Movie Madness: Best Black Films From the ’90s…Part 1

May 1, 2012  |  
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While the recent comedy Think Like A Man remains a smash hit at the box office, toppling the movie Hunger Games after four weeks and bringing in an estimated $33 million in its first weekend out, it’s definitely not the first black film to make money and have everyone talking–in a good way. The ’90s were a golden age for black films based around romance, drama and more, and we have decided to compile a two-part series to call out the best black films from the ’90s.

House Party (1990)

This ’90s Kid ‘n Play classic is a hit.  It reminds many viewers about their school days way back when, where being invited to parties was all the rave, and sneaking out the window just to go to one was even considered. And the dance scenes had everyone in the mirror practicing for the next party. Who else was trying to get someone to do the Kid ‘n Play dance with them???

Waiting to Exhale (1995)

With its popular soundtrack and scene of a car set ablaze by a distraught Angela Bassett sashaying from it after seeking revenge from an unfaithful husband, this film goes down as the ultimate relationship drama of the ’90s for black women.  Through the film, viewers learn the struggle for love concerning four best friends and how they learn to cope and overcome all their ordeals in their relationships. And can we talk about the soundtrack? Amazing.

Soul Food (1997)

Who doesn’t remember Momma Joe’s mouthwatering traditional Sunday Dinner or the Boyz II Men popular track, “A Song For Mama”? This heartfelt film is filled with the pain, jealously, and loss that a family can and will go through.  However, at the end, love ultimately conquers all their problems, bringing them together again as they remember to keep the family tradition alive.

Friday (1995)

Who could forget this hilarious classic with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker? As two bored (and unemployed…unless you call selling marijuana employment) best friends try to find something interesting to do one Friday afternoon, they will soon give the day a new meaning in this film, as they encounter much more than they had expected in one day. And no one answered the question, but it’s a good one: how do you get fired on your day off???

Juice (1992)

This 90’s crime thriller, featuring the late Tupac Shakur, keeps viewers on their toes as they watch four close friends attempt to gain power and respect in the mean streets of Harlem. What starts off as a sweet and almost brotherly-like bond is destroyed by greed, the want for “juice,” and also by a sociopathic character named Bishop (Pac) with a mean fade. We saw a side of the rapper I don’t think anyone was expecting…and we loved it!

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

A must see for young men when it comes to making the right choices in life (aka, don’t do most of the things these characters did). This crime drama involves four close childhood friends who face certain social problems in the inner city (duh, the title does say “hood”). While some of the friends may either make good or bad choices, they will ultimately discover the consequences concerning their actions at the end. Who doesn’t still tear up for Ricky and miss the much younger, cuter and cooler Cuba Gooding, Jr.?

Boomerang (1992)

Another hilarious Eddie Murphy classic, his romantic comedy portrays karma at its fullest. A deviant business executive, who treats women as sexual beings but manages to get turned off by the smallest things (busted feet), finally meets his match when he meets and tries to court his female boss (played by Robin Givens). If the fashion in this film isn’t enough to make you agree that it should be on this list, don’t forget about the soundtrack, or a hilarious Grace Jones as the very crazy Strangé.

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  • KJ23

    I don’t know about everyone else, but every time I think about “Soul Food” (even though I love that movie) I think about that Boondocks episode “The Itis.”  Priceless. 

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  • tiffnasty15

    yeah this betta be a part one…

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  • Harlem nights would be on any list and poetic Justice…….LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM

    • @msredbonebrite

      YESSSSSSSSSS to Harlem Nights!!! “Oh, you wanna shoot me in my pinky toe? There it is! There it is!” I die every time I see that one!!

  • Baddvixentype

    all of those films make my heart smile. it takes me back. i always feel “homey” and confortable when i watched any of those (except boomerang, never really watched it fully). I miss the 90’s so bad. I miss how tv and movie were then. Real stories instead of all this alien, end of the world, remakes and sequals going on now. WHERE ARE THE REAL WRITERS AT?? Run out of imagination??

    • @msredbonebrite

      Girl, please sit and watch Boomerang all the way through! Hands down one of my fav Eddie Murphy movies (besides C2A, of course)!!! That movie is HILARIOUS!! Eddie at his best!!

  • Love_Sexy

    The original “Friday” movie was an all time favorite for me…..I cried laughing when I first saw it

  • ElvisWasAHero2Most

    No love for New Jersey Drive?  South Central?  Menace II Society?  Belly?  Dead Presidents?

    Come to think of it, those are all mediocre films (other than Dead Prez) we enjoy because there’s a Black cast.  We have already got the music belt, now Blacks need to expand into film (as in high quality films, not Tyler Perry-ish), though at this rate it looks like it’ll take another generation or 2 before we’re established there.  

    Sidney Poitier’s kids don’t act, do they?


      Both of his daughters have been on SitComs.

  • Anon

    No Crooklyn? No Love Jones? Smh

  • Tender Roni

    Everything was on point. It could just be me but, it seems as though everything as far as good quality entertainment went down hill after the 90’s.

  • universal

    nothing like the mid 80’s and the 90’s. the best decades of our lives (if your under 35).

  • Immapray4u

    Ok the title of the article says Best Black films from the 90’s…….Coming to America was 1988 and if my math is correct, that was 2 years prior. I guess i can start telling people im a 90’s baby even though I was born in 86″. SMH.

    • Bean

      Not sure what you were looking at but Coming to America was NOT on this list!

      • LUVBNBLK

        It was on the list earlier, they removed it.

    • Z245KT

      Actually your math is wrong – Coming to America is not on this list!

    •  Dont spaz yet, th list says its part 1 of the list so there are more to come =) so perk up Hon!