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The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women 

Ranker Film
Updated February 21, 2020 3.2k votes 524 voters 38.5k views 45 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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#149 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #127 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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#60 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #45 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #55 of 266 The Best Ensemble Movies

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 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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#351 of 373 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #158 of 266 The Best Ensemble Movies

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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#494 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #1 of 54 The Best Black Romance Movies, Ranked

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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#22 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #178 of 344 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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#79 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #130 of 263 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals #8 of 54 The Best Biopics About Women

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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#46 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked Every Song in Dreamgirls, Ranked by Singabilitylisted 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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#3 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #38 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time After A Contentious Six-Month Production, It's A Miracle 'Coming To America' Even Exists

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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#48 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #242 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #9 of 54 The Best Black Romance Movies, Ranked

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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#272 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #174 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest 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
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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#762 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #49 of 84 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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#315 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #157 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted 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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#45 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #175 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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#78 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #18 of 151 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Madelisted 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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#366 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #88 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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#2 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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#36 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #232 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #374 of 1,015 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

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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#256 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #119 of 151 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

22
A Fall from Grace is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women
Crystal Fox, Phylicia Rashad, Bresha Webb

Released: 2020

Directed by: Tylery Perry

Tyler Perry's A Fall from Grace is a 2020 American thriller film directed by Tyler Perry. A longtime upstanding citizen of her Virginia community, Grace Waters (Crystal Fox) feel invigorated by ...more
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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#288 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #102 of 172 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time The Most Memorable Quotes From 'The Photograph'

24
Clemency is listed (or ranked) 24 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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#20 of 40 The Best Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winners #145 of 390 The Best Movies Directed by Women #71 of 216 The Best R-Rated Drama Movies

25
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 25 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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#291 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #140 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn