Rotten Tomatoes has compiled what they believe to be the best black movies of the 21st century. The list is the top 100 movies that the review aggregator has put together. It’s billed as a celebration of black actors, directors and producers. Whilst there are some movies placed either too high or too low there are also some surprisingly omitted, you have to keep in mind that for a movie to score high it simply has to have a middling to high positive rating. The complete list can be read here.
Marshall is a biographical legal drama film directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff that was released in 2017. It stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, and is based on one of his early cases, the State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell. Roger Ebert describes Boseman’s portrayal of Thurgood Marshall as neither an imitation nor an attempt to give us a true psychological depiction of the man and the movie as providing tons of oscar worthy takes.
Ray is a 2004 American biographical musical drama film about the life of rhythm and blues artist Ray Charles over the course of 30 years. It stars Jamie Foxx in the titular role. The film offers an engaging and energizing depiction of a great musician’s accomplishments and flaws. We’ve summarised the Guardian take describing Jamie Foxx’s performance as uncanny with precise replication of quirks, body movements, auditory scoping with the appropriate blind man swagger that was characteristic of Ray Charles. Though billed as a musical you won’t watch the movie without being struck by the simple genius and struggles of a true musical legend.
12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013)
12 Years a Slave” is a dark, introspective, even poetic film that confronts the evils of slavery head-on. It is a 2013 biographical period drama film directed by Steve McQueen and based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 slave memoir Twelve Years a Slave. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup a free African-American man born in New York State who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Washington, D.C. by two conmen in 1841.
Ron Stallworth played by John David Washington is hired as the Colorado Springs Police Department’s first black officer in 1972. He gets tired of being hounded and applies to be an undercover cop after being assigned to the records department. Stallworth moves quickly from records to intelligence, answering a newspaper ad for the KKK and acting on the phone as a nascent white supremacist.