The Best Black Action Movies

Over 700 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Black Action Movies
Voting Rules
Vote up your favorite action movies that star Black actors and characters.

The best Black action movies on this list are some of the best action movies ever made. The best Black action films can be both action-packed as well as dramatic. Some Black action films revolve around supernatural threats while other good Black action movies feature hero cops. Many of the best Black action films star Will Smith.


What films will you find on this top Black action movies list? Men in Black has to be at the top. This 1997 film finds Will Smith teaming up with Tommy Lee Jones to “protect the earth from the scum of the universe.” Smith also protected the world from an impending alien invasion the previous year in Independence Day. New Jack City is another great action movie with an incredible cast of talented Black actors.

Blankman combines action and comedy as Damon Wayans stars as an inventor turned superhero. Other good
Black action films featured on this list include Bad Boys, Set It Off, and A Low Down Dirty Shame. You'll also find great Black women action films. But which one should be at the top? You get to help decide with your votes.

Do you have a favorite
Black action movie? Take a look at this list and give the best films a vote up to make sure they end up at the top of the list.

Photo: Columbia Pictures
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  • Featuring the iconic duo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the Bad Boys franchise, excels in providing exhilarating action and unmatchable bromantic chemistry, making it a classic Black action series. As detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, Smith and Lawrence handle Miami crime with wit and fearless bravado, making each installment a blockbuster hit. The franchise, which earned international acclaim, continually showcases diverse talents, captivating narratives, and compelling camaraderie.

  • Blade Franchise

    The Blade franchise, introducing audiences to the relentless half-human, half-vampire hero played by Wesley Snipes, revolutionized the supernatural action landscape by incorporating authentic Black representation. Snipes' mesmerizing portrayal of the titular Blade resonated with fans, blending martial arts mastery, supernatural prowess, and unparalleled intensity. The captivating films, which boast a strong blend of action, horror, and comic book inspiration, have secured a robust legacy in both the Black community and the broader world of action motion pictures.

  • Training Day
    Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
    152 votes
    • Released: 2001
    • Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

    Training Day, a riveting story that delves into the moral dilemmas of policing, boasts Oscar-winning performances by Denzel Washington as the crooked narcotics officer, Alonzo Harris, and Ethan Hawke as the naïve rookie Jake Hoyt. With its gritty portrayal of street crime, this gripping action-drama captures the seedy undertones of Los Angeles while shedding light on the intricacies of racial dynamics. Washington's enthralling performance transformed the film into a quintessential piece of Black action cinema, leaving a lasting impression on its audience.

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  • The Beverly Hills Cop franchise, starring the inimitable Eddie Murphy as the wisecracking detective Axel Foley, cemented the actor's reputation as an action-comedy legend. With its fantastically witty dialogue, thrilling action sequences, and Murphy's singular charm, the series packs a punch that captures the quintessence of 1980s Black action cinema. A pioneer in the action-comedy genre, the Beverly Hills Cop films remain an enduring fan favorite.

  • Black Panther
    Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
    52 votes
    • Released: 2018
    • Directed by: Ryan Coogler

    Black Panther, a groundbreaking entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, transcends traditional action storytelling by championing Afrofuturism and celebrating African culture. Featuring an extraordinary Black cast, including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong'o, the mythical African nation of Wakanda leaps off the screen with awe-inspiring action sequences and an empowering narrative. Garnering numerous accolades and becoming a cultural phenomenon, Black Panther forever altered the course of Black action cinema, earning its place in history as one of the finest achievements of the genre.

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  • Set It Off
    Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox
    127 votes
    • Released: 1996
    • Directed by: F. Gary Gray

    Set It Off, flaunting a powerful ensemble cast that includes Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise, portrays the gripping story of four financially struggling women who team up for a high-stakes bank heist. Their courage, determination, and underlying vulnerability redefined Black female representation on screen, making this action-drama a trailblazing fan-favorite. Set It Off fearlessly tackled themes such as poverty, racism, and sexism, thereby etching itself into the annals of iconic Black action films.

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