Actors’ Spotlight #74: Idris Elba

Idrissa Akuna Elba OBE (/ˈɪdrᵻs ˈɛlbə/, born 6 September 1972) is an English actor, musician and DJ.

He is known for playing the narcotrafficker Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire, Detective John Luther on the BBC One series Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013). He has been nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film, winning one, and was nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Elba appeared in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (2007), Takers (2010), Thor (2011), Prometheus (2012), Pacific Rim (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Beasts of No Nation (2015), for which he received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor, and Star Trek Beyond (2016). He voiced Chief Bogo in Zootopia (2016), Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, and Fluke in Finding Dory. He will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of the 1992 novel Yardie by Victor Headley.

In addition to his acting work, Elba is a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis (or Big Driis the Londoner) and hip hop and soul musician. In 2016, he was named in the Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World.

Elba has certainly become one of the more prominent rising actors in recent memory and he’s made a lot of terrific movies in his career and these are five of his best:

5. RocknRolla

One of Guy Ritchie’s most underrated directorial efforts.

4. American Gangster

American Gangster, even at almost three hours long, is a very entertaining and enjoyable film with strong supportive performances from the rest of the cast and great character development, and fantastic set pieces. It’s probably the best movie of its’ kind since ‘Scarface’.

If you haven’t seen this film, go check it out, it’s a fantastic movie.

3. Beasts Of No Nation

An excellent movie from True Detective director Cary Joji Fukunaga and one of Netflix’s first original movies.

2. The Jungle Book

Jon Favreau returns to blockbuster form and Disney manages to create a live-action adaptation of one of their beloved animated features that manages to top everything they’ve done in the past and creates a unique and incredible adventure featuring one of the best voice casts ever and a rising young star in Neel Sethi as Mowgli.

and the #1 best Idris Elba movie is…

Zootopia

Disney had topped themselves once again, Zootopia was one of the most hilarious and fun animated movies I’ve seen in a long time, probably since The LEGO Movie. This movie has everything, gorgeous animation, very likeable characters, a really strong voice cast, hilarious comedy, a great story, great music, a strong message that plays a lot into today’s world, it’s everything you could ask for and more. You’re doing yourself a huge disservice by missing out on Zootopia.

But even somebody with Idris Elba’s badassness can have his fair share of terrible movies too.

5. The Reaping

A waste of Idris Elba’s talents in a generically unscary thriller.

4. Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance is a surprisingly worse Ghost Rider movie than the first movie. The visuals are horrible, the story is terrible, Nicolas Cage doesn’t give a crap about his performance, and the talented writers and directors attached to this waste their talents on this garbage.

3. Obsessed

Another Fatal Attraction ripoff with Elba starring alongside Beyoncé Knowles and Ali Larter.

2. The Gunman

Another generic ripoff, this time an action movie with the director of Taken at the helm and Sean Penn doing his worst Liam Neeson impression.

and the #1 worst Idris Elba movie is…

No Good Deed

Talk about wasting two talents, Taraji P. Henson and also Idris Elba, are wasted on a generic and dull thriller with too many predictable clichés and cheap jumpscares and a lack of thrills that the general audience bought up and made a hit while the people like me who wanted a good movie with these two in it didn’t get that.

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