Cinematic history has gifted us with a treasure trove of triumphs that showcase the rich tapestry of Black experiences. And now, thanks to the availability of free movies on a variety of streaming platforms, you can turn any boring Friday night into a celebration of Black excellence. The five outstanding free movies on this list are must-sees for every lover of cinema and Black culture.
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Genre: Dark Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Link to movie: Sorry to Bother You
Boots Riley’s directorial debut, Sorry to Bother You, adds itself to the catalog of free Black movies as a surreal and thought-provoking satire that explores complex themes of race, capitalism, and corporate exploitation.
The main character of the film, a young Black man named Cassius Green (played by superstar LaKeith Stanfield), climbs the corporate ladder at a telemarketing company by adopting a white voice and soon finds himself faced with a choice between financial success and his friends. The movie has been lauded for its excellent soundtrack and extreme creativity.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
Genre: Biography, Drama
Link to movie: Fruitvale Station
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station is a gut-wrenching film based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a young Black man who was murdered by a transit police officer in Oakland, California. The story recounts the final day in Oscar’s life, offering an intimate look at his relationships and aspirations as he spends New Year’s Eve with his family and friends. The film lifts up the voices of the Black community, igniting conversations about injustice and the impact that such atrocities leave behind.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 74%
Genre: Action, Historical Drama, Biography
Link to movie: Harriet
Harriet is a powerful biographical film that follows the story of Harriet Tubman as she led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom. Cynthia Erivo’s stunning portrayal of the film’s heroine brings her indomitable spirit to life in this fast-paced historical drama, highlighting the courage and determination of one of the most important figures in American history.
Love & Basketball (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85%
Genre: Romance, Sports, Drama
Link to movie: Love & Basketball
Love & Basketball is the brainchild of renowned Black writer Gina Prince-Bythewood. Following the story of two young athletes, the film chronicles the respective pursuits of their individual basketball careers as the pair slowly falls in love. An established cult classic, Love & Basketball beautifully intertwines romance with a celebration of Black, and especially female, athleticism in a way that is both heart-warming and inspiring.
The Temptations (1998)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96% (Audience Score)
Genre: Drama, Biography, Music
Link to movie: The Temptations
A miniseries that premiered on NBC in 1998, The Temptations explores the rich history of one of Motown’s longest-lived acts. The series is based on the autobiography of the group’s last surviving member, Otis Williams, and traverses the struggles, triumphs, and sacrifices of the group members, mainly from his perspective. In the expansive collection of free Black movies, this miniseries is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about the history of Black music or who simply wants to relive some of the band’s most iconic songs.
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