Best Black Movies Of The 90s

by rocknrolla-89-843945 | created - 11 Sep 2011 | updated - 07 Apr 2013 | Public
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1. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 68,100 | Gross: $27.55M

2. Boyz n the Hood (1991)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects.

Director: John Singleton | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir, Lloyd Avery II

Votes: 105,594 | Gross: $57.50M

3. Friday (1995)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

Two homies, Smokey and Craig, smoke a dope dealer's weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe to the dealer by 10 p.m. that same night.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister

Votes: 84,648 | Gross: $27.47M

4. Above the Rim (1994)

R | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Sport

Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.

Director: Jeff Pollack | Stars: Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, Leon, David Bailey

Votes: 11,854 | Gross: $16.04M

5. New Jack City (1991)

R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles | Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne, Chris Rock

Votes: 26,739 | Gross: $47.62M

6. Menace II Society (1993)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu, Toshi Toda

Votes: 43,909 | Gross: $27.90M

7. Higher Learning (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.

Director: John Singleton | Stars: Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport, Jennifer Connelly

Votes: 15,976 | Gross: $38.29M

8. Dead Presidents (1995)

R | 119 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker, Freddy Rodríguez

Votes: 16,896 | Gross: $24.20M

9. Poetic Justice (1993)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

51 Metascore

In this film, we see the world through the eyes of main character Justice, a young African-American poet. A mail carrier invites a few friends along for a long overnight delivery run.

Director: John Singleton | Stars: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Joe Torry

Votes: 10,218 | Gross: $27.52M

10. Posse (1993)

R | 111 min | Western

A group of mostly black infantrymen return from the Spanish-American War with a cache of gold. They travel to the West where their leader searches for the men who lynched his father.

Director: Mario Van Peebles | Stars: Mario Van Peebles, Stephen Baldwin, Charles Lane, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister

Votes: 3,501 | Gross: $18.29M

11. A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994)

R | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A black detective becomes embroiled in a web of danger while searching for a fortune in missing drug money.During the course of his investigation, he encounters various old connections, ... See full summary »

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans | Stars: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Charles S. Dutton, Jada Pinkett Smith, Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Votes: 4,821 | Gross: $29.39M

12. White Men Can't Jump (1992)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances of winning money on the street courts and in a basketball tournament.

Director: Ron Shelton | Stars: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell

Votes: 64,918 | Gross: $76.25M

13. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 71,130 | Gross: $48.17M

14. Mo' Money (1992)

R | 89 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Trying to get his act together, a con artist gets a job in a credit card company. He falls in love with a fellow employee, he steals a couple of cards, everything is going great. But soon, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter MacDonald | Stars: Damon Wayans, Stacey Dash, Marlon Wayans, Joe Santos

Votes: 6,046 | Gross: $40.23M

15. Set It Off (1996)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Desperation drives four inner-city women (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise) to bank robbery in Los Angeles, then they start mistrusting one another.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 11,633 | Gross: $36.05M

16. Life (I) (1999)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

In 1932, two strangers are wrongfully convicted and develop a strong friendship in prison that lasts them through the 20th century.

Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatundé, Nick Cassavetes

Votes: 37,719 | Gross: $63.84M

17. Juice (1992)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

Four inner-city teenagers get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as "the juice".

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson | Stars: Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins, Khalil Kain

Votes: 19,570 | Gross: $20.15M

18. Jackie Brown (1997)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A middle-aged woman finds herself in the middle of a huge conflict that will either make her a profit or cost her life.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Votes: 265,786 | Gross: $39.67M

19. Jason's Lyric (1994)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

The story of a young man, Jason (Allen Payne) who must confront his trauma-induced insecurity about love, as well as a sense of owed responsibility to his mother and troubled brother Joshua... See full summary »

Director: Doug McHenry | Stars: Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Anthony 'Treach' Criss

Votes: 2,940 | Gross: $20.85M

20. Clockers (1995)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

71 Metascore

Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo, Mekhi Phifer

Votes: 18,044 | Gross: $13.04M

21. House Party (1990)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

76 Metascore

Kid decides to go to his friend Play's house party, but neither of them can predict what's in store for them on what could be the wildest night of their lives.

Director: Reginald Hudlin | Stars: Christopher Reid, Robin Harris, Christopher Martin, Martin Lawrence

Votes: 9,967 | Gross: $26.39M

22. Another 48 Hrs. (1990)

R | 93 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

23 Metascore

Jack Cates once again enlists the aid of ex-con Reggie Hammond--this time, to take down The Iceman, a ruthless drug lord operating in the San Francisco bay area.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Brion James, Kevin Tighe

Votes: 33,125 | Gross: $80.82M

23. House Party 2 (1991)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

When Kid's college money is stolen by a crooked music promoter, Play's solution is to stage the 'mutha' of all pajama parties. Starring Kid 'n Play and Martin Lawrence.

Directors: George Jackson, Doug McHenry | Stars: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Martin Lawrence, Bowlegged Lou

Votes: 4,439 | Gross: $19.28M

24. Bad Boys (1995)

R | 119 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

41 Metascore

Two hip detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Lisa Boyle, Michael Taliferro

Votes: 193,349 | Gross: $65.81M

25. Deep Cover (1992)

R | 107 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Duke | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum, Lira Angel, René Assa

Votes: 7,371 | Gross: $16.64M

26. Hoodlum (1997)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

50 Metascore

Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.

Director: Bill Duke | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams, Andy Garcia

Votes: 9,226 | Gross: $23.46M

27. Class Act (1992)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy

A valedictorian and a juvenile delinquent have their school records switched and begin to be treated like the other.

Director: Randall Miller | Stars: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Andre Rosey Brown, Meshach Taylor

Votes: 5,002 | Gross: $13.27M

28. Panther (I) (1995)

R | 124 min | Drama

A dramatized account of the story of The Black Panther Party of Self-Defense.

Director: Mario Van Peebles | Stars: Kadeem Hardison, Bokeem Woodbine, Joe Don Baker, Courtney B. Vance

Votes: 2,007 | Gross: $6.83M

29. Gridlock'd (1997)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

After a friend overdoses, Spoon and Stretch decide to kick their drug habits and attempt to enroll in a government detox program. Their efforts are hampered by seemingly endless red tape, ... See full summary »

Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall | Stars: Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, Thandie Newton, Charles Fleischer

Votes: 13,033 | Gross: $5.48M

30. Fear of a Black Hat (1993)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Music

A mockumentary chronicling the rise and fall of NWH, a not particularly talented--or particularly bright but always controversial--hip-hop group.

Director: Rusty Cundieff | Stars: Larry B. Scott, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Rusty Cundieff, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 3,498 | Gross: $0.24M

31. Crooklyn (1994)

PG-13 | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

65 Metascore

Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly, Zelda Harris

Votes: 6,978 | Gross: $13.64M

32. He Got Game (1998)

R | 136 min | Drama, Sport

63 Metascore

A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich, Ray Allen, Rosario Dawson

Votes: 39,201 | Gross: $21.55M