Film Directors The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 318 voters 55.4k views 37 items

Films like 12 Years a Slave have made movie history and garnered tons of awards for black, British film director, Steve McQueen. The spotlight is on the absolute best black directors in movie history who have made some amazing, award winning films. Who are the best black directors? Vote up the best directors below based on their bodies of work.

This list features the best black directors, including both African American directors and black film directors from other countries. These visionaries are responsible for helming some of the greatest films in movie history, and has been ranked by users to determine who is truly the best. The films of these awesome directors include Hunger, Daughters of the Dust, To Sleep With Anger, Badou Boy, and The Exile.

Some of the directors on this list include Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, F. Gary Gray, John Singleton, Tyler Perry, Kasi Lemmons, Forest Whitaker, and Sidney Poitier. Vote up the black director you think is the absolute best, or add someone who isn't already on the list.

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133 59
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Spike Lee Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, Do The Right Thing

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83 30
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Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Hunger

3
113 51
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Denzel Washington Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters

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68 24
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John Singleton Poetic Justice, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious

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67 26
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Forest Whitaker Hope Floats, Strapped, Waiting to Exhale

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62 23
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Antoine Fuqua Training Day, The Replacement Killers, Olympus Has Fallen

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49 16
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F. Gary Gray The Italian Job, Be Cool, A Man Apart

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26 4
Ryan Coogler is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
ShawnReynolds added Ryan Coogler Fruitvale Station, Creed

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ShawnReynolds added Jordan Peele Get Out

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37 16
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Allen Hughes The Book of Eli, Broken City, Dead Presidents

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51 33
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Sidney Poitier Fast Forward, A Piece of the Action, Stir Crazy

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34 21
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Melvin Van Peebles Identity Crisis, Bellyful, Don't Play Us Cheap

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26 14
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Gordon Parks Shaft, The Learning Tree, Flavio

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18 7
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ShawnReynolds added Ava DuVernay Selma, Middle of Nowhere, I Will Follow

List of Black Movies, Ranked Best to Worst

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Robert Townsend In The Hive, Phantom Punch, Franternity Boys

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Don Cheadle Miles Ahead, House of Lies

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19 10
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Albert Hughes Dead Presidents, American Pimp, The Book of Eli

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38 28
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21 13
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Ousmane Sembène Moolaadé, Black Girl, Borom Sarret

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36 29
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Tyler Perry Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, Madea's Witness Protection, Madea's Class Reunion

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19 13
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Malcolm D. Lee Best Man Holiday, Scary Movie 5, Soul Men

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24 18
Hype Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Hype Williams Belly, Babyface: A Collection of Hit Videos, MTV 20: Jams

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28 24
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Will Smith All of Us

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Ossie Davis Cool Red, Gordon's War, Black Girl

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ShawnReynolds added Barry Jenkins Medicine for Melancholy, A Woman's Tale, Almost

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Julie Dash Daughters of the Dust, The Rosa Parks Story, Subway Stories

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Omowale Akintunde is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Omowale added Omowale Akintunde

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Kasi Lemmons The Caveman's Valentine, Eve's Bayou, Talk to Me

The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked

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Carl Franklin The Newsroom, House of Cards, Homeland

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12 14
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PeteBoyle added Richard Ayoade The Double, Community, Submarine

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10 13
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Charles Burnett 42 One Dream Rush, Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation, The Glass Shield

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8 12
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Oscar Micheaux Swing!, The Virgin of the Seminole, The Betrayal

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4 8
Med Hondo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Med Hondo Sarraounia, West Indies, O

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4 8
Anike Bay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
AnikeBay added Anike Bay Girls Like Us, Girls Like Us 2.0! The Hustle! The Game, Girls Like Us Menage "A" Trios(Preproduction)

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Djibril Diop Mambéty Hyenas, Le Franc, The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

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5 10
William Greaves is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
William Greaves Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, From These Roots

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4 9
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John Akomfrah The Nine Muses, Testament, The Last Angel of History