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The Most Powerful Movies About Racism

Updated January 6, 2021 12.9k votes 2.3k voters 296.7k views142 items

List RulesMovies with racism as a central theme.

Here is 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. 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.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best racism movies?", "What is the greatest racism movie of all time?",  and other "films like Mississippi Burning." This is because it is far more than the top 25 most important films on race. These films are also different than unintentionally racist films as they show the ugliness of racism.

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 Netflix or other streaming service, these good racism movies can be enjoyed no matter what.

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  • The Color Purple1
    376
    82

    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released1985

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • To Kill a Mockingbird2
    379
    86

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

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  • The Help3
    334
    72

    The Help

    Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain

    Released2011

    Directed byTate Taylor

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  • The Green Mile4
    362
    84

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • 12 Years a Slave5
    273
    57

    12 Years a Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender

    Released2013

    Directed bySteve McQueen

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  • Mississippi Burning6
    303
    71

    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman

    Released1988

    Directed byAlan Parker

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    #520 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#191 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • Schindler's List7
    353
    96

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Remember the Titans8
    352
    96

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Released2000

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

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  • American History X9
    489
    159

    American History X

    Edward Norton, Edward Furlong

    Released1998

    Directed byTony Kaye

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  • Hotel Rwanda10
    155
    19

    Hotel Rwanda

    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2004

    Directed byTerry George

    Watch Hotel Rwanda now! http://amzn.to/1U5Htz3
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  • A Time to Kill11
    257
    71

    A Time to Kill

    Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1996

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

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    #245 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#189 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • The Hate U Give12
    162
    24

    The Hate U Give

    Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall

    Released2018

    Directed byGeorge Tillman Jr.

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    #93 of 170 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#67 of 96 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

  • Glory13
    217
    53

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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    #2 of 28 Civil War Movies List#18 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • Malcolm X14
    228
    66

    Malcolm X

    Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton

    Released1992

    Directed bySpike Lee

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    #149 of 275 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#4 of 66 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

  • Get Out15
    154
    28

    Get Out

    Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener

    Released2017

    Directed byJordan Peele

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  • Django Unchained16
    259
    96

    Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • If Beale Street Could Talk17
    127
    21

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    Kiki Layne, Stephan James

    Released2018

    Directed byBarry Jenkins

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  • Green Book18
    142
    31

    Green Book

    Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali

    Released2018

    Directed byPeter Farrelly

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    Who Was Don Shirley, The Virtuosic Pianist At The Center Of 'Green Book'?#46 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 4219
    145
    35

    42

    Chadwick Boseman, Nicole Beharie

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

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    #29 of 204 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#14 of 150 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • Do the Right Thing20
    163
    52

    Do the Right Thing

    Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence

    Released1989

    Directed bySpike Lee

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    #19 of 63 Movies Set in Brooklyn#24 of 28 28 Great Films That Didn't Win Oscars

  • The Butler21
    170
    57

    The Butler

    Mariah Carey, Robin Williams

    Released2013

    Directed byLee Daniels

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  • Amistad22
    145
    45

    Amistad

    Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1997

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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    #108 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#266 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • Lean on Me23
    147
    48

    Lean on Me

    Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd

    Released1989

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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    #43 of 85 The Greatest African American Biopics#8 of 40 The Most Inspirational Black Movies

  • Gran Torino24
    168
    72

    Gran Torino

    Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker

    Released2008

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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    #44 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys#30 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • In the Heat of the Night25
    82
    23

    In the Heat of the Night

    Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger

    Released1967

    Directed byNorman Jewison

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