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Well-Made Movies About Slavery  

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List Rules Feature films that portray slavery as a main theme

A list of slave movies, ranked by their quality and storytelling. These are the top movies that deal with the issue of slaves, the slave trade, and slavery in general. What are the best slavery movies of all time? If you believe we left something off of this list,  please feel free to add it yourself. Slavery is among the most despicable institutions of any society that supports it. The United States came close to permanently splitting in two because of slavery. It's a delicate subject that deserves attention, so we can learn from history and never fall into it again. These movies handle slavery with aplomb (sometimes metaphorically) and are definitely worth watching.
list ordered by
1
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
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
2
Roots is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
DarrenDesepoli added Louis Gossett, Jr., LeVar Burton

 

 

 

This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries format and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history. Based on the ...more
3
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin
Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen taken and managed ...more
4
Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
carlybobarly added Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to ...more
5
Glory is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick
Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more
6
Rosewood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Malibu369 added Jon Voight, Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames
Rosewood is a 1997 film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 in Florida, when a white mob takes out blacks and destroyed their town, the film introduces ...more
7
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen
Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more
8
Mandingo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Sylvester Stallone, Ken Norton, Laura Misch
Mandingo is an American motion picture released by Paramount Pictures in 1975. It is based on the novel Mandingo by Kyle Onstott, and on the play Mandingo by Jack Kirkland. The film was directed ...more
9
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Virginia Grey, Margarita Fischer, Arthur Edmund Carewe
Uncle Tom's Cabin is a silent film directed by Harry A. Pollard and released by Universal Pictures. The film is based on the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin written by Harriett Beecher Stowe and was the ...more
10
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more
11
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more
12
Queen: The Story of an America... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
annsmithcole added
Queen: The Story of an American Family is a 1993 partly factual historical novel by Alex Haley and David Stevens. It brought back to the consciousness of many white Americans the plight of the ...more
13
The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King
The Birth of a Nation is a 2016 American period drama film based on the story of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. The film is ...more
14
Amazing Grace is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
stephaniebabatola added Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Gambon, Ioan Gruffudd
Amazing Grace is a 2006 American-British biographical drama film directed by Michael Apted, about the campaign against slave trade in the British Empire, led by William Wilberforce, who was ...more
15
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life ...more
16
Harriet is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn
Harriet is a 2019 American biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons, based on the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) escapes slavery and leads hundreds of ...more
17
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more
18
I Am Slave is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
darren-bell added I Am Slave Lubna Azabal, Nonso Anozie, Isaach de Bankolé
I Am Slave is a 2010 television film produced for Channel 4 on the story of one woman's fight for freedom from modern-day slavery. It premiered on Channel 4 on 30 August 2010. The movie is ...more
19
Free State of Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali
Free State of Jones is a 2016 American film inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his armed revolt against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi, throughout the American Civil War. ...more
20
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li
Released: 2005 Memoirs of a Geisha is a 2005 American epic film adaptation of the novel of the same name, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Spyglass Entertainment and by Douglas Wick's ...more
21
Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Harvey Korman, Paul Winfield, Arthur O'Connell
Huckleberry Finn is the 1974 musical film version of Mark Twain's American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The movie was produced by Reader's Digest and Arthur P. Jacobs, directed ...more
22
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field
Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The ...more
23
Sally Hemings: An American Sca... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
annsmithcole added Sam Neill, Diahann Carroll, Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Sally Hemings: An American Scandal is a 2000 film written by Tina Andrews and directed by Charles Haid.
24
The Prince of Egypt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Val Kilmer
The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated epic musical biblical film and the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures. The film is an adaptation of ...more
25
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more