Best Black movies on Tubi TV

Tubi TV Black cinema
(Image credit: Tubi)

Tubi, the ad-supported streaming platform, offers an extensive library of movies and TV shows, with a special focus on celebrating Black cinema and artists. Whether you're into blockbuster productions featuring iconic directors and actors or prefer independent gems, Tubi has a diverse selection catering to all tastes. The rich and impactful history of Black cinema is beautifully represented on Tubi, where you can effortlessly access a wide array of Black movies spanning various eras and genres.

With that said, here are several films representing different aspects of Black films. 

Alice (2022)

Keke Palmer and Common in Alice

Keke Palmer and Common in Alice (Image credit: Roadside Attractions/Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

In Alice, directed by Krystin Ver Linden and starring Keke Palmer (Nope) as the titular character, we follow Alice's relentless pursuit of freedom while she endures the harsh bondage of slavery under the oppressive regime of a brutal plantation owner in rural Georgia. The story takes a gripping turn after a violent confrontation forces Alice to make a daring escape through the nearby woods. To her astonishment, she emerges onto an unfamiliar scene: a bustling highway. Her world is turned upside down as she realizes that the year is not what she once believed it to be – it is 1973, a time of profound social change.

Baby Boy (2001)

Tyrese Gibson in Baby Boy

Tyrese Gibson in Baby Boy (Image credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

Initially created as a vehicle for Tupac Shakur before his untimely murder in 1996, acclaimed director John Singleton resurrected his script through then newcomers Tyrese Gibson and Taraji P. Henson. The film tells the story of Jody, a grown man still living with his mother while juggling his children with two separate women. One of the greatest hood romances in modern cinematic history, Baby Boy works by being unflinching in both scenes and message. It's also one of the last films that Singleton both wrote and directed before his death in 2019. 

The Best Man (1999)

Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard and Taye Diggs in The Best Man

Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard and Taye Diggs in The Best Man (Image credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

The Best Man is a significant movie in African-American cinema, known for its exploration of complex relationships and themes within the context of a wedding. Released on October 22, 1999, with a budget of $9 million, it was directed by Malcolm D. Lee and marked his directorial debut. The movie features an ensemble cast, including Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, and Terrence Howard, among others. Beyond performing well at the box office during its opening week and grossing approximately $34 million, the film received a sequel and limited series, The Best Man: The Final Chapters

Blackstop Boneyard (2021)

Black horror films have seen a renaissance over the past decade thanks to the likes of Jordan Peele and Nikyatu Jusu. This has been reflected on the urban budget B-list tier of feature films as well. One great example on Tubi is Blackstop Boneyard. Taking place in the rural south, a group of white college age girls wind up on a haunted piece of land. The problem is that the land was stolen from two Black men wrongfully killed during the Civil War. Offering full out camp alongside some light racial commentary, Blackstop Boneyard is a captivating watch. 

Favorite Son (2021)

Hunger Games: Catching Fire actor E. Roger Mitchell plays a reverend with two twin sons in a gospel group played by Jonathan McReynolds and Power’s Rotimi. Favorite Son is directed by popular 90s actress Robin Givens who has had a run directing movies within the indie-budget urban drama scene as well. 

Finding Kendrick Johnson (2021)

Filmmaker Jason Pollock delves into the enigmatic circumstances surrounding the tragic demise of Kendrick Johnson, an African American adolescent whose lifeless body was found within a Valdosta, Ga., high school gymnasium. Narrated by singer, actress, activists and author Jennifer Lewis (Black-ish), Finding Kendrick Johnson explores the circumstances that led to Johnson's death.

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz in Fruitvale Station

Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz in Fruitvale Station (Image credit: The Weinstein Company/AJ Pics/Alamy Stock Photo)

Fruitvale Station will forever be known as the movie that set the stage for Ryan Coogler's directorial dominance and Michael B. Jordan[s A-list actor status. Focusing on the life of Oscar Grant, a young African American man who was fatally shot by a transit police officer on New Year's Day in 2009, the film was a success for many reasons. Beyond serving as a poignant tribute to Grant's life while highlighting the systemic problems that led to his tragic death, it was a box office success during its initial limited release. 

A Good Day for Everybody (2022)

Sounder is based on the novel by William H. Armstrong that tells the story of a family of Black sharecroppers living in the Depression-era South. The eldest son must come of age after his father is thrown in jail on the charge of stealing food and the family dog, Sounder, runs away.

Sounder starred Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield as the parents, both of whom would receive Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively. Kevin Hooks starred as the son.

Sounder was a landmark film for both the story it told and the reception that it had among audiences, as it was one of the top grossing movies of 1972.

The Great Debaters (2007)

Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters

Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters (Image credit: Miramax/Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

First and foremost, The Great Debaters sheds light on an essential but often overlooked aspect of American history: the struggles and achievements of African Americans in the 1930s, particularly in the field of competitive debate. It tells the inspiring true story of the Wiley College debate team, a small, historically black college in Texas, as they overcome racial prejudice and societal barriers to compete against top-tier universities. Besides becoming another winner for Denzel Washington as a lead actor, the movie released in December 2007 also his directorial follow up to 2002's Antoine Fisher

Heavy (2021)

Since making his big screen debut in 2009 music biopic Notorious, Jamal Woolard has become extremely popular within the Black indie sub-genre of movies. At the current moment, he has over a few dozen films within the indie urban drama category, including Heavy. Woolard plays Rome in the DeMarcus Bailey directed movie about Renz, a man caught between the drug dealing and the woman who wants him to leave the streets alone. 

Higher Learning (1995)

Regina King in Higher Learning

Regina King in Higher Learning (Image credit: Columbia Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/Alamy Stock Photo)

Another highlight of John Singleton's directorial run during the 90s, Higher Learning explores various social and racial issues prevalent on college campuses when released in January 1995. The movie's release in the mid-1990s was particularly timely, as it addressed pressing societal concerns related to race, gender and privilege. Higher Learning challenged viewers to confront their own biases and prejudices, sparking important conversations about the need for tolerance and understanding in higher education institutions. John Singleton's direction and the movies's diverse cast, including Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Rapaport, Regina King and Tyra Banks, contributed to its enduring importance in the realm of socially conscious cinema. 

House Party (1990)

Christopher Martin and Christopher Reid in House Party

Christopher Martin and Christopher Reid in House Party (Image credit: Collection Christophel/Alamy Stock Photo)

Released March 9, 1990, with a budget of $2.5 million, House Party is a comedy that follows the adventures of two high school friends, Kid (played by Christopher "Kid" Reid) and Play (played by Christopher "Play" Martin), as they navigate a series of comedic mishaps while trying to attend a legendary house party. One of the key elements that makes the Reginald Hudlin directed movie important is its representation of African American youth culture, music and dance. The movie's soundtrack featured iconic hip-hop and R&B artists of the time, including Kid 'n Play themselves, making it a cultural touchstone and propelling the music and dance styles into the mainstream. 

Menace II Society (1993)

Tyrin Turner and Larenz Tate in Menace II Society

Tyrin Turner and Larenz Tate in Menace II Society (Image credit: New Line Cinema/TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy Stock Photo)

The pinnacle of the urban drama that began its mainstream dominance following Boyz n the Hood's ground breaking release, Menace II Society is pure hood hedonism. Directed by the Hughes Brothers in their directorial debut, the story of Kayden "Caine" Reeves (Tyrin Turner) is both beautiful and ultimately tragic. Following the day in the life of Caine, an adolescent living in Watts with his grandparents, the film revolves around the relationship with his homie O Dog (Larenz Tate) and love interest Ronnie (Jada Pinket Smith). Menace II Society is a brutal and violent look into inner city Los Angeles during the early '90s. 

Paper Line (2022)

Paper Line has a strange yet effective plot. Seven individuals committing to an HBCU in Florida experience a profound surprise when they inadvertently enlist themselves to become members of a Black fraternity of skilled martial artists. Directed by Ryan Watson, the movie features a bonkers story and some decently paced action sequences.  

Secret Society (2021)

One of the boldest crime dramas in the indie urban genre in recent years is Secret Society. The film is about two gold diggers hiding a massive secret. Once that gets out, it threatens to ruin their hustle and even their lives. Ironically, the massive plot twist is revealed within the first 15 minutes. What happens next is an interesting story about sex work and the plight of trans women in a world that problematically exploits them. The film is also directed by Jamal Hill, known for his work in budget cult classics including Brotherly Love and Deuces.  

Shottas (2002)

One of the most respected indie-hood movies, Shottas was released in 2002 and continues to be a cult classic. Starring Ky-Mani Marley and Spragga Benz, the Jamaican crime film is about two men creating a drug ring in Kingston alongside Miami. The film also features guest appearances from Wyclef Jean and DJ Khaled. 

Sons of a Preacher (2023)

One of the few urban dramas made for families, Sons of a Preacher is a unique faith-based film with some solid acting and cinematography. The life of a family is ripped apart once a pastor of a church kicks his son out of the house for not living to his standard. With the other son becoming head of the church following the death of the preacher, he tries to get the wayward son to return. Sons of a Preacher is an interesting take on the Prodigal Son through the lens of the Black church. 

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

LaKeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You

LaKeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You (Image credit: Anapurna/TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy Stock Photo)

Sorry to Bother You is a thought-provoking satirical movie released on July 6, 2018, and directed by music artist Boots Riley. Its unique blend of social commentary, surrealism, and dark humor made it a critical darling and a cultural touchstone. The movie's importance lies in its fearless exploration of pertinent societal issues. Set in an alternate reality Oakland, it tackles themes like corporate exploitation, racial inequality and the dehumanizing effects of capitalism. Not only does the movie deliver amazing performances from  LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Danny Glover among others, it set the stage for Boots Riley to deliver the fantastic Amazon limited series I'm A Virgo years later. 

Tiffany the Doll (2022)

Another horror film on the list, Tiffany the Doll recently went viral through social media due to its over the top tendencies blending with exceedingly low budget. Directed by Felicia Rivers, Tiffany the Doll blends man-killer fantasy of sci-fi cult classic Species with obvious allusions to killer doll horror subgenre made popular through Child's Play (and more recently, M3GAN). Tiffany the Doll is literally about killer sex dolls who have a thing for murdering their unsuspecting owners. Despite taboos within the Black community about sex, the themes of the film about sex are fairly radical between the hilarious dialogue and murder scenes. 

Ural Garrett

Ural Garrett is an Inglewood,CA-based journalist and content curator. His byline has been featured in outlets including CNN, MTVNews, Complex, TechRadar, LA Weekly and more.