Lupita Nyong’o’s Best Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes

It seems that everything Lupita Nyong’o touches turns to gold. Her big Hollywood break won her an Oscar, her Broadway debut earned her a Tony nomination, her debut children’s book became a New York Times Best Seller – she’s even one of the few actors to appear in both the MCU and the Star Wars saga.

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Although she undoubtedly has dozens of starring roles on the horizon as one of the world’s foremost rising stars, as it stands, Lupita Nyong’o has appeared in a total of nine movies – and there’s not a single “rotten” Rotten Tomatoes score in sight. So, here are Lupita Nyong’o’s Movies, Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes.

9 Non-Stop (61%)

Liam Neeson in Non-Stop

The first of several vehicular-based Liam Neeson action movies, Non-Stop stars the Taken actor as an Air Marshal aboard a plane who is framed for a crime and has to clear his name, mid-air.

Lupita Nyong’o’s role as an air stewardess with hardly any lines woefully underuses her talents, especially considering the fact she was literally just a couple of months off her Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave. Producer Joel Silver sees Neeson’s Non-Stop character Bill Marks as a Sherlock Holmes for a new generation, and has promised a sequel for years now, although nothing has come to fruition.

8 Little Monsters (82%)

Lupita Nyong'o in Little Monsters 2019

Just when movie audiences were starting to suspect that there were no more fresh takes on the zombie genre, Little Monsters came along with its refreshing sense of humor and its unique visual style to prove that it’s not quite dead yet.

It’s a brilliant horror-comedy starring Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergarten teacher who teams up with a washed-up musician to protect a group of schoolchildren from an outbreak of the undead. The movie has been receiving some stellar reviews since its premiere, and pretty much every single one of them has credited Nyong’o’s riveting lead performance with its success.

7 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (91%)

Lupita Nyong’o was wasted in The Last Jedi. It seemed as though Lucasfilm made an initial contract to feature her character Maz Kanata in every movie in Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy without mapping out the stories for each one, and then had to cram her into one scene early in the movie to get her obligatory appearance out of the way.

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Nyong’o has always done a terrific job of the motion-capture performance required to play Maz – it would just be great if the movies knew what to do with her. Hopefully, Maz will have a much bigger role in The Rise of Skywalker, the upcoming final chapter in the mainline Star Wars saga.

6 TIE: Queen of Katwe (93%)

Queen of Katwe

This sports biopic was based on an ESPN magazine article about the life of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl who grew up in a slum in Katwe. She learned how to play chess, won a bunch of games at the World Chess Olympiads, and then went on to become a Woman Candidate Master.

As with most sports biopics, Queen of Katwe is a moving, uplifting, and powerful movie in which we root for an underdog and rejoice in their eventual victory. Lupita Nyong’o appeared in a supporting role opposite Madina Nalwanga, who played Mutesi herself, and the brilliant David Oyelowo.

5 TIE: Us (93%)

Jordan Peele’s sophomore directorial effort hinged on Lupita Nyong’o’s incredible lead performance (well, technically, her lead performances, since she played two characters in the movie). Us is a spectacular horror movie about “the Tethered,” America’s doppelgangers, who were secretly created by the U.S. government (get it? U.S.? Us?) in an attempt to control people’s minds and then stranded in the country’s network of seemingly unused tunnels.

Nyong’o plays Adelaide, a mother who encountered the Tethered as a kid, and Red, the one leading the Tethered’s rebellion. The movie ends with a jaw-dropping plot twist and it’s replete with fascinating themes.

4 TIE: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (93%)

Maz Kanata Star Wars The Force Awakens

Some fans criticized Lupita Nyong’o’s character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Maz Kanata, for being underdeveloped. Her scene was the standard plot detour through a weird alien-infested bar that seems to be required by every Star Wars movie, and as a short, wrinkly, wise, old mentor to the hero, she was inevitably compared to Yoda.

(The only discernible difference is that Yoda died at 900 and Maz is said to be over 1,000 years old.) Still, Nyong’o did a fine job with the motion capture. And the story behind the character is sweet: J.J. Abrams based her on his English teacher Rose Gilbert.

3 TIE: 12 Years a Slave (95%)

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave

Adapted from Solomon Northup’s harrowing memoir of the same name, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is one of the most powerful historical dramas in recent memory. Since this is Northup’s story, the star of the movie is Chiwetel Ejiofor, who gave a compelling lead performance in the role, but Lupita Nyong’o provides an impeccable supporting performance as Patsey, who Northup described in his book as “a joyous creature, a laughing, light-hearted girl.”

Nyong’o won one of the movie’s three Oscars for her performance as Patsey. (Nyong’o received Best Supporting Actress and the film also received Best Adapted Screenplay and even the coveted Best Picture award.)

2 TIE: The Jungle Book (95%)

Most of Disney’s live-action remakes of their animated classics are forgettable shot-for-shot remakes of much better movies, but Jon Favreau’s live-action retooling of 1967’s The Jungle Book is the Mouse House’s diamond in the rough. By tightening up the plot and livening up the visuals and making the scenes more connected to one another, Favreau’s remake actually managed to improve on the original.

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Lupita Nyong’o provided the voice for Raksha, the gentle mother wolf who adopts Mowgli, in a cast of A-listers that included Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Christopher Walken as King Louie, and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa.

1 Black Panther (97%)

In Ryan Coogler’s groundbreaking, beautifully designed superhero blockbuster Black Panther, Lupita Nyong’o was cast as Nakia, an undercover Wakandan agent. Nakia was technically the hero’s love interest, but she was different from a lot of the MCU’s other love interests.

Rather than falling in love with the hero, she had already dated the hero. Nakia and T’Challa had been a couple and it didn’t work out, because they both wanted different things. So, in the movie, they were just trying to make being friends work. Nakia joined T’Challa on his mission to South Korea, one of the most exciting set pieces in the movie.

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