Entertainment
57.4k voters

The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

Updated May 7, 2021 574.3k votes 57.4k voters 6.3m views666 items

List RulesMovies must feature African American and African culture and/or mostly above-the-line Black casts.

The best Black movies are favorites that explore African American culture and themes. This list is ranked by film fans, many of whom grew up waiting for and watching good, realistic representations of what life was like for Black people in America. The top African American movies often dominate the box office when released, and this is a list of the best Black films. What are the best Black people movies of all time? Some of these films appear on other lists that you may find interesting, such as: best comedies of all time, best drama movies, and best actions movies on Netflix. You can sort by actor and director, or press "rerank" below to make your own list of the greatest African American-themed movies.

This list of top popular Black films features classic African American comedies like Friday and Coming to America, sports films like Love & Basketball, and biographical movies about Black celebrities and leaders, from Ray and Ali to Malcolm X. This list also includes great movies about slavery (both Roots and Django Unchained, for example) and films about Black life in the American South throughout history, from Glory and A Time to Kill to The Help. These and other highly acclaimed Black movies in cinema focus on African Americans, and most have surpassed the test of time among Black audiences.

This includes everything to watch from '90s Black comedy movies - comedies with a mostly Black cast and perspective - to Black crime movies, famous gang films, and action flicks. For other interesting movie lists check out Ranker's lists of well-made movies about slavery and films about racism. Also check out these lists of the best Black sitcoms, the best Black love movies, and the best cities for African Americans.

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  • 1
    12,713
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    Friday

    Ice Cube, Meagan Good

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    #133 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#78 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • 2
    6,424
    918

    Menace II Society

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jada Pinkett Smith

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    #539 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#9 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Juvenile Delinquents

  • 3
    6,291
    897

    Poetic Justice

    Janet Jackson, Keanu Reeves

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    15 Things You Didn’t Know About The Film ‘Poetic Justice’#239 of 324 The Best Teen Movies Of All Time

  • 4
    8,216
    1,350

    Set It Off

    Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre

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    #227 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks#15 of 17 The Strongest Heist Movie Crews Who Could Pull Off Any Job

  • 5
    8,107
    1,423

    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg
    See The Best The Color Purple Movie Quotes

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    #8 of 173 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#196 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 6
    4,875
    778

    Soul Food

    Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long

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    #24 of 77 The Best Food Movies of All Time#49 of 60 The Best '90s Hood Movies

  • 7
    12,122
    2,299

    Boyz n the Hood

    Ice Cube, Angela Bassett

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    #14 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time#1 of 25 Movies From Black Directors Every Film Lover Should See

  • 8
    9,863
    1,299

    Love & Basketball

    Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union

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    #14 of 65 The Best High School Sports Movies#1 of 57 The Best Sports Romance Movies

  • 9
    5,086
    791

    New Jack City

    Chris Rock, Ice-T

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    #284 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys#6 of 47 40+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction

  • 10
    6,019
    879

    Lean on Me

    Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd

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    #9 of 40 The Most Inspirational Black Movies#8 of 56 The Best Morgan Freeman Movies

  • 11
    5,792
    750

    Juice

    Tupac Shakur, Samuel L. Jackson

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    #681 of 863 The Best Albums of the 1990s#273 of 291 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

  • 12
    4,627
    567

    What's Love Got to Do with It

    Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne

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    #39 of 195 The Best Movies About Music#11 of 55 The Best Biopics About Women

  • 13
    6,289
    1,077

    Bad Boys

    Will Smith, Téa Leoni

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    #13 of 102 The Best 1990s Action Movies#101 of 248 The Best Whodunit Movies

  • 14
    5,439
    865

    The Best Man

    Nia Long, Terrence Howard

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    #63 of 88 The Best Wedding Movies#2 of 47 The Best Terrence Howard Movies

  • 15
    4,552
    768

    House Party

    Martin Lawrence, George Clinton

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    #579 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#107 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 16
    4,612
    670

    Life

    Eddie Murphy, Poppy Montgomery

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    #3 of 24 The Funniest Movies About Jail#20 of 114 The Best Prison Movies

  • 17
    4,913
    668

    The Wood

    Christina Milian, Sanaa Lathan

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    #81 of 125 The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s#112 of 120 The Best Teen Movies of the 1990s

  • 18
    7,229
    1,511

    Malcolm X

    Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton

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    #103 of 440 Your Favorite Movies of the 1990s#292 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 19
    3,270
    527

    Coach Carter

    Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum

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    #5 of 58 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time#37 of 52 The Most Woke Movies of All Time

  • 20
    10,758
    2,385

    Coming to America

    Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson

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    Stories From Behind The Scenes Of 'Coming To America'#7 of 304 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 21
    5,813
    1,193

    Ray

    Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx

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    #305 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#25 of 301 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 22
    4,207
    664

    Waiting to Exhale

    Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett

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    #338 of 362 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time#163 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 23
    5,334
    1,185

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

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    #28 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry#339 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 24
    4,060
    661

    Baby Boy

    Snoop Dogg, Taraji P. Henson

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    #17 of 159 The Best Hood Movies#9 of 147 The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto

  • 25
    3,478
    643

    A Thin Line Between Love and Hate

    Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan

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    #37 of 65 The Best Black Comedy Movies Of The '90s#142 of 225 The Best R-Rated Comedies