10 Movies And Shows About Black Figures I Love And 9 That Missed The Mark By Miles

Movies or biopics about a legend's life can be a great way to honor someone if the job is done right. But the keywords are: "IF DONE RIGHT." Here are 20 movies about Black historical figures, graded on whether it was done correctly, or just missed the mark. Lets see what movies did their due diligence.

Angela B. as Whitney!

Got it Right: Malcolm X

Denzel as Malcolm x
Denzel as Malcolm x

BOUNCE / Via giphy.com

Movie: Malcolm X

One of the most vital civil rights movies ever to be made, and it almost didn't happen. The movie didn't have the financial backing at first, but thank God for celebs such as Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Magic Johnson who donated to the Spike Lee film, helping to get it off the ground.

The three-part film detailed Malcolm's life perfectly, and the movie was perfectly portrayed by director Spike Lee and actor Denzel Washington.

Miss: N.W.A


HBO / Via giphy.com

Movie: Straight Outta Compton

This movie missed the mark because the only character that felt portrayed somewhat correctly was Eazy-E. The film was executive produced by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube which might be the reason the film fell short for me. The movie was missing significant stories about those two men (more on the negative side) which sold the movie short.

Got it Right: Ray Charles


SBS Movies / Via giphy.com

Movie: Ray

Jamie Foxx was meant for this movie. When I tell you, that man got everything down on Ray Charles: the physical mannerisms, playing the piano himself, taking his signature vocal sayings and perfecting them to a T. This movie was cast well and told a story of the legendary singer we didn't know.

Got it Wrong: Michael Oher


Warner Bros / Via giphy.com

Movie: The Blind Side

I honestly loved this movie, but I had to put this on here because if the man portrayed didn't like it and called out its inaccuracies, I have to as well. Oher felt like the film hurt his football career. “They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am,” Oher stated. He believed that they didn't tell the tale of how hard his childhood was and that the movie overshadowed his actual skills.

Got it Right: Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Movie: 42

42 is a film about the 1947 integration of Jackie Robinson into the Major League Baseball Association. Robinson was the first African American player in the league. This movie shows the struggle of racial stereotypes and power dynamics Robinson had to fight through. A biopic done right!

Bobby Bank / WireImage

Got it Wrong: Michael Jackson

Jackson 5

Movie: Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story

This MJ movie is just bad. Flex Alexander as MJ is horrendous, the inaccuracies, glossing over the Bad and Dangerous eras, one actress playing several reporters. Did I mention how crazy MJ's makeup was or how a Michael Jackson movie featured 0 MJ songs. If you want to see a better depiction of MJ and his family, watch The Jacksons: An American Dream.

Nomadic Pictures / Nomadic Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Got it Right: Martin Luther King Jr.

David Oyelowo and Oprah W.
David Oyelowo and Oprah W.

Oscars / Via giphy.com

Movie: Selma

Director Ava DuVernay portrayed MLK's life like a woman who was walking the streets with MLK the way it was so brilliantly articulated. The movie is inspiring, and I love how Selma is like a snapshot of a place and a time of the city versus being strictly about MLK.

Got it Wrong: Aaliyah

Aaliyah BIo-Pic

Movie: Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B

This movie was doomed from the start. Aaliyah's family didn't want Lifetime to even have the rights to do her movie to begin with. Actor Zendaya was everyone's choice to do the movie, but Zendaya wanted the blessing from Aaliyah's family, who never gave her that, so she declined. The movie is a hot mess, and I don't recommend it at all.


Got it Right: Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith next to Queen Latifah

Movie: Bessie

This movie is just gritty, and I love it. 1920s Blues diva Bessie Smith was the most popular singer pre-Great Depression America. Queen Latifah gave a wonderful performance here, and the episodic structure of the movie actually helped the flow more than you would think. The storytelling and music sequences are great.

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Got it Wrong: MC Hammer

MC Hammer

Movie: Too Legit: MC Hammer Story

This movie detailed Hammer's early life in Oakland, California, to his meteoric rise as a superstar touring the world. The movie was terribly produced and didn't have anything good that came out of it.


Got it Right: Richard Williams

Venus in King Richard
Venus in King Richard

King Richard / Via giphy.com

Movie: King Richard

King Richard is a film about Venus and Serena Williams, their family, and more importantly, their father Richard Williams. It shows the determination of Mr. Williams who wrote an 85-page plan for his daughters even before they were born to become tennis stars. The movie follows the family up to Venus's first pro tournament.

Got it Wrong: 2Pac


All Eyez on Me / Via giphy.com

Movie: All Eyez on Me

Jada Pinkett Smith, a well-known lifelong friend of Tupac, commented how every scene that features her in the movie didn't happen and had big inaccuracies in them. The movie failed to capture all of the unique qualities Tupac possesses while never settling into a groove.

Got it Right: O.J. Simpson


FX / Via giphy.com

Series: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (Season 1)

The O.J. story is an endless conversation, and to this day we question what happened. The show's writers did a great job making it the viewer's job to draw your conclusion about O.J. Simpson and making sure they tell the story from both sides (O.J. and the media) on what was happening behind the scenes. It is a series versus a movie that helped give nuance while still providing entertainment fillers that helped draw in viewers weekly.

Got it Wrong: Mike Tyson

Trevante Rhodes
Trevante Rhodes

HULU / Via giphy.com

Series: Mike

Again, if the person portrayed came out to talk about the film and said it's a miss, I have no choice but to agree. Mike Tyson didn't approve of Hulu's attempt at his bio story and even went further to say that they produced it without his permission, and didn't pay him a dime. He's currently working with Jamie Foxx to bring the official story to life.

Got it Right: Fred Hampton

Black Panther Party
Black Panther Party

Judas and the Black Messiah / Via giphy.com

Movie: Judas and the Black Messiah 

Fred Hampton is one of the most radical leaders our country has seen. This movie is about FBI agent Roy Mitchell recruiting a criminal by the name of Bill O'Neal to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to take down chairman Fred Hampton and help conjure up Hampton's assassination.

Got it Wrong: DeBarge

Bobby DeBarge

Movie: The Bobby DeBarge Story

The 1-hour-and-30-minute biopic should have never come out. For a 2019 depiction, the costumes are horrendous, and whoever over in that department didn't even try to attempt to match the group's actual look. The movie is sad, much like a lot of the tragedies that happened to the DeBarge family in the '80s. The scenes fail at giving context, for example, I remember one scene goes from Debarge and his woman having a baby to the literal next scene we see DeBarge as a drug trafficker. Overall, just a bad, bad movie.

TV One

Got it Right: Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall

Movie: Marshall

Everyone knows Thurgood Marshall as the first Black Supreme Court Justice, but this one follows Marshall as a lawyer for Joseph Spell, a Connecticut Black male chauffeur who was arrested in 1940 for the rape and attempted murder of his white boss, Eleanor Strubing. The movie plot reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird. Overall, this story lets Chadwick Boseman shines as Marshall, and the movie is a must-watch.


Get it Wrong: Ben Carson

Cuba as Ben C.

Movie: Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Dr. Ben Carson played by Cuba Gooding Jr. was a great acting performance inspired by Carson's book that's actually a wonderful read. The movie itself is good and shows how strong of a woman his mother is. If anything is a miss, it's some of the current political stances we have seen from him. After watching such a beautiful tribute to Carson and how talented of a surgeon he is, you wouldn't think that he would be the person he is now.


Got it Right: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson

Black Women in Nasa
Black Women in Nasa

Hidden Figures / Via giphy.com

Movie: Hidden Figures

This movie highlights the true story of three immaculate Black female mathematicians. This movie is heartwarming despite having some historical inaccuracies. The message of three women not letting racial discrimination, their gender, and skin color get to them while preserving to work for a big corporation like NASA is one we don't see often on the big screen.

Let me know what you think?

There are some other good ones not listed I believe everyone reading should check out. What's Love Got to Do with It, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, and The Temptations were all done correctly! Which ones did I leave off?

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  Logan Perrin
Logan Perrin