Since the early days of the film industry, audiences have loved a good gangster movie. There’s something compelling about rooting for the bad guys when you know there’s no real-world consequences. Here are the top 7 Black gangster movies you should definitely watch.
1. American Gangster
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russel Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ruby Dee, Cuba Gooding Jr.
“American Gangster” is widely considered to be one of the most engaging gangster movies of all time, thanks to the performances of its two lead actors. This gritty throwback film stars Denzel Washington as charismatic crime boss Frank Lucas and inspired Jay-Z’s album “American Gangster,” his 10th number 1 album.
2. Boyz n The Hood
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Lawrence Fishburne
10-year-old Tre is sent to live with his stern dad to learn values and respect. But Tre’s friends don’t have the same support and are drawn into the neighborhood’s booming drug and gang culture, with increasingly tragic results.
3. New Jack City
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Judd Nelson
Sleek and stylish, “New Jack City” features Wesley Snipes as leader of a narcotics empire. Two police officers, played by Ice-T and Nelson, attempt to take the kingpin down– but to do so, they’ll have to go deep undercover into dangerous territory.
4. Set It Off
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
Starring: Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith
This movie’s cast of badass women shows that girls can be gangsters, too. Four struggling friends decide that their financial problems can be solved with a little larceny, and they quickly go from cleaners to bank robbers. It’s a slick heist movie with a lot of heart and great character writing.
5. Menace II Society
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
Starring: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, Charles Dutton, Jada Pinkett Smith
After growing up in the gang lifestyle of the Los Angeles projects, 18-year-old Caine Lawson wants to escape the cycle of crime and violence. But in a series of tragic events, Caine realizes that escape will not be easy. This is one of the best Black gangster movies on Tubi, so you can watch it for free!
6. Baby Boy
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
Starring: Tyrese Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Tamara LaSeon Bass, Snoop Dogg
“Baby Boy” is the story of Jody, a young Black man forced to grow up too fast. The characters are complex and authentic, and emotions run deep as Jody tries to find balance and direction in his chaotic life.
7. Hustle and Flow
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
Starring: Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taraji P. Henson
In this Black gangster movie, DJay (played by Terrence Howard) is a pimp with a midlife crisis. When he meets up with an old friend who is now in the music industry, he’s inspired to turn his life around and uses his criminal life as an inspiration to create rap music. Music plays a huge role in this movie; it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp.”
Black Gangsta Movies on BlackOakTV
Okay, so BlackOakTV doesn’t have a ton of Black gangsta movies in our media catalog, but we have a bunch of other edgy, fun, and drama-filled content on the service. We hope you’ll check it out via our three-day trial!