To be blunt, Taraji P. Henson is a woman that used to do extra roles in a lot of movies but swiftly moved up when it was seen that she’s got the kind of talent that you don’t just bury along with so many others. Her characters and her personality have benefited from the extra attention she’s received and quite honestly she’s become one of the best actresses around in the last several years. If you’re wondering why I didn’t add a film like Hidden Figures it’s largely because I wanted to show how Taraji is great enough without having to be the center of attention, a quality that essentially kickstarted her career into what it is now. She can be put in for a brief amount of time or intermittently throughout a movie and she’ll be just as good, meaning she’s talented enough to make her part shine as much as it needs to.
Here are some of the best movies from her career.
5. Larry Crowne
One part that Taraji plays beautifully is the supporting character in any movie that has one of the biggest hearts of any of the cast. As Larry Crowne’s next door neighbor she’s a woman that kind of puts up with her husband and truly cares about Larry since he’s such a nice guy and has been dumped on recently since he’s lost his job. Her role in this movie isn’t entirely important but taking her out makes it seem like it would have been just a little more bleak since she adds a layer of warmth to it that was really needed. In other words she’s the other half that Cedric the Entertainer needed since he’s great, but he kind of needs a better half in this film.
4. Four Brothers
Playing another wife character this movie is just different enough that she’s far more aggressive in her manner since she cares so deeply about her husband and her family. The fact that he was raised by a white woman makes no difference since that same woman became a big part of her family. When Evelyn Mercer is executed however her adopted sons seek out the murderers and the person behind them, and by the end of the film have taken care of business. She’s still not too happy with Bobby for letting her husband get roughed up by the police, but hey, he’s still breathing at the end, that’s something.
3. Smokin’ Aces
Sharice is just nuts. There, I said it, it’s out and able to be scrutinized. But if you’ve watched the entire film then you know that between the two characters played by Alicia Keys and Taraji, she is the more unbalanced of the duo. As far as being an assassin however she’s kind of lacking in the whole coldblooded portion of it since she loses it completely when she thinks that her partner has been killed and starts firing at will without aiming with a gun that’s designed for the kind of range that could take a plane out of the sky if one was so inclined. Needless to say her rage gets the best of her and after that it’s a short time before she’s caught, or killed we don’t know since the shot fades out.
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
It would take a person with a stout heart and a lot of patience to take care of a child that was afflicted as Benjamin was, since when he was born he was about as likely to survive as a person entering their final stages before their eyes closed for the final time. But as he got older he appeared younger, until finally as he watched just about everyone in his life pass away, he began to dwindle himself, his mental faculties breaking down even as his body grew younger and younger. In medical history such a thing has never happened thankfully, as it would open up a whole new line of possibilities for human evolution.
1. Hustle & Flow
DJay is not the kind of guy you make fun of, cross, or even raise your voice to, but deep down he’s a guy that has a dream of doing something great and really does care about the people in his life. Being raised by the streets has made him hard and hard to take, but once people get past that defense they can see that he’s a person that wants something better for those he cares about. Shug cares about Djay deeply, but knows very well that he doesn’t offer anything about himself without first wanting to open up. But she sticks by him and does anything and everything he asks to keep him happy. She’s a good woman in a less than adequate life, and yet she somehow remains happy.
Taraji has a lot of heart when it comes to her roles, which makes it easy to think that she’s got even more when she’s off screen.