Actor Don Cheadle over the past 10 years has built quite the resume for himself. The diverse characters he portrays are testament to his great acting ability. From his scene-stealing role in Carl Franklin’s Devil in a blue Dress to this year’s Best Actor buzz generating Hotel Rwanda, Cheadle has risen from the fog of respected quirky charater actor to leading man status. Here we’ll look at some of my personal favorites that showcase Cheadle’s talent and depth as an actor.
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) - Carl Franklin has supplied us with many fine Film Noirs, but none top this who done it. Set in the 1940's post World War II we follow the recently unemployed Easy Rawlings (played by Denzel Washington) and volatile friend Mouse (Don Cheadle) who out of sheer desperation becomes a private detectives only to find themselves engulfed by a seedy underworld.
Minus the intriguing story line Devil in a Blue Dress with superior set design warps us to a time where speakeasies were the nightlife and racism was overt, we also get a little history on why blacks migrated to Los Angeles.
Best Line: You said don't shoot him, right? Well I didn't; I strangled him. If you didn't want me to kill him, why did you leave me alone with him?
Out of Sight (1998) - Jack Foley (George Clooney) and Maurice Snoopy Miller (Don Cheadle) play dueling convicts in search of a fortune. This tightly wound thriller has Cheadle as the antagonist and he relishes every moment.
Best line: You know, in a situation like this, there's a high potentiality for the common motherfucker to bitch out.
Boogie Nights (1996) – Back when porn had big budgets and wasn’t online. Boogie Nights follows the adventures of a tight knit ggroup of swinging 70’s porn stars as they make a life in and out of the business. Cheadle plays Buck Swope, part time porn actor and salesman looking for his niche.
Best line: See this system here? This is Hi-Fi... high fidelity. What that means is that it's the highest quality fidelity.
Traffic (2000) – Winner of numerous Academy Awards, Traffic portrays the War on Drugs from all sides of the ball. We have the standard talking head beauracat, the dealers, users, distributors and DEA Agents Ray Castro (Luiz Guzman) and Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle). Both actors complement each other well and some of the best scenes in Traffic derive from their interaction.
Best line: Fuck your lawyers. You aren't getting any cappuccino or Biscotti either. You don't like it,
Hotel Rwanda (2004) Don Cheadle stars in the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsis refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. Cheadle puts his all into this story an Oscar Nomination should be forthcoming.
Check out the trailer here.
Other films starring Don Cheadle worth viewing:
Oceans Twelve (in theatres now)
The United States of Leland
The Rat Pack