John Boyega attends the premiere of Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019

John Boyega attends the premiere of Disney's "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" in 2019 (Photo by Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro on Shutterstock)

John Boyega is a talented actor in his prime. Since his 2011 debut in the alien invasion comedy “Attack the Block,” John Boyega has enjoyed great success in the film industry. Boyega’s repertoire is replete with drama, action, and science fiction. Our list of the top five best John Boyega movies includes some stellar performances that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Boyega’s interest in acting took hold while he attended college in 2010. He decided to focus on making a name for himself as an actor. Doubtless, Boyega’s studies at the Identity School of Acting heavily influenced his approach to the craft. Even during his theatrical studies, Boyega performed in several films, including his debut feature where he was cast in the lead role.

John Boyega’s career would reach its “before and after” benchmark in 2014 when it was announced that he would play Finn in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the following sequels, cementing his place in sci-fi fandom. After being cast in this career-changing role, Boyega began to appear in several major theatrical releases including “The Woman King” (2022) and “They Cloned Tyrone” (2023).

John Boyega has also leveraged his celebrity status as a strong voice for civil rights and activism. During a protest in Hyde Park, London; Boyega publicly denounced police brutality as well as his support to those victimized by systemic racism. Though his stance drew criticism from some social media news outlets, Boyega drew additional support from both Lucasfilm and Disney. Boyega even voiced his displeasure at what he felt was Disney’s fumble of his “Star Wars” character, Finn, in an interview with GQ. His argument is that Finn was marketed as a significant potential-Jedi whose story was sidelined due to sloppy writing and lack of development oversite. Despite these criticisms, Boyega is reported to be in talks to reprise his role as Finn in future Star Wars media.

Boyega is an interesting celebrity both on and off the screen. With so much under his belt, we needed to turn to our sources to rank the top five best John Boyega movies of all time. Let us know your favorite films in the comments below!

John Boyega at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in 2015
John Boyega at the world premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015 (Photo by Jaguar PS on Shutterstock)

The List: Best John Boyega Films, According to Fans


1. “The Woman King” (2022)

This polarizing film is an historical fiction account of West African female warriors in the 1820s. Boyega is cast as King Ghezo, a role based on reality. HNHH writes, “‘The Woman King’ follows a reimagining of the story of the all-female warriors of the West African Kingdom of Dahomey. In the movie, Boyega stars as King Ghezo, the real-life ruler in the 1800s. While ‘The Woman King’ was criticized for its instances of historical inaccuracy, the movie was lauded for its action scenes, striking choreography, and impressive performances of the actors.”

"The Woman King" (2022)
“The Woman King” (2022)

Collider adds, “The movie chronicles General Nanisca’s (Viola Davis) incredibly moving journey as she prepares the newest recruits for combat with an adversary out to destroy their way of life… Boyega doesn’t back down despite sharing screen time with a star like Davis; instead, he skillfully conveys the allure of the young monarch as well as his tormented thoughts.”

TV Overmind praises, “It’s the movie to watch in 2022! Starring numerous Hollywood stars and some new faces, this movie is a theatrical and fictional version of the events that happened in the Kingdom of Dahomey, West Africa… Although John Boyega plays a kind and benevolent king in the movie, the British actor is open to playing a villain and showcasing the king in a different light… this is one of the best movies in 2022.”

2. “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015)

“The Force Awakens” was a massive global sensation and helped make John Boyega a household name. His performance as Finn was lauded for the heroic portrayal of a former stormtrooper. ScreenRant explains, “John Boyega made it big with mainstream audiences with ‘The Force Awakens’ which brought him worldwide fame. His dynamic with Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley was considered the highlight of the movie, an aspect carried forward to the remaining two films as well. The movie itself was lauded for doing justice to the ‘Star Wars’ mythos and for adding in likable new protagonists.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” (2015)
“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015)

Through the Clutter summarizes the film, “30 years after the fall of the Empire, the First Order emerges to threaten the New Republic. Captured by dark warrior Kylo Ren, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron sends information about self-exiled Jedi Luke’s location via a BB-8 robot. Scavenger Rey retrieves it, and must take it to General Leia with help from renegade stormtrooper Finn and legendary smuggler Han Solo.”

“It was the first film to introduce John Boyega’s character, Finn, who has since been a recurring character in the franchise. If you like his role in the film, then you can also check out the other films Boyega has starred in – The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019),” offers SK Pop.

3. “Imperial Dreams” (2014)

Released amidst Boyega’s “Star Wars” tenure, many viewers were curious to see him on the screen outside of his galactic debut. What they found was a tense drama that showcases Boyega’s skill as an actor. MovieWeb states, “After premiering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, ‘Imperial Dreams’ was released as a Netflix Original in 2017. The film centered on a reformed gangster (Boyega) named Bambi… ‘Imperial Dreams’ explored themes surrounding race, education, rehabilitation, and difficult systemic issues, while showcasing Boyega’s acting strengths. The film has not been Boyega’s most popular work but was easily among his best.”

Uppercut offers, “Boyega perfectly delivers a performance showing us emotional hardships of a corrupt system keeping those most vulnerable down, as well as the survival behaviors from Bambi’s upbringing, and the trials of single parenthood. This movie is sure to frustrate you- you’ll be wishing you could reach into the screen and help make Bambi’s life easier for him and his son. ‘Imperial Dreams’ was directed by Malik Booth, was released in 2014, and available to watch now on Netflix.”

Collider adds, “In contrast to most Los Angeles stories, ‘Imperial Dreams’ does not have booming beats or flashing lights and because of this, its characters seem more genuine, and its conclusions are compelling. Boyega once again excels as the anti-hero in the film, showcasing a lot of his potential in playing this kind of role.”

4. “Detroit” (2017)

John Boyega’s most memorable film roles showcase his dramatic talents. Boyega’s penchant for strong characterization is on center stage in this American civil rights drama. CBR adds details, ​“In 2017, Boyega was in the middle of his ‘Star Wars journey’ and took the time to work on a very different movie… It was ‘Detroit,’ which told the true-life story of a tragedy from 1967 known as the 12th Street Riot… ‘Detroit’ was a critical darling and won the Outstanding Independent Motion Picture award at the NAACP Image Awards.”

“Detroit” (2017)
“Detroit” (2017)

ABTC also summarizes, “Detroit is a 2017 American period crime drama film that was based on the Algiers Motel incident during Detroit’s 1967 12th street riot. [‘Detroit’] was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal.”

Uppercut reflects on the film, “The 2017 period film ‘Detroit’ is a complex movie to talk about, as it is a story centered around black suffering, yet told by white creators. Taking place during the 1967 12th Street Riot, ‘Detroit’ focuses on the horrific Algiers Motel incident, in which three young black men were killed by police officers. John Boyega portrays Melvin Dismukes, a private security guard caught in the middle.”

5. “Attack the Block” (2011)

This fun British popcorn movie gained a cult following for its smart writing and suspenseful moments. This 2011 film would be Boyega’s first venture into science fiction, but certainly not his last. HNHH states, “In 2011, a then-unknown John Boyega landed his first movie role as Moses in the British comedy horror, ‘Attack the Block.’ Boyega came swinging with an equal part hilarious and dramatic performance in his debut appearance in film. Over the years, ‘Attack the Block’ has been acclaimed as a cult classic British favorite. Boyega’s role as a street-smart teenage gang leader was also lauded by fans and critics alike and put him on the map.”

“Attack the Block” (2011)
“Attack the Block” (2011)

“Boyega played Moses, the leader of the gang, in his debut role which helped launch his career and earned him praise for his onscreen presence and ability to connect with the audience. Moreover, the film’s original and creative take on the alien invasion scenario uses humor and terror to tell the story of misfit youngsters and evil monsters, making it a must-watch of the genre,” according to Collider.

“‘Attack the Block’ was appreciated for the quirky comedy in store for viewers, carrying a British flavor that relies on slapstick comedy. Boyega was lauded for heading a cast of characters at a young age, with the actor showing off the protagonist’s snarky attitude,” writes ScreenRant.

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