Anthony Mackie is a versatile actor who has been in most of Marvel Studios’ Phase 2 and Phase 3 films. Though most commonly known for his role as Sam Wilson aka Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mackie has also played other notable roles in award-winning films, establishing a fanbase within the influential cinematic universe as well as sophisticated dramas including two Academy Awards for Best Picture.
Mackie rose to fame after his first role in 2002, in 8 Milebut his successful career goes beyond movies: he is a former US Air Force Pararescueman, a Broadway actor and a television star in the MCU series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. At the end of the latter and after the departure of Chris Evans from the MCU, Mackie’s Sam Wilson assumed the shield of Captain America and became the new identity of the hero.
Here are Anthony Mackie’s top 10 movies
1. The Hurt Locker of 2008 is among the best films of Anthony Mackie
The Hurt Locker is a partially true story that undertakes to examine how war can be addictive, in the most negative way possible. The film depicts landscapes full of blood and misery, soldiers so attracted to traumatic battles that ordinary life can no longer affect them and victims of an endless cycle of violence that becomes their only reality. A film directly against the beating heart of war, The Hurt Locker delve deep into the chaos of the conflict in Iraq, following the soldiers of a bomb squad who must reunite despite their constant arguments.
Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie star in The Hurt Locker and each plays a different side of the same coin: Renner plays Sergeant James, whose dangerous methods have the potential to put many lives at risk or effectively save the day, while Mackie plays Sergeant Sanborn, who prefers standard, predetermined plans when it comes to the battlefield. The Hurt Locker it is also one of Jeremy Renner’s best films; it impacted everyone when it came out, garnering nine Academy Award nominations and winning Best Picture.
2. The Courage of the Truth – The Hate U Give of 2018
The Hate U Give it’s a coming-of-age film that everyone should see. The film offers a voice of its own to serious and urgent social problems. In addition to providing sharp social commentary, The Hate U Give it also provides accurate context, meticulously showing how a single tragedy affects the lives of each of the film’s characters. At the center is Starr (Amandla Stenberg), an independent teenager who sees her childhood friend killed by a police officer.
The Hate U Give she has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won over audiences with her incredible acting. Starr is a realistic embodiment of resilience and Stenberg speaks for the world with her compelling performance. Also, Anthony Mackie steals the show whenever he’s on screen, especially in the film’s final moments, when his villainous arc takes a surprising turn.
3. Captain America films (2014 to 2016) are among Anthony Mackie’s best
Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers evolve from just a casual tease during their training to a loyal friendship in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With the help of his signature EXO-7 Falcon flight suit, Sam becomes Steve’s most powerful ally, helping Captain America uncover the truth about Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier. Sam also supports him in the controversial decisions leading up to the events of Captain America: Civil Wartaking Steve’s side and fiercely facing some of his former allies, such as War Machine and Iron Man.
After Steve retired as the Avengers, Sam assumed the identity of Captain America and Mackie will therefore be the interpreter of the main character of Captain America: New World Order. The Captain America films not only offer the best moments of Mackie in the Falcon costume, but also have a distinctive style: without sacrificing the action and the biting humor of Marvel, they have a more serious approach and create an efficient atmosphere of suspect with all their political intrigue, while providing fans with human villains that make everything seem more real.
4. The Avengers Movies (2015 to 2019)
Some of Sam Wilson’s best moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe take place in the Avengers movies. Also known as the Falcon, Sam is played by Anthony Mackie. The character has a tumultuous journey as a member of the Avengers, but is ultimately a vital ally in their fight against Thanos. After the original team members split into Avengers: Age of Ultron, Falcon is recruited by Captain America, but soon he, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes become fugitives. In Avengers: Infinity War, Sam returns to Steve’s side and assists the Avengers in their attempt to stop Thanos from collecting all the Infinity Stones. Despite this, he is among the heroes who are pulverized after Thanos’ snap.
Mackie’s Falcon does not appear in Endgame until the final battle, but appears in one of the film’s most extraordinary moments: Steve Rogers’ days as Captain America come to an end, but the superhero himself cannot die. In the final scene of Endgame, Rogers passes the shield to someone he truly trusts, Sam Wilson, who honorably accepts the job. Mackie’s presence in the Avengers movies is solid, but his character is constantly overshadowed by the main heroes, like Iron Man, Thor, etc. Now that he has the shield, however, things are likely to change.
5. Half Nelson of 2006 is among the best films of Anthony Mackie
Half Nelson follows Ryan Gosling as Dan, a middle school teacher who is secretly addicted to drugs. In the film, Dan befriends one of his students, Drey, after she catches him snorting cocaine, and the two become increasingly drawn to each other’s problems. This pits Dan against Drey’s neighborhood drug dealer Frank, played by Anthony Mackie. Different from other films that feature unlikely friendships, Half Nelson stands out as a drama that perfectly captures loneliness: the film realistically portrays Dan and Drey’s feeling that no one in the world can understand them, which prompts the two to do their best to accept each other.
6. Million Dollar Baby of 2004
Million Dollar Baby is a highlight in Anthony Mackie’s career because it not only features one of his best and most earnest performances, but also because it is a much lauded film. While 8 Mile drew attention to Mackie, Million Dollar Baby seemed to confirm the fact that he was a promising actor. Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the film follows Hilary Swank as a determined woman in her quest to become a professional boxer. As Frankie, her coach, Clint Eastwood gives one of his best performances in a film he directed, leveling up the emotional power of Million Dollar Baby with a heartbreaking twist at the end.
7. 8 Mile of 2002 is among the best films of Anthony Mackie
A unique film in the career of Anthony Mackie, 8 Mile launched the actor to stardom with his incredible success. The film is a semi-autobiographical portrait of Eminem playing a version of himself. It also features some of Eminem’s best freestyle rap on his journey to recognition in the hip-hop scene. Eminem as Jimmy “B-Rabbit,” who in his search for better opportunities stumbles upon a dangerous gang, led by Mackie’s unforgettable villain, Papa Doc. Eminem used Mackie’s real-life information for the latest battle rap by 8 Mileteasing him as Papa Doc.
8. real steel of 2011
In the same year it came out The Guardians of DestinyAnthony Mackie starred in another sci-fi film, real steel, which contains a moving and relatable narrative of a sports film. The film uses the thrilling fights between giant robots in the ring to develop the powerful bonds between a father, his estranged son, and the machine they fix together, who becomes an unlikely competitor in the arena. Mackie and Hugh Jackman star in the film, which did decent numbers at the box office and gained a loyal fanbase, but ultimately never lived up to its promise as a stepping stone to a new action franchise.
9. synchronic of 2019 is among Anthony Mackie’s best films
Directed by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, whose specialty is cosmic horror, synchronic tells the chilling story of two paramedics who suspect a series of horrific deaths may be linked to a new alien drug. The film delivers slow-burn sci-fi horror that pays off in the end but requires patience from viewers. More importantly, he’s counting on Anthony Mackie in one of his rare lead roles, which shows just how much potential the actor has for bigger projects and other horror stories.
10. The Guardians of Destiny of 2011
The Guardians of Destiny is a successful sci-fi thriller that grossed more than double its production budget at the box office. The film introduces an organization whose mission is to ensure that the lives of every human being on the planet occur according to a predetermined “Plan”. Matt Damon plays David, a man who stumbles upon the charade of his life and sets out in search of the woman he loves, played by Emily Blunt.
Anthony Mackie plays a small but significant supporting role as David’s most valuable ally, Harry, a member within the organization who turns against the Plan. The Guardians of Destiny turns into another gripping sci-fi action flick when Harry teaches David how to teleport around the world using doors, leading to an anxiety-inducing climax and the film’s finest moment.