20. Eve’s Bayou (1997)
> Directed by: Kasi Lemmons
> Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Meagan Good
> Where to stream: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Redbox, Microsoft Store, HBO Now, HBO Go, FandangoNOW, HBO Max, HBO Now Amazon Channel
Kasi Lemmons made a memorable directorial debut with the film “Eve’s Bayou” that stars Samuel L. Jackson and Jurnee Smollett-Bell. The film is about a daughter witnessing her father having an affair and the impact it has on their family. Critics lauded Lemmons’ take on disillusionment and forgiveness and gave the movie a Freshness score of 82%, while audiences gave it a 90% approval rating.
19. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
> Directed by: Barry Jenkins
> Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King
> Where to stream: Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, FandangoNOW, Microsoft Store, Apple iTunes, Hulu
Barry Jenkins directed and wrote the screenplay for this film based on the book by James Baldwin about a young expectant woman who tries to prove her lover is innocent of a crime he didn’t commit. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film a Freshness rating of 95%, lauding its cinematography. Regina King won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
18. I Like It Like That (1994)
> Directed by: Darnell Martin
> Starring: Luna Lauren Velez, Jon Seda, Tomas Melly
> Where to stream: Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, Pluto TV
Bronx-born filmmaker Darnell Martin wrote and directed this comedy-drama about a struggling married couple facing numerous life challenges. With this film, Darnell has become the first African American woman to have directed a studio feature. The Columbia Pictures production won over 91% of audience members and 80% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
17. Black Panther (2018)
> Directed by: Ryan Coogler
> Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
> Where to stream: Vudu, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, Amazon Video, AMC on Demand, DIRECTV, Disney Plus, FandangoNOW, TNT, fuboTV, Sling TV
Ryan Coogler helmed the blockbuster film based on Marvel Comics characters that stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o. “Black Panther” was the box-office champion in 2018, grossing more than $700 million domestically. The action movie won three Academy Awards and currently holds a 97% Freshness rating among Rotten Tomatoes critics.
16. The Hate U Give (2018)
> Directed by: George Tillman Jr.
> Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby
> Where to stream: Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, FandangoNOW, Vudu, Apple iTunes, HBO Now Amazon Channel, HBO Go, HBO Now
Director George Tillman Jr. — whose previous work includes “Men of Honor” (2000) and Dwayne Johnson vehicle “Faster” (2010) — addresses the issue of police violence in this film about a 16-year-old African American teenager struggling in the aftermath of the shooting death of her friend. Based on a novel by Angie Thomas, the movie won numerous awards and was voted third best film of the year by the African American Film Critics Association in 2018. The YA (young adult) movie earned positive reviews from 97% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with 83% of audiences enjoying it.
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