Black gangster movies seem to captivate audiences like no other genre. The stories are bold, the movies are gritty, and there is a sense of realism that you just don’t find in other movies. Featuring some of the best Black actors of all time, Black gangster movies are among the most popular films of all time. 

If you are looking for a great movie to enjoy this holiday season, take a look at our list of the top 6 Black gangster movies of all time. 

Top 6 Black Gangster Movies of All Time

If you are a fan of a good action-packed gangster movie, there are some of the top Black gangster movies you don’t want to miss.

1. Training Day

Training Day is one of the most well-known Black gangster movies of 2000s. Starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, it tells the story of a corrupt narcotics officer who pulls an unsuspecting fellow officer into his division. The two clash and the new officer is torn between right and wrong. Training Day is full of action and drama and addresses the real issue of life inside the police department when a cop goes corrupt. 

2. American Gangster

Another well-known Black gangster movie is none other than American Gangster. This film is based in 1970’s America as drug kingpins smuggle drugs into the country in the coffins of dead soldiers. The film is high action and drama, and details some of the most devious drug-related crimes in U.S. history. American Gangster is a biographical account of the events of the time. Starring in the film are Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Idris Elba, Josh Brolin, and Carla Gugino. 

3. Boyz n the Hood

Boyz n the Hood is a much-loved Black gangster movie featuring the likes of Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Set in the 1980’s, the film focuses on gang culture in South Central Los Angeles. The story follows three young men who live in the Crenshaw ghetto area of L.A. The plot dissects critical issues of the time, such as race, violence, and relationships. The actor portrayal of 1980’s gang life in this film is incredible, and it quickly became one of the best Black gangster movies. 

4. Set It Off

Set It Off is a Black gangster movie focusing on four Black women in Los Angeles. The women are disadvantaged and are tired of living in the lower socioeconomic system. Taking matters into their own hands, the women rob a bank. After one successful robbery, they attempt another before things start to fall apart. This film features themes of class, race, gender, and inner city life.  The movie stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Queen Latifah, Blair Underwood, and more. 

5. Dead Presidents

Dead Presidents is a gritty and violent Black gangster movie that focuses on the life of a soldier who recently returned from Vietnam. Now in the Bronx, the soldier struggles to reenter society and ends up entering the gang life. Starring Larenz Tate and Chris Tucker, Dead Presidents is a great movie if you like the high-packed action and chaos. 

6. New Jack City

One of the best actors to portray a Black gangster is Welsey Snipes. In his role in New Jack City, Snipes plays the part of a drug dealer who has taken over a housing complex in New York City. The crack cocaine empire he builds becomes a dangerous haven for those in the community, including the families of the drug dealers involved. In addition to Snipes, New Jack City stars Chris Rock and Ice-T. 

The six movies we list above are our picks for the top 6 Black gangster movies of all time. Of course, there are many other movies that could make a longer list, but these are the six that you absolutely don’t want to miss!

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