Skip to main content

The best Black movies on Netflix right now

A woman stands in front of microphones with a man clapping behind her in Shirley.
Glen Wilson / Netflix

Finding the best Black movies on Netflix right now is easier thanks to its Black Stories collection. But it’s still a fairly extensive library, and it can feel difficult to narrow down your options to find a movie that suits your current mood. Don’t worry, though, because we’ve already done the searching, updating this list monthly with the best of Black filmmaking on Netflix.

This month, a Netflix Original about pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm joins the list, as well as another great Civil Rights drama.

Looking for more films and shows that illustrate the Black experience? Check out our roundups of the best Black shows and movies to stream across all platforms.

Recently added to Netflix

Shirley (2024)

Shirley
57%
pg-13
117m
Genre
History, Drama
Stars
Regina King, Lance Reddick, Terrence Howard
Directed by
John Ridley
Watch on Netflix
Regina King stars in this biopic about Shirley Chisholm, America’s first Black congresswoman and the first Black woman to run for president. After a trailblazing run to Congress, Chisholm wasted hardly any time, gearing up for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. Although Chisholm didn’t win, she mounted a competitive bid, tearing down many doubts and barriers in Washington for those who followed in her footsteps.

The Best of Enemies (2019)

The Best of Enemies
49%
pg-13
133m
Genre
Drama, History
Stars
Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay
Directed by
Robin Bissell
Watch on Netflix
Based on a true story, The Best of Enemies centers on a community summit about the desegregation of schools in Durham, North Carolina, in the summer of 1971. On one side, Ann Atwater (The Color Purple‘s Taraji P. Henson) fights for the rights of Black students. On the other, local Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell) digs in to maintain the segregation of schools. But rather than become more deeply entrenched in their ideas, the summit had a profound impact on the lives of Atwater and Ellis as they carved a viable path forward.

Rustin (2023)

Rustin
68%
pg-13
108m
Genre
Drama, History
Stars
Colman Domingo, Aml Ameen, Glynn Turman
Directed by
George C. Wolfe
Watch on Netflix
Colman Domingo was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin in this Netflix original. The architect of 1963’s March on Washington, Rustin was one of the world’s greatest activists and organizers, and yet has become largely lost to history. This biopic seeks to rectify that, examining the unapologetic man who never apologized for who he was or what he believed in.

Harriet (2019)

Harriet
66%
pg-13
125m
Genre
Drama, History
Stars
Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn
Directed by
Kasi Lemmons
Watch on Netflix
Cynthia Erivo earned a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet. The sprawling film tells the extraordinary story of Tubman’s escape from slavery and evolution into one of America’s greatest heroes. Through determination, ingenuity, and courage, she helps hundreds of slaves along the Underground Railroad to freedom.

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Boyz n the Hood
76%
r
112m
Genre
Crime, Drama
Stars
Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube
Directed by
John Singleton
Watch on Netflix
One of the most important films of the 1990s, John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood gave voice and context to the cultural rage erupting from South Central Los Angeles into mainstream America. Singleton’s film follows Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a high-achieving teen caught between the forceful guidance of his father, Furious (Laurence Fishburne), and the constant, inescapable violence and conflict of his South Central neighborhood. Funny, poignant, and scathing, Boyz n the Hood is one for the canon.

They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

They Cloned Tyrone
r
122m
Genre
Science Fiction, Comedy, Mystery
Stars
John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx
Directed by
Juel Taylor
Watch on Netflix
A modern nod to Black exploitation movies, They Cloned Tyrone centers around a nefarious government conspiracy unfolding beneath a Black neighborhood. As strange events begin to occur in town, Fontaine (John Boyega), Yo-Yo (WandaVisions Teyonah Parris), and Slick Charles (Jamie Foxx) form an unlikely trio to investigate.

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage (2023)

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
54%
r
69m
Genre
Comedy
Stars
Chris Rock
Directed by
Joel Gallen
Watch on Netflix

Chris Rock’s first standup special since “The Slap” might not technically qualify as a movie, but we’re including it here because it made history as Netflix’s first global live-streaming event.

Chris Rock’s second special for Netflix features a pre-show hosted by Ronny Chieng and an after-show hosted by SNL contemporaries Dana Carvey and David Spade. It’s a raw and funny comedy special that highlights Rock’s gift as a stand-up comedian and expert storyteller.

Is That Black Enough for You?!? (2022)

Is That Black Enough for You?!?
88%
r
135m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Margaret Avery, Harry Belafonte, Charles Burnett
Directed by
Elvis Mitchell
Watch on Netflix
Film critic Elvis Mitchell directs and stars in this Netflix Original documentary about the history of Black cinema. Focusing primarily on a Black revolution in ’70s cinema, Mitchell uses archival footage and new interviews with key players from the area to analyze and celebrate the diversification, politicization, and star-making turns of the era. New interviews with luminaries like Harry Belafonte, Samuel L. Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Laurence Fishburne, and Charles Burnett make this doc a must-see for cinema lovers.

Concrete Cowboy (2020)

Concrete Cowboy
67%
6.3/10
r
111m
Genre
Drama, Western
Stars
Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, Jharrel Jerome
Directed by
Ricky Staub
Watch on Netflix
This modern Western centers on a North Philadelphia block where people live a little more simply. When 15-year-old Cole (Caleb McLaughlin) can’t stop getting in trouble at school, his mother drives him from Detroit to spend the summer in Philadelphia with his estranged father, Harp (Luther: The Fallen Sun‘s Idris Elba). Cole is shocked to find that despite the urban environment, Harp is a bonafide cowboy. Frustrated by his father’s strict rules and confused by the urban-cowboy lifestyle, Cole initially tries to find somewhere else to stay for the summer, only to find himself slowly being drawn into the rustic allure of Harp’s life.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
87%
7.0/10
r
94m
Genre
Drama, Music
Stars
Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman
Directed by
George C. Wolfe
Watch on Netflix
Adapted from August Wilson’s classic Century Cycle play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom takes place in a 1920s Chicago recording session. As musicians await the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (The Suicide Squad‘s Viola Davis), tempers begin to flare when Ma finally arrives. Ma enters into a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music while cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) stokes the fires and prods his fellow musicians into stories and truths that will change their lives.

Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Dolemite Is My Name
76%
7.3/10
r
118m
Genre
Drama, Comedy, History
Stars
Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps
Directed by
Craig Brewer
Watch on Netflix
Eddie Murphy returned from a lengthy acting hiatus to star as Rudy Ray Moore in this Oscar-nominated biopic of the comedian who created the character Dolemite. Dolemite is a pimp, comedian, and nightclub owner who became an iconic character in blaxploitation films. In Dolemite Is My Name, Moore grapples with the character and the success that comes with being an underground sensation.

Passing (2021)

Passing
85%
6.7/10
pg-13
98m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland
Directed by
Rebecca Hall
Watch on Netflix
Based on the 1929 novel of the same name, Passing stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as Irene and Clare. Old friends that reconnect after a chance meeting at a hotel, Irene is Black and is married to a Black physician. Clare, also Black, is able to “pass” as white because of her lighter skin color. As the two women grow closer, their personal lives, insecurities, and secrets start unraveling and weaving together. The directorial debut of actress Rebecca Hall, Passing is an emotionally close-knit chamber drama with mesmerizing and intricately-layered performances from both Thompson and Negga.
Passing | Official Trailer | Netflix

High Flying Bird (2019)

High Flying Bird
78%
6.2/10
90m
Genre
Drama
Stars
André Holland, Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg
Directed by
Steven Soderbergh
Watch on Netflix
In the wake of an NBA lockout, sports agent Ray Burke (Andrè Holland) is at risk of losing his entire career. Hoping to turn things around, the agent has less than 72 hours to pitch a controversial business plan to one of his rookie players, a business venture that will have major ripple effects across the entire NBA hierarchy of power. From director Steven Soderbergh, High Flying Bird combines the ingenuity of richly scripted sports dramas like Moneyball and infuses the narrative with energies that only a Soderbergh film can deliver. This is also Soderbergh’s second film to be entirely shot on an iPhone (Unsane being the first).
High Flying Bird | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017)

Deidra & Laney Rob a Train
65%
6/10
92m
Genre
Drama, Comedy, Crime
Stars
Ashleigh Murray, Rachel Crow, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by
Sydney Freeland
Watch on Netflix
When their mother gets thrown in jail, teen sisters Deidra (Ashleigh Murray) and Leina (Rachel Crow) are at risk of being thrown into foster care. To avoid such a fate, Deidra hatches a plan to begin robbing trains to build up enough of a nest egg to bail their mother out of jail, while providing enough funds for the siblings to survive. A lively blend of comedy and drama, Deidra & Laney Rob a Train finds its heart and soul in the upbeat performances of both Murray and Crow — a dazzling dynamic that propels this social hybrid out of the run-of-the-mill Netflix dramedy vault.
Deidra & Laney Rob a Train | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Giving Voice (2020)

Giving Voice
6.8/10
pg-13
90m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson
Directed by
Fernando Villena, James D. Stern
Watch on Netflix
The August Wilson Monologue Competition is an annual theater competition and much-lauded opportunity for aspiring high school artisans. With thousands of submissions every year, the crowned winner will be able to perform on Broadway. James D. Stern and Fernando Villena’s amazing documentary follows six students on their journey through the audition process, culminating in an edge-of-your-seat final round between the youths. Featuring appearances from Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and other noteworthy talking heads, Giving Voice is an inspiring showcase of up-and-coming talents and a reminder that the arts are always here for us to lean on.
Freedom Writers

Sleight (2016)

Sleight
62%
5.9/10
r
89m
Genre
Drama, Thriller, Action, Science Fiction
Stars
Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Storm Reid
Directed by
J.D. Dillard
Watch on Netflix
A street magician named Bo (Jacob Latimore) is the sole source of income for him and his kid sister, Tina (Storm Reid). By day, he performs magic tricks for spectacle and a dollar here or there from passersby. By night, Bo takes to the streets to sell drugs. What seems to be working quickly falls apart when a rival drug kingpin infringes on Bo’s dealer’s turf, sparking a war that Bo finds himself at the center of. Combining elements of serious drama with bits of magic realism and coming-of-age notes, Sleight brings its story home in more ways than one.
Sleight Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers

The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)

The Forty-Year-Old Version
80%
7.2/10
r
123m
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Stars
Radha Blank, Peter Y. Kim, Oswin Benjamin
Directed by
Radha Blank
Watch on Netflix
In writer-director Radha Blank’s feature film debut, the auteur plays a version of herself. A down-on-her-luck New York playwright who can’t gain enough traction because her most recent play doesn’t emphasize “Black suffering” enough, Radha unearths a new artistic path after hearing rap music outside her apartment walls. Putting her playwright aspirations on the back burner, albeit only for the time being, Radha teams with a music producer and DJ named D (Oswin Benjamin) to record her first series of rap songs — tunes with a metaphoric focus on Radha’s hardships as a Black artist. An authentic and moving portrayal of life as a starving artist, The Forty-Year-Old Version seems to allude to a forthcoming prolific career from its writer-director-actor. We can only wait and see what Radha’s filmic future may bring.
The Forty-Year-Old Version | Official Trailer | Netflix

Two Distant Strangers (2021)

Two Distant Strangers
6.9/10
r
32m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard, Zaria Simone
Directed by
Martin Desmond Roe, Travon Free
Watch on Netflix
Carter James (Joey Bada$$) is a New York cartoonist who needs to get home to his hungry dog after a date night out. On his return home, the artist is confronted by a police officer named Merk (Andrew Howard). Upon questioning Carter, the altercation between cop and cartoonist quickly escalates to Carter being shot dead, only to reawaken in his date’s bed. Stuck in a time loop, Carter must relive his tragic end again and again. An Oscar-winning short film, Two Distant Strangers shares a narrative time-loop structure with many other films but builds upon the formula with a meaningful message about systemic racism.
Two Distant Strangers | Oscar®-Nominated Live Action Short Film | Netflix

Atlantics (2019)

Atlantics
85%
6.7/10
pg-13
106m
Genre
Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery
Stars
Mame Bineta Sane, Ibrahima Traore, Amadou Mbow
Directed by
Mati Diop
Watch on Netflix
Ada (Mama Sane) awaits the date of her arranged marriage to Omar (Babacar Sylla), but her heart truly lies with Souleiman (Traore), a Senegal refugee in search of a better life for him and his lover. When the bodies of Souleiman’s companions wash up on the shore, Ada assumes her soul mate has perished — but through nothing short of a miracle, the lovers are reunited in the most unexpected of ways. The feature debut of writer-director Mati Diop, Atlantics has the profound designation of being the first film to play the Cannes Film Festival that was directed by a Black woman.
Atlantics | Official Trailer | Netflix | US

Monster (2018)

Monster
56%
6.5/10
r
98m
Genre
Crime, Drama
Stars
Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson
Directed by
Anthony Mandler
Watch on Netflix
Based on the Walter Dean Mayers novel of the same name, Monster stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Steve Harmon, a 17-year-old charged with murder. Shining a light on the teen’s journey from a bright and promising future through a bevy of legal proceedings and the possibility of jail time, the Harlem youth must rise against the odds to clear his name. With a commanding lead performance from indie stalwart Harrison, Jr., Monster follows a traditional dramatic formula, delivering rich results.

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Beasts of No Nation
79%
7.7/10
137m
Genre
Drama, War
Stars
Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye
Directed by
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Watch on Netflix
Adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name, Beasts of No Nation stars Idris Elba as Commandment, a towering West African guerilla warfare leader. As civil war breaks out, a young boy named Agu is recruited by Commandment to join his battalion after attacks on the boy’s settlement are initiated by rebel forces. Leaving his family behind, Agu begins an immense coming-of-age journey through his militaristic training. Securing several awards and nominations when first released, Beasts of No Nation is a tremendous piece of cinema with bold visuals, deep performances, and an impressive narrative.

Uncorked (2020)

Uncorked
62%
6.4/10
r
104m
Genre
Drama, Comedy
Stars
Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Niecy Nash
Directed by
Prentice Penny
Watch on Netflix
In writer-director Prentice Penny’s Uncorked, Mamoudou Athie stars as Elijah, an aspiring sommelier with dreams of leaving the family barbecue business behind in pursuit of his wine connoisseur dreams. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself, the young man must choose between a life of tradition and family ties or a new world filled with major personal opportunities. An energetic Black comedy-drama with familiar but elevated family undertones, Uncorked looks and feels like a number of other films in the “stay-or-go” subgenre, but its performances and relatable narrative push it above the rest of its counterparts.

Beats (2019)

Beats
6.4/10
r
109m
Genre
Drama, Music
Stars
Anthony Anderson, Khalil Everage, Uzo Aduba
Directed by
Christian Robinson
Watch on Netflix
Eighteen months after a devastating tragedy, Chicago youth August (Khalil Everage), afflicted by PTSD, struggles to find a meaningful life outside of his bedroom. When school principal Vanessa runs up against personnel cuts if her school’s attendance doesn’t improve, she hires her soon-to-be-ex, Romelo (Anthony Anderson), as a security guard. Tasked with encouraging August to return to school, Romelo discovers that the teenager is a talented musician. As a friendship begins forming between the two, Romelo and August discover that their fraternal bond is the meaningful relationship that both men have been searching for their entire lives. With a fairly by-the-book narrative, Beats truly shines through the onscreen chemistry between Anthony Anderson and Khalil Everage.

The Black Godfather (2019)

The Black Godfather
69%
7.5/10
r
118m
Genre
Documentary, Music
Stars
Clarence Avant, Quincy Jones, Barack Obama
Directed by
Reginald Hudlin
Watch on Netflix
The Black Godfather is a riveting documentary about Black music legend Clarence Avant. A record label founder, concert curator, political activist, and a cherished mentor to several other executives that were inspired by his quiet but esteemed reign over the arts, Clarence truly did it all. Buckle up for this profanity-laced tell-all: It’s a raw and honest portrait of an essential entertainment figurehead. Don’t let the F-bomb drops deter you though — this is a top-notch documentary with an ensemble of noteworthy talking heads and a mighty arcing narrative to seal the deal.

Quincy (2018)

Quincy
60%
7.6/10
r
124m
Genre
Documentary, Music
Stars
Quincy Jones, Rashida Jones, Tom Hanks
Directed by
Rashida Jones, Alan Hicks
Watch on Netflix
It’s hard to encapsulate the life of a legend, especially one as prolific and regarded as musician extraordinaire, Quincy Jones. But co-directors Rashida Jones (Quincy’s daughter) and Alan Hicks do a remarkable job of wrangling the life of the icon. Chronicling Quincy’s early life and eventual rise to stardom in both the professional film and music communities he would come to dominate, Quincy paints an immense portrait of the artist, activist, husband, and father, featuring interviews and recollections from those closest to him. An immersive and incredibly human film, Quincy went on to win a Grammy for Best Music Film at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
68%
7.6/10
pg
113m
Genre
Drama, History, Family
Stars
Maxwell Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aïssa Maïga
Directed by
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Watch on Netflix
William Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba) is a young boy with humongous dreams and an incredible knack for electrical engineering. When his parents can’t keep up with his school’s tuition, the wunderkind blackmails his science teacher into letting William continue his studies. As famine sets into his village, tearing families apart, William devises a genius plan to construct a windmill to power an electric water pump. The odds against him and lacking resources, William builds his machine without ever looking back. As director Chiwetel Ejiofor’s powerful feature debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a beautifully constructed film about the struggles of humanity and what we do to overcome hardship even under the most hopeless of conditions.

ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019)

ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke
7.2/10
r
74m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, Quincy Jones
Directed by
Kelly Duane de la Vega
Watch on Netflix
Influential soul singer, entrepreneur, and activist Sam Cooke gave a lot to the world. In this emotionally-stirring Netflix doc, we revisit the legacy and impact of the artist by way of those he loved most and that loved him in return. Featuring a talking-head ensemble of family, friends, journalists, academics, and other cultural movers and shakers, director Kelly Duane’s provocative film shines new light on Sam’s murder by way of Bertha Franklin in 1964, exploring the crime from multiple vantages. A chronicling of a profound artist and the mark he left on Black culture, this is one you don’t want to miss.

See You Yesterday (2019)

See You Yesterday
74%
5.2/10
r
86m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Crime, Action
Stars
Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow, Astro
Directed by
Stefon Bristol
Watch on Netflix
Based on writer-director Stefon Bristol’s 2017 short film of the same name, See You Yesterday stars Eden Duncan-Smith and Dante Crichlow as CJ and Sebastian, two science nerds who spend their time inventing — specifically, time machine backpacks that will blast the youths across the space-time continuum. When a tragedy befalls CJ, she and Sebastian will do whatever it takes to turn back time to save someone they love (and have lost). Seamlessly blending science fiction and social drama, See You Yesterday is led by powerful and endearing performances from its leads while never straying from its racial undertones.

Becoming (2020)

Becoming
66%
6.8/10
pg
89m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Phoebe Robinson
Directed by
Nadia Hallgren
Watch on Netflix
If you find that you’re missing the grace, compassion, and normalcy of the Obama administration, Becoming is a refreshing watch. A companion to Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming sheds light on her journey to become America’s first African American First Lady. While it’s not quite as personal as some might like, Becoming is nonetheless an endearing, often provocative discussion of race, hope, and connecting with those of different backgrounds and beliefs. It’s a keen reminder that leaders can inspire by positive example.

13th (2016)

13th
83%
8.2/10
r
100m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Jelani Cobb, Angela Davis, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Directed by
Ava DuVernay
Watch on Netflix
“If you’re in the prison business, you don’t want reform. You may say you do. But you don’t.” Ava DuVernay’s eye-opening, at times harrowing, 13th is a pivotal documentary that explores the centuries-old criminalization of disenfranchised African American communities, but by way of tracing the steps of American racism to its very roots. Over the course of the film, DuVernay and many activists, lawmakers, and academics unfold decade after decade of politically motivated legislation, and the lobbyists often behind these laws, that have led not only to the privatization of the American prison system but also to the staggeringly disproportionate incarceration of millions of African American men and women. The film can be difficult to watch, but DuVernay’s grim realizations are made to be blatant. What is also apparent is that there is still hope for fundamental change, a message echoed by the film’s ensemble of progressively minded confiders, figures both left- and right-leaning.

All Day and a Night (2020)

All Day and a Night
60%
5.9/10
r
121m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Ashton Sanders, Jeffrey Wright, Isaiah John
Directed by
Joe Robert Cole
Watch on Netflix
In All Day and a Night, Ashton Sanders plays Jahkor Lincoln, a once-aspiring rapper serving a life sentence for murder. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn of Lincoln’s troubled upbringing. An adolescence riddled with abuse and dire straits leads to petty crime, which evolves into something far more sinister when Lincoln begins offering his services to a gangster named Big Stunna. As present-day Jahkor looks back on his dark past from behind bars, an old accomplice is admitted to the same prison. This time around, though, the man is a foe, not a friend. Praised for its performances and meditative qualities, All Day and a Night is indeed a richly-textured drama. Ashton Sanders is particularly impressive as Jahkor.

American Son (2019)

American Son
34%
5.8/10
pg-13
90m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan
Directed by
Kenny Leon
Watch on Netflix
Kerry Washington is electric in Kenny Leon’s racially charged drama about a mother, father, and the police officers that serve as the gatekeepers to their son’s safety (or lack thereof). The film is minimalist in terms of set pieces, but the true gravitas of this 90-minute, escalating panic is in the claustrophobia of the police station, a bunker clinging to its segregated past by way of demarcated water fountains and a quiet regional disparity covered with a law book and a grin. The true joy of the film is in watching Washington claw her way through the narrative, channeling a polarity of emotions that are all backed by the all-too-relatable fear of a mother worried because her child didn’t come home. Sparse editing and an emotional score are the backbones of these three acts, each of which plays out like a theater piece, sans intermission.

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (2019)

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
93%
7.5/10
137m
Genre
Documentary, Music
Stars
Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland
Directed by
Beyoncé, Ed Burke
Watch on Netflix
A concert film for a new generation, HOMECOMING won a Grammy for Best Musical Film. Beyoncé has become something of a musical film savant, with LemonadeBlack Is King, and HOMECOMING all earning rave reviews. It’s HOMECOMING, however, that stands uniquely as a concert film. The film takes an in-depth look at Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance, revealing the incredible creative depth and cultural significance of the show.

Barry (2016)

Barry
72%
5.9/10
r
104m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Devon Terrell, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ashley Judd
Directed by
Vikram Gandhi
Watch on Netflix
You might think Barack Obama is still too recently out of office to have his own biopic, but the circumstances surrounding the nation’s first Black president’s rise to power are worthy of this 2016 film. The story follows a young Barack Obama as he arrives in New York City in the fall of 1981 for his junior year at Columbia University. Echoing many of the themes expressed in his autobiography, Dreams of My Father, Obama struggles to stay connected to his mother and his estranged father and build new connections with his classmates. Simultaneously, he battles an identity crisis and becomes critical of the injustices he sees in his day-to-day life, ultimately motivating him toward a career in organizing and, eventually, politics.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Da 5 Bloods
82%
6.5/10
r
156m
Genre
War, Drama
Stars
Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters
Directed by
Spike Lee
Watch on Netflix
Spike Lee’s first movie under his new Netflix deal is a modern masterpiece. Simultaneously about the stasis of the movement for Black justice and the enduring villainy of the Vietnam War, Da 5 Bloods bounces between eras to illuminate how little has changed in 40 years. The film follows four Black vets as they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and a buried treasure they vowed to one day return for. What they discover is their own “Heart of Darkness” as they battle the forces of man and nature, confronting the lasting legacy of the war and its impact on Vietnam and one another.

Mudbound (2017)

Mudbound
85%
7.4/10
r
135m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell
Directed by
Dee Rees
Watch on Netflix
The expertly lensed Mudbound — written and directed by Dee Rees and photographed by Rachel Morrison — explores the personal, economic, and racial tensions of two rural families living by way of the land in World War II-era Mississippi. A respective son from each family goes off to war. These are Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), two boys who leave a world of racism and other struggles behind. The battle ends. They return home, Jamie with newfound trauma, and Ronsel to a country that looks down at him for the color of his skin, regardless of his valor. What’s to truly savor in Rees’ masterful period drama is Morrison’s language of framing. Rees and Morrison were after a kind of camera work that reflected the feeling of the American Dream, and so we get beauty in shades. But under the flora is loud and vibrant cinematography that enhances our connection with both families, one white and one black. Mudbound is illuminating in more ways than one, an epic racial drama led by a master class of actors that all own their roles.

Strong Island (2017)

Strong Island
86%
6.4/10
r
107m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Yance Ford, Harvey Walker, Kevin Myers
Directed by
Yance Ford
Watch on Netflix
Director Yance Ford’s investigation into the 1992 murder of her brother, 24-year-old William Ford Jr., is an examination of judicial prejudice like no other, and an incredible film experiment. Courageously, Ford toes the line between essay film, personal memoir, and true crime exposé, seamlessly blending each type of documentary form in an effort to best capture her 22-year story of pain and loss. Ford spends time with the friends, family, and willing judicial entities that were involved in her brother’s life and in the courtroom for his killer’s trial, 19-year-old Mark P. Reilly. These many emotional recollections weave a rich tapestry of William Ford Jr.’s life, ambitions, fears, and frustrations. Underneath the records, talking heads, and scrapbook photos is a story about a family that lost their son, and his little sister’s lifelong quest for familial and personal closure.

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

What Happened, Miss Simone?
75%
7.6/10
101m
Genre
Music, Documentary
Stars
Nina Simone, Lisa Simone, Dick Gregory
Directed by
Liz Garbus
Watch on Netflix
What Happened, Miss Simone? explores the life of prolific singer-songwriter and pianist, Nina Simone, through recollections composed of archived interviews, photographs, commentaries, musical performances, and journal entries. Plagued by racism from an early age, Simone’s rise to stardom served as a platform for the activism that would define much of her career. Liz Garbus’ film is an introspective journey into the always-racing mind of an artistic genius, and a black woman who desperately wanted black voices to be heard and understood the world over. Conversations with friends, family, and those that worked with Simone professionally round out the documentary, each contributor adding a new layer of Nina, a complicated but enduring individual with a calling that never ceased, and a talent like no other.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Michael Bizzaco

Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from A/V components and smart home devices to encryption software, cloud backup platforms, search engine tools, and more. He has written for Digital Trends for over three years, covering entertainment content, A/V, and smart home devices.

Nick Perry

Nick Perry is a freelance writer who bounced from Hollywood to Silicon Beach to pajama pants. His work has been featured on Digital Trends, Good Morning America, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and more media outlets.

Best new movies coming to theaters in 2024
A woman stands with two men in Furiosa.

Traditionally, the first weekend of May marks the beginning of the summer box office race. But since The Fall Guy stumbled so spectacularly that it's on VOD before the beginning of its third weekend in theaters, Memorial Day weekend is now going to have to be the new start of summer 2024. Assuming that Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga can live up to the hype.

This weekend, families also have a choice if they don't want to watch the R-rated action of Furiosa. The Garfield Movie is now in theaters, and America's favorite comic-strip cat is now voiced by Chris Pratt. This is counterprogramming 101, folks, so it should be interesting to how Furiosa and The Garfield Movie split the box office this weekend.

Read more
The 10 most popular movies on Netflix right now
Dakota Johnson looks through a spiderweb in an image from Madame Web

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services in the world, with nearly 270 million subscribers. And just what do those people tend to watch? In particular, what is the most popular movie on Netflix? Each week, the streaming service releases a list of its 10 most-watched movies over a recent seven-day period to keep subscribers in the loop regarding its most popular titles.

After flopping at the box office, Madame Web is now on Netflix. Ironically, Madame Web shot right to No. 1 on the Netflix top 10 list. Mother of the Bride remains strong in its second week at No. 2, followed by Shrek at No. 3. Other new movies in the top 10 include Upgrade at No. 4 and Thelma the Unicorn at No. 5. Below, we've listed the top 10 movies in the U.S. from May 13 to May 19, along with general information about each film, such as genre, rating, cast, and synopsis.

Read more
The best kids movies on Disney+ right now
The main cast of Chang Can Dunk together in a promo still for the movie.

Disney+ is the prime streamer for watching the best kids and family movies. Young audiences are well catered to by the platform between Disney classics and modern originals. If you're overwhelmed by the variety, this monthly guide focuses on the highlights of the best kids movies to watch on Disney+ right now.

The Disney Bundle gives audiences even better value for their dollar. This convenient package includes Disney+, Hulu's ad-supported plan, and ESPN+'s sports coverage. This bundle offers audiences all the Star Wars, Marvel Studios, and sports content they could want.

Read more