90s Movies The Best Black Movies of the 1990s  

Ranker Film
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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
795 93
Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 1 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

2
933 126
Friday is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
840 107
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
629 75
Juice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1992
Juice is a 1992 American 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 members ...more

5
561 63
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 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 Kimberly ...more

6
569 67
The Wood is listed (or ranked) 6 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.

7
547 64
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
374 53
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
381 58
The Best Man is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
397 66
House Party is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
329 49
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 dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his ...more

12
310 45
Life is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
279 36
What's Love Got to Do with It is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
362 65
Soul Food is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
276 39
New Jack City is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1990s
1991
New Jack City is a 1991 American 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

16
233 26
Love Jones is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
294 46
Waiting to Exhale is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
281 45
Crooklyn is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
190 19
A Thin Line Between Love and H... is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
285 50
Above the Rim is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
247 37
Boomerang is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
238 36
Jason's Lyric is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
210 30
A Low Down Dirty Shame is listed (or ranked) 23 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.

24
217 34
Higher Learning is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
262 53
Don't Be a Menace to South Cen... is listed (or ranked) 25 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