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Idra Elba’s Best Movies and TV Shows

Over the years, Idra Elba has become both a powerhouse and a hair-raising villain. His domineering personality coupled with meaningful emotional range makes him a much-loved A-list star. Even his voice alone is enough to attract crowds to animated movies like Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Sonic the hedgehog 2. Like many of the cast-on The wireElba’s career was kick-started by the great HBO show, and has only gotten bigger and bigger since then. Whether in the lead or a supporting role, Elba’s presence in a project brings richness and depth to any film or television series. Here are some of Idra Elba’s best movies and TV shows.


9 Hobbs and Shaw

This spin-off of the Fast and furious franchise lives up to the expectations of the other films. We love Hobbs and Shaw for the cars and the intense action scenes, but not so much for the plot of the movie. Although, on closer inspection, there are a handful of heartwarming story moments about family, something the Fast and furious franchise has always been the intention. Elba plays a tough supervillain, complete with superhuman strength and an army of evil minions. He is the perfect actor to give Jason Stratham and Dwayne Johnson a run for their money.

8 Pacific Rim

The breathtaking special effects and large-scale action scenes make Pacific Rim a fun watch, even if the audience might have to turn a blind eye to some plot holes in the story to enjoy the experience. As monsters from beneath the Earth’s crust wreak havoc on the planet, scientists gather giant robots to fight back and save humanity. In this film, Elba Stacker plays Pentecost, the world’s tough and unbreakable military leader. He’s not the main character, but he has a profound influence on the events of the film, bringing his signature dedication to character and authoritative presence.

7 american gangster

Elba’s role in american gangster is very small, but still irreplaceable for what it adds to character development throughout the film. Police officer Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) tries to track down the notorious drug dealer Frank Lucas (a great performance by Denzel Washington), “the most dangerous man on the street”. Based on a true story, this heavyweight battle of wits is full of surprising twists and turns that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Elba plays a drug dealer, Tango, who tries to change his deal with Frank but fails, showing how ruthless our main character can be. Last year we learned that Elba thought he was actually shot as he performs his scene. Fortunately, Elba was fine and healthy enough to continue his career and provide us with more of his films.

6 Beasts of No Nation

Something about Elba’s powerful personality makes him the perfect villain, and this movie is no exception. In Beasts of No NationElba plays the commander, a warlord during a civil war in Africa. The commander takes in Agu, a young orphan, and trains the boy in the toughest and darkest practices of guerrilla warfare. Elba is so good at being so bad, sometimes it’s hard to watch. The film doesn’t shy away from portraying the tragedies of war, and Elba makes the commander easy to hate.

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5 Molly’s game

Molly’s game allows us to see the softer and more intelligent side of Elba’s return to acting. In this film, based on a true story, Elba plays a lawyer who agrees to defend a woman who ran a highly successful and illegal poker game (Jessica Chastain). It takes a strong actor to play the opposite of Chastain, and Elba takes on the task. Elba matches Chastain’s elegance and sleight of hand to craft a smooth crime story.

4 Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Elba embodies the real-life hero, Nelson Mandela, in this film, based on the biography of the same name. In Mandela: Long Walk to FreedomElba shows how much emotion he can show. He shows the anger that comes with injustice, the sadness that comes with loss, and the wisdom that comes with age. The immersive experiences the actors and filmmakers create are only made more powerful by the real-life events that inspired the story.

3 Star Trek Beyond

Even through layers of make-up and prosthetics, we can recognize Elba as a formidable enemy. Elba plays the lizard-like Krall, a dictator who attacks the USS Enterprise. He tries to take the lives of the crew and an important relic from their ship. Star Trek Beyond received generally positive reviews, but is the final film of the Star Trek franchisee. Given the all-star cast, fast-paced plot, and high-stakes adventure, it remains a fun watch for any sci-fi fan.

Related: The Best British Television of the 2010s

2 Luther

Elba combines his methodical genius and villainous personality in the British series Luther, who follows his titular British police officer who works to solve murder cases. Elba nails both the character’s intelligence and the violent emotions that Luther possesses. Luther comes across as sympathetic and terrifying as we see him grapple with dark challenges unique to his environment. Aside from Elba’s award-winning performance, audiences love Luther for its five seasons of puzzling mysteries and exploration of dark themes.

1 Thor Movies

The number of Marvel movies Idris Elba has appeared in could make up a list of its own, so we’ve lumped them all together here. Idris Elba plays the mighty watchman of Norse mythology, Heimdall. Usually Heimdall appears in the same movies as Thor, acting as the gatekeeper of the nine realms, helping Thor and his allies get where they need to go. Elba’s physicality allows him to fit in perfectly with the other mighty Asgardians. However, Idris Elba can also show off his wisdom and depth in Heimdall’s astute dialogue and wise observations (after all, he acts as the most observant god). Even though he isn’t the central character in this franchise, Elba’s contribution makes the details in the Marvel Universe come alive.

Luther Movie Happens On Netflix And Idris Elba Returns

Luther Movie Happens On Netflix And Idris Elba Returns

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