films 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.
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12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
12 Years a Slave Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was ...more

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Roots is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Roots 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
538 144
Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
carlybobarly added Django Unchained Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained is a 2012 western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

4
442 104
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Amistad 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 abducted for the ...more

5
332 87
Glory is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick Glory is a 1989 American drama war film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, ...more

6
226 63
Rosewood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Malibu369 added Rosewood Jon Voight, Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames Rosewood is a 1997 film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a white mob killed blacks and destroyed their town, the film ...more

7
186 73
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Gladiator 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
156 54
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Braveheart 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

9
173 89
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Spartacus 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

10
199 109
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Gone with the Wind 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

11
164 63
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Uncle Tom's Cabin 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

12
97 49
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added The Ten Commandments 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

13
188 67
Mandingo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Mandingo 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

14
84 28
Amazing Grace is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
stephaniebabatola added Amazing Grace 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
90 40
Roots: The Gift is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
DarrenDesepoli added Roots: The Gift Louis Gossett, Jr., LeVar Burton

 

 

 

Roots: The Gift is a 1988 television film. It is the third installment of the Roots series, which traces the maternal family history of African American author Alex Haley, starting with his ...more

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Queen: The Story of an America... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
annsmithcole added Queen: The Story of an American Family 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

17
127 101
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Planet of the Apes Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Giamatti Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Estella ...more

18
84 52
Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Huckleberry Finn 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

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54 32
Sally Hemings: An American Sca... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
annsmithcole added Sally Hemings: An American Scandal 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.

20
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Goodbye Uncle Tom is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
PeteBoyle added Goodbye Uncle Tom Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi

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30 13
I Am Slave is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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90 57
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Memoirs of a Geisha 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

23
37 43
Bicentennial Man is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Bicentennial Man Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt Bicentennial Man is a 1999 American science fiction family comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams. Based on the novel The Positronic Man, co-written by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, ...more

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38 27
Logan's Run is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
zxray added Logan's Run Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov, Jenny Agutter Logan's Run is a 1976 American science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov. ...more

25
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The Journey of August King is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Clifanovich added The Journey of August King Thandie Newton, Maya Angelou, Sam Waterston The Journey of August King is a 1996 American drama film directed by John Duigan. It stars Jason Patric and Thandie Newton.

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Drum is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
ErlingStoehr added Drum Taye Diggs, Jason Flemyng, Gabriel Mann Drum is a 2004 film based on the life of South African investigative journalist Henry Nxumalo, who worked for the popular Drum magazine, called "the first black lifestyle magazine in ...more

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16 13
Sansho the Bailiff is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
MiguelT.Quiroga added Sansho the Bailiff Kinuyo Tanaka, Kyōko Kagawa, Eitarō Shindō Sansho the Bailiff is a 1954 Japanese period film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi. Based on a short story of the same name by Mori Ōgai, it tells the story of two aristocratic children sold into ...more

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The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
RJZTV added The Birth of a Nation Lillian Gish, John Ford, Raoul Walsh The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith co-wrote the ...more

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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
PeteBoyle added Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom Paolo Bonacelli, Caterina Boratto, Hélène Surgère Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, commonly referred to as simply Salò, is a 1975 Italian-French art film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, with uncredited writing ...more

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Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Ben-Hur 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

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Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Ben-Hur Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell Ben-Hur is a 2016 American historical epic film directed by Timur Bekmambetov. It is the fifth film adaptation of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. It has been termed ...more

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The Prince of Egypt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
The Prince of Egypt 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

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Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Lincoln 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

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The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
The Birth of a Nation 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

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Free State of Jones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Free State of Jones 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

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Battlefield Earth is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Battlefield Earth John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Forest Whitaker Battlefield Earth is a 2000 American dystopian science fiction action film based upon the first half of L. Ron Hubbard's 1982 novel of the same name. Directed by Roger Christian and starring ...more

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The Keeping Room is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
The Keeping Room Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Muna Otaru The Keeping Room is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Daniel Barber. Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women must fight to defend their

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1 0
Cloud Atlas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
Cloud Atlas Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon Cloud Atlas is a 2012 science fiction film written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski. Adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by David Mitchell, the film has ...more

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The Pet is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Well-Made Movies About Slavery
RebekahBarnes added The Pet Lydia McLane, Pierre Dulat, Magi Avila