The best family movie night is one you can enjoy with your loved ones. The Netflix lineup has a great selection of movies for the whole family, whether it’s a classic black film or a new release. The best part about Netflix is that you can free-watch these movies at home!
1. The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 Disney animated film about a black princess who falls in love with a frog prince.
The movie is rated PG and stars Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, Terrence Howard, Oprah Winfrey, and John Goodman. It was released in 2009.
If you’re looking for Black Family Movies on Netflix that are suitable for children to watch while still entertaining enough for adults to enjoy, then The Princess and the Frog is one of your best options!
2. Sister Act 2
In this sequel to Sister Act, Whoopi Goldberg reprises her role as Deloris van Cartier, a lounge singer who witnesses a murder and goes into hiding until she can testify in court.
She’s given refuge by the nuns of St. Katherine’s Church and School, where she teaches music to the students—and performs during Sunday services!
One of the most popular black family movies on Netflix, Sister Act 2, is available for streaming on Netflix now.
3. Poetic Justice
This 1993 classic stars Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur (before he became a household name) and is directed by John Singleton, who would go on to direct Boyz n the Hood.
It has a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $10.1 million at the box office—a pretty solid sum for a film made in 1993!
4. Akeelah and the Bee
Akeelah and the Bee is a 2007 American drama film directed by Doug Atchison. The film stars Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, and Keke Palmer. It is based on the true story of the 2004 National Spelling Bee.
The story follows Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), an African-American girl from South Los Angeles who becomes the national spelling champion after competing in a local tournament at her school.
Akeelah’s mother (Angela Bassett) decides to enroll her in an academic summer camp where she can continue to train for future spelling bees while also keeping up with her regular classes at school during the weekdays.
During this time, she meets with some resistance from other students because of her race but finds support from one particular student named Devon Woods (Sean Michael Afable).
This helps convince Akeelah that even though people may try to discourage you in life, there will always be someone there who believes in you no matter what! This is one of the most popular black family movies on Netflix.
5. Ernest Goes to Camp
Ernest Goes to Camp is a 1987 comedy film directed by John R. Cherry III and starring Jim Varney as the title character.
It is the second film in the Ernest series of films, following Ernest Goes to Africa.
The story takes place at Camp Paradise, where Ernest works with his ex-girlfriend Vicki (Julia Campbell) to uncover a scheme by an animal rights extremist who plans on poisoning all of their campers’ food. Black family movies on Netflix like this movie are diamonds (extremely rare); enjoy.
6. House Party
The movie stars Martin Lawrence and is rated R, with a runtime of 91 minutes. The comedy has been awarded 4.5 stars on Netflix and an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie is about a man who tries to get revenge on his father for abandoning him at age 10 by throwing a party in his honor.
7. A Raisin in the Sun
This classic movie is based on a play by Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote it based on her own life.
It was the first movie to show a black family onscreen and became one of its most critically acclaimed films.
The cast included Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, and Diana Sands—and it won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Ruby Dee.
8. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? is based on a play by William Rose, which was itself based on the Broadway play, The Solid Gold Cadillac.
Directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn (in her Oscar-winning role), the movie was released in 1967 and went on to win two Academy Awards: Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Hepburn.
However, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? It didn’t just win big at the Oscars — it was also nominated for four Golden Globes (winning two).
In addition to its critical acclaim, this family-friendly film has been praised for being one of Hollywood’s first major movies about interracial relationships. This is one of the best black family movies on Netflix.
9. Fat Albert
Fat Albert is a 1972 film that was the first animated feature nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture.
It was directed by Bill Cosby, who also starred in it as Fat Albert and several other characters from the popular animated series.
The film follows the adventures of a group of friends who live in inner-city Philadelphia and learn how to deal with life’s troubles using positive thinking, humor, and friendship.
10. The Wiz
If you are looking for a musical family movie, then The Wiz will be perfect. The film was released in 1978 and was directed by Sidney Lumet.
The film stars Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man, Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion, Lena Horne as Glinda (the Good Witch of the South), Ethel Merman as Miss One/Miss Two/The Wiz and Richard Pryor as Uncle Henry
11. Soul Food
This 1997 film is based on the book of the same name by Vickie Stringer, who also wrote the screenplay.
George Tillman Jr. directed it, telling the story of a family living in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood.
12. The Best Man Holiday
The Best Man Holiday is the sequel to 1999’s The Best Man. The film stars Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, and Harold Perrineau. It was directed by Malcolm D. Lee and released in 2013.
The movie was rated PG-13 for thematic elements, including sex, some language, and smoking. It has a runtime of 2 hours and 7 minutes.
13. Roll Bounce
Roll Bounce is a 2005 film directed by Malcolm D. Lee and stars Bow Wow, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Faizon Love as a group of teenagers who work at a roller rink in Chicago. It was written by Rodney Whitaker and produced by Will Packer.
14. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 (based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis)
Based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 is a movie about a family of six who travels to Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement.
The story explores the racial tensions in Birmingham and the racism experienced by African Americans living in Detroit and other Northern cities.
This film is an excellent choice for anyone interested in learning more about this significant era in U.S. history or for anyone who enjoys watching family dramas with solid characters and compelling storylines.
15. Not Without My Daughter (Based on the book by Betty Mahmoody)
Based on the real-life story of author Betty Mahmoody, this movie follows her daughter Mahtob’s journey as they try to escape Iran.
It might seem like a simple tale of a mother and daughter attempting to escape their home country by hiding in plain sight while traveling through Europe.
But it’s more complex than that: Mahmoody’s husband is abusive, so he refuses when she decides to leave him and return to America with their daughter.
The film illustrates how difficult it can be for women who want to leave their husbands behind, even if there are no legal repercussions.
It may not be an uplifting movie (it does end with Mahtob being kidnapped), but it will make you think about what goes into making such choices.
Netflix is a great place to find family-friendly movies, and plenty of titles feature black actors. These are some of my favorites from the many available on Netflix.
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