Daniel Kaluuya's Best Movies and TV Shows, Ranked by Metacritic

'Nope' just got added to Daniel Kaluuya's highest-rated movies and TV shows. Discover the best, ranked by Metascore.
by Taylor Freitas — 

Daniel Kaluuya

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In the last five years, Daniel Kaluuya has made serious waves in Hollywood, sparked by his Oscar-nominated performance in 2017's Get Out. However, the London-born actor was already quite well-known in his native England after performing on the West End and appearing in several popular U.K. television shows.

In 2007, while he was still in his teens, Kaluuya made one of his earliest on-screen appearances in the U.K. teen drama Skins. He also worked as a contributing writer for the show and was the head writer on two episodes. From there, Kaluuya went on to appear in a number of other British TV shows, including Doctor Who, Psychoville, The Fades, and Black Mirror, before making the transition to film.

Kaluuya's work on the silver screen began with smaller roles in films like Kick-Ass 2and Sicario, eventually leading to his breakout performance in Get Out. More high-profile supporting and leading actor roles followed, in movies including Black Panther, Widows, and Queen & Slim. 

His work in Judas and the Black Messiah received significant attention and critical acclaim. Kaluuya's performance as Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton earned two dozen industry awards, including an Oscar and BAFTA. And most recently, he re-teamed with Jordan Peele for Nope.

At 33 years old, Kaluuya has produced a body of work that encapsulates many genres, including everything from action-adventure to horror to drama to science fiction — all of which you can see in the following list.

Here, Metacritic highlights the top 10 movies and TV shows that Kaluuya has acted in, ranked by Metascore.

Black Panther

Metascore: 88
Best for: Fans of Marvel movies, comic books, and superheroes
Where to watch: 

, Disney+Google PlayiTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 134 minutes

Based on the Marvel comic book, Black Panther tells the story of King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who rules the fictional African country of Wakanda. In the film, Kaluuya plays W'Kabi, a close friend of T'Challa and a leader of the troops in Wakanda's Border Tribe. When W'Kabi aligns with one of T'Challa's enemies, he finds himself at odds with his longtime friend — putting his friendship (and life) at risk. The film won three Oscars in 2019 and was nominated for four more, including Best Picture.

"A film that fulfills the most rote demands of superhero spectacle, yet does so with style and subtexts that feel bracingly, joyfully groundbreaking." — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

Judas and the Black Messiah

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of biographical films and historical dramas
Where to watch: 

Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 126 minutes

Judas and the Black Messiah follows William O'Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), a thief-turned-FBI-informant living in Chicago in the late 1960s. In order to have his latest criminal charges dropped, he agrees to dig up information about a key FBI target: Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), the leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party. The two men form a relationship, while O'Neal fights an internal battle to do what's best for himself. The movie, which was based on true events, earned six Oscar nominations. Kaluuya won several awards for his performance as a supporting actor, including an Oscar, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

"Filled with Oscar-worthy performances, Judas and the Black Messiah puts a nostalgic lens on a modern-day struggle." — Okla Jones, Consequence

Get Out

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of thrillers, horror movies, and dark comedies
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunesVudu
Runtime: 104 minutes

In 2017, Peele made his directorial debut with Get Out, a movie that strikes a balance between horror and comedy. The story revolves around Chris Washington (Kaluuya), a Black man who is dating a white woman (Allison Williams) and meets her family for the first time while visiting their home in Upstate New York. There, he becomes increasingly uneasy and eventually discovers horrifying truths about her family. Get Out was a breakout movie for Kaluuya, and his performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. It was also a significant milestone for Peele, who took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

"Get Out is very creepy, very funny and as pitiless as a surgeon's scalpel." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of heist films and crime movies
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 129 minutes

Directed by Steve McQueen, Widows is a dramatic thriller about four women who band together after their criminal husbands are killed during an attempted robbery in Chicago. Following their husbands' deaths, the widows plan their own heist after being pressured to return the stolen money to high-profile crime boss Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry). Kaluuya plays Jamal's brother Jatemme Manning, who helps him try to secure the money from the women – by any means necessary. Widows received several major award nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actress (for Viola Davis' performance as Veronica Rawlings).

"A heist movie with serious bite, Widows is both brilliantly tense and strikingly relevant." — Kate Stables, Total Film


Metascore: 82
Best for: Fans of crime-based action films
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 121 minutes

Released in 2015, Sicario follows ambitious FBI Special Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) as she joins a task force to take down the notorious leader of a Mexican drug cartel. Kaluuya appears as Reggie Wayne, Macer's partner, who joins her on the task force. The two work alongside seasoned veterans Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro), whose methods Macer doesn't always agree with. Sicario earned high critical acclaim, as you can see from its Metascore, and received Oscar, BAFTA, and Critics' Choice Awards nominations (among others). Three years later, a sequel (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) was released.

"Sicario works on every level. It's also fairly prescient, coming at a time when America rages on about the ethics of border control and the mounting war on drugs." — Michael Roffman, Consequence

Doctor Who

Metascore: 77
Best for: Fans of science fiction and fantasy
Where to watch: 

Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes
Seasons: 13 (so far)

Doctor Who is a long-running BBC television show that's based around a time-traveling being called "The Doctor." The lead character has been portrayed by many different actors over the years, including Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant. Kaluuya appears in "Planet of the Dead," the 16th episode of the fourth season of the current franchise, as Barclay, a passenger on a double-decker bus that gets sucked into a wormhole. 

"Family-friendly and adult-pleasing, over-the-top and nightmarish, witty and deep all at the same time." — Randee Dawn, The Hollywood Reporter

Black Mirror

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of psychological thrillers and science fiction
Where to watch: 

Seasons: 5 (so far)

Black Mirror is an episodic anthology that premiered in the United Kingdom in 2011 before being purchased by Netflix a few years later. The show follows different characters in each episode, usually those living in a high-tech and often dystopian future. Kaluuya plays Bingham "Bing" Madsen in the second episode of the first season, which is titled "Fifteen Million Merits." As part of his new dystopian reality, he has to ride a stationary bicycle in exchange for "merits" – all while in a room full of television screens. Kaluuya's performance was applauded by critics and helped him earn Peele's attention when he was casting for Get Out. 

"The obvious comparison point is The Twilight Zone; that Black Mirror is a worthy successor is the highest praise that can be paid." — Emily VanDerWerff, AV Club


Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of science fiction and metaphors about Hollywood
Where to watch: In theaters
Runtime: 135 minutes

Peele's third directorial outing follows siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood (Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, respectively) who set out to capture proof of alien life after their father dies. There is, in fact, an old-fashioned UFO that hovers above the their desert home in the movie, but, as with any Peele vehicle, there is also much more than meets the eye about what that ships wants, why it's there, and why some people can remain safe from it. And that also means OJ and Emerald's mission becomes more complicated as they realize the reality of their situation and pivot to try to stopping the new force from harming anyone else.

"Nope is an eccentric vehicle for some of Peele's favourite themes — the movie business, Black social history, and character-over-plot." — Jim Slotek, Original Cin

Watership Down

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of animation, adaptations, and adventure
Where to watch: Netflix
Season 1

Based on Richard Adams' classic 1972 novel, this 2018 version of Watership Down is an animated four-part miniseries from the BBC and Netflix. It tags along with a group of rabbits, led by brothers Fiver (Nicholas Hoult) and Hazel (James McAvoy), as they try to rally their community to escape before their home is destroyed by humans. Kaluuya voices Bluebell, one of the rabbits who flees with Fiver and Hazel. John Boyega, Sir Ben Kingsley, Olivia Colman, Taron Egerton are also among the actors lending their voices to the adaptation.

"Being so true to itself, it's utterly absorbing — once you get past the fact that the principal characters are rabbits." — John Anderson, The Wall Street Journal

Queen & Slim

Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of romantic dramas and crime movies
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 132 minutes

Queen & Slim is a Melina Matsoukas-directed film about an evening that goes horribly wrong. While driving home after a first date, Slim (Kaluuya) is pulled over by a white police officer (Sturgill Simpson). As the situation escalates, the officer shoots Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in the leg, and Slim reacts by shooting and killing him in self-defense. Shocked and scared, the pair decide to go on the run, knowing that it's their best option to avoid life in prison (or worse). After its release in late 2019, Queen & Slim prompted conversations about and re-drew attention to police brutality and race in America.

"This is one of the best and most important movies of the year." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times