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The Best Africa Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated November 22, 2019 776 votes 154 voters 11.7k views

List Rules Movies about or set in Africa.

Safaris, pyramids, and sphinx’s, blood diamonds, Nelson Mandela, apartheid. This and much more can be found on the continent of Africa. With sweeping landscapes and numerous tales of human drama, many films end up being about or set in Africa, and for good reason. This list features the best of these films, ranked by film lovers everywhere.

Also known as the “Dark Continent,” Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent. It covers a whopping six percent of the Earth’s total surface! Considering its enormous size and historical landmarks such as the Pyramids of Egypt, it’s no wonder that movies like Congo and The Flight of the Phoenix all feature this continent. 

This list has the best movies set in Africa, including: Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, The Lion King, Cry Freedom, The Constant Gardner, The African Queen, The Last King of Scotland, and I Dreamed of Africa.

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The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Africa Movies
Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1994

Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

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Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

Released: 2004

Directed by: Terry George

Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American historical drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. It stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo ...more

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Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Africa Movies
Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

Released: 1942

Directed by: Michael Curtiz

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars ...more

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Zulu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Africa Movies
Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins

Released: 1964

Directed by: Cy Endfield

Zulu is a 1964 epic film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879. It depicts 150 British soldiers who successfully held off a force of 4,000 ...more

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clash1977 added Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

Released: 1962

Directed by: David Lean

Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Sheen

Released: 2006

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Blood Diamond is a 2006 American-German political thriller film co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to ...more

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Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Morley

Released: 1951

Directed by: John Huston

The African Queen is a 1951 adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The ...more

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Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

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Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Iman Abdulmajid

Released: 1985

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Out of Africa is a 1985 American epic romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The film is based loosely on the autobiographical ...more

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clash1977 added Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood

Released: 2009

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

"From director Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar ...more

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Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson

Released: 1966

Directed by: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon

Khartoum is a 1966 film written by Robert Ardrey and directed by Basil Dearden. It stars Charlton Heston as British Gen. Charles "Chinese" Gordon and Laurence Olivier as the Mahdi and ...more
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clash1977 added Spencer Tracy, Nancy Kelly, Richard Greene

Released: 1939

Directed by: Henry King, Otto Brower

Stanley and Livingstone is a movie based loosely upon the true story of reporter Sir Henry M. Stanley's quest to find Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary presumed lost in Africa. Spencer Tracy ...more
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Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Gene Wesson

Released: 1966

Directed by: Gillo Pontecorvo

The Battle of Algiers is a 1966 film based on occurrences against the French government in North Africa, the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers. An Italo-Algerian production, it ...more

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James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1965

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

The Flight of the Phoenix is a 1965 American drama film starring James Stewart, produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, and based on the 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix by Elleston Trevor. ...more

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Val Kilmer, Michael Douglas, Emily Mortimer

Released: 1996

Directed by: Stephen Hopkins

The Ghost and the Darkness is a 1996 historical adventure film starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas set in Africa at the end of the 19th century. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins and the ...more

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Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward

Released: 1952

Directed by: Henry King

The Snows of Kilimanjaro is a 1952 American Technicolor film based on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The film version of the short story was directed by Henry King, ...more
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Matthias Habich, Juliane Köhler, Mechthild Grossmann

Released: 2001

Directed by: Caroline Link

Nowhere in Africa is a 2001 German film that was written and directed by Caroline Link. The screenplay is based on the 1995 autobiographical novel of the same name by Stefanie Zweig. It tells ...more
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Geoffrey Keen, Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna

Released: 1966

Directed by: Tom McGowan, James Hill

Born Free is a 1966 Technicolor British drama film starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers as Joy and George Adamson, a real-life couple who raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, to ...more

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Ben Johnson, Terry Moore, Regis Toomey

Released: 1949

Directed by: Ernest B. Schoedsack

Mighty Joe Young is a 1949 American black-and-white fantasy film from RKO Radio Pictures made by the same creative team responsible for King Kong. Produced and written by Merian C. Cooper, who ...more
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Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy

Released: 2005

Directed by: Fernando Meirelles

The Constant Gardener is a 2005 drama thriller film directed by Fernando Meirelles. The screenplay by Jeffrey Caine is based on the John le Carré novel of the same name. The film follows ...more

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When Lambs Become Lions ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Africa Movies

Released: 2019

Directed by: Jon Kasbe

When Lambs Become Lions is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Jon Kasbe. The film looks at the struggle that faces both ivory poachers and wildlife rangers in the Kenyan bush.
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Sigourney Weaver, Iain Glen, Bryan Brown

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Apted

Gorillas in the Mist is a 1988 American drama film directed by Michael Apted and starring Sigourney Weaver as naturalist Dian Fossey. It tells the true story of her work in Rwanda with Mountain ...more

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Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth

Released: 1996

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

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The Boy Who Harnessed th... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Africa Movies
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Chiwetel Ejiofor, Noma Dumezweni, Joseph Marcell

Released: 2019

Directed by: Chiwetel Ejiofor

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a 2019 British drama film directed by and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. A boy in Malawi helps his village by building a wind turbine after reading about them in a ...more
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Mollevangsvagen added Oumarou Ganda, Alassane Maiga, Seydou Guede

Released: 1958

Directed by: Jean Rouch

Moi, un noir is a 1958 French ethnofiction film directed by Jean Rouch. The film is set in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.