The Best Black War Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated July 7, 2020 175 votes 42 voters 3.5k views 17 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite war movies that feature African American soldiers.

The cinema has told several different stories featuring Black soldiers fighting in wars, dating all the way back to Home of the Brave in 1949. Some of these Black war films are composed of a mostly Black cast, while others feature a Black soldier as a prominent character. Here is a look at the greatest Black war movies ever. Which one will make it to the top of the list? That's for you to decide with your votes.

The 1989 American Civil War drama Glory told the true story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, which was the first all African-American military unit. The movie made a star out of Denzel Washington, who took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The film won a total of three Academy Awards. But Glory is not the only outstanding movie on this list of Black war films.

What are the greatest Black war films ever made? That’s up for you to decide. Vote up or down on this comprehensive list and check back for new Black war movies as they come out.

list ordered by
Glory is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1989

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more
Red Tails is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Daniela Ruah, Bryan Cranston, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 2012

Directed by: Anthony Hemingway

Red Tails is a 2012 American film directed by Anthony Hemingway in his feature film directorial debut, and starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a ...more
Men of Honor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 2000

Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.

Men of Honor is a 2000 drama film, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. It is inspired by the true story of Master chief petty officer Carl ...more
The Tuskegee Airmen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Black War Movies
John Lithgow, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1995

Directed by: Robert Markowitz

The Tuskegee Airmen is a 1995 HBO television movie based on the exploits of an actual groundbreaking unit, the first African American combat pilots in the United States Army Air Corps, that ...more
Antwone Fisher is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Salli Richardson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Denzel Washington

Antwone Fisher is a 2002 American biographical drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington in his feature film directorial debut. He also stars in the film as the psychiatrist Jerome ...more
A Soldier's Story is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Denzel Washington, Patti LaBelle, David Alan Grier

Released: 1984

Directed by: Norman Jewison

A Soldier's Story is a 1984 American drama film directed by Norman Jewison, based upon Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning Off Broadway production A Soldier's Play. A black officer is sent ...more
Miracle at St. Anna is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Kerry Washington, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Turturro

Released: 2008

Directed by: Spike Lee

Miracle at St. Anna is a 2008 American–Italian epic film set primarily in Italy during German-occupied Europe in WWII. Directed by Spike Lee, the film is based on the eponymous 2003 novel by ...more
Courage Under Fire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Meg Ryan, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington

Released: 1996

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Courage Under Fire is a 1996 film directed by Edward Zwick, and starring Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips and Matt Damon.
Home of the Brave is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Lloyd Bridges, Jeff Corey, Frank Lovejoy

Released: 1949

Directed by: Mark Robson

Home of the Brave is a 1949 film based on a 1946 play by Arthur Laurents. It was directed by Mark Robson and stars Douglas Dick, Jeff Corey, Lloyd Bridges, Frank Lovejoy, James Edwards, and ...more
Buffalo Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Danny Glover, Clifton Powell, Bob Gunton

Released: 1997

Directed by: Charles Haid

Buffalo Soldiers is a 1997 TNT television film starring Danny Glover, Mykelti Williamson, Tom Bower, Timothy Busfield, Clifton Powell, and Bob Gunton. It features the Buffalo Soldiers, black ...more
Black Brigade is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Black Brigade Stephen Boyd, Robert Hooks, Susan Oliver

Released: 1970

Directed by: George McCowan

Black Brigade (a.k.a. Carter's Army) is a 1970 war drama directed by George McCowan. Capt. Beau Carter (Stephen Boyd) is put in charge of a squad of all black troops charged with the mission of ...more
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1987

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more
Crimson Tide is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Denzel Washington, Viggo Mortensen, Gene Hackman

Released: 1995

Directed by: Tony Scott

Crimson Tide is a 1995 American submarine film directed by Tony Scott. On a U.S. nuclear missile sub, a young First Officer (Denzel Washington) stages a mutiny, to prevent his trigger happy ...more
The Manchurian Candidate... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Vera Farmiga

Released: 2004

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Manchurian Candidate is a 2004 American thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. The film, based on Richard Condon's 1959 novel of the same name and a re-imagining of the previous 1962 ...more
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

Released: 2008

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

The Hurt Locker is a 2008 American film about a three-man Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the conflict in Iraq. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay ...more
Hamburger Hill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

Released: 1987

Directed by: John Irvin

Hamburger Hill is a 1987 American film about the actual assault of the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, part of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles', on a well-fortified ...more
Overlord is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Black War Movies
Wyatt Russell, Jacob Anderson, Iain De Caestecker

Released: 2018

Directed by: Julius Avery

Overlord is a 2018 American horror film directed by Julius Avery. In 1944, two American paratroopers are going down over Normandy in the midst of the D-Day invasion, and they soon discover that ...more