Director: Ryan Coogler
Notable Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
As the Marvel machine continues to march on, there were plenty of questions to whether a) it could survive a saturation of the market as superhero films became blockbuster tentpoles in damn near every quarter and dominate the summer release schedule and b) whether the continuation of these entries could maintain the high quality of mainstream appeal. As the hype around Black Panther continued to skyrocket in the weeks leading to its release, it would seem that the answers to both of these questions would be answered. Not only is Black Panther one of the biggest releases of Marvel’s slate according to box office figures (with a February release and not a blockbuster summer release date nonetheless), but it’s one of their highest rated films from both fans and critics. The film is bold by Marvel standards, adapting the formula of another massive franchise to help differentiate itself from the normal Marvel machine, and its balance between action/comic book mainstream appeal and its social/political commentary is damn near perfect. Not only is Black Panther a film to dismiss the initial questions posed, but it’s handedly one of Marvel’s best.