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Jordan Peele's Best Movies and TV Shows, Ranked by Metacritic

From 'Get Out' to 'Us,' Jordan Peele has elevated cinematic horror, but his wide-ranging career also includes producing and acting in sitcoms, animated comedies, biopics, and more.
by Danielle Turchiano —  Updated
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Jordan Peele

Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

After making his directorial debut with Get Out in 2017, Jordan Peele became synonymous with horror titles that come steeped in social commentary. (Just see his 2019 feature film follow up, Us, which leaned even further into physical violence and terror, as well as 2020's adaptation of Lovecraft Country for HBO, which he executive produced. His third directorial outing, Nope, plays in the science fiction genre but also includes scary, suspenseful elements.

While there is no denying that Peele's career has thus far been filled with titles that make you think, as well as make you jump in your seat, he has many more tricks and talents up his sleeves than just playing in one genre. 

In behind-the-scenes roles such as writer and producer, he has proven to be prolific in dramas that range from alternate takes on history (Hunters, for example), to docuseries (Lorena), surreal anthologies (the rebooted Twilight Zone), and sketch comedy (Comedy Central's Key & Peele). 

But don't forget that he is also a gifted performer, as well. He spent five years on sketch series madTV before headlining his own show with Keegan-Michael Key (the aforementioned Key & Peele). When it comes to narrative scripted comedies, he guest starred on everything from The Mindy Project to Workaholics, played recurring characters on Childrens Hospital and Life in Pieces, and voiced animated characters on American Dad!, Robot Chicken, and Bob's Burgers. He also appeared in feature films Wanderlust and Keanu (to name only a couple), on The Twilight Zone as the narrator, and took a more dramatic turn in the first season of Fargo's anthological adaptation.

He's truly a jack of all trades and the definition of a multi-hyphenate. So, here, Metacritic highlights Peele's top 10 films and TV shows, ranked by Metascore.


Modern Family

Metascore: 87
Best for: Fans of family comedies and mockumentaries
Where to watch:

, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Peacock, Vudu
Seasons: 11

Three subsets of a larger extended family are at the center of this mockumentary-style sitcom from Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. Jay (Ed O'Neill) is married to Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and has two adult children (Mitch, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Claire, played by Julie Bowen), a stepson (Manny, played by Rico Rodriguez), and later in the series, a new young son (Jeremy Maguire). Mitch and Claire and their spouses (played by Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell, respectively) also have children that grow through their adolescence and teenage years over the course of the episodes. For more than a decade, the characters adjust to these changes and find ways to still come together as one larger unit, even with a million individual priorities pulling at them. Peele guest-stars in the Season 5 episode titled "A Fair to Remember" as Derrick, a guy who gets in a fight with Jay and then has to partner with him as a peace-keeping officer of a local fair.

"This fast-paced mockumentary perfectly captures the experience of parenthood." — Paige Wiser, Chicago Sun-Times


Rick and Morty

Metascore: 87
Best for: Fans of adult animation, science fiction, metaphors, and witty humor
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 5 (so far)

Created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, this adult animated series follows the titular characters as they travel through space and dimensions. Rick (voiced by Roiland) is the patriarch of the Smith family and Morty's grandfather, an eccentric genius. Morty (also Roiland), by contrast, is too much of a worrier by nature to fully be called level-headed. Still, the two balance each other as they embark on adventures, which includes meeting gangsters, sending up many pop culture classics, and pickling Rick. Peele lends his voice to a character they encounter in the fourth dimension in the second season premiere episode titled "A Rickle in Time."

"Shockingly funny, even when it goes into dark/disturbing mode." — Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture


Big Mouth

Metascore: 86
Best for: Fans of raunchy humor, coming-of-age stories, and adult animation
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 5 (so far)

Netflix's adult animated comedy follows a group of middle-schoolers who are struggling with puberty, friendships, and complicated home lives. It centers on Nick Birch (voiced by Nick Kroll) and Andrew Glouberman (voiced by John Mulaney), awkward 7th graders who are best friends, and their hormone monsters, Rick and Maurice (both also Kroll). But there is a larger ensemble around them, both of other kids and those kids' own hormone monsters, offering intricate and nuanced perspective on everything from masturbation and menstruation, to racial identity, sexual fluidity, and depression. Peele voices several characters, including the Ghost of Duke Ellington; Featuring Ludacris, the dog; and Missy's father, Cyrus.

"It continues to vividly remind its audience what it was like to be 13, but might inspire us to continue to grow a little bit along with them." — Ashlie D. Stevens, Salon


Fargo

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of dark comedy and crime dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 4 (so far)

The first season of Noah Hawley's television adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen's feature film of the same title centers on a hitman named Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) whose new relationship with a salesman named Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) kick-starts a number of crimes. Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) tries to get to the bottom of the crimes to determine what is linked to these guys and what is not, but her work is further complicated by the arrival of the FBI on the scene, including Agent Budge (Peele), who has been tracking Lorne.

"If you liked the movie, approach the TV show without fear." — David Hinckley, Daily News


Get Out

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of social commentary and psychological horror
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 104 minutes

Peele's directorial debut centers on Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young, Black man who is spending the weekend with his white girlfriend's (Allison Williams) family in Upstate New York. When he arrives, he feels the family's Black staff is acting strangely around him, and he also spots Andre (LaKeith Stanfield), a man who went missing months earlier and who is now acting like a totally different person. At first, Chris puts a lot of the oddities to the side, but the more time he spends there, the more dangerous things become, as he uncovers a decades-old family secret and the true motives for him being welcomed into their fold. Peele also writes and produces the film, for which he won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

"Refreshing in its naked, frank aggression about confronting racial issues, with comedy, drama, and sharp, unsparing insight." — Tasha Robinson, The Verge


Toy Story 4

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of reluctant friendship stories and childhood adventures
Where to watch:

, Disney+, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 100 minutes

The fourth installment in Pixar's Toy Story franchise sees cowboy toy Woody (Tom Hanks) take Forky (Tony Hale) under his wing. But Forky isn't a traditional toy — he is a spork that has googly eyes and pipe cleaners glued onto him — and as such, he undergoes an identity crisis that causes him to keep trying to throw himself away. When he flees a family road trip by jumping out of a window, Woody chases him down, starting another classic adventure to bring the gang back together and find their way back to their kid before it's too late. Peele voices the character of Bunny, one of a plush carnival prize duo that clashes with Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) at a carnival.

"An epic yarn from an intimate vantage with all the amenities of Pixar's supremely talented creators and animators." — Blake Goble, Consequence


BlacKkKlansman

Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of underrepresented historical figures and crime dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 135 minutes

Spike Lee's 1970s-set biopic about Det. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) follows the man as he works to take down his local Ku Klux Klan chapter. As a Black man, he can't just join undercover, so he brings his colleague Det. Philip "Flip" Zimmerman (Adam Driver) into the plan for any in-person meetings. The two tag-team the infiltration in order to stop an upcoming attack. Peele is a producer on the film, which won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

"A film loaded with broad comedy, bold speechifying, blunt depictions of racism, and astonishing visual flair." — David Sims, The Atlantic


Us

Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of social explorations, psychological terror, and grisly violence
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 116 minutes

Peele wrote, produced, and directed this horror film that follows Addy (played by Madison Curry in youth and Lupita Nyong'o as an adult), a young woman who met her doppelgänger as a child and whose family is later confronted by their doppelgängers. In this world, those beings live underground and are tethered to those who live above, but this particular group wants to be set free, which leads to violence and terror for her family. And it turns out, her family is not the only one at risk.

"Political filmmaking of the most spirited sort." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker


Lovecraft Country

Metascore: 79
Best for: Fans of social and political commentary, period dramas, and supernatural horror 
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 1

Misha Green's take on Matt Ruff's 2016 novel of the same title begins with war veteran Atticus "Tic" Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), and his childhood friend Letitia "Leti" Lewis (Jurnee Smollett) driving across the Jim Crow South in search of his father (Michael K. Williams). Almost immediately on their journey they encounter multiple monsters — racist cops and Shoggoths — and their story becomes much more complicated. It dives deeply into the supernatural, featuring shapeshifting and time-travel, in addition to the aforementioned creatures, and it also explores generational trauma through the Tulsa massacre and Emmett Till's funeral, but at its heart, it is a tale about family and legacy. Peele is an executive producer on the Emmy-nominated, one-season drama series.

"A smart, gripping and wonderfully wild 10-episode drama." — Judy Berman, Time


Key & Peele

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of sketch comedy, including impersonations of pop culture and political figures
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, Hulu, iTunes, Paramount+, Vudu
Seasons: 4

This sketch series produces both short-form comedy and on-stage discussions around the programming. The comedians create beloved recurring characters, including Peele's Barack Obama and Key's "anger translator" Luther, and a pop-culture loving valet duo that can't remember any names or titles. They also offer commentary on everything from the "magical negro" stereotype, to apocalypses, yo mama jokes, Black Republicans, sports figures, and so much more.

"It's funny, and that should never be taken for granted." — Keith Staskiewicz, Entertainment Weekly