african american The Best '80s Black Movies  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite African American films that were released in the 1980s

From Oscar-winners to dance epics, '80s black movies cover an incredible range of film genres and styles. This list of the best 1980s black movies ranks films about the African American experience from the decade, so your votes will decide whether the greatest '80s black movie is an artful drama, a searing political statement, or even a blockbuster comedy.

Several of the top '80s black movies have one thing in common: Eddie Murphy. Coming to America, Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, all of which star Murphy, appear on this great 1980s black movies list. While Murphy was the heaviest comedic hitter of the 1980s, Richard Pryor comedies like Brewster's Millions, Stir Crazy, and The Toy also made big impressions.

On the more serious side, the '80s saw the release of great black dramas like The Color Purple and Glory. The 1980s also introduced audiences to Spike Lee. His 1989 classic Do the Right Thing appears on this great 1980s black films list, as does his 1986 film,She's Gotta Have It. Prince's Purple Rain is another good African American film from the '80s.

Which is your favorite '80s black film? Vote up the best and vote down the worst. Your votes will decide the top black movie of the 1980s. If any great '80's African American film is missing, add it, and if you're an expert, then rerank the whole list!

1
+ - 84 10
Coming to America is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Coming to America Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

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2
+ - 57 10
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
The Color Purple Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne

3
+ - 53 9
Lean on Me is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Lean on Me Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd, Regina Taylor

4
+ - 58 12
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Do the Right Thing Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee

5
+ - 54 12
Harlem Nights is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Harlem Nights Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Arsenio Hall

6
+ - 53 13
Beverly Hills Cop is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Beverly Hills Cop Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser

7
+ - 46 9
Purple Rain is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Purple Rain Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Wendy Melvoin

8
+ - 46 11
The Last Dragon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
The Last Dragon William H. Macy, Vanity, Keshia Knight Pulliam

9
+ - 47 12
Trading Places is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Trading Places Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd

10
+ - 33 10
Beverly Hills Cop II is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Beverly Hills Cop II Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Gilbert Gottfried

11
+ - 43 18
School Daze is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
School Daze Samuel L. Jackson, Laurence Fishburne, Spike Lee

12
+ - 32 10
Glory is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

13
+ - 27 7
Brewster's Millions is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Brewster's Millions Richard Pryor, John Candy, Rick Moranis

14
+ - 26 8
Stir Crazy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Stir Crazy Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson

15
+ - 26 8
The Toy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
The Toy Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Wilfrid Hyde-White

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16
+ - 21 9
Breakin' is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Breakin' Jean-Claude Van Damme, Ice-T, Christopher McDonald

17
+ - 24 13
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Mississippi Burning Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

18
+ - 20 12
Jumpin' Jack Flash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Jumpin' Jack Flash Whoopi Goldberg, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz

19
+ - 16 9
A Raisin in the Sun is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
A Raisin in the Sun Danny Glover, Esther Rolle, Helen Martin

20
+ - 23 16
Krush Groove is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Krush Groove Chris Rock, LL Cool J, Bobby Brown

21
+ - 15 9
A Soldier's Story is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
A Soldier's Story Denzel Washington, Patti LaBelle, David Alan Grier

22
+ - 17 11
Beat Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Beat Street Rae Dawn Chong, Mary Alice, Kadeem Hardison

23
+ - 14 9
Disorderlies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Disorderlies Helen Reddy, Ralph Bellamy, Tony Plana

24
+ - 19 14
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Ice-T, Lucinda Dickey, Shabba Doo

25
+ - 12 10
Tap is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Tap Etta James, Sammy Davis, Jr.

26
+ - 2 1
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
The Temptations Smokey Robinson, Bianca Lawson, D. B. Woodside

27
+ - 12 12
Cry Freedom is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Cry Freedom Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Julian Glover

28
+ - 9 10
Native Son is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Native Son Oprah Winfrey, Matt Dillon, Ving Rhames

29
+ - 12 14
She's Gotta Have It is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
She's Gotta Have It Spike Lee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Joie Lee

30
+ - 7 11
Bird is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Bird Forest Whitaker, Keith David, Sam Robards

31
+ - 7 12
Under the Cherry Moon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Under the Cherry Moon Prince, Kristin Scott Thomas, Francesca Annis

32
+ - 4 9
Wild Style is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '80s Black Movies
Wild Style Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Lady Pink, Fab Five Freddy