Best Black Dramas of All Time

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:
76,497
| Gross:
$48.17M

Ray

PG-13
|
152 min
|

Biography, Drama, Music

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:
128,639
| Gross:
$75.33M

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:
76,191
| Gross:
$27.55M

Remember the Titans

PG
|
113 min
|

Biography, Drama, Sport

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:
185,664
| Gross:
$115.65M

Training Day

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:
360,092
| Gross:
$76.63M

Antwone Fisher

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:
30,876
| Gross:
$21.08M

8 Mile

R
|
110 min
|

Drama, Music

77
Metascore

A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.

Director:
Curtis Hanson
|
Stars:
Eminem,
Brittany Murphy,
Kim Basinger,
Mekhi Phifer

Votes:
230,473
| Gross:
$116.72M

Wah Do Dem

TV-MA
|
76 min
|

Adventure, Comedy, Drama

54
Metascore

Max lives in Brooklyn. He enjoys playing soccer, skateboarding, and drinking with his friends at local bars. Last summer he and his girlfriend, Willow, won a free cruise to Jamaica but two … See full summary »

Directors:
Ben Chace,
Sam Fleischner
|
Stars:
Kevin Bewersdorf,
Sean Bones,
Carl Bradshaw,
Mark Gibbs

Votes:
321

Purple Rain

R
|
111 min
|

Drama, Music, Musical

55
Metascore

A young musician, tormented by an abusive situation at home, must contend with a rival singer, a burgeoning romance, and his own dissatisfied band, as his star begins to rise.

Director:
Albert Magnoli
|
Stars:
Prince,
Apollonia Kotero,
Morris Day,
Olga Karlatos

Votes:
17,773
| Gross:
$68.39M

Talk to Me

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:
9,102
| Gross:
$4.47M

Precious

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:
100,759
| Gross:
$47.40M

Beasts of the Southern Wild

PG-13
|
93 min
|

Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

86
Metascore

Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Director:
Benh Zeitlin
|
Stars:
Quvenzhané Wallis,
Dwight Henry,
Levy Easterly,
Lowell Landes

Votes:
77,717
| Gross:
$12.80M

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:
66,563
| Gross:
$44.18M

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:
12,727
| Gross:
$16.04M

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:
8,034

I Think I Love My Wife

R
|
90 min
|

Comedy, Drama, Romance

49
Metascore

A married man who daydreams about being with other women finds his will and morals tested after he’s visited by the ex-mistress of his old friend.

Director:
Chris Rock
|
Stars:
Chris Rock,
Kerry Washington,
Gina Torres,
Steve Buscemi

Votes:
15,960
| Gross:
$12.55M

Hotel Rwanda

PG-13
|
121 min
|

Biography, Drama, History

79
Metascore

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Director:
Terry George
|
Stars:
Don Cheadle,
Sophie Okonedo,
Joaquin Phoenix,
Xolani Mali

Votes:
315,671
| Gross:
$23.53M

Sometimes in April

TV-MA
|
140 min
|

Drama, History, War

When the Hutu nationalists raised arms against their Tutsi countrymen in Rwanda in April 1994, the violent uprising marked the beginning of one of the darkest times in African history which resulted in the deaths of almost 800,000 people.

Director:
Raoul Peck
|
Stars:
Idris Elba,
Carole Karemera,
Pamela Nomvete,
Oris Erhuero

Votes:
4,667

Imitation of Life

Not Rated
|
125 min
|

Drama

An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.

Director:
Douglas Sirk
|
Stars:
Lana Turner,
John Gavin,
Sandra Dee,
Susan Kohner

Votes:
13,517
| Gross:
$13.99M

Paved with Good Intentions

Not Rated
|
117 min
|

Crime, Drama, Thriller

Travis Balden had it all; high-profile job, gorgeous wife, limitless opportunity. His estranged brother, Rick, in contrast, earns a modest living as a repo man and generally lives life solo… See full summary »

Director:
J.D. Cochran
|
Stars:
Sharif Atkins,
J. August Richards,
Ron Canada,
Jay Acovone

Votes:
29

Mama Flora's Family

60 min
|

Drama

Mama Flora reflects on her life while trying to help her grand-daughter get her life right and be a better mother for her son. All while bringing the family she has left back together. Movies takes place from the 1910s to the 1970s.

Stars:
Cicely Tyson,
Erika Alexander,
Blair Underwood,
Queen Latifah

Votes:
473

The Great Debaters

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:
53,496
| Gross:
$30.23M

Mr. Church

PG-13
|
104 min
|

Comedy, Drama

37
Metascore

“Mr. Church” tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook – Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever.

Director:
Bruce Beresford
|
Stars:
Eddie Murphy,
Britt Robertson,
Natascha McElhone,
Xavier Samuel

Votes:
23,190
| Gross:
$0.69M

Pariah

R
|
86 min
|

Drama

79
Metascore

A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

Director:
Dee Rees
|
Stars:
Adepero Oduye,
Kim Wayans,
Aasha Davis,
Pernell Walker

Votes:
5,521
| Gross:
$0.76M

The Josephine Baker Story

R
|
130 min
|

Biography, Drama, History

Born poor in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic, erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success … See full summary »

Director:
Brian Gibson
|
Stars:
Lynn Whitfield,
Rubén Blades,
David Dukes,
Louis Gossett Jr.

Votes:
1,129

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