The Best & Worst Black Movies


ThebestThe Color Purple.  Pure magic that hasn’t lost its sheen nearly 30 years later.  Usually books are hard to make into good films, but this was very well-done.  Whoopi and Oprah disappear into their roles and there were good child performances, too.  Excellent!

Shaft.  Richard Roundtree at his butt-kicking best.  Need I say more?

Krush Groove.  It took a risk, making a film about the hip-hop scene in its youth, which was ground-breaking.

The Last Dragon. Another 1980’s favorite.  Look passed the cheesy wardrobe and set and you will see a movie with a great theme: good always triumphs over evil.  And “Leroy” was magically delicious.

Boyz in the Hood.  This was not just a shoot ‘em up fest, but a movie that did a fantastic job of showing the difference a strong father figure can make in our children’s lives.

Malcolm X.  Yes, I’m biased towards Denzel, but he literally became the late civil rights leader in this film.  This Spike Lee joint is engrossing, beautiful and haunting.

Do the Right Thing.  Thought-provoking and love the music score.  Fight the power!

Beloved.  This did poorly at the theaters, but it’s another book that was well-adapted into a film.  I found it visually-stunning and the performances were awesome.  Hats off to Thandie Newton.

Tales From the Hood.  One of the best black horror movies in my book.  Creative story-telling mixed with raucous humor.

New Jack City.  Action-packed and nefarious Wesley Snipes gave me chills.  The soundtrack was tight, too.

Twelve Years a Slave. This film is spellbinding and tragically beautiful. The crisp direction and astonishing performances combined reopen the wound of slavery, and simultaneously demonstrate the determination of a strong soul.

Waiting to Exhale. The director does an outstanding job of adapting a book into a movie. The cast had believable chemistry and expertly expressed the problems successful black women have in finding suitable mates.

The Worst

Jason’s Lyric.  Awful acting, ridiculously explicit sex scenes.  I was appalled.

The Inkwell.  It had potential, but uneven direction pace and one-dimensional characters sunk this film.  Jada Pinkett should be ashamed for this AND Jason’s Lyric.

You Got Served.  Yes, it’s a movie about dancing, but an episode of Soul Train had more intrigue than this mess.  I left the theater with a stomachache.

Leonard Part 6.  Billy Cosby told his fans NOT to go see this.  Enough said.

Norbit.  Icky. Icky. Icky.  This movie stereo-typed blacks to the nth degree and was a total waste of good actors Thandie Newton and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Beat Street. Nothing more than a tired, boring copy-cat of Krush Groove.

Vampire in Brooklyn.  OMG, as they say.  Eddie Murphy looked like Nick Ashford in a vampire costume at Halloween.  The whole concept of the movie was just as absurd.

Pluto Nash.  Eddie Murphy really needs to quit.  The “homeboys in outer space” thing failed once miserably.  Why, why, why would someone be in a movie about that again?

Soul Plane.  Plenty of tackiness with very little funny. Another movie that stereotyped us so badly it was a crying shame.

Nearly Any Madea Movie.  Too over the top.  Love your vision, Tyler Perry, but Madea needs to tone down her sassiness a peg.

The Wash.  Snoop and Doctor Dre need to stick to making music.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit