Jordan Peele has quickly established himself as one of the most innovative and exciting directors of the modern era. His consistent blend of humor and horror keeps us on our toes and his films consistently prompt dialogue around relevant social issues. Whether it’s aliens floating over Southern California or murderous doppelgangers armed with golden scissors, Jordan Peele has already established a legacy of iconic filmmaking.
Fans of comedy might recognize Peele from Mad TV, where he was a cast member until his departure in 2008. Peele went on to create the Comedy Central sketch comedy series ‘Key and Peele’, which is revered as one of the most iconic shows on the network to date. Through small acting and writing gigs, Peele made his name in the comedy world and became a Hollywood staple.
His foray into dramatic directorial work excited and baffled many of his fans. With his firmly cemented background in comedy, many wondered if he had the vision to pursue more serious ventures. In a matter of years, Peele proved naysayers wrong, writing and directing some of the most beloved horror films of the past decade. Though Peele certainly has a strong filmography, some of his films hold up better than others. In this edition of Ranked, we here at The Film Magazine have compared and contrasted each of Peele’s three feature directorial releases and ranked them from good to great (because all of these films are truly worth a watch). These are: the Jordan Peele Movies Ranked.
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3. Us (2019)
Us ranking last is truly a testament to Peele’s filmmaking abilities.
The film follows Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and her family as they travel to her hometown of Santa Cruz. The idyllic beach town soon reveals itself to be a land of horrors as an array of disturbing coincidences remind Adelaide of a traumatic childhood incident. Soon, Adelaide must confront her past when four strangers identical to the family appear on their doorstep with malicious intentions.
Though Us is not as symbolically tight as Jordan Peele’s other work, it is arguably the most fun of Peele’s filmography. The first 30 minutes are a nonstop barrage of terrifying jump scares that will leave you shaking in your seat. Peele expertly weaves humor into this otherwise thrilling journey. Lupita Nyong’o gives the performance of her career, jumping from the soft-spoken mother of two to the tortured villain from line to line.
What holds Us back from the top spot is its muddled symbolism. The film crescendos into a satisfyingly poignant ending, but there are points along the way that don’t totally come to fruition. Peele’s sophomore film is incredibly ambitious and, for the most part, it succeeds. However, there are several moments that feel undeveloped or unexplained. Certainly, if you hunt for inconsistencies you will find them. Nevertheless, Us demonstrates an impressive directorial vision and is a great blockbuster watch.