Most Popular Civil Rights Movement Movies and TV Shows

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1. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,634,970 | Gross: $330.25M

2. The Shape of Water (2017)

R | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
87 Metascore

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones

Votes: 316,623 | Gross: $63.86M

3. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
62 Metascore

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 396,404 | Gross: $169.71M

4. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 185,729 | Gross: $115.65M

5. Selma (2014)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
88 Metascore

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Lorraine Toussaint

Votes: 78,392 | Gross: $52.08M

6. Mississippi Burning (1988)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, History

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
65 Metascore

Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif

Votes: 80,025 | Gross: $34.60M

7. 42 (2013)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
62 Metascore

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.

Director: Brian Helgeland | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie

Votes: 78,437 | Gross: $95.00M

8. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 128,667 | Gross: $75.33M

9. Lee Daniels' The Butler (I) (2013)

PG-13 | 132 min | Biography, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
66 Metascore

As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

Director: Lee Daniels | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda

Votes: 103,124 | Gross: $116.63M

10. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 76,521 | Gross: $48.17M

11. River's Edge (1986)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
73 Metascore

A high school slacker commits a shocking act and proceeds to let his friends in on the secret. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself.

Director: Tim Hunter | Stars: Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Daniel Roebuck

Votes: 14,534 | Gross: $4.60M

12. LBJ (2016)

R | 98 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
54 Metascore

Lyndon B. Johnson aligns himself with John F. Kennedy, rises to the Presidency, and deals with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Michael Stahl-David, Richard Jenkins, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Votes: 4,586 | Gross: $2.47M

13. 13th (2016)

TV-MA | 100 min | Documentary, Crime, News

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
88 Metascore

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker, Dolores Canales

Votes: 20,161

14. Glory Road (2006)

PG | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
58 Metascore

In 1966, Texas Western coach Don Haskins led the first all-black starting line-up for a college basketball team to the NCAA national championship.

Director: James Gartner | Stars: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols, Jon Voight

Votes: 40,275 | Gross: $42.64M

15. All the Way (2016 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 132 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the President of the United States in the chaotic aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination and spends his first year in office fighting to pass the Civil Rights Act.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Frank Langella

Votes: 11,962

16. I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967)

X | 121 min | Drama

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Lena, aged twenty, wants to know all she can about life and reality. She collects information on everyone and everything, storing her findings in an enormous archive. She experiments with ... See full summary »

Director: Vilgot Sjöman | Stars: Lena Nyman, Vilgot Sjöman, Börje Ahlstedt, Peter Lindgren

Votes: 3,275 | Gross: $20.24M

17. Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, History

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Mississippi district attorney and the widow of Medgar Evers struggle to finally bring a white racist to justice for the 1963 murder of the civil rights leader.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Whoopi Goldberg, Virginia Madsen

Votes: 9,567 | Gross: $13.05M

18. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
95 Metascore

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Director: Raoul Peck | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X

Votes: 14,257 | Gross: $7.12M

19. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016)

Unrated | 106 min | Documentary, Music

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
72 Metascore

A compilation of found footage featuring music, interviews, and stories of The Beatles' 250 concerts from 1963 to 1966.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: The Beatles, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney

Votes: 9,859 | Gross: $2.93M

20. Blaze (1989)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
67 Metascore

A middle-aged Louisiana governor falls in love with a young stripper, which jeopardizes his political career and the radical policies which have made him a controversial figure.

Director: Ron Shelton | Stars: Paul Newman, Lolita Davidovich, Jerry Hardin, Gailard Sartain

Votes: 3,378 | Gross: $19.13M

21. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014– )

TV-14 | 795 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A documentary that weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Edward Herrmann, George Will, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Votes: 1,818

22. Southside with You (2016)

PG-13 | 84 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
74 Metascore

The film chronicles the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States, Barack Obama, wooed his future First Lady, Michelle Obama, on a first date across Chicago's South Side.

Director: Richard Tanne | Stars: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Phillip Edward Van Lear

Votes: 7,327 | Gross: $6.30M

23. Panther (I) (1995)

R | 124 min | Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A dramatized account of the story of The Black Panther Party of Self-Defense.

Director: Mario Van Peebles | Stars: Kadeem Hardison, Bokeem Woodbine, Joe Don Baker, Courtney B. Vance

Votes: 2,111 | Gross: $6.83M

24. Love Field (1992)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a woman enrout to JFK's funeral befriends a black man's daughter, they experience numerous revelations and hardships.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Dennis Haysbert, Stephanie McFadden, Brian Kerwin

Votes: 3,390 | Gross: $1.95M

25. Talk to Me (2007)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
69 Metascore

The story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s.

Director: Kasi Lemmons | Stars: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce McFee, Mike Epps

Votes: 9,103 | Gross: $4.47M

26. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
75 Metascore

A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the "High Priestess of Soul."

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Nina Simone, Lisa Simone Kelly, Roger Nupie, Al Schackman

Votes: 10,385

27. There Goes My Baby (1994)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Graduates of a Los Angeles high school in 1965 see America's culture and politics gradually change.

Director: Floyd Mutrux | Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Ricky Schroder, Kelli Williams, Noah Wyle

Votes: 961 | Gross: $0.12M

28. George Wallace (1997 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 178 min | Biography, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Following Alabama governor George Wallace through segregation, presidential elections, an assassination attempt and personal trauma.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Gary Sinise, Mare Winningham, Clarence Williams III, Joe Don Baker

Votes: 1,193

29. The Long Walk Home (1990)

PG | 97 min | Drama, History

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
73 Metascore

Two women, black and white, in 1955 Montgomery Alabama, must decide what they are going to do in response to the famous bus boycott lead by Martin Luther King.

Director: Richard Pearce | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Whoopi Goldberg, Dwight Schultz, Ving Rhames

Votes: 2,978 | Gross: $4.80M

30. 4 Little Girls (1997)

TV-14 | 102 min | Documentary, History

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
89 Metascore

A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Maxine McNair, Walter Cronkite, Chris McNair, Fred Lee Shuttlesworth

Votes: 2,520 | Gross: $0.13M

31. The Rosa Parks Story (2002 TV Movie)

97 min | Biography, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A seamstress recalls events leading to her act of peaceful defiance that prompted the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

Director: Julie Dash | Stars: Angela Bassett, Peter Francis James, Tonea Stewart, Von Coulter

Votes: 677

32. The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

Approved | 77 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

6.4
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Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the negro leagues and the major leagues.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Minor Watson, Louise Beavers

Votes: 999

33. Murder in Mississippi (1990 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama

7.0
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In 1964, members of the Ku Klux Klan murdered three Civil Rights workers who had traveled to the South to encourage African-American voter registration. Examines the last three weeks in the lives of the slain activists.

Director: Roger Young | Stars: Tom Hulce, Jennifer Grey, Blair Underwood, CCH Pounder

Votes: 396

34. American Grindhouse (2010)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Action, Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about the history of exploitation movies, from the silent movie era to the 1970s.

Director: Elijah Drenner | Stars: Robert Forster, Eric Schaefer, Eddie Muller, John Landis

Votes: 2,052 | Gross: $0.01M

35. Kennedy (1983)

282 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Biography of the 1961-1963 Presidency of John F. Kennedy.

Stars: John Shea, E.G. Marshall, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Andrew Rayden

Votes: 468

36. Separate But Equal (1991)

PG | 190 min | Drama, History

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dramatization of the American court case that destroyed the legal validity of racial segregation.

Stars: Sidney Poitier, Burt Lancaster, Richard Kiley, Cleavon Little

Votes: 601

37. The Battle of the Sexes (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, History

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at the events leading up to the 1973 tennis match between retired men's champ Bobby Riggs and the current women's Wimbledon winner Billie Jean King.

Directors: James Erskine, Zara Hayes | Stars: Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Lornie Kuhle, Bobby Wilson

Votes: 528

38. Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at the music career of musician James Brown beginning with his first hit song, "Please, Please, Please," in 1956.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: James Brown, Christian McBride, Bobby Byrd, Greg Tate

Votes: 1,082

39. Death of a Prophet (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 60 min | Drama, History

4.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

After breaking ties with the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became a man marked for death...and it was just a matter of time before his enemies closed in. Despite death threats and intimidation... See full summary »

Director: Woodie King Jr. | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Yolanda King, Mansoor Najee-ullah, Sam Singleton

Votes: 214

40. Soul of the Game (1996 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, History, Sport

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Black baseball greats, Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, vie to be the first afro-American major leaguer, only to see the outspoken rookie, Jackie Robinson, be chosen.

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan | Stars: Delroy Lindo, Mykelti Williamson, Edward Herrmann, Blair Underwood

Votes: 873

41. Boycott (2001 TV Movie)

PG | 118 min | Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Black Americans boycott the public buses during the 1950s civil rights movement.

Director: Clark Johnson | Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Terrence Howard, CCH Pounder, Carmen Ejogo

Votes: 758

42. Reel Injun (2009)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Western

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
63 Metascore

The history of the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood films.

Directors: Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, Jeremiah Hayes | Stars: Adam Beach, Chris Eyre, Russell Means, John Trudell

Votes: 1,262

43. Memphis (I)

Drama | Announced

A look at the final days surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968.

Director: Paul Greengrass

44. Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A narrator tells the story of his childhood years in a tightly knit Afro-American community in the deep south under racial segregation.

Director: Tim Reid | Stars: Al Freeman Jr., Phylicia Rashad, Leon, Paula Kelly

Votes: 445 | Gross: $3.38M

45. Freedom Riders (2010)

117 min | Documentary, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of the Civil Rights Movement interstate busing protest campaign.

Director: Stanley Nelson | Stars: Raymond Arsenault, Genevieve Houghton, Gordon Carey, Derek Catsam

Votes: 217

46. Eyes on the Prize (1987–1990)

TV-PG | 360 min | Documentary, History

9.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

A documentary about the American Civil Rights Movement from 1952 to 1965.

Stars: Julian Bond, Unita Blackwell, James Hicks, Burke Marshall

Votes: 454

47. Sins of the Father (2002 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama, Crime

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based on true events, this film recounts the story of Bobby Frank Cherry (Richard Jenkins), who participated in the infamous 1963 bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., church that left four black ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Dornhelm | Stars: Tom Sizemore, Richard Jenkins, Brenda Bazinet, Lachlan Murdoch

Votes: 409

48. Freedom Song (2000 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 112 min | Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale about a young man's bout in the 1960s, in Mississippi, before Blacks were allowed to vote, and did sit ins at White establishments. The harrowing ordeals people wanting the same opportunities had to go through.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Danny Glover, Vicellous Shannon, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Loretta Devine

Votes: 817

49. The Ernest Green Story (1993 TV Movie)

101 min | Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Follows the story of Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine who were the first blacks to integrate into an all white school.

Director: Eric Laneuville | Stars: Morris Chestnut, Robert Alexander, Steven Allen, Katherine Bernhardt

Votes: 247

50. King (1978)

271 min | Biography, Drama

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stretching from his days as a Southern Baptist minister up to his assassination in Memphis in 1968.

Stars: Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Tony Bennett, Roscoe Lee Browne

Votes: 314



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