Tyler Perry is back with Temptation and it is a bit of a darker turn thematically for the prolific filmmaker. The film follows Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Brice (Lance Gross), who play a couple who met when they were quite young, fell in love, got married and moved to Washington, D.C. to follow their dreams. As teased in the Temptation trailer, trouble arrives in the form of a tech billionaire who challenges Judith in ways her husband hasn’t.
The film is the latest in a long (and successful) line of Perry films. Some are based on his stage plays -- others are original pieces of cinematic work. With the arrival of Temptation this Friday, we explore the Top 10 Tyler Perry movies.
10. For Colored Girls
You got to give it to Perry who took on the challenge of taking Ntozake Shange’s poetry in For Colored Girls and brought it to the screen in the most musical of ways. No, it is not a musical… but it feels like one, minus the melody.
The source material is considered sacred ground and Perry rose to the power of the material and crafted one solid piece of work. It also showcased an incredible cast of African-American actresses including Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Whoopi Goldberg.
9. The Family That Preys
The Family That Preys was the fifth time that Perry had worked as writer and director and that experience shows on every ounce of film. The three big stars included an Oscar winner in Kathy Bates, as well as Alfre Woodard and Robin Givens.
8. Daddy’s Little Girls
One of the first films that Perry himself did not appear in and the first not based on one of his plays, Daddy’s Little Girls feels as if it is also one of his most personal. Gabrielle Union and Idris Elba starred in the film that also featured Tasha Smith and Terry J. Vaughn. The story follows Idris’ character that is caring for his three girls, along with their maternal grandmother. When she becomes ill, the kids’ mother sues for custody. It is, if nothing else, a strong statement for the importance of fathers in their daughter’s lives.
7. Madea Goes to Jail
Madea Goes to Jail is right up there with the auteur’s funniest. By putting his iconic character Madea in the right situations that create situational comedy, Perry achieved comic cinematic gold and many consider it the best of his Madea-centered work. The film is also one of the works of Perry that had to most challenge him. Not only did he write, direct and produce… he also played three roles!
6. Meet the Browns
David Mann is a renowned vocalist and became the most unlikely of comic stars by scoring the lead in Perry’s Meet the Browns. By having Mann serve as the comic yin to Madea’s yang, Perry achieved a fantastic piece of cinematic humor with heart. Meet the Browns also showcases Perry’s prolific talent as the film was based on one of his many successful plays.
5. I Can Do Bad All By Myself
It may be one of his simpler stories, but Perry still delivered a gospel-filled opus featuring the song work of Marvin Winans, Gladys Knight and Mary J. Blige. The tale of I Can Do Bad All By Myself follows three orphans seeking a home base, along with their alcohol-addled aunt. And lead Taraji P. Henson gave what we believe is one of her best performances yet.
4. Madea’s Big Happy Family
The fifth movie in the Madea franchise, Madea's Big Happy Family, opened to a whopping $25 million, landing in second place at the box office that weekend. Perry’s story of a woman who is trying to tie up all her affairs before she passes away is both heartwarming and surprisingly hilarious. Madea is a big part of the film, but this is not her story and the film shows Perry’s command of his prose and ability to punctuate the humor in the face of life’s drama.
3. Madea’s Family Reunion
Madea’s Family Reunion is a sequel to his Diary of a Mad Black Woman and is one of his most profitable to date. The flick took in a total of $65 million and again saw Perry getting a stellar cast to bring his vision to life including Johnny Gill, Maya Angelou, KeKe Palmer, Boris Kodjoe, Blair Underwood and Cicely Tyson.
Here Perry explores some tough issues, such as incest and physical abuse, but still manages to get his laughs in. It shows that the filmmaker will never make an all-out comedy without adding in some food for thought in between the laughs.
This one has to be up there, but let us know by voting now: What is Tyler Perry's best film?
2. Why Did I Get Married?
Perry wrote, produced, directed and starred in this film that featured an all-star cast as it looked at the various levels of happiness in marriage. Jackson again starred in a Perry pic and effortlessly fuses herself into the ensemble. The story of Why Did I Get Married? centers on several different couples and how they deal with the ongoing effort that is the institution of marriage. The film was so popular, it warranted a sequel, Why Did I Get Married Too?
1. Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Although Diary of a Mad Black Woman is our favorite Perry film, it is interestingly enough, the one on this list that he did not direct.
The first time we meet his alter-ego Madea comes courtesy of a music video director named Darren Grant. The film did explore the themes that Perry likes to bring to the screen and as such, gave us a blueprint for what we can expect from the filmmaker who by the time he is done, will have amassed one seriously impressive body of work.