It would be completely misguided to ignore the elevated level of influence and pure talent of Chris Rock. Arguably one of the funniest comedians to ever do stand-up, his career began in memorable bit parts before becoming a recurring cast member of the hit NBC series Saturday Night Live, after his previous work as a stand-up comedian gained recognition. As a result of the heightened level of notoriety that he acquired during this time period, Rock would go on to sell out numerous stand-up shows and appear in major blockbuster movies, all while writing, producing, and directing hit projects.
Though Chris Rock has an extensive professional palette, many millennials know of him from the hit television show Everybody Hates Chris (which will be getting an animated series soon). Narrated and executive produced by Rock, the sitcom follows his adventures as a teenager (played by Tyler James Williams), as he illustrates what it’s like to grow up in Brooklyn, circa the 1980s. His hardworking yet frugal father Julius (played by Terry Crews), his tell-it-like-it-is mother Rochelle, spoiled sister Tonya, and younger brother Drew all make for must-see television in their hilarious and relatable on-screen personas. By the way, don’t forget that Rochelle’s husband has not one, but two jobs; this was a wonderfully real show.
In light of the 2022 ‘Will Smith Oscars slap’ debacle, Chris Rock constantly has been in the news alongside Will Smith, so if anytime was the best to bring some positivity into this whole situation by celebrating his career, now is as good as any. Let’s explore comedian and actor Chris Rock’s best movies.
The 2014 American comedy film Top Five was written and directed by Chris Rock, follows the life of Andre Allen (Chris Rock), star of a motion picture trilogy of action-comedies that revolves around a talking bear. As Andre is forced to spend the day with Chelsea (Rosario Dawson), a profile writer for the New York Times, the two become closer as they end up exploring New York together. In the midst of their encounter, Andre aims to get back in touch with his comedic roots. Top Five is a sensitive and serious exploration of comedy and fame, but often very funny nonetheless, with a stacked cast including Adam Sandler, Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, and Gabrielle Union.
The sequel to Julie Delpy’s 2007 film 2 Days in Paris, 2 Days in New York revolves around Marion (Julie Delpy), a Parisian woman who has moved to New York with her son in order to be closer to his father. Although her and Mingus (Chris Rock), her new boyfriend, initially have a close relationship, things go south once Marion’s father, sister, and sister’s boyfriend arrive, on vacation from France. Their presence fuels conversations pertaining to race and sexism in some hilarious, raw, and honest ways. It’s a very intelligent, clever romantic comedy.
After being met with questions from his young daughter in regard to the cultural symbolization tied to black hair, Chris created the documentary Good Hair documentary where he explores cultural perceptions related to women’s hair in the African American community. In interviewing numerous hair salon stylists, convention competitions, and various celebrities, Chris Rock sets out to explore the importance of hairstyles and regimens in Black culture. It’s a funny, insightful, extremely unique film.
Grown Ups sees the dynamic range of childhood friends Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), Marcus Higgins (David Spade), and Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) brought back together, though under sad circumstances. Five men who used to play for the same junior high school basketball team are unexpectedly reunited while at their former coach’s funeral. Once the guys are reintroduced to each other, their former bonds get reignited. While it’s a sweet movie about friendship and platonic love, it’s mostly a great excuse to hang out with a few of the funniest people in the world (give or take a Schneider).
While preparing a funeral service for his late father, Aaron (Chris Rock) becomes increasingly frustrated when family secrets emerge, sibling rivalries reignite, and full on fights break out. While Aaron just wants to give his father the proper ceremony, fellow guests further jeopardizes his plans with never ending drama. Aaron may be stressed out by the actions of his family members, but the shock and awe moments make for great content in Death at a Funeral, one of the rare remakes that improves on its British original by beautifully tapping into Black culture and difficult racial conversations with the help of an incredible cast (Tracy Morgan, Regina Hall, Zoe Saldana, Keith David, Kevin Hart, Danny Glover, James Marsden, Peter Dinklage, and Luke Wilson).
After witnessing the murder of her husband, Kansas City waitress Betty (Renée Zellweger) becomes a little odd in the ridiculously dark comedy Nurse Betty. Once two hitmen, Charlie (Morgan Freeman) and Wesley (Chris Rock), show up at her home and her work in search of the drugs Betty’s husband intentionally hid, leading Betty into witness protection, as she assumes the identity of a nurse. The hitmen and others chase after her in this dark, twisted tale.
Playing the role of Marty in the Madagascar movies, Chris Rock’s animated character is one of the best friends to Alex the lion (Ben Stiller). The group of friends has lived in a seemingly perfect environment at New York’s Central Park Zoo, up until Marty suddenly escaped after learning about some prison-break penguins. When Marty begins to regret his decision, he tries to reunite with his lifelong friends in the original Madagascar, a real delight of a film followed by several fun sequels.