With 2021 coming to an end, this year saw the release of a variety of Black films. From film noirs, biographical dramas, horror sequels, to Twitter comedies, there was a film for everyone. Here are our must-watch Black films from 2021 that everyone can enjoy for years to come.
For the sports lover
To all the sports fanatics out there looking for a new film to watch, King Richard (2021) is the perfect movie for you. King Richard tells the real-life story of Richard Williams (played by Will Smith), father of Venus and Serena Williams (played by Saniyya Sidney & Demi Singelton) on his quest to turn his daughters into tennis legends. Highlighting the importance of family support in sports. King Richard delivers a captivating portrayal of Tennis catching the eye of any athlete or sports fan. While also highlighting the importance of family support in sports. King Richard is a film that everyone can enjoy not just sports fanatics.
King Richard is now playing in select theaters and available to stream on January 4, 2022.
For the musical lover
If you love soul music you must watch Respect (2021). Respect is the story of the late Aretha Franklin’s (played by Jennifer Hudson) journey into the legendary singer-songwriter we knew today. Franklin who passed away in 2018, vocalized her wishes for Hudson to play her in a biopic. With musical renditions of iconic songs from Franklin such as “Think”, “Respect”, and (“You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman”. It’s safe to say that Hudson lived up to Franklin’s wishes delivering a spectacular performance that will live on as a tribute to the late singer.
Respect is available to rent/buy everywhere movies are available.
For the horror lover
To all the horror fans out there, Candyman (2021) is a must-watch. Candyman is a direct sequel of the 1992 film of the same name, this time with a fresh take on the blood-chilling urban legend. Set in a gentrified Cabrini-Green, Chicago, a tortured artist named Anthony, (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) becomes obsessed with the myth of Candyman. Unknownlily exposing himself to the complex past that connects him to the hook-handed killer. Directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele, Candyman pays homage to the original horror classic. Fans of the original horror film are sure to enjoy this modern-day adaptation.
Candyman is available to rent/buy everywhere movies are available.
For the film noir lover
If you are a fan of films that have an old Hollywood aesthetic Passing (2021) is a film you don’t want to pass on. Shot in 4:3 aspect ratio in black and white, with jazz piano score by Blood Orange’s Devonté Hynes, Passing transports you back to 1920s New York, creating a one-of-a-kind film experience. Passing tells the story of a Black woman, Irene (played by Tessa Thompson), who reunites with her former childhood friend Clare (played by Ruth Negga), a Black woman passing for white. Based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, the film highlights the tense racial segregation of the 1920s and the decisions behind Black people passing as white.
Passing is available for streaming now exclusively on Netflix.
For the drama lover
If you love drama, then Malcolm & Marie (2021) is the perfect movie for you. Malcolm & Marie is not the typically romance film in fact it’s the opposite; dealing with the toxic relationship of writer-director Malcolm (played by John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (played by Zendaya). The film follows the aftermath of Malcolm forgetting to thank Marie as the inspiration for his latest film. Resulting in an all-night argument between the couple about the state of their toxic relationship. Written by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, Malcolm & Marie is must watch on the complexities of relationships.
Malcolm & Marie is available for streaming now exclusively on Netflix.
For the comedy lover
If you’re searching for a film that will leave you laughing till the credits roll then Zola (2021) is the film for you. Originally inspired by a Twitter thread from former stripper Aziah “Zola” Wells, Zola tells the story of a stripper Zola (played by Taylour Paige) who gets in over her head upon agreeing to go to Florida with her new friend Stefani (played by Riley Keough). With a 90 minute run time, Zola is a quick comedic masterpiece that will for sure leave you laughing at all the crazy events that unfold. Packed with cackle-worthy performances from Paige and Keough, Zola is a film you don’t want to miss out on.
Zola is available to stream exclusively on Showtime.
For the history lover
To all the history buffs out there Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) is a history lesson you don’t want to miss out on. Judas and the Black Messiah tells the real-life betrayal of Illinois Black Panther chairman, Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya) by FBI informant, William O’Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield). The biographical crime drama highlights the importance of Hampton’s contributions to the Black Panther revolution along with the FBI’s unethical tactics to take down Hampton and other radical leaders. Packed with award-winning performances from Kaluuya and Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah tells the historical significance of the Black Panther Party.
Judas and the Black Messiah is available to stream exclusively on HBO Max.
What is your favorite Black film that came out this year? Let us know in the comments.