CultureFilm / TV

12 Black-led Movies Turning 20 This Year

January 5, 2023

At some point, it seemed like having your life together in your 20s was the standard. TV characters in their 20s seemed to be living it up from an adolescent’s perspective. Sit around the table for Thanksgiving, our elders are telling stories to their families about the cost of living or how they moved out with nothing but a suitcase and a dream. 

In the words of a South African Real Housewife — what a joke, my darling!  

As I wade through the latter half of my 20s, engaging with the Black folks in my digital communities about what their lives look like has been a godsend. From what I’ve seen, the 20s are about learning yourself, discovering what you enjoy in the world, and giving yourself the grace to make mistakes. While doom scrolling, I came across a woman saying something to the effect of our 20s only being the first ten years of a person’s adult life. I took this to mean that we still have time to be better adults, as fleeting as life can be.

Show businesses isn’t what it used to be

When it comes to film and TV, the release of films like Avatar: The Way Of The Water or House Of The Dragon highlight how far the movie business has come. From the special effects to the virality of show business today, it’s important to consider how brilliant a film had to be 20 years ago when the technology to “fix it in post” didn’t exist. Sure, at the time of release, many films were noteworthy and groundbreaking for that time. However, to think that 20 years later, a creative production can still compete in the heart of a movie watcher trying to decide what to stream from their couch. 

As such, it’s safe to argue that when a film turns 20 and remains beloved, it’s worth revisiting. Herewith are 12 films led by Black creative artists 20 years ago. 

Biker Boyz (January 31)


Deliver Us From Eva (February 7)

Bringing Down The House (March 7)

Cradle 2 The Grave (March 28)

Daddy Day Care (May 9)

Bad Boys II (July 18)

The Cheetah Girls (August 15)

The Fighting Temptations (September 19)

Out Of Time (October 3)

The Haunted Mansion (November 6)

Gothika (November 21)

Love Don’t Cost A Thing (December 12)