RANKED! 11 Must-See Black History Month Movies
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In the past couple of years, we’ve seen ground-breaking African-American movies like Black Panther, Get Out, and Moonlight rack up critical acclaim, box-office success, win Oscars, and jump-start a diversity movement in Hollywood. For Black History Month, we’re taking a look back at films that preceded the black Hollywood successes of late.
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Here are Mandatory’s RANKED! Black History Month Movies.
'Boyz n the Hood' - Directed by John Singleton
Director John Singleton's debut was a ground-breaking hit that captured the hearts and minds of urban America and beyond. If you don't shed a tear when Ricky meets his fate, you better check your pulse.
'When We Were Kings' - Directed by Leon Gast
Michael Mann's Ali biopic starring Will Smith is epic in scope but still can't capture one of the most iconic Americans of the 20th Century. Ali floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee in this inspiring documentary that transcends sports.
'Glory' - Directed by Edward Zwick
Glory is one of the few movies that your high school history teacher put on that you actually watched. The moving tale about the all-black members of the 54th Regiment is one of the best Civil War movies that will make men of any race, color or creed cry.
'Fruitvale Station' - Directed by Ryan Coogler
Ryan Coogler’s intense and compelling Oscar Grant biopic kicked off the current diversity movement sweeping through Hollywood and made stars out of the Creed and Black Panther director and his go-to actor Michael B. Jordan.
'13th' - Directed by Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay's extraordinary Netflix documentary is a gripping history lesson that explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States.
'Foxy Brown' - Directed by Jack Hill
Before Pam Grier was Jackie Brown, she played this titular blaxploitation icon. Although the cult hit was criticized for playing up to Afrocentric stereotypes, Grier set a blazing trail for women's empowerment and how black women were portrayed in film.
'Stir Crazy' - Directed by Sidney Poitier
Comedy legends Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor set the tone for the "inter-racial buddy comedy" in a series of hilarious films. Stir Crazy has a bit more bite since it was directed by the one and only Sidney Poitier.
'The Wiz' - Directed by Sidney Lumet
Interpreting the classic Frank Baum fairy tale through a black lens is a genius idea. Sure, maybe choosing the legendary Sidney Lumet to direct and hiring Joel Schumacher (the dude who put nipples on the Batsuit) to write the Broadway adaptation weren't great choices, but how can you not sing along to songs by Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and the great Nipsey Russell?
'42' - Directed by Brian Helgeland
Everyone knows the Jackie Robinson story, but to see it through the eyes of number 42 (played by an excellent Chadwick Boseman) himself was a home run.
'House Party' - Directed by Reginald Hudlin
Nineties' rap duo Kid 'n Play starred in this spirited teen comedy franchise which proved that black movies could be fun, light, and commercially viable.