The Best Movies by Black Directors

by CorleoneWarrior88 | created - 13 Apr 2015 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

The best films directed by Black filmmakers

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1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

96 Metascore

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Votes: 599,438 | Gross: $56.67M

2. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

92 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 78,671 | Gross: $27.55M

3. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

R | 147 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.

Votes: 170,277 | Gross: $161.20M

4. Boyz n the Hood (1991)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects.

Director: John Singleton | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir, Lloyd Avery II

Votes: 116,486 | Gross: $57.50M

5. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 78,281 | Gross: $48.17M

6. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

84 Metascore

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Votes: 440,665 | Gross: $176.04M

7. Training Day (2001)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger

Votes: 367,369 | Gross: $76.63M

8. 25th Hour (2002)

R | 135 min | Drama

67 Metascore

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson

Votes: 164,852 | Gross: $13.06M

9. Moolaadé (2004)

Unrated | 124 min | Drama

91 Metascore

When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female genital mutilation, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart.

Director: Ousmane Sembene | Stars: Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Salimata Traoré, Dominique Zeïda

Votes: 3,369 | Gross: $0.21M

10. Creed (II) (2015)

PG-13 | 133 min | Drama, Sport

82 Metascore

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad

Votes: 234,159 | Gross: $109.77M

11. Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon

Votes: 62,754 | Gross: $0.15M

12. Inside Man (2006)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

76 Metascore

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 321,575 | Gross: $88.51M

13. The Great Debaters (2007)

PG-13 | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker

Votes: 54,064 | Gross: $30.23M

14. The Five Heartbeats (1991)

R | 121 min | Drama, Music

The story of the rise and fall of an African American vocal group.

Director: Robert Townsend | Stars: Robert Townsend, Michael Wright, Leon, Harry Lennix

Votes: 3,419 | Gross: $8.75M

15. Fruitvale Station (2013)

R | 85 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

85 Metascore

The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand

Votes: 70,393 | Gross: $16.10M

16. Selma (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History

87 Metascore

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Lorraine Toussaint

Votes: 79,906 | Gross: $52.08M

17. Menace II Society (1993)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu, Toshi Toda

Votes: 48,318 | Gross: $27.90M

18. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

R | 135 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace

Votes: 176,705 | Gross: $48.69M

19. The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)

R | 108 min | Drama

61 Metascore

A coming-of-age story about two inner city boys who are left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the authorities.

Director: George Tillman Jr. | Stars: Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon, Jordin Sparks Thomas, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 4,963 | Gross: $0.49M

20. Love Jones (1997)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

Darius Lovehall is a young black poet in Chicago who starts dating Nina Mosley, a beautiful and talented photographer. While trying to figure out if they've got a "love thing" or are just "... See full summary »

Director: Theodore Witcher | Stars: Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Lisa Nicole Carson

Votes: 3,626 | Gross: $12.51M

21. Moonlight (I) (2016)

R | 111 min | Drama

99 Metascore

A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood.

Director: Barry Jenkins | Stars: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert

Votes: 244,660 | Gross: $27.85M

22. Mudbound (2017)

R | 134 min | Drama, War

85 Metascore

Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

Director: Dee Rees | Stars: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks

Votes: 36,772

23. Black Girl (1966)

Not Rated | 65 min | Drama

72 Metascore

A black girl from Senegal becomes a servant in France.

Director: Ousmane Sembene | Stars: Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine, Momar Nar Sene

Votes: 2,831

24. Belle (2013)

PG | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

The mixed-race daughter, Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), of Royal Navy Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) is raised by aristocratic Great-uncle Lord William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) in eighteenth century England.

Director: Amma Asante | Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 26,684 | Gross: $10.73M

25. Southpaw (2015)

R | 124 min | Drama, Sport

57 Metascore

A champion boxer fights to get his daughter back from child protective services as well as revive his professional career, after a fatal incident sends him on a rampant path of destruction.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Forest Whitaker

Votes: 206,340 | Gross: $52.42M

26. Black Dynamite (2009)

R | 84 min | Action, Comedy

65 Metascore

Black Dynamite is the greatest African-American action star of the 1970s. When his only brother is killed by The Man, it's up to him to find justice.

Director: Scott Sanders | Stars: Michael Jai White, Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson, Phyllis Applegate

Votes: 44,064 | Gross: $0.23M

27. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

34 Metascore

A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney

Votes: 259,671 | Gross: $73.34M

28. Black Panther (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira

Votes: 561,704 | Gross: $700.06M

29. Precious (II) (2009)

R | 110 min | Drama

79 Metascore

In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Director: Lee Daniels | Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey

Votes: 101,944 | Gross: $47.40M

30. Friday (1995)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

Two homies, Smokey and Craig, smoke a dope dealer's weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe to the dealer by 10 p.m. that same night.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister

Votes: 93,752 | Gross: $27.47M

31. The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama

57 Metascore

In 1964, a teenage girl in search of the truth about her mother runs away to a small town in South Carolina and finds a family of independent women who can connect her to her past.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood | Stars: Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys

Votes: 23,159 | Gross: $37.77M

32. Antwone Fisher (2002)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama

62 Metascore

Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.

Director: Denzel Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Derek Luke, Joy Bryant, Malcolm David Kelley

Votes: 31,379 | Gross: $21.08M

33. The Negotiator (1998)

R | 140 min | Action, Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, Ron Rifkin

Votes: 125,028 | Gross: $44.48M

34. Killer of Sheep (1978)

80 min | Drama

96 Metascore

Set in the Watts area of Los Angeles, a slaughterhouse worker must suspend his emotions to continue working at a job he finds repugnant, and then he finds he has little sensitivity for the family he works so hard to support.

Director: Charles Burnett | Stars: Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett

Votes: 5,662 | Gross: $0.40M

35. Talk to Me (2007)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

69 Metascore

The story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s.

Director: Kasi Lemmons | Stars: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce McFee, Mike Epps

Votes: 9,180 | Gross: $4.47M

36. Baadasssss! (2003)

R | 109 min | Biography, Drama

75 Metascore

Mario Van Peebles' half-documentary/half-homage to his father Melvin Van Peebles' movie Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971).

Director: Mario Van Peebles | Stars: Mario Van Peebles, Nia Long, Joy Bryant, Ossie Davis

Votes: 4,599 | Gross: $0.37M

37. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

58 Metascore

When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.

Director: Peter Ramsey | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine

Votes: 149,926 | Gross: $103.41M

38. Eve's Bayou (1997)

R | 109 min | Drama

78 Metascore

After a daughter witnesses her father having an affair, she begins a chain reaction that could tear her family apart.

Director: Kasi Lemmons | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Meagan Good, Lynn Whitfield

Votes: 8,077 | Gross: $14.82M



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