Spectrum editor’s list of films to watch

“Soul” (2020)

Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Angela Bassett, this Pixar-animated film follows an unfulfilled school music teacher on his obsessive quest to land a professional career in music. After a near-death experience, he realizes the life he took for granted. The film, which teaches life lessons about finding purpose, presents Pixar’s first Black protagonist and the fourth American animated feature with Black leads.

Available on Disney+ | 95% Rotten Tomatoes

“The Banker” (2020)

This film, which stars Anthony Mackie, Jessie Usher and Samuel L. Jackson, tells the story of two of the first African American bankers in the United States. The film details the lengths the men had to go through, like hiring a white man to be the face of their business ventures, in order to gain success.

Available on Apple TV+ | 78% Rotten Tomatoes

“Atlantics” (2019)

This romantic drama is intertwined with elements of the supernatural. The French film, which has English subtitles, centers on a woman named Ada and her lover Souleiman who is lost at sea. “Atlantics” takes a turn after the spirits of Souleiman and other shipmates begin to visit Ada. French filmmaker Mati Diop made history as the first Black woman to direct a film featured in a competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

Available on Netflix | 96% Rotten Tomatoes

“Little Woods” (2018)

Starring Tessa Thompson, this Western drama follows two estranged sisters who are pushed to the limits after the passing of their mother, leaving them with one week to repay her mortgage.

Available on Hulu | 95% Rotten Tomatoes

“I Am Not Your Negro” (2016)

Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, this documentary is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book. Baldwin, a renowned African American novelist, includes stories from Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to paint a detailed narrative of racism in America.

Available on Netflix | 99% Rotten Tomatoes

“Da 5 Bloods” (2020)

In this war drama, four African American veterans return to their old battleground in Vietnam in hopes of finding the remains of their deceased squad leader and misplaced gold fortune.

Available on Netflix | 92% Rotten Tomatoes

“Widows” (2018)

Starring Viola Davis, “Widows” captures a police shootout that kills four thieves during an armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows are united by their husbands’ criminal activities, and eventually develop a criminal mindset of their own.

Available on Hulu | 91% Rotten Tomatoes 

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