Dynamic Duo: Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett Playing: Ike Turner and Anna Mae Bullock/Tina Turner Raw Emotion In: What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) You Better Recognize: The final confrontation between Ike and Tina, at which point Tina finally fights back.
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Samuel L. Jackson
The Man: Samuel L. Jackson Playing: Carl Lee Hailey At His Best In: A Time to Kill (1996) You Better Recognize: After killing his daughter’s rapist in the middle of the court room, Carl gets real gangsta on the stand, stating with a southern twang, "Yes they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell.
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Hats Off To: Derek Luke Playing: Antwone Fisher Told a Real Story In: Antwone Fisher (2002) You Better Recognize: In the scene at the front door of his foster mother’s home, with conviction in his voice he emotionally proclaims, “I’m still standing, I’m still strong.”
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Michael Clark Duncan
We Applaud: Michael Clark Duncan Playing: Tired John Coffey A Gentle Giant In: The Green Mile (1999) You Better Recognize: Our eyes watered as he told Paul (Tom Hanks) he’s ready to go because he’s “rightfully tired of the pain” he had to face in the world.
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Hats Off To: Viola Davis Playing: Mrs. Miller Slow but Steady Role In: Doubt (2008) You Better Recognize: As the unsettling voice of morality, Davis managed to steal the spotlight from Meryl Streep with just two scenes.
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The Unknown: Djimon Hounsou Playing: Cinque Made Us Realize Harsh Realities In:Amistad (1997) You Better Recognize:It only took four words, “Give us, us free.”
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Never Forgot: Michael Wright Playing: Eddie Caine The Black Classic: The Five Heartbeats (1991) You Better Recognize: Eddie’s last attempt, with a soiled jacket and a bad perm, to get back into the group; “Nights like this, I wish raindrops would fall-al-al.”
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The Beautiful: Thandie Newton Playing: Beloved Brought the Book To Life In: Beloved (1998) You Better Recognize: Playing any character in this psychologically alluring film would be difficult, but Newton effortlessly gave Beloved a certain mysticism and eeriness.
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The Vigilante: Ving Rhames Playing: Mann In The Racially Charged: Rosewood (1997) You Better Recognize: How hard was it to keep your Caucasian friends after witnessing the Rosewood Massacre through Mann’s eyes?
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Soul Bearer: Kimberly Elise Playing: Helen Wasn’t Playing Games In: Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) You Better Recognize: Nevermind that the Academy refuses to recognize Tyler Perry, Elise’s Helen reminded us just how mad we can, and sometimes should, get.
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