The 100 best Black / urban movies of all time

Do the Right Thing

R
|
120 min
|

Comedy, Drama

91
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:
74,791
| Gross:
$27.55M

Coming to America

R
|
116 min
|

Comedy, Romance

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:
146,120
| Gross:
$128.15M

Higher Learning

R
|
127 min
|

Crime, Drama, Romance

54
Metascore

People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.

Director:
John Singleton
|
Stars:
Omar Epps,
Kristy Swanson,
Michael Rapaport,
Jennifer Connelly

Votes:
16,812
| Gross:
$38.29M

Friday

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:
90,835
| Gross:
$27.47M

Harlem Nights

R
|
116 min
|

Comedy, Crime, Drama

16
Metascore

During the 1930s, a New York City illegal gambling house owner and his associates must deal with strong competition, gangsters, and corrupt cops in order to stay in business.

Director:
Eddie Murphy
|
Stars:
Eddie Murphy,
Richard Pryor,
Redd Foxx,
Danny Aiello

Votes:
18,271
| Gross:
$60.86M

Malcolm X

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:
75,756
| Gross:
$48.17M

Bad Boys

R
|
119 min
|

Action, Comedy, Crime

41
Metascore

Two hip detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct.

Director:
Michael Bay
|
Stars:
Will Smith,
Martin Lawrence,
Lisa Boyle,
Michael Taliferro

Votes:
206,862
| Gross:
$65.81M

Foxy Brown

R
|
92 min
|

Action, Crime, Thriller

46
Metascore

A voluptuous black woman takes a job as a high-class prostitute in order to get revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.

Director:
Jack Hill
|
Stars:
Pam Grier,
Antonio Fargas,
Peter Brown,
Terry Carter

Votes:
7,937

In Too Deep

R
|
95 min
|

Crime, Thriller, Drama

53
Metascore

Jeff Cole is a recent graduate of the Cincinnati police academy who dreams of working undercover. His wish is granted and through success is given the task of taking down state-wide crack … See full summary »

Director:
Michael Rymer
|
Stars:
Omar Epps,
LL Cool J,
Nia Long,
Stanley Tucci

Votes:
5,337
| Gross:
$14.00M

CB4

R
|
89 min
|

Comedy, Music

49
Metascore

A guy makes a documentary of the rap band CB4 by following them. CB4 got popular by stealing Gusto’s name, background and image. He wants them dead.

Director:
Tamra Davis
|
Stars:
Chris Rock,
Allen Payne,
Deezer D,
Chris Elliott

Votes:
8,194
| Gross:
$17.95M

All About the Benjamins

R
|
95 min
|

Action, Comedy, Crime

34
Metascore

Bounty hunter Bucum chases bail-jumper Reggie, who runs right into the scene of a diamond heist and murder and gets shot at as well. Later they become partners in their pursuit of the $20M in diamonds and lottery ticket. Their women join.

Director:
Kevin Bray
|
Stars:
Ice Cube,
Mike Epps,
Tommy Flanagan,
Carmen Chaplin

Votes:
11,958
| Gross:
$25.48M

Amistad

R
|
155 min
|

Drama, History

63
Metascore

In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.

Director:
Steven Spielberg
|
Stars:
Djimon Hounsou,
Matthew McConaughey,
Anthony Hopkins,
Morgan Freeman

Votes:
66,045
| Gross:
$44.18M

Poetic Justice

R
|
109 min
|

Drama, Romance

51
Metascore

In this film, we see the world through the eyes of main character Justice, a young African-American poet. A mail carrier invites a few friends along for a long overnight delivery run.

Director:
John Singleton
|
Stars:
Janet Jackson,
Tupac Shakur,
Regina King,
Joe Torry

Votes:
11,224
| Gross:
$27.52M

Above the Rim

R
|
96 min
|

Crime, Drama, Sport

Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.

Director:
Jeff Pollack
|
Stars:
Duane Martin,
Tupac Shakur,
Leon,
David Bailey

Votes:
12,597
| Gross:
$16.04M

Trespass

R
|
101 min
|

Action, Thriller

2 firemen in a burning building get a treasure map. Stolen gold church items are hidden in a closed down factory in St. Louis. Once there, they’re trapped in by a black gang considering it their territory. Lots of shooting.

Director:
Walter Hill
|
Stars:
Bill Paxton,
Ice-T,
William Sadler,
Ice Cube

Votes:
9,276
| Gross:
$13.75M

Why Did I Get Married?

PG-13
|
113 min
|

Comedy, Drama

54
Metascore

The big screen adaptation of Perry’s stage play about the trials of marriage, and what happens to one family when a sexy young temptress arrives on the scene.

Director:
Tyler Perry
|
Stars:
Tyler Perry,
Janet Jackson,
Sharon Leal,
Malik Yoba

Votes:
11,612
| Gross:
$55.18M

Barbershop 2: Back in Business

PG-13
|
106 min
|

Comedy, Drama

59
Metascore

The owner of an historic South Side Chicago barbershop is pressured to sell out to a land developer, but must face the impact this would have on his close-knit community.

Director:
Kevin Rodney Sullivan
|
Stars:
Ice Cube,
Cedric the Entertainer,
Eve,
Queen Latifah

Votes:
13,417
| Gross:
$65.11M

Four Brothers

R
|
109 min
|

Action, Crime, Drama

49
Metascore

When their adopted mother is gunned down in a store robbery the ‘four brothers’ investigated the murder for themselves & look for the killers but not all is what it seems.

Director:
John Singleton
|
Stars:
Mark Wahlberg,
Tyrese Gibson,
André Benjamin,
Garrett Hedlund

Votes:
125,323
| Gross:
$74.49M

Next Friday

R
|
98 min
|

Comedy

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:
33,790
| Gross:
$57.33M

Lottery Ticket

PG-13
|
99 min
|

Comedy

50
Metascore

Kevin Carson is a young man living in the projects who has to survive a three-day weekend after his opportunistic neighbors find out he’s holding a winning lottery ticket worth $370 million.

Director:
Erik White
|
Stars:
Shad Moss,
Brandon T. Jackson,
Naturi Naughton,
Loretta Devine

Votes:
10,038
| Gross:
$24.71M

Original Gangstas

R
|
99 min
|

Action, Crime, Drama

Marvin Bookman is a small shop owner in Gary, Indiana, USA. After he sees a drive-by shooting of Laurie Thompson’s son by a local gang, he gives up the license number of the car to the … See full summary »

Directors:
Larry Cohen,
Fred Williamson
|
Stars:
Fred Williamson,
Jim Brown,
Pam Grier,
Paul Winfield

Votes:
1,352
| Gross:
$3.01M

Are We There Yet?

PG
|
95 min
|

Adventure, Comedy, Family

27
Metascore

To impress a foxy divorcee, ladies’ man Nick offers to take her kids on an extended road trip, unaware of the torture he’s in for.

Director:
Brian Levant
|
Stars:
Ice Cube,
Nia Long,
Aleisha Allen,
Philip Bolden

Votes:
26,837
| Gross:
$82.67M

Def by Temptation

R
|
95 min
|

Horror

An evil succubus is preying on libidinous black men in New York City, and all that stands in her way is a minister-in-training, an aspiring actor, and a cop who specializes in cases involving the supernatural.

Director:
James Bond III
|
Stars:
James Bond III,
Kadeem Hardison,
Bill Nunn,
Samuel L. Jackson

Votes:
1,112
| Gross:
$2.22M

Vampire in Brooklyn

R
|
100 min
|

Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

27
Metascore

A ship sails into Brooklyn with all its crew dead. But something gets off and the killing continues on land. The vampire is looking for a specific woman – half-human, half-vampire. Rita’s the cop detective investigating the many killings.

Director:
Wes Craven
|
Stars:
Eddie Murphy,
Angela Bassett,
Allen Payne,
Kadeem Hardison

Votes:
19,843
| Gross:
$19.75M

The Honeymooners

PG-13
|
90 min
|

Comedy, Drama, Family

31
Metascore

Working class New York bus driver Ralph Kramden is always coming up with get-rich-quick schemes for him and his best friend, Ed Norton, who’s always around to help him get in (and out of) trouble.

Director:
John Schultz
|
Stars:
Cedric the Entertainer,
Mike Epps,
Gabrielle Union,
Regina Hall

Votes:
6,786
| Gross:
$12.83M

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

PG-13
|
106 min
|

Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

38
Metascore

Scientist Sherman Klump’s inventions, his upcoming marriage to his pretty colleague Denise Gaines and his reputation are threatened by his evil clone Buddy Love.

Director:
Peter Segal
|
Stars:
Eddie Murphy,
Janet Jackson,
Larry Miller,
John Ales

Votes:
45,550
| Gross:
$123.31M

ATL

PG-13
|
105 min
|

Comedy, Crime, Drama

63
Metascore

As four friends prepare for life after high school, different challenges bring about turning points in each of their lives. The dramas unfold and resolve at their local rollerskating rink, Cascade.

Director:
Chris Robinson
|
Stars:
T.I.,
Lauren London,
Evan Ross,
Greg Andrews

Votes:
10,277
| Gross:
$21.16M

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