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The Best Modern Black & White Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated January 12, 2020 919 votes 169 voters 5.2k views 36 items

List Rules Movies produced after 1970 only. Vote up the best modern black and white films.

While they may seem like a thing of the past, many directors opted for a throwback aesthetic in these recent black and white films. Black and white may be used to capture the feel of a previous era, as it was for the award winning 2011 silent film homage The Artist. Other newer black and white movies may have used the color scheme to convey a certain mood or make a point metaphorically. Whatever the intent behind filming in black and white, this list contains a wide variety of cinematic experiences that simply lack some color! 
 

What are some modern black and white movies? Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, is one of the most famous and acclaimed black and white films of all time. Kevin Smith became everyone's favorite indie film maker when his black and white comedy, Clerks, premiered in 1994. Other newer black and white movies include Francis Ha, Sin City, and Ed Wood.
 

Which modern black and white movie is your favorite? Give the best films a thumbs up and add anything you feel is missing. 

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list ordered by
1
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

Released: 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more
2
American History X is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye

American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more
3
Sin City is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke

Released: 2005

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Sin City is a 2005 American neo-noir thriller anthology film written, produced, and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It is based on Miller's eponymous graphic novel Sin City. Much ...more
4
Clerks is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier

Released: 1994

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Clerks is a 1994 American black-and-white comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also appears in the film as Silent Bob. Starring Brian O'Halloran as Dante Hicks and Jeff Anderson ...more
5
Young Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Gene Hackman, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder

Released: 1974

Directed by: Mel Brooks

Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The supporting ...more
6
Pleasantville is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Reese Witherspoon, Paul Walker, Tobey Maguire

Released: 1998

Directed by: Gary Ross

Pleasantville is a 1998 American fantasy comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Gary Ross. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J. T. Walsh, and ...more
7
The Artist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, James Cromwell

Released: 2011

Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius

The Artist is a 2011 French romantic comedy-drama in the style of a black-and-white silent film. It was written, directed, and co-edited by Michel Hazanavicius, produced by Thomas Langmann and ...more
8
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Johnny Depp, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray

Released: 1994

Directed by: Tim Burton

Ed Wood is a 1994 American period comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp as cult filmmaker Ed Wood. The film concerns the period in Wood's life when he ...more
9
The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft

Released: 1980

Directed by: David Lynch

The Elephant Man is a 1980 American-British biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, ...more
10
Frances Ha is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen

Released: 2012

Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Frances Ha is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by Noah Baumbach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig also plays the title role. The film premiered at the Telluride Film ...more
11
Frankenweenie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Winona Ryder, Elle Fanning, Christopher Lee

Released: 2012

Directed by: Tim Burton

Frankenweenie is a 2012 American 3D stop-motion-animated fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. It is a remake of Burton's 1984 short film of the same name and is a parody of and a homage to the ...more
12
Good Night, and Good Luc... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

Released: 2005

Directed by: George Clooney

Good Night, and Good Luck. is a 2005 American drama film directed by George Clooney and starring David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels. The movie was ...more
13
The Lighthouse is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman

Released: 2019

Directed by: Robert Eggers

The Lighthouse is a 2019 black-and-white psychological horror film directed by Robert Eggers. The story of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious ...more
14
Coffee and Cigarettes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi

Released: 2003

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

Coffee and Cigarettes is the title of three short films and a 2003 feature film by independent director Jim Jarmusch. The film consists of 11 short stories which share coffee and cigarettes as a ...more
15
Nebraska is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk

Released: 2013

Directed by: Alexander Payne

Nebraska is a 2013 American comedy-drama black-and-white road film directed by Alexander Payne and written by Bob Nelson. It stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, and Bob Odenkirk. The film ...more
16
Sin City: A Dame to Kill... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson

Released: 2014

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

This film is a 2014 American neo-noir action film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, based on the book by Miller. Some of Sin City's most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few ...more
17
Natural Born Killers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 1994

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Natural Born Killers is a 1994 American film directed by Oliver Stone starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was released in the ...more
18
Ida is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Joanna Kulig, Jerzy Trela, Agata Kulesza

Released: 2013

Directed by: Paweł Pawlikowski

Ida is a 2013 Polish drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. Set in Poland in 1962, a novice nun about to take her vows must first spend time with her much less conservative aunt, and in the ...more
19
Pi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell

Released: 1998

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in his directorial debut. The film earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at ...more
20
The Man Who Wasn't There... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Scarlett Johansson, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

The Man Who Wasn't There is a 2001 British-American neo-noir film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Billy Bob Thornton stars in the title role. Also featured are Tony ...more
21
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Sean Penn, Catherine Deneuve, Iggy Pop

Released: 2007

Directed by: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud

Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian-American animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent ...more
22
A Girl Walks Home Alone ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains

Released: 2014

Directed by: Ana Lily Amirpour

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a 2014 American vampire western film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Arash (Arash Marandi) is caring for his addict father and being harrassed by a drug dealer ...more
23
Dead Man is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Johnny Depp, Steve Buscemi, John Hurt

Released: 1995

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

This film is a 1995 American Western film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Billy Bob Thornton, Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover, John Hurt, Michael Wincott, Lance ...more
24
Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Meryl Streep, Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

Released: 1979

Directed by: Woody Allen

Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen and produced by Charles H. Joffe. The screenplay was written by Allen and Marshall Brickman. Allen co-stars as a ...more
25
Following is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Modern Black & White Movies
Emma Thomas, Barbara Stepansky, John Nolan

Released: 1998

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

ollowing is a 1998 British neo-noir drama thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It tells the story of a young man who follows strangers around the streets of London and is ...more