Laurence Fishburne


Laurence John Fishburne III (born July 30, 1961) is an American actor, playwright, producer, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He has been critically hailed for his forceful, militant, and authoritative characters in his films. He is best known for playing Morpheus in The Wachowskis‘ Matrix trilogy (1999, 2003), with Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano; Jason “Furious” Styles in John Singleton‘s Boyz n the Hood (1991), with Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Regina King, and Angela Bassett; Tyrone “Mr. Clean” Miller in Francis Ford Coppola‘s war film Apocalypse Now (1979), with Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Harrison Ford, and Dennis Hopper; and “The Bowery King” in the John Wick film series (2017–), with Reeves, Ian McShane, and Lance Reddick.

He made his film debut in the coming-of-age drama Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975). Other early roles include Paul Mazursky’s Willie & Phil (1980), with Michael Ontkean, Margot Kidder, and Ray Sharkey; Death Wish II (1982), with Charles Bronson and Vincent Gardenia; Rumble Fish (1983), with Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Vincent Spano, Diane Lane, Diana Scarwid, Nicolas Cage, and Hopper; The Cotton Club (1984), with Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Lane, Lonette McKee, Bob Hoskins, James Remar, Cage, Allen Garfield, Gwen Verdon, Fred Gwynne, Tom Waits, and Woody Strode; and Steven Spielberg‘s The Color Purple (1985), with Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Desreta Jackson, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Rae Dawn Chong, Willard Pugh, and Adolph Caesar.

Films in the mid to late 1980s include Quicksilver (1996), with Kevin Bacon, Jami Gertz, Paul Rodriguez, Louie Anderson, and Rudy Ramos; Band of the Hand (1986), with Stephen Lang, Leon Robinson, Remar, and Lauren Holly; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987), with Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Priscilla Pointer, Craig Wasson, and Robert Englund; Gardens of Stone (1987), with James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell, and Mary Stuart Masterson; Cherry 2000 (1987), with Melanie Griffith and David Andrews; Spike Lee‘s School Daze (1988), with Giancarlo Esposito and Tisha Campbell; and Walter Hill’s Red Heat (1988), with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi.

Roles in the early 1990s include Abel Ferrara’s King of New York (1990), with Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Victor Argo, Wesley Snipes, and Esposito; Cadence (1990), with Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen (who also directed), Michael Apted’s Class Action (1991), with Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio; Deep Cover (1992), with Jeff Goldblum and Charles Martin Smith; Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), with Max Pomeranc, Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, and Ben Kingsley; Higher Learning (1995), with Jennifer Connelly, Ice Cube, Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport, and Kristy Swanson; Bad Company (1995), with Ellen Barkin, Frank Langella, Michael Beach, and David Ogden Stiers; and Just Cause (1995), with Sean Connery, Kate Capshaw, Blair Underwood, Ruby Dee, and Ed Harris.

For his portrayal of Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993), with Angela Bassett (as Tina Turner); Fishburne was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Two Trains Running (1992), and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in TriBeCa (1993). Fishburne became the first African American to portray Othello in a motion picture by a major studio when he appeared in Oliver Parker’s 1995 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play, co-starring Irène Jacob and Kenneth Branagh.

Films in the mid to late 1990s include Fled (1996), with Stephen Baldwin, Will Patton, Robert John Burke, and Salma Hayek; Event Horizon (1997), with Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan and Joely Richardson; and Hoodlum (1997), with Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams, Andy García, Cicely Tyson, Chi McBride, Richard Bradford, and Clarence Williams III.

Films in the early 2000s include Once in the Life (2000), with Titus Welliver, Eamonn Walker, Paul Calderón, and Annabella Sciorra; Osmosis Jomes (2001), with Bill Murray, and the voices of Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce, and William Shatner; Clint Eastwood‘s Mystic River (2003), with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney; Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), with Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule, Drea de Matteo, Brian Dennehy, Aisha Hinds and Gabriel Byrne; and a voice cameo in Shane Black‘s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), with Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, and Corbin Bernsen.

Films in the mid to late 2000s include Akeelah and the Bee (2006), with Keke Palmer, Angela Bassett, and Curtis Armstrong; Mission: Impossible III (2006), with Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, and Maggie Q, and Simon Pegg; Bobby (2006), with Harry Belafonte, Joy Bryant, Nick Cannon, Spencer Garrett, Helen Hunt, Anthony Hopkins, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Freddy Rodriguez, Heather Graham, Elijah Wood, and Emilio Estevez; and 21 (2008) with Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, Aaron Yoo, and Kieu Chinh.

Films in the early 2010s include Predators (2010), with Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Mahershala Ali, and Danny Trejo; Steven Soderbergh‘s Contagion (2011), with Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle, and Sanaa Lathan; The Colony (2013), with Kevin Zegers and Bill Paxton; Man of Steel (2013), with Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Lane, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, and Russell Crowe; The Signal (2014), with Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, and Lin Shaye; and Rudderless (2014), with Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, and Selena Gomez.

Films in the mid to late 2010s include Batman v Superman (2016), with Ben Affleck, Cavill, Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Lane, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Gal Gadot; Passengers (2016), with Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, and Michael Sheen; Richard Linklater‘s Last Flag Flying (2017), with Steve Carell and Cranston; the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas; The Mule (2018), with Eastwood (who also directed), Bradley Cooper, Peña, Diane Wiest, and García; Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019), with Cate Blanchett, Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Greer; and Running with the Devil (2019), with Cage, Leslie Bibb, and Barry Pepper.

On television, one of his earliest recurring roles was as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (1986 – 1990). Years later he starred as Dr. Raymond Langston on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008–2011), as Special Agent Jack Crawford in the NBC thriller series Hannibal (2013–2015) and as Earl “Pops” Johnson in the ABC sitcom Black-ish (2014–present). TV movie roles include The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), with Gooding Jr., John Lithgow, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner; Miss Evers’ Boys (1997), with Alfre Woodard, Craig Sheffer, Joe Morton, and Ossie Davis; and Have a Little Faith (2011), with Bradley Whitford and Martin Landau.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • If You Give a Dance, You Gotta Pay the Band (1972) – directed by Fred Coe – TV movie
  • Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975) – by Joseph Manduke
  • Fast Break (1979) – directed by Jack Smight
  • Apocalypse Now (1979) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Willie & Phil (1980) – directed by Paul Mazursky
  • A Rumor of War (1980) – directed by Richard T. Heffron – miniseries
  • Death Wish II (1982) – directed by Michael Winner
  • I Take These Men (1983) – directed by Larry Peerce – TV movie
  • For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story (1983) – directed by Michael Schultz – TV movie
  • Rumble Fish (1983) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Grandmaster Melle Mel: White Lines (Don’t Do It) (1983) – directed by Spike Lee – short
  • The Cotton Club (1984) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Color Purple (1985) – directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Quicksilver (1986) – directed by Thomas Michael Donnelly
  • Band of the Hand (1986) – directed by Paul Michael Glaser
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) – directed by Chuck Russell
  • Gardens of Stone (1987) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Cherry 2000 (1987) – directed by Steve De Jarnatt
  • School Daze (1988) – directed by Spike Lee
  • Red Heat (1988) – directed by Walter Hill
  • Christmas at Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (1988) – directed by Wayne Orr & Paul Reubens – TV movie
  • King of New York (1990) – directed Abel Ferrara
  • Cadence (1990) – directed by Martin Sheen
  • The Civil War (1990) – directed by Ken Burns – miniseries
  • Decoration Day (1990) – directed by Robert Markowitz – TV movie
  • Class Action (1991) – directed by Michael Apted
  • Boyz n the Hood (1991)** – directed by John Singleton
  • Deep Cover (1992) – directed by Bill Duke
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) – directed by Brian Gibson
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) – directed by Steven Zaillian
  • Higher Learning (1995) – directed by John Singleton
  • Bad Company (1995) – directed by Damian Harris
  • Just Cause (1995) – directed by Arne Glimcher
  • The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) – directed by Robert Markowitz – TV movie
  • Othello (1995) – directed by Oliver Parker
  • Fled (1996) – directed by Kevin Hooks
  • Miss Evers’ Boys (1996) – directed by Joseph Sargent – TV movie
  • Event Horizon (1997) – directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
  • Hoodlum (1997) – directed by Bill Duke – also executive producer
  • Always Outnumbered (1998) – directed by Michael Apted – TV movie
  • Welcome to Hollywood (1998) – directed by Adam Rifkin – cameo as himself
  • The Matrix (1999)** – directed by The Wachowskis
  • Once in a Life (2000) – also director, writer
  • Osmosis Jones (2001)* – directed by the Bobby & Peter Farrelly (live action) and Piet Kroon & Tom Sito (animation)
  • Biker Boyz (2003) – directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – directed by The Wachowskis
  • Mystic River (2003) – directed by Clint Eastwood
  • The Matrix Revolutions (2003)* – directed by The Wachowskis
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) – directed by Jean-François Richet
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) – directed by Shane Black – uncredited voice cameo
  • Akeelah and the Bee (2006) – directed by Doug Atchison – also producer
  • Mission: Impossible III (2006) – directed by J.J. Abrams
  • Five Fingers (2006) – directed by Laurence Malkin
  • Bobby (2006) – directed by Emilio Estevez
  • TMNT (2007)* – directed by Kevin Munroe
  • The Death and Life of Bobby Z (2007) – directed by John Herzfeld
  • Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)* – directed by Tim Story
  • 21 (2008) – directed by Robert Luketic
  • Tortured (2008) – directed by Nolan Lebovitz
  • Days of Wrath (2008) – directed by Celia Fox
  • Armored (2009) – directed by Nimród Antal
  • Black Water Transit (2009) – directed by Tony Kaye – unreleased
  • Predators (2010)* – directed by Nimród Antal
  • Thurgood (2011) – directed by Michael Stevens – TV movie
  • Contagion (2011) – directed by Steven Soderbergh
  • Have a Little Faith (2011) – directed by Jon Avnet – TV movie
  • The Colony (2013) – directed by Jeff Renfroe
  • Man of Steel (2013) – directed by Zack Snyder
  • Khumba (2013) – directed by Anthony Silverston
  • Ride Along (2014) – directed by Tim Story
  • The Signal (2014) – directed by William Eubank
  • Rudderless (2014) – directed by William H. Macy
  • Standoff (2016) – directed by Adam Alleca
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – directed by Zack Snyder
  • The Snowy Day (2016) – directed by Jamie Badminton & Rufus Blacklock – TV short
  • Passengers (2016) – directed by Morten Tyldum
  • John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)* – directed by Chad Stahelski
  • Madiba (2017) – directed by Kevin Hooks – miniseries
  • Last Flag Flying (2017) – directed by Richard Linklater
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)* – directed by Peyton Reed
  • Imprisoned (2018) – directed by Paul Kampf
  • The Mule (2018) – directed by Clint Eastwood
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)* – directed by Chad Stahelski
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019) – directed by Richard Linklater
  • Running with the Devil (2019) – directed by Jason Cabell
  • Death to 2020 (2020) – directed by Al Campbell & Alice Mathias – TV special
  • The Ice Road (TBA) – directed by Jonathan Hensleigh
  • Under the Stadium Lights (TBA) directed by Todd Randall
  • All the Old Knives (TBA) – Janus Metz Pedersen