Most Popular African American Protagonist Movies and TV Shows

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1. Evil (2019– )

TV-14 | Crime, Drama, Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A skeptical female clinical psychologist joins a priest-in-training and a blue-collar contractor as they investigate supposed miracles, demonic possession, and other extraordinary occurrences to see if there's a scientific explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.

Stars: Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Emerson

Votes: 1,817

2. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

R | 117 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.

Director: Craig Brewer | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key

Votes: 420

3. The Day Shall Come (2019)

Unrated | 87 min | Comedy, Crime

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
70 Metascore

An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams.

Director: Christopher Morris | Stars: Andrel McPherson, Miles Robbins, Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick

Votes: 1,351

4. Black Lightning (2018– )

TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A crusading school principal gets back into action as the original African-American electrical superhero.

Stars: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams

Votes: 17,701

5. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

R | 135 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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: 165,772 | Gross: $48.69M

6. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 186,731 | Gross: $115.65M

7. Creed II (2018)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Sport

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
66 Metascore

Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, newly crowned heavyweight champion Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago.

Director: Steven Caple Jr. | Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad

Votes: 83,730 | Gross: $115.72M

8. Good Burger (1997)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Family

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
41 Metascore

Two dim-witted teenagers are forced to save the fast food restaurant they work at from going out of business, despite a new-and-improved burger joint opening across the street that want to be the "Top Dog" in the fast food industry.

Director: Brian Robbins | Stars: Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Sinbad, Abe Vigoda

Votes: 24,270 | Gross: $23.69M

9. Coming to America (1988)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
47 Metascore

An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and will.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Paul Bates, Garcelle Beauvais, Feather

Votes: 149,665 | Gross: $128.15M

10. The Equalizer (2014)

R | 132 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour

Votes: 308,845 | Gross: $101.53M

11. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
80 Metascore

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.

Director: Boots Riley | Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick

Votes: 46,704 | Gross: $17.49M

12. American Gangster (2007)

R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
76 Metascore

An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin

Votes: 372,048 | Gross: $130.16M

13. The Book of Eli (2010)

R | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
53 Metascore

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Gary Oldman

Votes: 276,447 | Gross: $94.84M

14. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 114,529 | Gross: $26.83M

15. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
64 Metascore

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher

Votes: 151,371 | Gross: $234.76M

16. Creed (II) (2015)

PG-13 | 133 min | Drama, Sport

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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: 230,163 | Gross: $109.77M

17. Flight (I) (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
76 Metascore

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle, John Goodman

Votes: 307,332 | Gross: $93.77M

18. Trading Places (1983)

R | 116 min | Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
69 Metascore

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche

Votes: 125,166 | Gross: $90.40M

19. Rush Hour 3 (2007)

PG-13 | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
44 Metascore

After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads' secret leaders.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Max von Sydow, Hiroyuki Sanada

Votes: 144,055 | Gross: $140.13M

20. Dolemite (1975)

R | 90 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After he is released from jail, a pimp takes on the criminals and corrupt police officers who framed him in the first place.

Director: D'Urville Martin | Stars: Rudy Ray Moore, D'Urville Martin, Jerry Jones, Lady Reed

Votes: 3,098

21. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
75 Metascore

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 61,738 | Gross: $24.38M

22. Insecure (2016– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Follows the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman.

Stars: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Lisa Joyce

Votes: 9,460

23. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

R | 106 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
55 Metascore

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, Victor Gojcaj

Votes: 176,057 | Gross: $65.45M

24. Deja Vu (2006)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
59 Metascore

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer

Votes: 279,603 | Gross: $64.04M

25. Safe House (2012)

R | 115 min | Action, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
52 Metascore

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga

Votes: 195,016 | Gross: $126.37M

26. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
78 Metascore

An African-American man is hired to find a woman, and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal.

Director: Carl Franklin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals, Don Cheadle

Votes: 16,228 | Gross: $16.03M

27. The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Votes: 72,605 | Gross: $98.47M

28. Boomerang (1992)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
45 Metascore

A successful executive and womanizer finds his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new female boss turns out to be an even bigger deviant than he is.

Director: Reginald Hudlin | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier

Votes: 24,044 | Gross: $70.10M

29. The Haves and the Have Nots (2013– )

Unrated | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.0
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Centers on the rich Cryer and Harrington families (the haves) and the poor Young family (the have nots) whose lives intertwine when Hanna Young begins working for the Cryers.

Stars: Tika Sumpter, John Schneider, Crystal Fox, Angela Robinson

Votes: 2,589

30. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 129,424 | Gross: $75.33M

31. Everything, Everything (2017)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Romance

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
52 Metascore

A teenager who's spent her whole life confined to her home falls for the boy next door.

Director: Stella Meghie | Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera

Votes: 28,524 | Gross: $34.00M

32. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
76 Metascore

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Meryl Streep, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 98,469 | Gross: $65.96M

33. Shaft (1971)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.

Director: Gordon Parks | Stars: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John

Votes: 15,265

34. Marshall (2017)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
66 Metascore

The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.

Director: Reginald Hudlin | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown

Votes: 15,536 | Gross: $10.05M

35. Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

R | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
48 Metascore

Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills to help Taggart and Rosewood investigate Chief Bogomil's near-fatal shooting and the series of "alphabet crimes" associated with it.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Jürgen Prochnow, Ronny Cox

Votes: 100,141 | Gross: $153.67M

36. Unstoppable (2010)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
69 Metascore

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee

Votes: 175,186 | Gross: $81.56M

37. Rosewood (2015–2017)

TV-14 | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.6
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Miami pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. finds secrets in people's bodies using his state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.

Stars: Morris Chestnut, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Gabrielle Dennis, Anna Konkle

Votes: 6,502

38. Think Like a Man (2012)

PG-13 | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
51 Metascore

Four friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy

Votes: 41,463 | Gross: $91.55M

39. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.3
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The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, RaéVen Kelly, Virginia Capers

Votes: 15,865 | Gross: $39.10M

40. Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Thriller

5.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  
26 Metascore

An ambitious married woman's temptation by a handsome billionaire leads to betrayal, recklessness, and forever alters the course of her life.

Director: Tyler Perry | Stars: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood, Kim Kardashian West

Votes: 11,075 | Gross: $51.98M

41. Gothika (2003)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
38 Metascore

A depressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr., Charles S. Dutton

Votes: 101,758 | Gross: $59.69M

42. Next Friday (2000)

R | 98 min | Comedy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
41 Metascore

Uncle Elroy and Day Day owe money on taxes so Craig finds a way to steal from the next door neighbors to pay off the taxes so Uncle Elroy's house doesn't get put up for auction.

Director: Steve Carr | Stars: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Justin Pierce, John Witherspoon

Votes: 34,348 | Gross: $57.33M

43. War Room (2015)

PG | 120 min | Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
26 Metascore

A seemingly perfect family looks to fix their problems with the help of Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman.

Director: Alex Kendrick | Stars: Priscilla C. Shirer, T.C. Stallings, Karen Abercrombie, Beth Moore

Votes: 12,024 | Gross: $67.79M

44. House of Payne (2006– )

30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

3.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A multi-generational family lives together under one roof.

Stars: LaVan Davis, Cassi Davis, Lance Gross, Allen Payne

Votes: 5,629

45. No Good Deed (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 84 min | Action, Crime, Drama

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
26 Metascore

An unstable escaped convict terrorizes a woman who is alone with her two children.

Director: Sam Miller | Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo

Votes: 16,412 | Gross: $52.54M

46. The Great Debaters (2007)

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

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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: 53,676 | Gross: $30.23M

47. Waiting to Exhale (1995)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Based on Terry McMillan's novel, this film follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender.

Director: Forest Whitaker | Stars: Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon

Votes: 8,894 | Gross: $67.05M

48. Think Like a Man Too (2014)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Romance

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
38 Metascore

All the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas, but plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Wendi McLendon-Covey, La La Anthony

Votes: 18,808 | Gross: $65.18M

49. Jungle Fever (1991)

R | 132 min | Drama, Romance

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Friends and family of a married black architect react in different ways to his affair with an Italian secretary.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis

Votes: 15,749 | Gross: $32.48M

50. Frankie & Alice (2010)

R | 101 min | Biography, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
47 Metascore

A drama centered on a go-go dancer with multiple personality disorder who struggles to remain her true self and begins working with a psychotherapist to uncover the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.

Director: Geoffrey Sax | Stars: Halle Berry, Stellan Skarsgård, Phylicia Rashad, Chandra Wilson

Votes: 4,761 | Gross: $0.69M



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