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50 movies that address the history of racism in America

  • Get Out (2017)

    - Director: Jordan Peele
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Metascore: 85
    - Runtime: 104 min

    "Get Out" follows a Black man (Chris) and his white girlfriend (Rose) as they travel to meet Rose's family for the first time. This film has been critically praised for hitting numerous themes of modern America, including white liberalism, cultural appropriation, racism, racial discrimination in policing, and more.

  • Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (2017)

    - Director: Travis Wilkerson
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Metascore: 78
    - Runtime: 90 min

    "Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?" dives into the South during the 1940s as a man investigates the murder of a Black man by his racist, white great-grandfather. Incorporating scenes from "To Kill a Mockingbird," the film mirrors the society that allowed racial injustices and brutal murders to occur.

  • Strong Island (2017)

    - Director: Yance Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Metascore: 86
    - Runtime: 107 min

    Yance Ford documents the investigation into the murder of his brother, 24-year-old William Ford Jr., in 1992. It is revealed that Ford was killed by a white man who was acquitted by an all-white jury. The film takes us through the heartbreak of a family who could not escape the racial injustices that plague Black families and their lives.

  • The Force (2017)

    - Director: Peter Nicks
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Metascore: 80
    - Runtime: 92 min

    "The Force" highlights the demand for police reform by the Oakland police department amid the events and protests in Ferguson, Missouri. The film addresses scandals caused by the police department and encourages police accountability.

  • Mudbound (2017)

    - Director: Dee Rees
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Metascore: 85
    - Runtime: 134 min

    In the midst of Jim Crow, a Black family struggles to build "the American dream" while working on a farm. This film's timeline is set in the post-World War II era, and the strict rules enforced on race relations of the time are at the forefront of the film, with classism, sexism, and issues surrounding PTSD lingering close behind.

     

  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018)

    - Director: RaMell Ross
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Metascore: 85
    - Runtime: 76 min

    Critics have described this avant-garde style film as "pure cinematic poetry." Two Black men learn to live within the social constructs of society and explore Black people's deep-rooted history and culture. The film captures elements of life that stem from racial injustices placed on Black people.

  • If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

    - Director: Barry Jenkins
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Metascore: 87
    - Runtime: 119 min

    Tish and Fonny's happily ever after is shattered when Fonny, a Black man, is falsely accused of a crime he did not commit against a white woman. The film explores topics like housing discrimination, racial violence, and mass incarceration. The film questions justice for Black people who are pinned against a society of systematic oppression.

  • Sorry to Bother You (2018)

    - Director: Boots Riley
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Metascore: 80
    - Runtime: 112 min

    Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson make a dynamic duo in a film that studies Blackness in white, corporate spaces. Stanfield, whose character finally reaches a level of success in his career, must choose between his friends and coworkers or his achievements. The film takes a look at the double-edged sword that exists in the Black middle class.

  • The Hate U Give (2018)

    - Director: George Tillman Jr.
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Metascore: 81
    - Runtime: 133 min

    "The Hate U Give" puts the audience in the shoes of a Black teenage girl named Starr Carter, who lives a double life attending a predominantly white private school. She is placed in the middle of protests and race riots after her friend, a Black boy, is killed by police. The story implements the strong racial tensions of today.

  • Just Mercy (2019)

    - Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
    - IMDb user rating: 7.5
    - Metascore: 68
    - Runtime: 137 min

    Based on a true story in 1989, "Just Mercy" follows Bryan Stevenson, a law school graduate, who vows to defend Black inmates falsely sitting on death row. Stevenson, who experiences racial discrimination in the workplace himself, works endlessly to fight for the justice and freedom of Walter McMillian, a Black man falsely accused of murdering a white woman.

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