The month of February marks Black History Month in the United States. For those looking for looking for a great opportunity to watch a classic film with the whole family that stars a black cast, or even a film based on African Americans, then this list of the best black family movies in 2023 will serve those well. Some of the movies are based on a true story, a historical drama, some have won an Academy Award, but all feature black family films the entire family can enjoy. Check out this list of the Best Black Family Movies in 2023.
If you enjoyed this list of best black family movies in 2023, check out these other articles: Best Earth Day movies, St. Patrick’s Day movies for kids, Black History Month word search, Best football movies on Netflix, best Disney Plus movies to watch before going to Disney World, Valentines movies to watch on Disney Plus.
Best Black Family Movies 2023
Plot: Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son’s (Jovan Adepo) chance to meet a college football recruiter.
Star Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo
Plot: After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett
March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed The World
Plot: In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the MARCH ON WASHINGTON, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sister presents a personal, stirring account of the remarkable day Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and of the man who went on to inspire a nation.
Cast: Lynn Whitfield, Michael Bacon
The Secret Life Of Bees
Plot: Haunted by memories of her late mother and abused by her father, 14-year-old Lily Owens runs away with her friend and caregiver Rosaleen to the South Carolina town that holds the key to her mother’s past. There, Lily meets the Boatwright sisters, who take her in and teach her about beekeeping, honey, and the Black Madonna. Lily also discovers that the truth about her mother is closer than she thinks.
Cast: Paul Bettany, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo
The Nutty Professor
Plot: Brilliant and obese scientist Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) invents a miraculous weight-loss solution. After a date with chemistry student Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett) goes badly, a depressed Klump tries the solution on himself. Though he instantly loses 250 pounds, the side effects include a second personality: an obnoxiously self-assertive braggart who calls himself Buddy Love. Buddy proves to be more popular than Sherman, but his arrogance and bad behavior quickly spiral out of control.
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle
Plot: Decades after being betrayed by his apprentice, a once joyful toy maker finds new hope when his bright young granddaughter arrives on his doorstep. Mark this one for your Christmas movies list.
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Madalen Mills, Phylicia Rashad
The Jackie Robinson Story
Plot: Tells the story of Jackie Robinson. After a successful baseball career in college and as a coach in the military, Jackie Robinson attracts the attention of Major League Baseball’s Branch Rickey . Rickey wants Robinson to play in the minor leagues, believing he can become the first player to break the color barrier and play in the majors. The only catch: He is forbidden from defending himself against racial bigotry. Supported by his wife, Robinson is steadfast in his determination to win.
Cast: Jackie Robinson, Minor Watson, Ruby Dee
The Pursuit Of Happyness
Plot: Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner. Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, Thandie Newton
Rodgers And Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Plot: Cinderella chafes under the cruelty of her wicked stepmother and her evil stepsisters, Calliope and Minerva, until her Fairy Godmother steps in to change her life for one unforgettable night. At the ball, she falls for handsome Prince Christopher, whose parents, King Maximillian and Queen Constantina, are anxious for him to find a suitable paramour.
Cast: Brandy, Bernadette Peters, Veanne Cox, Natalie Desselle, Whitney Houston, Paolo Montalban, Victor Garber, Whoopi Goldberg
A Wrinkle in Time
Plot: Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe. Directed by Ava Duvernay.
Cast: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling
Dancing In The Light: The Janet Collins Story
Plot: A passionate and dedicated black dancer in 1930s America is asked to dance by the prestigious Ballet Russe, but they want her to paint her skin white.
Cast: Chris Rock
A Raisin In The Sun
Plot: This lauded drama follows the Youngers, an African-American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of their patriarch, they try to determine what to do with the substantial insurance payment they’ll soon receive. Opinions on what to do with the money vary. Walter Lee wants to make a business investment, while his mother, Lena, is intent on buying a house for them all to live in — two differing views of the American Dream.
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil
The Color Purple
Plot: An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie, an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie’s abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing “Mister” Albert Johnson, things go from bad to worse, leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa. Based on the novel by Alice Walker.
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover. Directed by Steven Spielberg
Plot: When Harlem schoolteacher Dorothy tries to save her dog from a storm, she’s miraculously whisked away to an urban fantasy land called Oz. After accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East upon her arrival, Dorothy is told about the Wiz, a wizard who can help her get back to Manhattan. As Dorothy goes in search of the Wiz, she’s joined by the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.
Cast: Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross
Our Family Wedding
Plot: Soon after returning from college, Lucia and Marcus announce their engagement to their parents. Marcus and Lucia realize too late that, although it’s their marriage, the wedding belongs to their families. Insults fly and tensions run high when their highly competitive fathers get involved, threatening to wreak havoc with the couple’s special day.
Cast: America Ferrera, Lance Gross, Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, Regina King
Plot: When Ahmad Simmons’ diabetic grandmother, Josephine “Big Mama” Joseph, falls into a coma during an operation to amputate her leg, it throws the Joseph family into chaos. Ahmad watches as his mother, Maxine, and aunts Teri and Tracy struggle to adjust to the family matriarch’s sudden absence, fall into old rivalries, share memories, and work to maintain the long-standing tradition of Sunday family dinners.
Cast: Brandon Hammond, Vivica A. Fox, Irma P. Hall, Vanessa L. Williams, Nia Long
Madea’s Big Happy Family
Plot: When Shirley, Madea’s niece, receives distressing news about her health, the only thing she wants is her family gathered around her. However, Shirley’s three adult children are too preoccupied with their own troubled lives to pay attention to their mother. It is up to Madea, with the help of rowdy Aunt Bam, to bring the clan together and help Shirley deal with her crisis. This dysfunctional family will have viewers cracking up.
Cast: Loretta Devine, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, Shannon Kane, Natalie Desselle-Reid, Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis
Plot: Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Jenelle Monae
The Great Debaters
Plot: Poet and professor Melvin B. Tolson teaches at the predominately black Wiley College in 1935 Texas. He decides to start a debate team, something nearly unheard of at a black college. While at first he butts heads with the influential father of one of his best debators, eventually he is able to form a team of strong-minded, intelligent young students, and they become the first black debate team to challenge Harvard’s prestigious debate champions.
Cast: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker
Plot: In 1999, Ken Carter returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball team into shape. With tough rules and academic discipline, he succeeds in setting the players on a winning streak. But when their grades start to suffer, Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. When he is criticized by the players and their parents, he sticks to his guns, determined that they excel in class as well as on the court.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson
Remembers The Titans
Plot: In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas, each playoff distinguished more grandly than any national holiday. And with such recognition, comes powerful emotions. In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all black school with an all white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test.
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Hurst, Ryan Gosling
The Princess And The Frog
Plot: Hardworking and ambitious, Tiana dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant in New Orleans. Her dream takes a slight detour when she meets Prince Naveen, who has been turned into an amphibian by evil Dr. Facilier. Mistaking her for a princess and hoping to break the spell, Naveen plants a kiss on poor Tiana — thereby turning her into a frog as well. The pair hop along on an adventure through the bayous to seek the help of a powerful voodoo priestess. The Disney movie features the first black princess.
Cast: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos
Plot: While his wife, Kim, brings home the bacon, unemployed Charlie spends his days caring for the couple’s young son. With help from a friend, Phil, Charlie decides to start a day care center. Enrollment quickly surges, and, as they add another employee, goofy Marvin, Charlie finds himself dealing with endless red tape. Will he be able to keep the business afloat, or will parents defect to Mrs. Harridan’s day care center?
Cast: Regina King, Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Anjelica Huston
Plot: Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship comes from an array of exotic animals that he speaks to on a daily basis. But when young Queen Victoria becomes gravely ill, the eccentric doctor and his furry friends embark on an epic adventure to a mythical island to find the cure.
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wilson, Raven-Symone
Johnson Family Vacation
Plot: Separated from his beautiful wife, Nate Johnson wants to make amends with her and spend time with his kids, finding the perfect chance for bonding in a cross-country trip to a family reunion. Convincing them all to join in on the journey, Nate takes the Johnson clan on a trek from California to Missouri, but they encounter various strange situations and eccentrics along the way, including a quirky hitchhiker.
Cast: Vanessa L. Williams, Cedric the Entertainer, Shannon Elizabeth
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Plot: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.
Cast: Shameik Moore, Oscar Isaac, Hailee Steinfield