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The Most Powerful Movies About Racism

Updated September 21, 2020 12.6k votes 2.2k voters 296.1k views137 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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  • 1
    The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released1985

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 2
    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    369
    86

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

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  • 3
    The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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    #18 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#551 of 714 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 4
    The Help is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    322
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    The Help

    Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain

    Released2011

    Directed byTate Taylor

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    #37 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books#224 of 457 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • 5
    12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    263
    57

    12 Years a Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender

    Released2013

    Directed bySteve McQueen

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    #162 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies#7 of 23 23 Disturbing, Brutal Movies Based on Real-Life Atrocities

  • 6
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    345
    94

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 7
    Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    342
    94

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Released2000

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

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  • 8
    Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman

    Released1988

    Directed byAlan Parker

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  • 9
    American History X is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
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    159

    American History X

    Edward Norton, Edward Furlong

    Released1998

    Directed byTony Kaye

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  • 10
    The Hate U Give is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    159
    22

    The Hate U Give

    Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall

    Released2018

    Directed byGeorge Tillman Jr.

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  • 11
    Hotel Rwanda is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    150
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    Hotel Rwanda

    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2004

    Directed byTerry George

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  • 12
    A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    245
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    A Time to Kill

    Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1996

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

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    #29 of 280 The Best Whodunit Movies#274 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 13
    Glory is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    210
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    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

  • 14
    Get Out is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    148
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    Get Out

    Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener

    Released2017

    Directed byJordan Peele

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  • 15
    Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    217
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    Malcolm X

    Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton

    Released1992

    Directed bySpike Lee

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    #4 of 42 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories#130 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 16
    Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    255
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    Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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    #74 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#528 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 17
    If Beale Street Could Talk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    121
    21

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    Kiki Layne, Stephan James

    Released2018

    Directed byBarry Jenkins

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  • 18
    Green Book is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    137
    31

    Green Book

    Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali

    Released2018

    Directed byPeter Farrelly

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  • 19
    42 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    139
    35

    42

    Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

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    #31 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#3 of 78 The All-Time Best Baseball Films

  • 20
    Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    158
    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#301 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 21
    The Butler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    163
    57

    The Butler

    Mariah Carey, Robin Williams

    Released2013

    Directed byLee Daniels

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    #626 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#17 of 29 The Greatest African American Biopics

  • 22
    Amistad is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    140
    45

    Amistad

    Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1997

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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    #271 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#242 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 23
    Lean on Me is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    142
    48

    Lean on Me

    Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd

    Released1989

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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    #9 of 40 The Most Inspirational Black Movies#32 of 112 The Best Inspirational Movies

  • 24
    Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    167
    70

    Gran Torino

    Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker

    Released2008

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 25
    In the Heat of the Night is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Powerful Movies About Racism
    79
    23

    In the Heat of the Night

    Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger

    Released1967

    Directed byNorman Jewison

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