90s Movies The Best Black Movies of the 1990s  

Ranker Film
12.6k votes 2.4k voters 170.2k views 60 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite African American films that were released in the 1990s

This list of the best '90s black movies contains many of the best films about the African American experience of any decade. Thanks to filmmakers like Spike Lee and John Singleton, 1990s black movies tackled serious issues without sacrificing entertainment value. Not all '90s African American movies were hard-hitting dramas like Malcolm X, however; plenty of '90s black movies are comedies like Friday or straight-up actioners like Bad Boys.

What are some of the top '90s black films? Boyz n the Hood is an obvious example of an African American film from the decade. Starring such talented actors as Cuba Gooding Jr, Ice Cube, and Morris Chestnut, the film tells the story of young men growing up in South Central Los Angeles and it marked a major cultural moment for black cinema.

Denzel Washington appears on this '90s black movie list several times, more than once for playing real life figures in films like The Hurricane and, of course, Spike Lee's epic film biography of Malcolm X. Speaking of Spike Lee movies, Washington also starred in the director's He Got Game.

The order of this list of the best '90s black films is set by your votes, so vote up your favorites to change the rankings from best to worst. If any great 1990s black films are missing, don't hesitate to add them, and if you've seen enough of these black movies from the '90s, rerank the entire list to create your own version!
list ordered by

1
743 100
Friday is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1995 Friday is a 1995 American stoner buddy comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny 'Zeus' Lister Jr, and John ...more

2
622 73
Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1991 Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia ...more

3
680 88
Poetic Justice is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1993 Poetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur with Regina King and Joe Torry. It was written and directed by John Singleton. The main character, Justice, ...more

4
455 53
The Wood is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
Nas Fong added 1999 The Wood is a 1999 romantic comedy, written by Rick Famuyiwa and Todd Boyd. Famuyiwa also directed the film, which stars Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones, and Taye Diggs.

5
436 52
Set It Off is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1996 Set It Off is a 1996 American crime action film directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford. The film stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and ...more

6
493 67
Juice is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992 Juice is a 1992 American crime drama thriller directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, written by Ernest R. Dickerson and Gerard Brown. It stars rapper Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. Additional cast ...more

7
440 58
Menace II Society is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1993 Menace II Society is a 1993 drama/hood film and the directorial debut of twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes. Set in South Central Los Angeles, the film follows the life of a hoodlum named ...more

8
279 38
Bad Boys is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1995 Bad Boys is a 1995 American action comedy film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, producers of Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, and directed by Michael Bay in his directorial debut. It ...more

9
304 49
House Party is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1990 House Party is a 1990 American comedy film released by New Line Cinema. It stars Kid and Play of the popular hip hop duo Kid 'n Play, and also stars Paul Anthony, Bow-Legged Lou, and B-Fine from ...more

10
294 46
The Best Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1999 The Best Man is a 1999 American romantic comedy-drama film, written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It was produced by 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, with Lee's cousin, Spike Lee, serving as ...more

11
258 39
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992 Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical drama film about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, the film stars Denzel Washington in the title role, as ...more

12
283 49
Soul Food is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1997 Soul Food is a 1997 American comedy-drama film, produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Tracey Edmonds, and Robert Teitel, and released by Fox 2000 Pictures. Featuring an ensemble ...more

13
212 28
New Jack City is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1991 New Jack City is a 1991 American crime thriller action film film directed by Mario Van Peebles in his directorial debut, who also co-stars in the film. The film stars Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen ...more

14
218 30
What's Love Got to Do with It is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1993 What's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biographical film directed by Brian Gibson, loosely based on the life of Tina Turner. It stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence ...more

15
233 37
Life is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1999 Life is a 1999 American comedy-drama film written by Robert Ramsey & Matthew Stone and directed by Ted Demme. The film stars Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. The supporting cast includes ...more

16
220 36
Waiting to Exhale is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1995 Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Forest Whitaker and starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. The film was adapted from the 1992 novel of the same name by ...more

17
217 35
Crooklyn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1994 Crooklyn is a 1994 semi-autobiographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The film takes place in Brooklyn, New York and the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant during the summer of ...more

18
229 41
Above the Rim is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1994 Above the Rim is a 1994 American drama directed by Jeff Pollack. The screenplay was written by Pollack and screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper, from a story by Pollack and Benny Medina. Starring ...more

19
165 20
Love Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
jclass62 added 1997 Love Jones is a 1997 American romantic drama film written and directed by Theodore Witcher, in his feature film debut. It stars Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Bill Bellamy, and Lisa ...more

20
183 29
Boomerang is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992 Boomerang is a 1992 American romantic comedy film directed by Reginald Hudlin. The film stars Eddie Murphy as Marcus Graham, a hotshot advertising executive who also happens to be an insatiable ...more

21
183 31
Jason's Lyric is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1994 Jason's Lyric is a 1994 romantic drama film, written by Bobby Smith, Jr, and directed by Doug McHenry, who co-produced the film with George Jackson and Marilla Lane Ross. Both Jackson and ...more

22
200 40
Belly is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1998 Belly is a 1998 American film, directed by music video director Hype Williams, in his film directing debut. Filmed in New York City as an urban drama, the film stars rappers DMX and Nas, ...more

23
204 43
Don't Be a Menace to South Cen... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1996 Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Paris Barclay, and produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and also written by Wayans ...more

24
156 24
A Low Down Dirty Shame is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1994 A Low Down Dirty Shame is a 1994 action-comedy film, written, directed by, and starring Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film also stars Charles S. Dutton, Jada Pinkett, and Salli Richardson.

25
127 15
A Thin Line Between Love and H... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
jclass62 added 1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate is a 1996 American dark comedy-romance film that was directed and co-written by Martin Lawrence, who also stars in the film. Lawrence co-wrote the screenplay ...more

26
167 30
Higher Learning is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1995 Higher Learning is a 1995 American romantic drama film, directed by John Singleton, and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional ...more

27
144 23
Eve's Bayou is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1997 Eve's Bayou is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, who made her directorial debut with this feature. Samuel L. Jackson served as a producer and starred in the film ...more

28
173 40
Sister Act is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992 Sister Act is a 1992 American comedy film released by Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Emile Ardolino, it features musical arrangements by Marc Shaiman and stars Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno lounge ...more

29
150 30
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habi... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1993 Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit is a 1993 American comedy film loosely based on the life of Crenshaw High School choir instructor Iris Stevenson, and starring Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by Bill ...more

30
132 24
Dead Presidents is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1995 Dead Presidents is a 1995 American crime film written by Michael Henry Brown, also written, produced and directed by the Hughes brothers, starring Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker, Freddy ...more

31
143 31
White Men Can't Jump is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992 White Men Can't Jump is a 1992 American sports buddy comedy film written and directed by Ron Shelton, starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as streetball hustlers. The film was released in ...more

32
138 33
He Got Game is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1998 He Got Game is a 1998 American sports-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate convicted for killing his wife. He is also ...more

33
135 34
Booty Call is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1997 Booty Call is a 1997 comedy film, written by J. Stanford Parker and Takashi Bufford, and directed by Jeff Pollack. The film stars Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, Vivica A. Fox and Tamala Jones.

34
113 22
The Preacher's Wife is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1996 The Preacher's Wife is a 1996 Christmas romantic comedy-drama family film directed by Penny Marshall, and starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance. It is a remake of ...more

35
69 7
Class Act is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
Kauzhana Johnson added 1992 Class Act is a 1992 comedy film, directed by Randall Miller and starring hip-hop duo Kid 'n Play. An urban retelling of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, the screenplay is by Cynthia ...more

36
107 27
Blue Streak is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1999 Blue Streak is a 1999 film, directed by Les Mayfield with Martin Lawrence. The director has also directed other famous films, including the remake of Miracle on Thirty-fourth Street in 1994. In ...more

37
94 20
Mo' Money is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992 Mo' Money is a 1992 American criminal comedy film directed by Peter Macdonald, and written by Damon Wayans, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Stacey Dash, Joe Santos, John Diehl, ...more

38
98 25
In Too Deep is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1999 In Too Deep is a 1999 American crime-thriller-drama film written by Michael Henry Brown and Paul Aaron, and directed by Michael Rymer and starring Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Stanley Tucci with Pam ...more

39
101 29
Cool Runnings is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1993 Cool Runnings is a 1993 American sports film directed by Jon Turteltaub, and starring Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba and John Candy. The film was released in the United States on ...more

40
84 23
Rosewood is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1997 Rosewood is a 1997 film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a white mob killed blacks and destroyed their town, the film ...more

41
92 31
Dr. Dolittle is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1998 Dr. Dolittle is a 1998 American family comedy film starring Eddie Murphy as a doctor who discovers that he has the ability to talk to animals. The film was inspired by the series of children's ...more

42
85 28
Tales from the Hood is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1995 Tales From the Hood is a 1995 horror anthology film directed by Rusty Cundieff, and executive produced by Spike Lee. The film presents four short African American-themed horror stories, ...more

43
57 10
How Stella Got Her Groove Back is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
Kauzhana Johnson added 1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 romantic comedy film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, adapted from Terry McMillan's bestselling novel of the same title. The film stars Angela Bassett, ...more

44
83 31
Blankman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1994 Blankman is a 1994 American superhero comedy-parody film directed by Mike Binder and starring Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier. It was written by Wayans and J. F. Lawton, whose biggest success ...more

45
75 27
Mo' Better Blues is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1990 Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 musical comedy-drama film starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee, who also directed. It follows a period in the life of fictional jazz trumpeter ...more

46
90 40
I Got the Hook Up is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1998 I Got the Hook-Up is a 1998 U.S. crime comedy film, starring Anthony Johnson, Master P, Ice Cube, C-Murder and directed by Michael Martin. This was No Limit Records' first theatrical release. ...more

47
55 12
House Party 2 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
Kauzhana Johnson added 1991 House Party 2, the sequel to the 1990 film House Party, was released in October 1991 by New Line Cinema, and returns most of the cast of the first film along with new cast members such as Queen ...more

48
77 30
Jungle Fever is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1991 Jungle Fever is a 1991 American romance drama film written, produced, and directed by Spike Lee, starring Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra. It was Lee's fifth feature-length film. The film ...more

49
64 22
The Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1999 The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel Washington. The script was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the ...more

50
57 22
Sprung is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
jclass62 added 1997 Sprung is a 1997 comedy film, written and directed by Rusty Cundieff. This film stars Cundieff, Tisha Campbell, Joe Torry, and Paula Jai Parker. It grossed $7,575,028 at the US box office.