Chadwick Boseman had already started seizing control of his onscreen destiny in the wake of his breakout role in Jackie Robinson biopic 42, developing projects that appealed directly to his sensibilities as an actor.
He served as a co-producer on Netflix thriller A Message from the King and executive produced another true-life tale with Marshall, but it was crime thriller 21 Bridges that marked his first true producorial credit. Joe and Anthony Russo also helped develop the project, which was helmed by TV veteran Brian Kirk.
The setup is fairly formulaic for the genre; Boseman’s grizzled detective heads up a manhunt for two cop killers, forcing him to lock down the entirety of Manhattan to prevent their escape. Of course, there’s also a conspiracy at play, one that reaches right to the top of the New York City hierarchy, and only one man can stop it.
Hardly the most original premise, but Boseman is excellent as embattled cop Andre Davis, while the supporting cast features plenty of talent including Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons, Keith David and more. It could only muster $49 million at the box office and a 53% Rotten Tomatoes score, but that hasn’t stopped 21 Bridges storming up the Netflix most-watched list by over 50 places, as per FlixPatrol.