Spectrum editor’s list of films to watch for Black History Month

“The Photograph” (2020)

Starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, this film captures the blossoming romance between a New York couple. Mae, played by Rae, starts investigating the circumstances surrounding an old photo of her deceased mother, which leads her to Stanfield’s character, Michael, a rising journalist.

Available on HBO Max | 74% Rotten Tomatoes

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018)

Based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of the same name, this heartwrenching drama follows a young woman as she seeks justice for her partner, who was falsely accused of rape before the birth of the couple’s child. 

Available on Hulu | 95% Rotten Tomatoes

“Moonlight” (2016)

This drama showcases three troubling stages — childhood, adolescence and early adulthood — of the young Black character’s life. Chiron navigates his sexuality and identity and endures physical and emotional abuse from his family, but eventually finds support within a new community.

Available on Netflix | 98% Rotten Tomatoes

“Creed” (2015)

Directed by Ryan Coogler, this drama serves as a sequel to the “Rocky” film series. In “Creed,” Michael B. Jordan portrays Adonis Johnson who never met his father Apollo Creed, a famous boxing champion. He is determined to learn how to box and seeks help from trainer Rocky Balboa, ultimately providing him a chance at winning a title.

Available on Amazon Prime Video | 95% Rotten Tomatoes

“Black Is King” (2020)

This visual album by Beyoncé proclaims Black pride. The superstar weaves imagery and symbols of the African diaspora with choreographed dance routines to create a compelling narrative for her songs from “The Lion King: The Gift.” 

Available on Disney+ | 95% Rotten Tomatoes

“Just Mercy” (2019)

Based on Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 bestselling book, “Just Mercy” follows the Alabama lawyer who represented the wrongly accused or those without means to seek legal counsel. Stevenson details his experience fighting for Walter McMillian, whose path to freedom is burdened by several racist encounters. McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx, is a Black man sentenced to death after the murder of an 18-year old girl in 1987, despite proof of his innocence. 

Available on HBO Max | 85% Rotten Tomatoes

“All Day and a Night” (2020)

An aspiring rapper, played by Ashton Sanders, lands in the same prison as his father after committing murder. The drama retraces his steps preceding the arrest, relating his troubled childhood to how he ended up in this predicament.

Available on Netflix | 57% Rotten Tomatoes

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