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Michael B Jordan
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The best Michael B. Jordan movies, ranked

This 'Creed' star has made a name for himself in Hollywood; see which of his movies top our list.

You could make a compelling argument that Michael B. Jordan is the most successful and important young movie star working in Hollywood at the moment. After all, who else has made as many hugely popular movies as Jordan? This is a man who is part of two iconic action franchises but can also give the kind of nuanced, emotional performances required to give characters lasting power within our imagination. And now, with the recent release of the third movie in the Creed series, he can add “director” to his long list of accomplishments. In celebration of his career, we have ranked his best movies from worst to best.

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10. That Awkward Moment (2014)

That Awkward Moment is not a perfect movie — it might not even be a particularly good movie, but assembling three incredibly good-looking young movie stars for a romantic comedy is never a bad idea. Starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and, of course, Jordan, That Awkward Moment is the story of three friends who, despite their best efforts, end up in serious relationships they must hide from one another in an attempt to maintain their carefree, womanizing facades. The film was a modest success, hitting on the date-night crowd and making over $40 million at the box office. It also took home the coveted prize of Best Shirtless Performance at the MTV Movie Awards for Efron’s work in the movie. 

9. Without Remorse (2021)

It is hard to overstate the importance of Creed in Michael B. Jordan’s career, and we will certainly touch on those films later, but one of the greatest impacts was how it made Jordan one of the premier action stars of his time. And so, as is almost tradition in Hollywood at this point, Jordan stars here in a film based on the books of Tom Clancy. Though he is not playing Jack Ryan, his character, John Kelly, is very similar in presentation. A Navy SEAL, Kelly is set on a path to avenge his murdered wife after she is killed by Russian hitmen. It’s a familiar formula, but Without Remorse is effective in giving Jordan an action movie in which to show his particular set of skills. Though initially intended for theaters, COVID issues led Without Remorse straight to Amazon Prime, which means you can stream it now on Prime. 

8. Hardball (2001)

It’s easy to forget that Jordan is a prime example of a child star who actually made it through his adolescence and young adulthood with none of the issues that sometimes accompany growing up under the Hollywood spotlight. Here, Jordan plays Jamal in Hardball, a film about an inner-city baseball team and their coach, played by Keanu Reeves. Though Jordan is just one of an ensemble cast of young actors, he does stand out for his soft-spoken charm. You can stream Hardball now for free on YouTube. 

7. Chronicle (2012)

By 2012, almost every genre of movie had tried its hand at the found-footage gimmick, from Paranormal Activity to Cloverfield. Chronicle marks the first time anyone had tried to present a superhero tale through this lens, telling the story of three high school seniors who gain telekinetic powers, leading them down a path they cannot escape. Things begin playfully enough, with the boys happy to mess around with their new powers in the way you might expect from a group of high school boys, but things quickly spiral out of control. Here, Jordan plays the role of Steve, the most popular kid of the group, whose fate ultimately ends up in the hands of our most unhinged protagonist. Chronicle was a massive success at the box office, making over $125 million on a budget of only $15 million. 

6. Creed II (2018)

Creed, a spin-off of the Rocky franchise, was a huge success in pretty much every imaginable way, making a sequel all but guaranteed. Though Creed II was significantly delayed by scheduling conflicts with Black Panther, which starred Jordan and was directed by Creed director Ryan Coogler, it eventually hit theaters in 2018 and gave audiences much of what they wanted from the continuing story of Adonis Creed. Much of the plot of Creed II was a send-up of Rocky IV, which saw Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) face off against Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago. Here, Adonis faces off against Drago’s son, in a battle of revenge against the man who killed his father. Though this may be the least successful of the updated trilogy, there is still plenty to like. You can stream Creed II now on HBO Max. 

5. Just Mercy (2019)

This legal drama is based on the true story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson — centered on Bryan’s memoir of the same name. Jordan plays the primary role here, as a young Stevenson works as an attorney for poor people on death row in the southern United States. The primary focus is on a case involving Walter McMillan — here played excellently by Jamie Foxx — who has been wrongfully convicted of the murder of a young woman. Just Mercy is the kind of feel-good tale of odds being overcome that audiences really enjoy, and Jordan is excellent as Stevenson, providing heart and soul as he attempts to beat an unjust system. The film was written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who would go on to make Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. 

4. Creed III (2023)

Creed III is a huge step in the career of Michael B. Jordan. Not only is he returning to the role of Adonis Creed, perhaps the most important character in his filmography, but this marks his first time taking on the role of director. Though the movie brings back much of the cast of the first two films, including Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad, there is one notable absence in the form of Sylvester Stallone who, for the first time in the extended Rocky universe, does not appear in the movie. Of course, they have added one Jonathan Majors as the film’s antagonist and Creed’s primary rival, ramping up the tension of Creed III. Though it seems a tall task to have Jordan’s first effort as a director be such a big movie with intense fight sequences, reviews have praised both his handle on the film and his nuanced portrayal of the aging character at the film’s center. The film was a financial success as well, making almost $60 million in its first weekend, making it the highest-grossing first weekend of all time for a sports movie.  

3. Creed (2015)

Of course, the new Creed III would have never come to fruition if not for the success of the original film in the series. Many were surprised, at the time of its release, that they were deciding to reboot the series with a new primary character, but the uncertainty did not last long. Marking the seventh film in the larger Rocky series, Creed follows an amateur boxer named Adonis Creed, son of Rocky Balboa’s former foe and eventual friend Apollo Creed. Rocky serves as Adonis’ mentor in the film, training him to one day become as good as his father. Many of the story beats follow a similar path as the original Rocky film, though things are updated to match a more modern tone. The film was notably written and directed by Ryan Coogler, who has since gone on to become one of the most successful young directors working, having made both films in Marvel’s Black Panther series. 

2. Fruitvale Station (2013)

As mentioned before, Jordan has been in movies for quite a while, working throughout his adolescence. That said, this is the movie where he truly announced himself as a skilled adult acting talent. Once again teaming up with Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station is the intense true story of a day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old California man who was murdered by a police officer in 2009. Fruitvale Station is a brilliant character study and white-knuckle story of how precarious life can be for those in Grant’s situation, as well as a keen look at police violence that still rings true today. Though this movie was as low-budget as they come, it leads to pretty much every big opportunity for both Jordan and Coogler moving forward, making it one of the more important movies of the last 20 years. 

1. Black Panther (2018)

For the number one movie on our list, we once again turn to a collaboration between director Ryan Coogler and Jordan, this time for perhaps the most celebrated movie in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is difficult to overstate how big this movie was in 2018 and how essential it continues to be. It also marks the one and only time in Jordan’s career in which he took on the role of the antagonist in a movie, here playing Erik Killmonger, who attempted to usurp the throne and overthrow his cousin T’Challa, played of course by the late Chadwick Boseman. Black Panther was even more successful than expected, making over $1.3 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing solo superhero movie of all time. 

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Sean Fennell
Sean Fennell is a pop-culture obsessive from Philadelphia who's desperate attempt to watch, read, and listen to everything is the great battle of his time. Sean graduated with a Journalism degree from Shippensburg University in 2015 and since that time has been freelancing for sites all over the web, covering everything from music to television to movies and interviewing dozens of creative minds along the way. If you’re wondering whether he has seen or heard it, he has, and he has thoughts.