Chiwetel Ejiofor is a British actor who has appeared in a wide range of films and television shows. He is known for his captivating performances, versatility, and ability to bring depth and nuance to his roles.
Ejiofor has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in “12 Years a Slave” (2013).
Best Chiwetel Ejiofor Movies
Some of the best Chiwetel Ejiofor movies include “Dirty Pretty Things” (2002), where he played a Nigerian immigrant in London who discovers a sinister underworld, “Serenity” (2005), a sci-fi action thriller where he starred alongside Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres.
1. Amistad (1997)
“Amistad” is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie is based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny on board the slave ship La Amistad, where a group of enslaved Africans took control of the ship and were subsequently captured and put on trial in the United States.
The film features an ensemble cast including Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, and Nigel Hawthorne.
Hounsou plays the lead role of Sengbe Pieh (later known as Joseph Cinque), the African leader of the mutiny, while Freeman and McConaughey portray abolitionist figures who take on the case in court.
The film was well received by critics and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Hopkins. It is praised for its historical accuracy and powerful portrayal of the struggle for freedom and justice.
2. Love Actually (2003)
“Love Actually” is a romantic comedy film that was released in 2003. The film was written and directed by Richard Curtis, and it features an ensemble cast including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, and many others.
The movie is set in London in the lead-up to Christmas, and it tells a series of interconnected stories that revolve around love and relationships. The film explores different forms of love, including romantic love, familial love, and love between friends.
Some of the most memorable storylines in the movie include the Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) falling in love with one of his staff members, a recently widowed man (played by Liam Neeson) trying to connect with his stepson while also navigating his own romantic feelings, and a writer (played by Colin Firth) finding unexpected love with his Portuguese housekeeper.
“Love Actually” has become a holiday classic and is beloved by many for its heartwarming and funny take on the complexities of love.
3. Kinky Boots (2005)
“Kinky Boots” is a British comedy-drama film released in 2005, directed by Julian Jarrold and written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth.
The film stars Joel Edgerton as Charlie Price, a man who inherits his father’s struggling shoe factory, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola, a drag queen who helps Charlie revitalize the factory by designing a line of high-heeled boots for men.
The film is based on a true story and explores themes of identity, acceptance, and the importance of embracing individuality. “Kinky Boots” received positive reviews from critics and audiences and was a box office success.
It went on to inspire a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical adaptation in 2013, also titled “Kinky Boots”.
4. Four Brothers (2005)
“Four Brothers” is a 2005 American action film directed by John Singleton. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin, and Garrett Hedlund as four adopted brothers who reunite in Detroit after their mother is murdered.
They set out to avenge her death, taking on a local gangster and corrupt police officers in the process.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of the cast and the gritty, urban atmosphere of the setting, while others criticized the film’s plot and direction. However, it was a commercial success, grossing over $92 million worldwide.
Overall, “Four Brothers” is an intense and action-packed movie that explores themes of brotherhood, revenge, and justice.
5. Serenity (2005)
“Serenity” is a science fiction film released in 2005, directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of the short-lived TV series “Firefly,” which also aired on Fox in 2002.
The film features the original cast of the TV series, including Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, and Summer Glau.
The story takes place in a distant future where humanity has spread across the galaxy and a new system of government has emerged known as the Alliance.
The crew of the Serenity, a small spaceship, includes Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew of misfits who take on jobs ranging from legal to illegal in order to survive.
When they take on a new passenger, a young girl named River Tam who is being hunted by the Alliance, they find themselves caught up in a dangerous adventure that takes them across the galaxy.
The film received positive reviews from critics and has gained a cult following over the years. It is praised for its witty dialogue, engaging characters, and impressive visuals.
Despite its commercial failure at the box office, “Serenity” has remained a beloved classic among fans of science fiction and Joss Whedon’s work.
6. Slow Burn (2005)
“Slow Burn” is a crime thriller film released in 2005, directed by Wayne Beach and starring Ray Liotta, Jolene Blalock, LL Cool J, and Mekhi Phifer.
The movie follows the story of a district attorney named Ford Cole (Ray Liotta) who is investigating a murder case involving a young assistant district attorney, Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock), who claims to have killed a man in self-defense.
As Cole digs deeper into the case, he realizes that things are not as they seem and that he is being manipulated by those around him.
LL Cool J plays Luther Pinks, a journalist who has information about the murder and is willing to share it with Cole. Mekhi Phifer plays Isaac Duperde, a police detective who is also involved in the case and has his own agenda.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of the cast, particularly Liotta and Blalock, while others criticized the convoluted plot and lack of suspense.
However, it has gained a cult following over the years for its unique storytelling and unconventional approach to the crime thriller genre.
7. Inside Man (2006)
“Inside Man” is a 2006 crime thriller film directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster.
The movie follows a high-stakes bank robbery that quickly turns into a hostage situation, as a group of armed men led by a mastermind criminal (played by Owen) take over a Manhattan bank and hold its customers and employees hostage.
Denzel Washington plays a police detective tasked with negotiating with the robbers, while Jodie Foster portrays a mysterious woman with her own agenda who is brought in to help resolve the situation.
As the hostage situation unfolds, the film reveals the complex motivations behind the heist and the true identities of the robbers. The story is told through a series of flashbacks and nonlinear narrative, adding to the suspense and mystery of the plot.
“Inside Man” received critical acclaim for its clever script, strong performances, and stylish direction. It was a commercial success, grossing over $184 million worldwide, and is widely considered to be one of Spike Lee’s most successful and iconic films.
8. Children of Men (2006)
“Children of Men” is a dystopian science fiction film released in 2006, directed by Alfonso Cuarón and based on the novel of the same name by P.D. James.
The film is set in the year 2027, in a world where human fertility has drastically declined and no child has been born in 18 years.
The story follows a former activist named Theo (played by Clive Owen), who is recruited by a rebel group to escort a pregnant woman named Kee (played by Claire-Hope Ashitey) to safety.
The film explores themes of hope, despair, government oppression, and the value of human life.
It received critical acclaim for its immersive cinematography, intense action sequences, and thought-provoking story. “Children of Men” was nominated for three Academy Awards and won numerous other awards, cementing its place as a classic in the science fiction genre.
9. American Gangster (2007)
“American Gangster” is a 2007 crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. The movie is based on the true story of Frank Lucas, a notorious drug lord who operated in Harlem in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In the film, Frank Lucas rises to power by smuggling heroin into the United States from Vietnam using military planes.
He becomes one of the most successful and ruthless drug dealers in New York City, but his criminal empire eventually attracts the attention of an ambitious detective named Richie Roberts, played by Crowe.
Roberts is determined to bring Lucas to justice, even if it means going up against corrupt cops and politicians.
“American Gangster” received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, the direction of Ridley Scott, and the film’s attention to historical detail. It was also a box office success, grossing over $266 million worldwide.
Overall, “American Gangster” is a gripping and gritty crime drama that explores the dark side of American capitalism and the impact of the Vietnam War on society.
10. 2012 (2009)
“2012” is a disaster film released in 2009, directed by Roland Emmerich. The film features an ensemble cast that includes John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, and Woody Harrelson.
The story is based on the Mayan prophecy that the world will end on December 21, 2012. The film depicts a catastrophic global event caused by a massive solar flare that triggers a series of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis.
The main character, Jackson Curtis (played by John Cusack), is a struggling writer who sets out to save his family and other survivors by traveling to a set of giant ships built by the government in preparation for the apocalypse.
The film was a commercial success, grossing over $700 million worldwide, but received mixed reviews from critics. It was praised for its special effects and intense action sequences but criticized for its implausible storyline and lack of character development. Despite the criticisms, “2012” remains a popular disaster film among audiences who enjoy high-stakes action and suspense.
11. Salt (2010)
“Salt” is a 2010 action-thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film follows the story of Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie), a CIA officer who is accused of being a Russian spy.
The movie begins with Salt being interrogated by a North Korean officer, who accuses her of being a CIA operative. Salt is eventually released and returns to the United States, where she is preparing to celebrate her wedding anniversary with her husband, Mike (August Diehl).
However, things take a dramatic turn when a Russian defector named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) walks into the CIA headquarters and reveals that Salt is actually a Russian spy.
Salt goes on the run, trying to clear her name and prove her innocence while being pursued by her former colleagues and the FBI.
Liev Schreiber plays Salt’s CIA colleague and friend, Ted Winter, who tries to help her clear her name. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Peabody, a CIA agent who becomes convinced that Salt is a Russian spy and is determined to capture her.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising Jolie’s performance and the action sequences, while others criticized the plot for being implausible and confusing. Despite the mixed reviews, “Salt” was a commercial success, grossing over $293 million worldwide.
12. Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)
“Half of a Yellow Sun” is a 2013 Nigerian historical drama film directed by Biyi Bandele and based on the novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The film tells the story of two sisters, Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose), and their experiences during the Nigerian-Biafran War in the 1960s.
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the role of Odenigbo, Olanna’s partner, and a radical professor who is committed to the struggle for Biafran independence. The film also stars John Boyega as Ugwu, Odenigbo’s houseboy, who becomes caught up in the conflict.
The film was praised for its performances, particularly Ejiofor’s portrayal of Odenigbo. The movie also received positive reviews for its depiction of the Biafran War and its impact on the lives of ordinary people.
Overall, “Half of a Yellow Sun” is a poignant and powerful film that explores themes of war, love, family, and identity in the context of Nigeria’s tumultuous history.
13. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
“12 Years a Slave” is a 2013 historical drama film directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, and Michael Fassbender. The movie is based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the mid-19th century.
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a talented musician and family man who is living as a free man in New York until he is tricked into traveling to Washington, D.C.,
where he is drugged, beaten, and sold into slavery. The film follows Solomon’s journey as he is taken from plantation to plantation, enduring brutal treatment and witnessing the horrors of slavery firsthand.
Throughout the movie, the audience is confronted with the stark reality of slavery, including the physical and emotional abuse inflicted on enslaved people, the dehumanizing nature of the institution, and the moral complexities of those who participated in it.
“12 Years a Slave” won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, and was praised for its unflinching portrayal of slavery, its powerful performances, and its poignant message about the enduring legacy of America’s original sin.
The film remains a powerful reminder of the atrocities of slavery and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.
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14. Z for Zachariah (2015)
“Z for Zachariah” is a post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film released in 2015, directed by Craig Zobel and based on the novel of the same name by Robert C. O’Brien.
The film stars Margot Robbie as Ann Burden, a young woman who survives a nuclear war that has left her the last person alive in her valley. However, her solitude is disrupted when a scientist named John Loomis (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) arrives, and the two form a fragile relationship.
As they work to rebuild the world around them, another man, Caleb (played by Chris Pine), arrives, leading to tension and conflict between the three characters. The film explores themes of trust, morality, and survival in the face of extreme isolation and the collapse of society.
While the film received mixed reviews, it was praised for its strong performances from the lead actors and its nuanced exploration of the human psyche in a post-apocalyptic world.
15. The Martian (2015)
“The Martian” is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir.
In the film, Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut who is stranded on Mars after his crew believes him to be dead and leaves the planet without him.
Watney must use his skills as a botanist and engineer to survive on the planet and find a way to communicate with Earth. Meanwhile, NASA and Watney’s crew work tirelessly to bring him home.
“The Martian” received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and screenplay, with many critics praising the film’s scientific accuracy and attention to detail. It was also a box office success, grossing over $630 million worldwide.
Overall, “The Martian” is a thrilling and inspiring sci-fi adventure that explores themes of resilience, teamwork, and the human spirit. The film offers a realistic depiction of space travel and the challenges that come with exploring the final frontier.
16. Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
“Secret in Their Eyes” is a crime thriller film released in 2015, directed by Billy Ray. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts.
The story is based on the 2005 Argentine film “El secreto de sus ojos” and centers on a group of investigators who are haunted by an unsolved murder case from 13 years earlier.
Ray Kasten (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), a former FBI agent, returns to Los Angeles to seek justice for his friend’s daughter, who was murdered years ago.
As he investigates the case, he realizes that the killer is still at large and that he must navigate a web of corruption and betrayal to bring the killer to justice.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its performances and cinematography but criticism for its slow pacing and lack of suspense.
Despite the mixed reception, “Secret in Their Eyes” is a well-crafted thriller that offers a thoughtful exploration of grief, justice, and redemption.
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17. Triple 9 (2016)
“Triple 9” is a 2016 crime thriller film directed by John Hillcoat and starring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr., Norman Reedus, and Woody Harrelson.
The film follows a group of corrupt cops and criminals who plan to execute a heist by creating a diversion using a “triple nine” code, which is police code for “officer down”.
They plan to use this diversion to steal a safe deposit box, but things quickly go wrong and they find themselves being hunted by both the police and the Russian mafia.
Casey Affleck plays Chris Allen, a straight-laced police officer who is partnered with a corrupt cop, Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie).
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Michael Atwood, the leader of the criminal gang, who is also Marcus’s brother. Woody Harrelson plays Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen, Chris’s uncle who is investigating the heist.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of the cast and the intense action sequences, while others criticized the convoluted plot and lack of character development.
Despite the mixed reviews, “Triple 9” was a moderate box office success, grossing over $23 million worldwide.
18. Come Sunday (2018)
“Come Sunday” is a 2018 American drama film directed by Joshua Marston and based on a true story. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Carlton Pearson, a charismatic and popular evangelical preacher who becomes controversial when he begins to question traditional Christian teachings about hell and salvation.
As Pearson’s beliefs cause a rift in his church and community, he is forced to confront the consequences of his actions and make a difficult decision about his faith.
The film received positive reviews for Ejiofor’s powerful and nuanced performance, as well as its exploration of complex religious themes. The movie also stars Martin Sheen, Danny Glover, and Lakeith Stanfield.
Overall, “Come Sunday” is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged drama that raises important questions about faith, tolerance, and the role of religion in society.
3 Reasons To Watch Chiwetel Ejiofor Movies
Chiwetel Ejiofor is a talented actor who has appeared in many critically acclaimed movies. Here are three reasons to watch his movies:
Incredible acting skills: Chiwetel Ejiofor is a highly skilled actor who brings depth and nuance to every role he plays.
He has received critical acclaim for his performances in a variety of genres, including drama, action, and science fiction. Ejiofor’s ability to convey complex emotions and capture the essence of a character has made him one of the most respected actors in Hollywood.
Diverse range of roles: Chiwetel Ejiofor is known for taking on challenging and diverse roles, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
He has played a wide range of characters, from a freed slave in “12 Years a Slave” to a villain in “Doctor Strange,” and has proven himself capable of delivering powerful performances in any role he takes on.
Engaging storytelling: Chiwetel Ejiofor has appeared in many movies with compelling and thought-provoking storylines.
His movies often explore complex themes and issues, such as race, identity, and morality, and challenge the audience to think deeply about the world around them.
Whether he is playing the lead or a supporting role, Ejiofor’s performances are always a key part of the storytelling and are sure to captivate audiences.
Best Chiwetel Ejiofor Movies – Wrap Up
Chiwetel Ejiofor is a highly acclaimed actor known for his range and versatility in both film and stage productions. Here are some of his best movies:
12 Years a Slave (2013): In this historical drama, Ejiofor delivers an unforgettable performance as Solomon Northup, a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South.
Children of Men (2006): Ejiofor plays Luke, a rebel leader fighting against a dystopian government in a world where human fertility has drastically declined.
Dirty Pretty Things (2002): In this British drama, Ejiofor plays Okwe, a Nigerian doctor who works as a cab driver and hotel clerk in London’s underground economy.
Kinky Boots (2005): Ejiofor shines as Lola, a drag queen who helps a struggling shoe factory owner revitalize his business by designing a line of high-heeled boots for men.
The Martian (2015): Ejiofor plays Vincent Kapoor, a NASA mission director who works to bring stranded astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) back to Earth.
These are just a few examples of the many great films Ejiofor has been a part of. His talent and dedication to his craft have earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.