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The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women 

Ranker Film
Updated July 13, 2020 3.3k votes 538 voters 40.1k views 47 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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1
Hidden Figures is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
DrewMason added Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Released: 2016

Directed by: Theodore Melfi

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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2
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
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 #171 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

3
The Help is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing 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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#59 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #303 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #90 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

4
Waiting to Exhale is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Kelly Preston

Released: 1995

Directed by: Forest Whitaker

Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Forest Whitaker, based on Terry McMillan's novel of the same name. The film centers around four unique women and how they ...more

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#26 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #225 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #366 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

5
Love & Basketball is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan

Released: 2000

Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood

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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#11 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #366 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #290 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

6
Set It Off is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 1996

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

Set It Off is a 1996 American 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 Kimberly ...more

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#5 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #987 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #198 of 321 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

7
What's Love Got to Do wi... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Khandi Alexander

Released: 1993

Directed by: Brian Gibson

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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#75 of 210 The Best Movies About Music #18 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #21 of 39 The Most Inspirational Black Movies

8
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx

Released: 2006

Directed by: Bill Condon

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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Every Song in Dreamgirls, Ranked by Singability #89 of 210 The Best Movies About Musiclisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Coming to America is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Landis

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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After A Contentious Six-Month Production, It's A Miracle 'Coming To America' Even Exists #6 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #33 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
Poetic Justice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added Janet Jackson, Keanu Reeves, Tupac Shakur

Released: 1993

Directed by: John Singleton

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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11
How Stella Got Her Groov... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Danny Glover

Released: 1998

Directed by: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

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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#44 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #340 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #263 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies

12
Sister Act is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel

Released: 1992

Directed by: Emile Ardolino

Sister Act is a 1992 American musical comedy film directed by Emile Ardolino and written by Joseph Howard, with musical arrangements by Marc Shaiman. It stars Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer ...more

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#45 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #173 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #144 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

13
The Secret Life of Bees ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Alicia Keys, Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah

Released: 2008

Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood

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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#117 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #116 of 154 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made #78 of 116 The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test

14
Brown Sugar is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Queen Latifah, Mos Def, Method Man

Released: 2002

Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa

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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#39 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #734 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #47 of 86 The Funniest Black Movies Ever Made

15
Crooklyn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
RuPaul, Spike Lee, Alfre Woodard

Released: 1994

Directed by: Spike Lee

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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#89 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #336 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

16
The Wiz is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor

Released: 1978

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

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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#55 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #270 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #98 of 201 The Best Comedy Movies Of The 1970s

17
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
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 #13 of 234 The Best Movies Based On True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
The Preacher's Wife is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, Lionel Richie

Released: 1996

Directed by: Penny Marshall

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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#63 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #257 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #90 of 109 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

19
Love Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Lisa Nicole Carson

Released: 1997

Directed by: Theodore Witcher

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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#42 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #3 of 54 The Best Black Romance Movies, Ranked #23 of 58 The Best Sundance Audience Award Winners

20
Boomerang is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Halle Berry, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock

Released: 1992

Directed by: Reginald Hudlin

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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21
Their Eyes Were Watching... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, Michael Ealy

Released: 2005

Directed by: Darnell Martin

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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#163 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #741 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #53 of 54 The Best Black Romance Movies, Ranked

22
Lady Sings the Blues is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams

Released: 1972

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie

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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#96 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #218 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #53 of 123 The Most Rewatchable Movie Musicals

23
The Photograph is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
The Photograph Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Chelsea Peretti

Released: 2020

Directed by: Stella Meghie

The Photograph is a 2020 American romantic drama film written and directed by Stella Meghie. When famed photographer Christina Eames unexpectedly dies, her estranged daughter Mae finds herself ...more

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The Most Memorable Quotes From 'The Photograph' #659 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #139 of 172 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

24
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
NickKing added 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

25
Clemency is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Alfre Woodard, Richard Schiff, Danielle Brooks

Released: 2019

Directed by: Chinonye Chukwu

Clemency is a 2019 American drama film directed by Chinonye Chukwu. A Death Row prison warden, Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) makes a connection to the prisoner she is sanctioned to

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