Entertainment

The Most Woke Movies of All Time 

Ranker Film
Updated May 18, 2020 1.5k votes 203 voters 8.6k views 52 items

List Rules Movies that focus on social and racial justice issues.

The term woke is relatively new to our vernacular, but socially conscious movies that bring awareness to issues have been around since the dawn of the cinema. Thanks to a growing number of diverse writers/directors such as Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, and Ryan Coogler to name a few; we are seeing some of the best woke films be on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Mind opening films that are worth talking about, that address issues we need to be talking about is a perfect recipe to raise awareness to any and all social issues. The recent box office success of good woke movies shows that filmgoers want to see more of them and the growing number of avenues to exhibit these films (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) gives the public more access than ever to do so! Don't see your top woke movie? Feel free to add it to this list of woke movies.

What are the most woke films of all time? Let us know by voting up your favorite movies for the woke!

list ordered by
1
Get Out is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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Things You Didn't Know About The Making Of Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' #253 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

Released: 2008

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more

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The Most Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About WALL-E #66 of 601 The Best Animated Films Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Hotel Rwanda is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

Released: 2004

Directed by: Terry George

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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#101 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #40 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #21 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

4
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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#4 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #165 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #170 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
BlacKkKlansman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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#602 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #18 of 105 The Best New Comedy Movies of the Last Few Yearslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Julius Erving

Released: 1993

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by ...more

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#570 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #52 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreakslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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#161 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #22 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant

Released: 1967

Directed by: Norman Jewison

In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 American mystery drama film directed by Norman Jewison. It is based on John Ball's 1965 novel of the same name which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black ...more

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#169 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,202 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Hidden Figures is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Released: 2016

Directed by: Theodore Melfi

Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi, based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The story of a team of female African-American ...more

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#353 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #358 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #93 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

10
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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#28 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #309 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

11
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Ryan Coogler, based on true events. The story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, ...more
12
Soylent Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
usignola added Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Dick Van Patten

Released: 1973

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and, in his final film, Edward G. Robinson. The film ...more

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#73 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #1,033 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #68 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

13
Sorry to Bother You is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler

Released: 2018

Directed by: Boots Riley

Sorry to Bother You is a 2018 American sci-fi fantasy comedy film directed by Boots Riley. In an alternate reality of Oakland, California, a young African-American telemarketer (Lakeith ...more
14
Moonlight is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe

Released: 2016

Directed by: Barry Jenkins

Moonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play. A chronicle of the childhood, ...more

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#205 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #130 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
The Help is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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#59 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #299 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #41 of 368 The Best Movies Based On Books

16
Thelma & Louise is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
usignola added Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis

Released: 1991

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American film, written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, two friends who embark on a road ...more

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Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Thelma & Louise' #102 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
Mean Girls is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
usignola added Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried

Released: 2004

Directed by: Mark Waters

Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film. Mark Waters directed, and Tina Fey wrote the screenplay, which is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, ...more

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24 'Mean Girls' Memes That Are So Fetch #198 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #94 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

18
Selma is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 2014

Directed by: Ava DuVernay

Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and ...more

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#600 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #10 of 43 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o

Released: 2018

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics character, directed by Ryan Coogler. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) ...more

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20
If Beale Street Could Ta... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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
21
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
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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#135 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #83 of 162 The Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time #363 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

22
Milk is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

Released: 2008

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, ...more

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#122 of 140 The Most Awkward Movies to Watch with Your Parents #94 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 1991

Directed by: John Singleton

Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama film directed by John Singleton. Three young men weave in and out of violence, relationships, and racial issues in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los

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#1 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #128 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #162 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

24
The Banker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
The Banker Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Mackie

Released: 2019

Directed by: George Nolfi

The Banker is a 2019 American drama film written and directed by George Nolfi. Two African American entrepreneurs, Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) attempt to ...more

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#674 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #164 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #42 of 43 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

25
Straight Outta Compton ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Woke Movies of All Time
O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell

Released: 2015

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical film directed by F. Gary Gray. The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and ...more

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#305 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #51 of 210 The Best Movies About Music #70 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time