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Hollywood is slowly evolving in how many people of color are cast in big movies. However, it can still be a rarity to see Black women in lead roles on the big screen. In this article, we feature 7 great films that have Black actresses in lead roles. Whether you’re looking for a drama or an action movie, we have options that you can choose from!
1. Precious Starting Gabourey Sidibe As The Female Lead
Actress Gabourey Sidibe plays the role of Claireece ‘Precious’ Jones in this powerful film. The movie takes its viewers on a journey through the life of Precious, who has experienced more turmoil in her lifetime than one could ever imagine. Precious has experienced a tremendous amount of abuse from both her parents but in the end she doesn’t want to let that hold her back from pursing her own dreams. Sidibe embodies resilience and strength in this very touching film.
2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Paula Patton stars as Jane Carter in this amazing action-thriller that follows a spy team which has been wrongfully accused of plotting a terrorist attack. Patton’s character and the rest of the team go on an intense mission to clear their names, all unassisted. This movie will have you questioning everything and everyone as the team tries to find answers and stop new terror threats. Watch Patton and the team here.
3. Fruitvale Station
Starring Octavia Spencer as the lead actress, Fruitvale Station is based on the real life events of Oscar Grant, a Black man who was unjustly and fatally shot by a policeman. In the movie, Spencer is Grant’s loving mother who seems to be his main source of support, even when times are difficult. Although sad, this movie is based on the events of Grant’s life just before he was killed and sheds light on the important issue of police brutality in communities of color.
If you’re a fan of the James Bond series, you’ll love Skyfall. British actress Naomie Harris plays the famous Miss Moneypenny (Eve Moneypenny), who is the secretary of Bond’s boss. The cool thing about Harris’s role is that she is the first Black actress to ever play the role of Moneypenny. Ever. This film is action-packed and will leave you on the edge of your seat as Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Harris team up to destroy all threats to the Secret Intelligence Service.
5. X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Storm Being The African American Female Lead
We’ve all seen Halle Berry in some pretty good movies and know that she’s a great actress. This film is no different.
Berry stars as Storm, the mutant part of the X-Men that is capable of controlling the weather.
She and the other X-Men are stuck in a dystopian future world where mutants are being destroyed by new, evil robots. The X-Men go back in time in order to save and change the future for mutants.
6. Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Lee Daniels’ The Butler is a brilliant, touching drama that follows the life of a former slave who has been hired as a butler for the White House. His wife, Oprah Winfrey, and children are his major sources of support but his commitment to his job causes much tension at home. This movie is definitely exceptional and will give you an, albeit fictional, look at the life of a White House butler and his familial life.
Colombiana is an action thriller based on a young girl who grows up to be a highly-trained assassin (played by Zoe Saldana). In this film, Saldana’s character, Cataleya, has witnessed the death of her parents at the hands of a notorious criminal. As a result, she has trained all of her life to be an assassin and is determined to avenge her parents’ deaths by hunting down their killer. Saldana is fierce, fearless and unstoppable in this intense thriller which can be rented here.
7 Exceptional Films Starring Black Female Leads
So there you have it! Our list of wonderfully-crafted movies starring black female leads is perfect for your next movie night. Check them out and let us know your thoughts and comments below. And if you’re also looking for some great African American women with lead roles in TV shows, you can find that here.