Skip to main content

10 Great Donald Glover Movie And TV Performances (And How To Watch Them)

Donald Glover on Atlanta screenshot
(Image credit: FX)

In my opinion, no one has quite blown up as much in the past few years as Donald Glover. While the actor is also super talented with music, releasing several albums under the name “Childish Gambino,” Donald Glover is an amazing TV and movie actor, and his roles deserve all the praise in the world, with parts in everything from NBC series to major films.

From playing the hardworking Earn on Atlanta to young Lando in Solo, Glover has given some wildly awesome performances. Here’s where you can watch the best Donald Glover movies and TV shows that are streaming right now.  

Donald Glover in Community.

(Image credit: NBC)

Community (2009-2014)

This NBC comedy created by Dan Harmon follows the story of Jeff Winger, a former lawyer who loses his practice when the board finds out he faked his law degree. In order to become a lawyer again, he attends Greendale Community College, where he meets an interesting and diverse collection of people in a study group. 

Hands down, if you’ve heard of Donald Glover, it was most likely from this show. Donald Glover blew up as Troy, a former high school sports star who’s just trying to find his way in life now. He was funny, heartwarming, and had the best friendship with Abed. It was a shame when he left the show to pursue other projects, but no one can deny that for the time Troy was a main character, Community was at its peak. 

Stream Community on Netflix. 

Donald Glover in Atlanta.

(Image credit: FX)

Atlanta (2016-Present)

Moving onto this popular FX series, Atlanta follows Earn and his daily life in Atlanta, trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his ex-girlfriend, Van, with whom he shares a daughter, while also working with his cousin, Alfred, who's a rapper.

Atlanta has certainly proven successful for Donald Glover. As a creator, director, writer, and actor on the show, the FX comedy is his baby and it is fantastic. Atlanta offers some seriously hilarious moments that will have you holding your side from laughing so much, but has deeper meanings to many episodes as well, with fantastic performances from cast members Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz and more. Now all we need is Atlanta Season 3

Stream Atlanta on Hulu. 

Donald Glover in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

(Image credit: Disney)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Telling the origin story of one of the greatest Star Wars characters ever, Solo: A Star Wars Story follows Han Solo in his early years, showing how he met iconic characters like Chewie and Lando, his past romances prior to Leah, his adventures, and everything else in between. 

Donald Glover played a young version of Lando in Solo, and you know what? I don’t care what anyone says - I absolutely loved this movie. As someone who grew up watching Star Wars with my family, I really enjoyed what Solo brought to the table in terms of story. I personally think that not only did Donald Glover do a fantastic job in his role, but the rest of the Solo cast was fantastic as well. If I could see Glover do Lando again, I would most certainly pay for it. 

Stream Solo: A Star Wars Story on Disney+. 
Rent Solo: A Star Wars Story on Amazon.

Donald Glover in The Lazarus Effect.

(Image credit: Relativity Media)

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

Next up, we have a fun supernatural horror film. The Lazarus Effect is about a group of researchers led by a man named Frank and his fiancée, who have achieved the unimaginable - the ability to bring back the dead. But, through this, they bring horrors onto themselves and the world that they never thought possible.

Look, I’ll be honest - The Lazarus Effect isn’t my favorite horror movie. I think there are plenty of others we could call the best horror movies. However, I do think it’s entertaining, with plenty of scares that it will please anyone who wants to watch a fright fest. Donald Glover in his role as Niko is great, alongside the rest of the cast, and for anyone who loves an interesting idea such as bringing someone back from the dead, I think this is a great movie to try out. 

Stream The Lazarus Effect on Pluto TV. 
Rent The Lazarus Effect on Apple TV+.

Donald Glover in The Martian.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Martian (2015) 

In this Academy Award-nominated feature film, The Martian tells the story of an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars after his team assumes him to be dead, and now he must rely on his intelligence and ingenuity to find ways to not only survive, but signal to Earth that he is alive and in need of a rescue. 

I won’t lie, there are so many stars in The Martian that Donald Glover might be missed. People like Matt Damon, Sebastian Stan, Kate Mara, and Benedict Wong all have big roles in this and tell a story that is truly amazing to watch. Donald Glover as Rich Purnell is great - and who could forget that iconic waking up/falling scene? Gets me every time. 

Rent The Martian on Amazon.

Donald Glover in The To-Do List.

(Image credit: CBS Films)

The To Do List (2013)

Next up, we have the romantic comedy, The To Do List. This movie, starring Aubrey Plaza, follows a recent high school graduate who feels she needs to try and have more sexual experiences before she heads to college, creating problems and hilarious moments. 

Like the drama The Martian, this comedy is packed with stars besides Donald Glover, such as Bill Hader, Rachel Bilson, Andy Samberg, and several others. However, with such a large ensemble cast filled with so much talent, The To Do List is a fun time, with plenty of instances where you’ll chuckle, laugh, or snort. Plaza, especially, brings her comedic prowess, creating an entertaining, hilarious romantic comedy. 

Stream The To-Do List on Showtime. 
Rent The To-Do List on Amazon.

Donald Glover in Magic Mike XXL.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? Magic Mike XXL is the follow up to the 2012 movie, Magic Mike, following Channing Tatum’s Mike again, as a now-retired male stripper, who decides to help his friends put on one last show, embarking on a road trip to Miami Beach to perform at an exotic-dance convention. 

I can confirm that this is my favorite Donald Glover performance - and not because he’s shirtless...Not at all

Jokes aside, I actually do really like seeing Glover perform in Magic Mike XXL. I feel like with so many of his other roles, he’s either very comedic or very serious. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s enjoyable to see him sort of just laid back in this fun movie as Andre. Plus, you get to hear his awesome voice - how can you not feel relaxed listening to his singing chops?

Stream Magic Mike XXL on HBO Max. 
Rent Magic Mike XXL on Amazon.

Donald Glover voices Simba in The Lion King.

(Image credit: Disney)

The Lion King (2019)

Next up, we have the live-action remake of The Lion King. This story follows Simba, a young lion cub who runs away from Pride Rock when he believes he is the reason his father is killed. However, when his evil Uncle Scar takes over, he must fulfill his duty, and return home to save his people. 

Donald Glover actually voices older Simba in the remake, paired next to the queen herself, Beyoncé, who voices Nala. And, honestly, their two voices singing together is something I could listen to over and over again. While I will always have a special place in my heart for the original The Lion King, as I’m sure many others do, I do enjoy this one. 

The Lion King cast is star-studded, the Pumbaa and Timon moments are hilarious, and the cinematography is beautiful. If only they could make the animals a little more expressive. Then this would have been even better. 

Stream The Lion King on Disney+. 
Rent The Lion King on Amazon.

Donald Glover on 30 Rock.

(Image credit: NBC)

30 Rock (2006-2012)

Prior to his big role on Community, Donald Glover guest starred in a couple of episodes of 30 Rock. This popular NBC sitcom (which he also wrote for) tells the story of the boss at an SNL-like sketch show, who has to manage her relationships with the show’s star and its executive producer. 

While Glover only guest starred on a few episodes, it’s still enjoyable to see him before his was a big-shot in Hollywood. If you haven’t watched 30 Rock, you really should. The 30 Rock cast is stacked with talented individuals, the story is enjoyable, and there are plenty of moments that will make you laugh incredibly hard. 

Stream 30 Rock on Peacock. 

Donald Glover on Saturday Night Live.

(Image credit: NBC)

Saturday Night Live (2018)

The popular sketch show that’s been ongoing for more than forty years, Saturday Night Live is iconic for many reasons, offering a slew of comedic performances from their cast members as they parody pop culture, politics, and more. 

Donald Glover hosted an episode - and performed as Childish Gambino. This, to me, is one of the best SNL episodes in recent years. Glover was part of some hilarious sketches - my personal favorite being the Barbie Instagram sketch - and his performances were super entertaining as well. If you haven’t seen his episode, be sure to check it out now. 

Stream Donald Glover’s SNL episode on NBC.

Donald Glover in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Bonus Item: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding, and Spider-Man: Homecoming was a part of that expansion. Here, Peter Parker returns home after Captain America: Civil War, and we get to see what it’s like to have Tony Stark watching his every move, and trying to be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man while also dealing with regular teenage issues - such as trying to ask out the right girl to a dance. 

Look, Donald Glover only appears in one scene, but come on. It was memorable and speaks so much for the possibility of the MCU. He played Aaron Davis. You know who that is? The Prowler, a.k.a. Miles Morales' uncle. He even said in the movie that he had a nephew. Does that mean we might get an actual live-action Miles Morales from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? The possibilities are endless. I wish we could see more of him. 

And, to be honest, if you’re a fan of superhero movies, be sure to watch this one. Tom Holland as Peter Parker is great, as is the rest of the cast. Don't just watch it for Glover - watch it because it's so much fun. 

Rent Spider-Man: Homecoming on Amazon. 

Donald Glover is truly a multi-faceted performer who has done so much, and honestly, I can’t wait to see what he does next. If Atlanta Season 3 could get here quicker, that would be great. Until then, I must remain patient.  

Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!