When it comes to film, there are numerous great black movies that you can’t go your life without seeing.
If not, you risk getting your black card revoked.
While it seems like some of our favorite black movies always get slighted during award season, we’re always ready to show them love.
If you’re trying to make sure you’ve seen all the greats and must-haves, these are the black Hollywood films you need to watch from old to new.
Coming To America
Coming to America is one of the greatest classics of Black film.
Written by the actor, Eddie Murphy plays Prince Akeem Joffer, a man who moves to New York City with the hopes of finding a wife.
The film largely follows his “adventure” as he drops all his riches and tries to assimilate to regular life.
The film has an amazing cast rounded out by Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, and John Amos.
Originally released in 1988, there are talks of a remake for the film.
Boyz N The Hood, A Classic Black Hood Movie
What would Black film be without our classic hood dramas?
When it comes to films that are a must for the black community, you’ll always find Boyz N the Hood on the list.
Starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube, and Morris Chestnut, the film follows a young boy who is sent to line in the tough area of South Central Los Angeles.
The film was directed by the late, great John Singleton who was well-known for his hood films including Higher Learning, Baby Boy, and Poetic Justice, the latter of which is on this list.
Whoever said musical artists couldn’t be actors as well?
No one who’s seen Poetic Justice, that’s for sure.
This ‘90s romance was released in 1993 and followed the love story of two young adults.
With the late Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson starring, this is a captivating story.
Not to mention Janet and Tupac’s chemistry was on point!
Throughout the film, Janet’s character Justice recites poems by Maya Angelou and Tupac’s character Lucky aptly has wishes of being a musical artist.
Love Jones, A Top Black Romance Movie
One of the most iconic romance movies of all time, Love Jones will always have a special place in our hearts.
Nina and Darius’s love story might’ve been a bit unconventional, but the movie will always get us in our feelings.
Starring Nia Long and Larenz Tate, the film follows a photographer and poet who meet and it’s instant sparks.
While some parts (or many) of their relationship might’ve been problematic, it’s clear that the chemistry between the two was unbeatable.
As amazing as this movie is, we’ll always feel some type of way about the conclusion of Darius and Nina’s relationship.
Set It Off
We’re all for movies led by strong female casts, and that’s exactly what we get with Set It Off.
Starring Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Kimberly Elise, the movie is about four friends, who after coming down on hard times, decide to rob a bank.
The film follows their plans and the immediate aftermath of their robbery.
Be prepared because everyone doesn’t make it to the end of this film!
While they all wanted a better life, their plan wasn’t foolproof.
Regardless of how the characters turned out, there’s one thing for sure – the cast was really ready to set it off.
The Color Purple
Is there any film more iconic than The Color Purple?
Based on the novel by Alice Walker that came out three years prior, this story was transformed by actors and actresses like Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah.
This film is a coming-of-age for a young girl, Celie, played by Whoopi Goldberg.
It follows her life as a young girl through adulthood.
And while Celie is excessively meek in the beginning, her character finds her voice and strength as the story continues.
The film earned Whoopi Goldberg a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama.