Anthony Mackie is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, thanks in no small part to his role as Sam Wilson in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. But even before he was Falcon, he was showing up in all our favorite movies and TV shows. In fact, he has more experience playing real-life people than fictional superheroes. Check out highlights from this leading man’s filmography.
10. The Fifth Estate
Character: Sam Coulson
Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the editor-in-chief and founder of Wikileaks in this 2013 biographical thriller. The U.S. government isn’t happy, and Sam Coulson leads the charge against them.
Character: Tupac Shakur
Christopher Wallace (Jamal Woolard) is one of rap’s biggest stars until he’s gunned down and murdered in cold blood. Mackie has a small cameo in this 2009 film as Tupac Shakur, Biggie’s notorious rival in the East Coast/West Coast feud.
8. Half Nelson
This 2006 movie shows a middle school teacher (played by Ryan Gosling) with a drug habit who befriends one of his students. Mackie plays Frank, a local drug dealer who keep Dan coked out throughout the movie.
7. Our Brand Is Crisis
Sandra Bullock teams with Mackie as Jane Bodine and Ben, respectively, in this 2015 political comedy. They’re working to get a Bolivian politician elected president in 2002, but a rival (Billy Bob Thornton) isn’t trying to make it easy on them.
6. The Hurt Locker
Character: Sergeant J.T. Sanborn
Mackie joins Jeremy Renner in this 2008 war drama about U.S. Army explosives experts clearing improvised explosive devices (IED) in Baghdad, Iraq. It’s widely hailed as one of the best and more realistic war movies of all time.
5. We Are Marshall
Character: Nate Ruffin
This 2006 historical sports drama chronicles the 1970 plane crash that killed 37 football players from Marshall University’s Thundering Herd. Mackie joins Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox as Nate, one of the injured football players who didn’t make the flight and, thus, survived.
4. The Night Before
This 2015 Christmas comedy stars Mackie alongside Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as three childhood friend with an annual tradition. They done Ugly Christmas Sweaters and search New York City for the biggest party of the year.
3. Marvel Cinematic Universe
Character: Falcon/Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson (Mackie) is a prominent character in the MCU, even if he hasn’t had his own solo movie yet. He plays the best friend and confidant to Captain America (Chris Evans) and is a loyal companion. By the end of the first three phases, Wilson is given the shield to become the next Captain America.
2. Altered Carbon
Character: Takeshi Kovacs
Netflix created a hit with this 2018 adaptation of Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 sci-fi novel. The series follows mercenary-for-hire Takeshi Kovacs on his search for a killer through multiple bodies in a dystopian world 360 years in the future.
1. 8 Mile
Character: Papa Doc
8 Mile is a 2002 dramatization of Eminem’s fight for stardom in Detroit’s underground rap battles. B-Rabbit’s biggest rival is Papa Doc (Mackie), a tough-talking rapper and head of the “Leaders of the Free World.” Their rap battle is the epic climax of this gritty view of the bottom rung.