Entertainment

The Most Powerful Movies About Racism 

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Updated December 26, 2019 13.1k votes 2.1k voters 292.8k views 132 items

List Rules Movies with racism as a central theme.

A list of the best racism movies ever made, ranked by movie fans with film trailers when available. This racism movie list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about racism are at the top of the list. If there are any great movies about racism you believe we missed, please feel free to add them to the list yourself. The films on this list are the most famous racism movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already. Click on these racism movie titles for more information about the films.

List items include This Is England, The Cotton Club and more.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best racism movies?" and "What is the greatest racism movie of all time?"

Various bits of information are included with these popular racism movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. Whether you're watching these racism movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these good racism movies can be enjoyed no matter what.
list ordered by
1
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1985

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more

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#15 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies #6 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #127 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

2
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
ConnorRichardson added Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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#4 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Quotes That'll Change How You Thinklisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
American History X is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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

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#206 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #216 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

4
The Help is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
but chickens double d added Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 2011

Directed by: Tate Taylor

The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about ...more

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#82 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #265 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

5
The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Frank Darabont

The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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#13 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #48 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #15 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

6
Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington

Released: 2000

Directed by: Boaz Yakin

Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of ...more

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#810 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #358 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #74 of 125 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

7
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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

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#508 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #2 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

Released: 1988

Directed by: Alan Parker

Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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#68 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #16 of 320 The Best Political Films Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
msmapo added Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch

Released: 2013

Directed by: Steve McQueen

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free ...more

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#22 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #78 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
The Hate U Give is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie

Released: 2018

Directed by: George Tillman Jr.

The Hate U Give is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by George Tillman Jr., based on the novel by Angie Thomas. Constantly switching between the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where ...more

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#362 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #9 of 14 14 Teen Movies That Definitely Made You Cry #13 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens

11
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1996

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more

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#282 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #25 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #282 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

12
Hotel Rwanda is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
fullepsonline added Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

Released: 2004

Directed by: Terry George

Watch Hotel Rwanda now! http://amzn.to/1U5Htz3 Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American historical drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. It stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo ...more

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#30 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #125 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #94 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

13
Glory is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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

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#554 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #74 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
If Beale Street Could Ta... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo

Released: 2018

Directed by: Barry Jenkins

If Beale Street Could Talk is a 2018 American drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, based on the novel by James Baldwin. A woman in Harlem (Kiki Layne) desperately scrambles to prove her ...more

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#332 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #50 of 78 The Best Period Romance Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Get Out is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
CrystalPayne added Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams

Directed by: Jordan Peele

Get Out is a 2017 American horror film directed by Jordan Peele. A young African-American (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness ...more

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#232 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time Things You Didn't Know About The Making Of Jordan Peele's 'Get Out'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela

Released: 1992

Directed by: Spike Lee

Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical drama film about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee. The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his ...more

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#2 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #97 of 236 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #2 of 27 The Greatest African American Biopics

17
Green Book is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini

Released: 2018

Directed by: Peter Farrelly

Green Book is a 2018 comedy-drama film directed by Peter Farrelly. A bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) at a New York nightclub takes a job as a pianist's (Mahershala Ali) chauffeur during a tour in the ...more

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#35 of 205 The Best Movies About Music Who Was Don Shirley, The Virtuosic Pianist At The Center Of 'Green Book'?listed on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

18
Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
PeteBoyle added Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to ...more

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#63 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #515 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

19
The Butler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
ConnorRichardson added Mariah Carey, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

Released: 2013

Directed by: Lee Daniels

The Butler is a 2013 American historical drama film directed and produced by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong. Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest ...more

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#476 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #139 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #7 of 39 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

20
42 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
bdoctrow added Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Nicole Beharie

Released: 2013

Directed by: Brian Helgeland

42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about the racial integration of American professional baseball by player Jackie Robinson, who wore jersey ...more

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#167 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #9 of 27 The Greatest African American Biopics

21
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker, Scott Eastwood

Released: 2008

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Eastwood's ...more

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#38 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #40 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

22
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee

Released: 1989

Directed by: Spike Lee

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama hood film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, who also played the part of Mookie in the film. Other members of the cast include Danny ...more

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#9 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #140 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

23
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin

Released: 1997

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen taken and managed ...more

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#22 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies #535 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #50 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

24
Lean on Me is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd, Regina Taylor

Released: 1989

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

Lean on Me is a 1989 dramatized biographical film written by Michael Schiffer, directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Morgan Freeman. Lean on Me is loosely based on the story of Joe Louis ...more

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#21 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #78 of 179 The Best Coming of Age Movies

25
BlacKkKlansman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier

Released: 2018

Directed by: Spike Lee

BlacKkKlansman is a 2018 American crime drama film directed by Spike Lee, based on the book by Ron Stallworth. An African American detective (John David Washington) in Colorado Springs, Colorado ...more

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#29 of 105 The Best New Comedy Movies of the Last Few Years How A Black Cop Actually Infiltrated The KKK In The '70s, According To Ron Stallworth Himselflisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever