A Rough Diamond No More: Underrated Daniel Kaluuya Movies To Watch

A Rough Diamond No More: Underrated Daniel Kaluuya Movies To Watch

The 93rd Academy Awards may well go down as a watershed moment in diversity for the Oscars. That is despite the fact that Da 5 Bloods, Chadwick Boseman, and Delroy Lindo faced snubs that will undoubtedly haunt the awards for years to come. One of the brighter moments of this year’s event was Daniel Kaluuya’s win in the Best Supporting Actor category. As you may recall, perhaps laughably, both Kaluuya and his co-star LaKeith Stanfield from Jesus and the Black Messiah were nominated for the Best Supporting Actor category even though neither of them was vying for the title. Still, Kaluuya was declared the winner, and that has understandably brought in a plethora of attention to the man who has several notable roles under his belt already. That being said, there are several Daniel Kaluuya movies that don’t receive their just recognition, so here are some you should definitely watch if you’ve found yourself admiring his work recently:

Widows

A life of crime can be just as exciting as it is dangerous for the criminals. But what about their loved ones? What goes on in their lives when the criminals finally face justice and leave behind nothing for their families? That’s the central plot of Widows, where a group of four thieves are killed in an armed robbery attempt. Despite their somewhat lavish lifestyles, they haven’t left anything more than a crippling debt for their families. That forces their widows to bound together and cook up a heist of their own.

Can they pull off this job to settle all their debts once and for all? Or is this just a repetition of a vicious cycle where the crimes follow criminals and their families long after the deed is done?

Queen & Slim

Slim and Queen are a young couple looking to enjoy life to its fullest. They’re not ready to settle in just yet and plan on touring the whole country to live the wildlife. However, those plans are hampered when they’re pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The situation escalates soon, and the officer has his gun aimed at Slim. Not knowing what else to do, Slim overpowers the officer and shoots him in self-defense. They flee the scene and soon learn that they’ve been branded as cop killers.

However, when the footage from the encounter goes viral, the national sentiment shifts firmly in their favor, casting them as symbols of grief, trauma, and prejudice faced by the black community across the US.

Chatroom

Chatroom may feel like a social commentary in 2021, but when it first came out in 2010, it was more of a warning about what social media could be if it’s not handled properly. It follows the story of William, a teenager depressed and looking for a way to zone out. A friend recommends going to be an online chatting platform. He somehow becomes a chat room admin. Pretty soon, he ends up striking conversations with four different people that are complete strangers to him. At first, he enjoys being helpful but soon begins to misuse this newfound “power.”

He begins promoting white nationalist propaganda on the chatroom when he receives a commission for doing so, kicking out members that call him out, and finally, agrees to sell some of the chat room’s members’ personal info. He doesn’t really see just how big of a hole he’s dug himself into until it’s all too late.

Baby

Movies about stalkers and their psychotic behavior have been made to a dizzying extent. However, Baby tries and stands out from the herd by covering a similar story from the stalker’s perspective. The film starts off with a woman, Arta, witnessing a mugging. Her first instinct is to scurry off, but she has a change of heart and tries to stop the mugging. Somehow she succeeds, but things go awry when she realizes that the mugger might be following her around.

 The stalker, on the other hand, feels attracted to Arta. He moves into his car to be mobile and follows her around for a couple of months. That’s not all. A few months later, he even lands a job as part of a cleaning crew in the woman’s company. He continues to invade the woman’s privacy at every turn, with her unable to prove that the man is stalking her.

Jonah

This may actually be the movie that put Daniel on the scene as a serious actor with respectable acting chops rather than just a comic relief. The story is a relatively simple one; Mbwana and his friend Juma share a passion for swimming. With opportunities to succeed in life scarce, both men realize they’ll have to develop their passion into talent if they are to escape a lifetime of disappointment. They practice their deep-sea swimming daily until one day, they witness a massive object moving in the shadows. Upon further inquiry, it turns out to be a great white whale that has somehow ventured into this part of the ocean.

Realizing what photographing the giant fish could mean for their chance of earning fame, they set out into the ocean with nothing but a few days of ration, a camera, and a deep desire to succeed at all costs.

Yasir Nawaz
Yasir Nawaz

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