The Very Best of Jordan Peele
It’s hard to believe just how far Jordan Peele has come. The once-comedian, now-director got his start in 2003 as part of the cast of Mad TV. Nearly a decade later, Peele—together with fellow Mad TV alum Keegan-Michael Key—broke into the mainstream with the quirky sketch comedy show Key & Peele. Buoyed by viral YouTube clips and an Obama White House collab, Key & Peele catapulted its co-stars to celebrity status.
Fast-forward to 2022, and Peele’s career is barely distinguishable from its K&P roots. The creative has taken a reprieve from comedy, and planted himself firmly in the director’s chair. From 2017’s smash-hit thriller Get Out; to 2019’s darker, horror-inspired Us; to 2022’s alien-slash-Western flick Nope; Peele has amassed an already impressive filmography. His work has drawn comparisons to legendary filmmakers—namely Alfred Hitchcock—and solidified Peele’s status as today’s leading horror auteur.
But which Jordan Peele film is the best? In this article, we’ll explore all Jordan Peele movies, ranked from great to greatest.
Before we do, however, a few ground rules…
How Many Jordan Peele Movies Are There?
To date, Jordan Peele has directed three movies:
- Get Out (2017)
- Us (2019)
- Nope (2022)
He also has credits for the following films:
- Keanu (2016) – Actor, Writer, & Producer
- BlacKkKlansman (2018) – Producer
- Candyman (2021) – Writer & Producer
For the purposes of this list, we’ll only be ranking Peele’s directorial works.
Does Jordan Peele Have a New Movie?
Jordan Peele’s latest movie is Nope, which released nationwide on July 22, 2022. Other upcoming Jordan Peele movies include:
- Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul (2022)
- Wendell & Wild (2022)
- The People Under the Stairs (TBD)
It’s worth nothing that none of these upcoming films will be directed by Peele. Rather, they’re affiliated with his movie studio, Monkeypaw Productions.
Every Jordan Peele-Directed Movie, Ranked
Without further ado, here’s all three of Jordan Peele’s directorial films, ranked by quality:
As Jordan Peele’s shiny new movie, Nope suffers a bit from its recency. It’s a fast-moving alien thriller that’s brimming with the oddities, humor, and charm you’d expect from a Peele flick. However, it’s also a slow-burn of a film that relies heavily on themes to carry its plot and characters.
That’s not a knock against it. Nope tells a compelling tale about the duality of man and beast, what it means to be “domesticated,” and our own roles as passive consumers of Hollywood glitz and glam. It’s just a very dense film—one that requires multiple watches to appreciate its full appeal.
Given some time to percolate, Nope could rise on this list. For now, it’s a solid watch that happens to be Peele’s weakest effort to date.
2. Get Out
It may feel like sacrilege to deny Get Out the top spot on Peele’s movie list. After all, it’s the film that catalyzed his directing career and marked his foray into the world of suspense.
It’s an important film, no doubt. But it’s also a film that’s constrained by the era in which it released. Get Out was the product of a post-Obama, Trump-hugging America—one where racism and ignorance were the biggest plagues our country faced. Peele rose to the occasion, calling out the subtle and overt ways in which race continues to define our society. And he did so with aplomb.
Yet, it’s a double-edged sword. Get Out succeeds at deconstructing the typical thriller—by making Black people the heroes, and fake-woke whites the boogiemen. It’s a sharp, biting rebuttal of the farce that is MAGA America. Ironically, though, Get Out is so pinpoint accurate in its critique that it borders on on-the-nose, which dulls its shine upon a repeat watch.
Don’t get it twisted: Get Out will always be entertaining. But it’s hardly Peele at the height of his powers.
Us is an absolute banger of a watch. Unlike Nope, which wastes time on opaque themes, and Get Out, which wastes time on obtuse racists, Us is laser-sharp in its focus.
The movie focuses almost entirely on a Black family of four who has been infiltrated by a group of doppelgangers. As the family grapples with its canny-yet-uncanny foes, Peele presents viewers with a winning mix of humor, horror, and honest-to-goodness fun.
Us doesn’t try to be as serious as Get Out, or as profound as Nope. And therein lies the sweet spot. Peele lets his Black cast drive the action (Lupita Nyong’o in particular steals the show here) and encourages the audience to draw their own conclusions by the time the credits roll.
It’s a confident work, one that reaffirms Peele’s decision to move from comedy to suspense. Us remains the filmmaker’s crown jewel—at least, until he surpasses it with his next hit.
What Are Your Favorite Jordan Peele Films?
Agree with our list? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.