With Halloween now behind us, we’ve officially entered the last two months of the year. While 2023 has seen a slowdown in the world of movies due to the SAG-AFTRA strike that began on July 14 and lasted for over 100 days, alongside a concurrent writer’s strike, there’s still much to look forward to in the world of cinema.

Nevertheless, the last quarter of the year promises a compelling array of new films featuring Black casts and crews. These films span various genres, from horror and rom-coms to psychological thrillers and dramas. As the year-end holidays approach, there is also a selection of holiday-themed Black movies to anticipate.

Black cinema has a rich history of producing beloved classics, from enduring comedies like Friday and The Nutty Professor to more recent instant classics in the horror genre, as seen in the works of Jordan Peele. These movies resonate because they center stories around relatable Black protagonists, emphasizing the importance of representation on the big screen. This diverse selection of movies reflects this as well. Here are 14 new Black movies to check out, along with their release date. 

Recently Released Black Movies

1. Outlaw Johnny Black (Released: Sept. 15)

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%

Audience Score: 92%

Imdb Ranking: 6.2/10

This Western-style action film is directed, written, and stars actor Michael Jai White. The movie follows the main character Johnny Black, a good-gone-bad cowboy who is hell-bent on tracking and gunning down Brett Clayton, the man responsible for his father’s death. Black becomes a wanted outlaw on his trek after posing as a preacher in the small mining town he travels through that has been taken over by a notorious landbaron. Along with White, the movie also stars Anika Noni Rose, Byron Minns, Tony Baker, Jill Scott, and more. Outlaw Johnny Black serves as a “spiritual sequel” to the movie Black Dynamite, also starring White.

2. Love & Murder: Atlanta Playboy (Released: Sept. 21) and Part II (Released Sept. 28)

Imdb Ranking: 7.2/10

BET+ released this two-part original crime movie in late September that is based on the book Redbone: Money, Malice, and Murder in Atlanta by Ron Stodghill. The movie stars Taye Diggs as the movie’s lead, Lance Herndon. Herndon is a businessman in the city of Atlanta renowned for setting up the city’s 911 system. However, he is also known for being a womanizer. The city is shaken one day when Herndon is found dead in his home. The killing of Herndon leads to an investigation into who wanted the millionaire dead. With the truth unraveling about his life, the question of who of the many suspects actually had it out for Herndon take over Atlanta. The book and movie adaptation are based on a true crime.

3. Heist 88 (Released: Sept. 29)

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%

Audience Score: 43%

Imdb Ranking: 5.3/10

Courtney B. Vance stars as Jeremy Horne in this film, based on a true story, about a criminal mastermind who gathers a group of young bank employees to help him with his final plan. Horne is about to serve time in prison but plans one final heist to steal $80 million dollars from the US banking system. This crime drama was written by writer, producer, and director, Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, who also stars in the movie. 

4. The Plus One (Released: Sept. 29)

Imdb Ranking: 3.2/10

The Plus One is a romantic comedy starring iconic singer Ashanti as bride-to-be, Lizzie Anders, and Cedric the Entertainer as Lizzie’s father, Alfred Anders. Lizzie has planned what she hopes to be her dream destination wedding. However, all of that has the chance of being ruined when her “man-of-honor,” Marshall, played by Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett, brings his nightmare ex as his plus one. Now, it becomes the job of Lizzie’s family and friends to try and stop her from ruining Lizzie’s wedding. 

5. Buying Back My Daughter (Released: Oct. 7)

Imdb Ranking: 3.2/10

This Lifetime Drama film is centered around the main character, Dana. She and her husband, Curtis, team up with the police to find their missing 16-year-old daughter, Alicia. Soon, they discover Alicia has been kidnapped by traffickers and is being sold as an escort. The couple’s response to this horrific news is to try to attempt to buy their daughter back from her traffickers. Meagan Good stars as Dana, alongside Jamaican-Canadian actor, Roger Cross as Curtis. 

6. The Mill (Released: Oct. 9)

Rotten Tomatoes: 45%

Audience Score: 45%

Imdb Ranking: 5.3/10

The Mill is a sci-fi, horror, thriller, and mystery movie all in one. Lil Rel Howery plays the lead, Joe in this chilling film. Joe is an employee for the Company Mallard in a future hyper-capitalist US. He is a hard-working, caring family man anticipating the birth of his future son. Joe believes everything in life is well until one day he wakes up in an open-air prison with no memory of how he got there. All that is in the large space with him is an old grist mill. Joe soon finds out that his employer, Mallard, is responsible for imprisoning him and is forcing him to manually turn this grist mill to improve his predictability. If he does not, Joe will face “termination.” The film explores themes of corruption in capitalism, exploitation of workers, and the future of machines/AI taking over human jobs. 

7. Silver Dollar Road (Released: Oct. 20)

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

Audience Score: 90%

Imdb Ranking: 6.5/10

This documentary was created by Oscar-nominated director Raoul Peck. It tells the story of the Reels family by family matriarch, Mamie Reels Ellison and her niece Kim Renee Duhon. This family has gone through years of legal battles in an attempt to protect their ancestral land from developers who intend to take it. Ellison and Duhon attempt to free family members Melvin and Licurtis, who have been incarcerated for civil contempt for a record eight years. The Reels family’s story is used in Silver Dollar Road to discuss how the legal system exploits the Black community and how the seizing of land contributes to the position Black Americans fall on the wage gap. 

New Black Movies Releasing by the End of the Year

8. Rustin (Release date: in select theaters Nov. 3 and on Netflix Nov. 17)

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Imdb Ranking: 6.3/10

Rustin is a biography/drama that tells the story of the often unknown story of civil rights leader, Bayard Rustin. Rustin was a legendary activist and organizer behind the historic March on Washington in 1963. However, because he was an openly gay, Black man who was not ashamed of his identity, he was subjected to racism and homophobia that led to the erasure of his name in history. The film aims to finally tell the story of the man who organized a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement and was a crucial support alongside other leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Acclaimed actor Colman Domingo stars as Rustin, and the DGA and Tony award winner George C. Wolfe worked as the film’s director. 

9. Dashing Through the Snow (Release date: Nov. 17)

No ranking as at time of publication

Dashing Through the Snow is a comedic holiday movie coming to Disney+. Rapper Ludacris stars as the main character of the movie, Eddie Garrick. Eddie is a social worker based in Atlanta who wants nothing to do with Christmas because of his past. However, Eddie takes his daughter, Charlotte, to work with him on Christmas Eve where they meet a peculiarly jolly man in a red suit named Nick. Eddie, Charlotte, and Nick (played by Lil Rel Howery) end up on a magical adventure that night that changes Eddie’s view of Christmas. 

10. Good Burger 2 (Release date: Nov. 22)

No ranking as at time of publication

Good Burger 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the 1997 classic Nickelodeon original, Good Burger starring Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson. The duo, known as Kenan and Kel, reprise their roles with Kel as the “dim-witted” Ed and Kenan as the frustrated voice of reason, Dexter. The two best friends must unite to save the old burger joint “Good Burger” once again. This time, it is from the big business MegaCorp that is attempting to mass produce chains of Good Burger around the world by utilizing robots to replace loyal staff. Kenan and Kel along with Carmen Electra, Lil Rel Howery, and a new cast of Good Burger employees are set to deliver this hilarious sequel over 25 years later. 

11. Candy Cane Lane (Release date: Dec. 1)

No ranking as at time of publication

Candy Cane Lane is an Amazon original comedy and fantasy Christmas movie starring Eddie Murphy. Murphy plays a man named Chris who is dead set on winning the annual neighborhood Christmas decoration contest. To better his chances of winning, he makes a deal with a mischievous elf (played by Jillian Bell) that ends up casting a spell on the town that brings the 12 days of Christmas to life. Chris, his wife (played by Tracee Ellis Ross), and their children must work together to reverse the spell and stop the havoc from ruining Christmas. 

12. American Fiction (Release date: in limited theaters Dec. 15 and further released Dec. 22)

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Imdb Ranking: 7.8/10

American Fiction is a comedy-drama film directed and written by Cord Jefferson. Jeffrey Wright stars as the film’s main character Monk, a novelist who is frustrated by the landscape of entertainment only giving attention to black-centered stories that are based on harmful stereotypes. Monk creates an over-the-top book consisting of the very tropes he despises under a pen name to prove a point. However, when the book amasses attention and brings Monk success, he is faced with being a hypocrite who is gaining fame and wealth from harmful stereotypes he dislikes seeing in the media. The film features stars like Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, and more.

13. Girl You Know It’s True (Release date: Dec. 21)

No ranking as at time of publication

Girl You Know It’s True is a biography drama about the infamous musical duo from the 80s, Milli Vanilli. The group, consisting of German and French singers Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, was involved in one of the biggest scandals in the music industry when it was exposed that the two were lip-syncing. This led Milli Vanilli to endure widespread humiliation, getting dropped from their record label and being the first artist to have their Grammy award revoked.

However, director Simon Verhoeven and Fab Morvan himself plan to reveal what they consider to be the truth in this film and honor the late Pilatus. Milli Vanilli’s truth involves exploitation from their label and how they were used as the scapegoat in the infamous scandal. The film will feature Morvan as well as German actor Tijan Njie portraying a young Morvan and French actor Elan Ben Ali portraying a young Pilatus. 

14. The Color Purple (Release Date: Dec. 25)

No ranking as at time of publication

A retelling of the classic story by Alice Walker, turned screenplay, turned musical, then turned into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg is coming on Christmas day. The storyline of the movie is still the beloved tale of a southern Black woman facing oppression and seeking independence in the early 1900s. However, this time it is adapted from the musical version of the story. Audiences will get to witness the central character Celie (portrayed by Fantasia Barrino) not only find her strength and independence again but also experience the power of sisterhood. Spielberg and Quincy Jones serve as the film’s producers, along with Scott Sanders and Oprah Winfrey as musical producers. The film’s star-studded cast list also features Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi.