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Best 90s Black Movies – Our Favorite 1990 African-American Films

Arguably, the 1990s has to be one of the best decades in the history of African-American cinema. To help you to re-visit the favorite old black movies from the 1990s – whether from your youth or whether you want to travel back to an era you are too young to remember – here is a list of some of the most remarkable black movies from the 1990s you just have to watch:

90’s Black Movies On Netflix

Malcolm X (1992)

Directed by Spike Lee, the movie stars Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, and Delroy Lindo.

The movie depicts the life of a real-life American Muslim human rights activist (Malcolm X) and his evolution into the militant activist we remember today. Malcolm X is one of the best biopics of the 1990s, perhaps one of Spike Lee’s most vital films, and arguably Denzel Washington’s greatest role. In fact, Denzel losing the Oscar to Pacino’s performance in Scent of a Woman still remains one of the most controversial moments in Academy Awards history. It has to be the number one movie choice for its culture.

Boyz N The Hood (1991)

Directed by John Singleton, the movie stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, and Hudhail Al-Amir.

Boyz n the Hood is one of those rare films about racism and violence that manages to respectfully tackles its subjects. This iconic teen hood drama centers on the lives of three Afro-American childhood friends who are forced to deal with the challenges of race, relationships, violence, and future prospects while growing up in a ghetto in Los Angeles. This is definitely a compulsory movie to include in your repertoire.

Eve’s Bayou (1997)

Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the movie stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Meagan Good.

One of the greatest African-American movies ever made, it is about a 10-year-old girl named Eve, daughter of a prominent doctor (played by Samuel Jackson), who witnesses her father having an affair, after which she begins a chain reaction that could tear her family apart.

Friday (1995)

Directed by F. Gary Gray, the movie stars Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, and Nia Long.

While this ‘stoner’ comedy may not be the most stylistically impressive film, it has a certain comical energy that gives it a distinctive vibe altogether, making it a classic. The story revolves around two homies, Smokey and Craig, who have to try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe to a dealer by 10 p.m. that same night.

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Directed by Ron Shelton, the movie stars Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, and Rosie Perez.

This movie has a refreshing approach and takes the whole sports genre to a different level. It tells the story of black and white basketball hustlers who join forces to double their chances of winning money on the street courts and in a basketball tournament. Notably, it was a favorite of the great Stanley Kubrick.

Hangin’ With the Homeboys (1991) 

Directed by Joseph B. Vasquez, the movie stars Doug E. Doug, Mario Joyner, and John Leguizamo.

While Hangin’ With the Homeboys may seem like just another coming-of-age flick about a bunch of boys and their escapades, this movie is made special by precise, sharp writing and layered characters. It forces you to confront the shortcomings of two African-Americans and two Puerto-Ricans (though one pretends to be Italian) who go out on the town on a Friday night, when their escapades not only force them to get to know each other, but also to learn to like each other as friends.

Menace II Society (1993) 

Directed by Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes, the movie stars Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, and June Kyoto Lu.

With top-notch writing, this movie dares you to confront the realities we’re living in, which is relevant even today. It tells the story of a young street hustler who attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life. It is another excellent examination of the difficulty of being a black man living a life in the impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods of America.

Love Jones (1997)

Directed by Theodore Witcher, the movie stars Larenz Tate, Nia Long, and Isaiah Washington.

This is perhaps one of the most underrated romantic dramas of the 1990s. Even if you do not like rom-coms, you are guaranteed to identify with the romantic complications between Darius and Nina, two Afro-Americans, who share a passion for music, photography and other forms of art.

Waiting To Exhale (1995)

Directed by Forest Whitaker, the movie stars Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, and Loretta Devine.

This movie indulges in and celebrates the fantasies of the feminine world and manages to give a refreshing treatment to the story. It follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender.

Set It Off (1996) 

Directed by F. Gary Gray, the movie stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Vivica A. Fox.

While this movie perhaps does not really have the most intriguing of storylines, it certainly pushes itself beyond its genre trappings. It follows four inner-city women, who driven by desperation, set out to rob a bank in Los Angeles. But, then they start to mistrust each other. Set it Off not only garnered critical acclaim, but it also drew comparisons to Ridley Scott’s iconic feminist thriller, Thelma & Louise.

Why Demand Africa?

This short list of iconic African American Films just scratches the surface of some of the best black movies of the 1990s. If you want to be spoilt for choice when you re-visit the favorite movies of your youth or if you want to travel back to an era you are too young to remember, contact Demand Africa today. We are the premier destination showcasing world-class lifestyle, travel, and entertainment, not only while you are at home, but also when you are on the go.