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The Best Martin Luther King Jr. Movies, Ranked

Updated October 13, 2018 224 votes 53 voters 2.8k views11 items

List RulesOnly movies that feature Martin Luther King, Jr. as a main character.

From documentaries to biopics, we're ranking the best movies about Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights activist has been depicted numerous times in film and TV, but this list only looks at movies where Martin Luther King, Jr. is the central character. What is the best MLK movie?

In one of his greatest roles, David Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Oscar nominated movie Selma. Some good MLK documentaries include In the Hour of Chaos, King in the Wilderness, and Bringing King to China.

Vote up the best movies about MLK, and feel free to add your favorites if they're missing from the list. 

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  • 1
    Selma
    42
    2

    Selma

    Oprah Winfrey, Common

    Released2014

    Directed byAva DuVernay

    Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Selma, Lord, Selma
    34
    5

    Selma, Lord, Selma

    Jurnee Smollett, Clifton Powell

    Released1999

    Directed byCharles Burnett

    Selma, Lord, Selma is a 1999 American film based on true events that happened in March 1965,... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK
    21
    7

    Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK

    Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK is a television documentary film that reveals the story of... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    King in the Wilderness
    15
    5

    King in the Wilderness

    Martin Luther King Jr

    Released2018

    Directed byPeter W. Kunhardt

    King in the Wilderness is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Peter W. Kunhardt. A... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

    Released1970

    Directed bySidney Lumet, Joseph L. Mankiewicz

    King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery To Memphis is a 1970 American documentary film biography... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Boycott
    10
    2

    Boycott

    Terrence Howard, Jeffrey Wright

    Released2001

    Directed byClark Johnson

    Boycott is a 2001 drama film about Black Americans who boycotted the public buses during the... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Bringing King to China
    2
    5

    Bringing King to China

    Bringing King to China is a 2011 documentary film by Kevin McKiernan. The cinematographers... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Our Friend, Martin
    16
    14

    Our Friend, Martin

    John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey

    Released1999

    Directed byRobert Brousseau, Vincenzo Trippetti

    Our Friend, Martin is a 1999 animated children's educational film about Martin Luther King,... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306
    0
    7

    The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306

    The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 is a 2008 documentary short film created to honor... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    In the Hour of Chaos
    8
    9

    In the Hour of Chaos

    Jazz Walker, Lynnette Holmes

    Released2016

    Directed byBayer Mack

    In the Hour of Chaos is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Bayer Mack. Set against a... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    I Am Curious (Yellow)
    0
    6

    I Am Curious (Yellow)

    Sven Wollter, Börje Ahlstedt

    Released1967

    Directed byVilgot Sjöman

    I Am Curious (Yellow) is a 1967 Swedish drama film written and directed by Vilgot Sjöman,... more on Wikipedia