.

Boseman’s performance was characterized by its authenticity and depth, capturing the challenges and triumphs that Robinson experienced while breaking the racial barrier in professional baseball. His portrayal earned critical acclaim and played a significant role in catapulting him to well-deserved stardom in the world of cinema.

5. Marshall (2017)

IMDb: 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

In the 2017 film Marshall, Boseman portrayed Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice. The movie focused on a specific period in Marshall’s life when he was a young lawyer working for the NAACP. During this time, Marshall traveled across the country to defend a Black man wrongly accused of rape. Throughout the film, he faced racial prejudice and adversity but persevered with unwavering commitment to justice.

Boseman’s portrayal was praised for capturing the essence of Thurgood Marshall’s early career and his dedication to fighting for civil rights. The actor was able to capture on screen the brilliant and determined persona of this attorney who would later go on to become a member of the Supreme Court of Justice.

4. Da 5 Bloods (2020)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

In Spike Lee’s 2020 film Da 5 Bloods, Boseman played the role of Stormin’ Norman, the charismatic and inspirational leader of a group of Vietnam War veterans known as the “Bloods.” While Norman’s character appears mainly in flashback sequences, his presence looms large in the story. Norman was a mentor and source of motivation for the Bloods during the war, and his memory continues to influence their decisions as they return to Vietnam decades later to retrieve hidden treasure and reckon with their past.

Boseman’s portrayal of Norman exuded strength and wisdom, leaving a lasting impact on both the characters in the film and the audience. It was one of his final performances before his untimely passing, showcasing his remarkable talent once again.

3. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019)

IMDb: 8.4/10 (Infinity War) 

Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Infinity War) 

IMDb: 8.4/10 (Endgame)

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (Endgame)

Chadwick Boseman reprised his role as T’Challa in these two epic Marvel films. In Infinity War, he joined forces with Earth’s mightiest heroes to confront the formidable villain Thanos, who sought to collect all the Infinity Stones. T’Challa showcased his incredible combat skills and leadership as he fought to protect the universe from impending devastation.

Avengers: Endgame followed the aftermath of the catastrophic events of Infinity War. T’Challa played a crucial role in the Avengers’ quest to undo Thanos’ actions and restore balance to the universe. His character’s resilience and determination were on full display as he, alongside other heroes, participated in the ultimate battle against Thanos and his forces.

Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa in both films was celebrated for its regal presence and heroic spirit, contributing to the grand narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

2. Black Panther (2018)

IMDb: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

To no suprise, number one of the list of best Chadwick Boseman movies is Black Panther, a groundbreaking film in many ways. Boseman played the titular character, T’Challa, also known as the Black Panther. T’Challa is the noble and regal king of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with advanced technology and rich traditions. Throughout the film, T’Challa faces challenges to the throne and has to defend Wakanda from external threats, all while coming to terms with the legacy of his father and the responsibilities of the Black Panther.

Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa was both charismatic and dignified, embodying the qualities of a wise, compassionate and powerful leader. His performance in Black Panther received widespread acclaim (it was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning three), and the film itself became a cultural phenomenon, breaking new ground in superhero storytelling and representation.

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

IMDb: 6.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

In the 2020 film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Boseman delivered a powerful and transformative performance as Levee Green, a talented and ambitious trumpet player in a jazz band. Set in 1927 Chicago, the film revolves around a recording session with the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey, played by Viola Davis.

Boseman’s character, Levee, is a complex and dynamic figure who aspires to make a name for himself in the music industry. He grapples with the racial injustices of the era and the challenges of being a Black musician in a predominantly white industry. Throughout the film, Boseman’s portrayal of Levee is marked by his charisma, emotional depth and explosive energy.

This particular performance was widely acclaimed, earning the actor posthumous recognition and critical praise. Boseman’s portrayal of Levee showcased his exceptional talent and added another layer to his legacy as an actor committed to bringing complex and authentic characters to life on screen.

Chadwick Boseman’s movies are a testament to his talent and dedication to his craft. His untimely passing was a loss felt deeply by the entertainment industry and his fans worldwide. However, his legacy lives on through the powerful characters he portrayed and the impact he had on the world of cinema.