Films The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women  

Ranker Film
2.5k votes 417 voters 25.8k views 39 items

Whether they are fictional or based on real people, some of the most engaging film characters are strong black women. The top movies for black women feature stories about love, careers, and survival. This is a list of black women movies featuring everything from Waiting to Exhale to Beasts of the Southern Wild to What's Love Got to Do with It.

What movies will you find on this list of the best black woman films? Literature fans might vote The Color Purple to the top. Based on Alice Walker's book of the same name, this Steven Spielberg film tells the tale of Celie Harris and the horrifying oppression black women faced in the early 20th century. The movie was nominated for an incredible 10 Academy Awards. Beloved is another great movie for black women. How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a great movie about female empowerment and embracing life. Other good films featured on this black woman movies list include The Wiz, Coming to America, and Lady Sings the Blues.

Which of these movies for black women is the best of the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

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The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
The Color Purple Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne 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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Hidden Figures is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
DrewMason added Hidden Figures Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe

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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Set It Off is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Set It Off Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, Jada Pinkett Smith Set It Off is a 1996 American crime action film directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford. The film stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and ...more

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What's Love Got to Do with It is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
What's Love Got to Do with It Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Khandi Alexander What's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biographical film directed by Brian Gibson, loosely based on the life of Tina Turner. It stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence ...more

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The Help is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added The Help Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard 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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Waiting to Exhale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Waiting to Exhale Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Kelly Preston Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Forest Whitaker and starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. The film was adapted from the 1992 novel of the same name by ...more

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Love & Basketball is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Love & Basketball Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film tells the story of Quincy McCall and Monica Wright, two next-door neighbors in Los ...more

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Poetic Justice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Poetic Justice Janet Jackson, Keanu Reeves, Tupac Shakur Poetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur with Regina King and Joe Torry. It was written and directed by John Singleton. The main character, Justice, ...more

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Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Dreamgirls Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx Dreamgirls is a 2006 American musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road ...more

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Coming to America is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Coming to America Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones Coming to America is a 1988 American comedy film directed by John Landis, and based on a story originally created by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the lead role. The film also co-stars ...more

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Sister Act is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Sister Act Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel Sister Act is a 1992 American comedy film released by Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Emile Ardolino, it features musical arrangements by Marc Shaiman and stars Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno lounge ...more

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How Stella Got Her Groove Back is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
How Stella Got Her Groove Back Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Danny Glover How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 romantic comedy film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, adapted from Terry McMillan's bestselling novel of the same title. The film stars Angela Bassett, ...more

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Brown Sugar is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Brown Sugar Queen Latifah, Mos Def, Method Man Brown Sugar is a 2002 American romantic comedy film written by Michael Elliott and Rick Famuyiwa, directed by Famuyiwa, and starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan. The film is a story of a ...more

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The Secret Life of Bees is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
The Secret Life of Bees Alicia Keys, Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah The Secret Life of Bees is a 2008 American drama film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Sue Monk Kidd. The film was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and produced by Will Smith, with ...more

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Crooklyn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Crooklyn RuPaul, Spike Lee, Alfre Woodard Crooklyn is a 1994 semi-autobiographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The film takes place in Brooklyn, New York and the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant during the summer of ...more

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The Preacher's Wife is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
The Preacher's Wife Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, Lionel Richie The Preacher's Wife is a 1996 Christmas romantic comedy-drama family film directed by Penny Marshall, and starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance. It is a remake of ...more

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The Wiz is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
The Wiz Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor The Wiz is a 1978 American musical adventure film produced in collaboration between Motown Productions and Universal Pictures, and released by Universal on October 24, 1978. A reimagining of L. ...more

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12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 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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Love Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Love Jones Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Lisa Nicole Carson Love Jones is a 1997 American romantic drama film written and directed by Theodore Witcher, in his feature film debut. It stars Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Bill Bellamy, and Lisa ...more

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Boomerang is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Boomerang Halle Berry, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock Boomerang is a 1992 American romantic comedy film directed by Reginald Hudlin. The film stars Eddie Murphy as Marcus Graham, a hotshot advertising executive who also happens to be an insatiable ...more

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Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Do the Right Thing Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, 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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Beloved is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Beloved Oprah Winfrey, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover Beloved is a 1998 American horror-drama film based on Toni Morrison's 1987 novel of the same name, directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, and Thandie Newton. The ...more

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Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Their Eyes Were Watching God Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, Michael Ealy Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American Broadcasting Company television movie aired on March 6, 2005 at 9 p.m. EDT based upon Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel of the same name. The film was ...more

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Imitation of Life is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Imitation of Life John Wayne, Lana Turner, Sandra Dee Imitation of Life is a 1959 American romantic drama film directed by Douglas Sirk, produced by Ross Hunter and released by Universal International, starring Lana Turner and John Gavin. It was ...more

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Crash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Crash Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris Crash is a 2004 ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described "passion ...more

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Lady Sings the Blues is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Lady Sings the Blues Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams Lady Sings the Blues is a 1972 American biographical drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie about jazz singer Billie Holiday loosely based on her 1956 autobiography which, in turn, took its ...more

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Ghost is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Ghost Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy/crime thriller film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn, and Whoopi Goldberg. It was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry ...more

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Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Jackie Brown Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino Jackie Brown is a 1997 crime drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1992 novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars ...more

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Hustle & Flow is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Hustle & Flow Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, Terrence Howard Hustle & Flow is a 2005 American independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain. It was released on July 22, 2005. Terrence ...more

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Mahogany is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Mahogany Diana Ross, Anthony Perkins, Billy Dee Williams Mahogany is a 1975 American romantic drama film directed by Berry Gordy and produced by Motown Productions. The Motown founder Gordy took over the film direction after British filmmaker Tony ...more

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Jungle Fever is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Jungle Fever Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah Jungle Fever is a 1991 American romance drama film written, produced, and directed by Spike Lee, starring Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra. It was Lee's fifth feature-length film. The film ...more

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Carmen Jones is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Carmen Jones Dorothy Dandridge, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte Carmen Jones is a 1954 American musical film starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Harry Kleiner is based on the libretto for ...more

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A Raisin in the Sun is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
A Raisin in the Sun Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett, Jr. A Raisin in the Sun is a 1961 drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn, and Louis Gossett, and adapted from the play of the same name by Lorraine ...more

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Monster's Ball is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Monster's Ball Halle Berry, Sean Combs, Heath Ledger Monster's Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by German-Swiss director Marc Forster starring Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton and Heath Ledger. The film tells the story of a poor ...more

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Cleopatra Jones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Cleopatra Jones Shelley Winters, Esther Rolle, Don Cornelius Cleopatra Jones is a 1973 blaxploitation action film starring Tamara Dobson.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Beasts of the Southern Wild Quvenzhané Wallis, Jay Oliver, Henry D. Coleman Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. After playing at ...more

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Sounder is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Sounder Sounder is a young adult novel by William H. Armstrong. It is the story of an African-American boy living with his sharecropper family. Although the family's difficulties increase when the ...more

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Middle of Nowhere is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Middle of Nowhere David Oyelowo, Sharon Lawrence, Omari Hardwick Middle of Nowhere is 2012 independent feature film written and directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick and Lorraine Toussaint. The film was the ...more

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Daughters of the Dust is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Daughters of the Dust Bahni Turpin, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, Cora Lee Day Daughters of the Dust is a 1991 independent film written, directed and produced by Julie Dash; it is the first feature film by an African-American woman distributed theatrically in the United ...more