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The Best Blaxploitation Movies Of All-Time

“What are the best Blaxploitation Movies Of All-Time?” We looked at 76 of the top Blaxploitation films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 33 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Blaxploitation” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 40+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 33 Blaxploitation Movies Of All-Time



33 .) Black Samson (1974) directed by Charles Bail

Black Samson (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

Noble nightclub owner Samson does his best to keep his neighborhood clean of crime and drugs. When vicious mobster Johnny Nappa tries to muscle in on Samson’s territory, Samson takes a brave stand against Nappa and his flunkies.



32 .) Bucktown (1975) directed by Arthur Marks

Bucktown (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

Duke Johnson visits a small Southern town, intent on burying his brother. After the funeral, he learns that he must stay for 60 days, for the estate to be processed. A few locals convince Duke to reopen his late brother’s nightclub, and soon the local redneck policemen are intimidating Duke with threats of violence. Duke refuses to pay the bribes they demand, so then he and his lady friend Aretha are threatened and attacked by the crooked cops. Rather than take them on himself, Duke calls on his old pal Roy. Roy brings a few buddies to Bucktown, and they bring justice to the small town. With the redneck cops out of the way, Duke lets his guard down. Then the situation gets out of hand again. Finally, Duke must settle the score himself.



31 .) Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) directed by Ossie Davis

Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • IMDB
  • LA Times

Harlem’s African-American population is being ripped off by the Rev. Deke O’Malley, who dishonestly claims that small donations will secure parcels of land in Africa. When New York City police officers Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson look into O’Malley’s scam, they learn that the cash is being smuggled inside a bale of cotton. However, the police, O’Malley, and lots of others find themselves scrambling when the money goes missing.



30 .) Detroit 9000 (1973) directed by Arthur Marks

Detroit 9000 (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • NY Times

After a fundraiser for a black politician is robbed, Detroit police put two detectives, one white and one black, on the case, who try to work together under boiling political pressure.



29 .) Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) directed by Oscar Williams

Five on the Black Hand Side (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

Leonard Jackson plays a barber who is also the domineering head of a middle-class African American family. Jackson is forced to rethink his values when his previously docile wife (Clarice Taylor) joins their three children in rebelling against her husband’s retrogressive behavior.



28 .) Ganja & Hess (1973) directed by Bill Gunn

Ganja & Hess (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • IMDB

After being stabbed with an ancient, germ-infested knife, a doctor’s assistant finds himself with an insatiable desire for blood.



27 .) Hell Up in Harlem (1973) directed by Larry Cohen

Hell Up in Harlem (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

Tougher than Shaft and smoother than Superfly, this high-voltage sequel to Black Caesar explodes with enough action to incinerate New York City. Packed with machine-gun mayhem and riveting adventure, Hell Up in Harlem is nothing less than a modern-day tribute to the classic 30s gangster film. Fred Williamson is Tommy Gibbs, a fearless, bulletproof tough guy who blasts his way from the gutter to become the ultimate soul brother boss. Tommy steals a ledger with the name of every crooked cop and man in the city. Enlisting the aid of his father and an army of Harlem hoods, Gibbs goes from defense to offense, launching a deadly attack on his enemies that sets off a violent chain reaction from Harlem all the way to the Caribbean, climaxing in one of the hottest turf-war shoot-outs in Hollywood history.



26 .) Sugar Hill (1974) directed by Paul Maslansky

Sugar Hill (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Dat History Guy
  • Flick Chart
  • Paste Magazine

When her boyfriend is brutally murdered, after refusing to be shaken down by the local gangsters running their protection racket, Sugar Hill, decides not to get mad, but BAD! Calling upon the help of aged voodoo queen Mama Maitresse, Sugar entreats her to call upon Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead, for help in gaining a gruesome revenge. In exchange for her soul, the Dark Master raises up a zombie army to do her bidding. The bad guys who thought they were getting away clean are about to find out that they’re DEAD wrong.



25 .) The Legend of Nigger Charley (1972) directed by Martin Goldman

The Legend of Nigger Charley (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • IMDB

A trio of runaway slaves evade authorities in the Old West.



24 .) Trick Baby (1972) directed by Larry Yust

Trick Baby (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • EW

Two Phildelphia con men try to evade gangsters they have conned and cops who are trying to put them in jail.



23 .) Uptown Saturday Night (1974) directed by Sidney Poitier

Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • IMDB

Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby team up in this hilarious misadventure as buddies Steve and Wardell, who head uptown to a swanky nightclub. Unfortunately, thieves hit the club and steal Steve’s wallet — which happens to hold a winning lottery ticket. Poitier also directed this classic 1970s comedy, which co-stars Harry Belafonte as Godfather figure Geechie Dan Beauford and Richard Pryor.



22 .) Black Belt Jones (1974) directed by Robert Clouse

Black Belt Jones (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • Flick Chart
  • Taste Of Cinema

Jones is a secret agent who has gone into semi-retirement, concentrating instead on teaching the martial arts to inner city youths. The karate school is run by a kindly old coot named Pops ,played by Scatman Crothers. His gambling debts, however, bring the local thug, Pinky, down on him. To make matters worse, Pinky is then hired by some white thugs who want to get a hold of the property Pops’ school occupies so they can build a shopping mall. When things get heavy, Black Belt Jones leaps into action. Only he’s not alone. Pops’ daughter, Sidney, shows up to lend a hand, proving herself every bit as agile and powerful a martial artist as Jones.



21 .) Coonskin (1975) directed by Ralph Bakshi

Coonskin (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • IMDB
  • NY Times

A multi-layered satire of race relations in America. Live-action sequences of a prison break bracket the animated story of Brother Rabbit, Brother Bear, and Preacher Fox, who rise to the top of the crime ranks in Harlem by going up against a con-man, a racist cop, and the Mafia.



20 .) Penitentiary (1979) directed by Jamaa Fanaka

Penitentiary (1979)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison’s boxing team in an effort to secure an early parole and to establish his dominance over the prison’s toughest gang.



19 .) The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973) directed by Ivan Dixon

The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to plot a new American Revolution.



18 .) Willie Dynamite (1974) directed by Gilbert Moses

Willie Dynamite (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • EW
  • eZine Articles

Willie Dynamite is a pimp who operates in New York City. Willie was a big success as a pimp, but now, just as fast as he rose to the top, he has hit bottom. A former prostitute who has become a social worker tries to get Willie to clean up his life while it is still possible.



17 .) Cleopatra Jones (1973) directed by Jack Starrett

Cleopatra Jones (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • IMDB
  • NY Times
  • Paste Magazine

Cleopatra Jones is assigned to crack down on drug trafficking in the United States and abroad. After she burns a Turkish poppy field, the notorious drug lord Mommy is furious at the loss of her supply and vows to destroy her.



16 .) Cooley High (1975) directed by Michael Schultz

Cooley High (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • Taste Of Cinema

In the mid-1960s, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest…parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the guys when they meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac. We follow their lives through the end of high school and the dramatic end to their school.



15 .) Friday Foster (1975) directed by Arthur Marks

Friday Foster (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • NY Times

Friday Foster, an ex-model magazine photographer, goes to Los Angeles International airport to photograph the arrival of Blake Tarr, the richest black man in America. Three men attempt to assassinate Tarr. Foster photographs the melee and is plunged into a web of conspiracy involving the murder of her childhood friend, a US senator, and a shadowy plan called “Black Widow”.



14 .) The Mack (1973) directed by Michael Campus

The Mack (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • eZine Articles
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • Taste Of Cinema

Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up king of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the small time.



13 .) Three the Hard Way (1974) directed by Gordon Parks Jr.

Three the Hard Way (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • IMDB
  • NY Times

The story involves a white supremist plot to taint the United States water supply with a toxin that is harmless to whites but lethal to blacks. The only obstacles that stand in the way of this dastardly plan are Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly, who shoot, kick and karate chop their way to final victory.



12 .) Across 110th Street (1972) directed by Barry Shear

Across 110th Street (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • eZine Articles
  • Film School Rejects
  • Taste Of Cinema

In a daring robbery, some $300,000 is taken from the Italian mob. Several mafiosi are killed, as are two policemen. Lt. Pope and Mattelli are two New York City cops trying to break the case. Three small-time criminals are on the run with the money. Will the mafia catch them first, or will the police?



11 .) Dolemite (1975) directed by D’Urville Martin

Dolemite (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • Film School Rejects
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • LA Times

Dolemite is a pimp who was set up by Willie Greene and the cops, who have planted drugs, stolen furs, and guns in his trunk and got him sentenced to 20 years in jail. One day, Queen B and a warden planned to get him out of Jail and get Willie Green and Mitchell busted for what they did to him.



10 .) Slaughter (1972) directed by Jack Starrett

Slaughter (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • LA Times
  • NY Times

Slaughter, a former Green Beret, avenges the killing of loved ones by the Mob, and in so doing is coerced by the Feds into traveling to Mexico to finish off surviving mobsters.



9 .) Trouble Man (1972) directed by Ivan Dixon

Trouble Man (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • eZine Articles
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

It seems that masked men are knocking over the floating crap games of Chalky and Pete. Chalky and Pete hire the cool, loose, elegant Mr. T to fix things. Then, the masked manipulators set up the death of a collector for a rival gang lord. It looks like it’s up to T to hold a gang war from breaking out, keep the police off his back, and earn his fee from Chalky and Pete.



8 .) Truck Turner (1974) directed by Jonathan Kaplan

Truck Turner (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • eZine Articles
  • Film School Rejects
  • Flick Chart
  • NY Times

Ex-football star turned skip-tracer, Turner specializes in bringing in the criminals police are too scared to chase, and when he’s hired to capture sociopathic pimp Gator, he finds himself confronted by the most vicious killers in the underground scene.



7 .) Blacula (1972) directed by William Crain

Blacula (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • EW
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • Taste Of Cinema

An 18th century African prince is turned into a vampire while visiting Transylvania. Two centuries later, he rises from his coffin attacking various residents of Los Angeles and meets Tina, a woman who he believes is the reincarnation of his deceased wife.



6 .) Foxy Brown (1974) directed by Jack Hill

Foxy Brown (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • EW
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • Paste Magazine
  • Taste Of Cinema

A voluptuous black woman takes a job as a high-class prostitute in order to get revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.



5 .) Black Caesar (1973) directed by Larry Cohen

Black Caesar (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • eZine Articles
  • Film School Rejects
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB
  • LA Times

Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his vengeance, he rises to power in Harlem, New York. Angry at the racist society around him, both criminal and straight, he sees the acquisition of power as the solution to his rage.



4 .) Shaft (1971) directed by Gordon Parks

Shaft (1971)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • EW
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • Taste Of Cinema

Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.



3 .) Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971) directed by Melvin van Peebles

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Complex
  • EW
  • eZine Articles
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • Taste Of Cinema

After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from “the man” with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.



2 .) Coffy (1973) directed by Jack Hill

Coffy (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • BFI
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • eZine Articles
  • Film School Rejects
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • Paste Magazine

After her younger sister gets involved in drugs and is severely injured by contaminated heroin, a nurse sets out on a mission of vengeance and vigilante justice, killing drug dealers, pimps, and mobsters who cross her path.



1 .) Super Fly (1972) directed by Gordon Parks Jr.

Super Fly (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Audiences Everywhere
  • BFI
  • Complex
  • Dat History Guy
  • EW
  • eZine Articles
  • Flick Chart
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • Taste Of Cinema

Super Fly is a cocaine dealer who begins to realize that his life will soon end with either prison or his death. He decides to build an escape from the life by making his biggest deal yet.




The 40+ Additional Best Blaxploitation Movies



# Movies Directors Lists
34 Black Dynamite   Flick Chart
LA Times
35 Black Gunn (1972) Robert Hartford-Davis Complex
IMDB
36 Black Heat (1976) Al Adamson Complex
IMDB
37 Black Mama White Mama (1973) Eddie Romero IMDB
Complex
38 Black Shampoo (1976) Greydon Clark Complex
IMDB
39 Cool Breeze (1972) Barry Pollack Complex
IMDB
40 Hammer (1972) Bruce D. Clark Complex
IMDB
41 I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!   EW
Flick Chart
42 JD’s Revenge (1976)  
Dat History Guy
Film School Rejects
43 Live and Let Die (1973) Guy Hamilton
Taste Of Cinema
Complex
44 Mandingo  
Dat History Guy
Flick Chart
45 Petey Wheatstraw (1977) Cliff Roquemore Complex
IMDB
46 Shaft in Africa (1973) John Guillermin Complex
IMDB
47 Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973) Henning Schellerup Complex
IMDB
48 That Man Bolt (1973) Henry Levin Complex
IMDB
49 The Black Gestapo (1975) Lee Frost Complex
IMDB
50
The Education of Sonny Carson (1974)
 
Dat History Guy
BFI
51 A Piece of the Action  
Dat History Guy
52 Abby (1974)   Complex
53 Across   Flick Chart
54 Blackenstein (1973)   Complex
55 Bone (1972)  
Film School Rejects
56 Buck and the Preacher  
Dat History Guy
57 Car Wash   Flick Chart
58 Darktown Strutters (1975)  
Paste Magazine
59 Disco Godfather (1979)   Complex
60
DOLEMITE 2: THE HUMAN TORNADO (1976)
  EW
61 Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)   Complex
62 Jackie Brown   LA Times
63 Let’s Do It Again  
Dat History Guy
64 Man and Boy  
Dat History Guy
65 Putney Swope   Flick Chart
66 Scream, Blacula, Scream!   Flick Chart
67 Sheba, Baby (1975)  
Film School Rejects
68 T.N.T. Jackson (1974)   Complex
69 Tales From The Hood (1995)  
Film School Rejects
70
THE AVENGING DISCO GODFATHER (1979)
  EW
71 The Beast Must Die (1974)  
Film School Rejects
72 The Big Score (1983)  
Film School Rejects
73 The Candy Tangerine Man’ (1975)   NY Times
74 The Human Tornado (1976)   Complex
75 The Monkey Hustle  
Dat History Guy
76 TNT Jackson (1974)  
Paste Magazine



13 Best Blaxploitation Film Sources/Lists



Source Article
Audiences Everywhere 10 Best Blaxploitation Films – Audiences Everywhere
BFI 10 great blaxploitation movies | BFI
Complex The 50 Best Blaxploitation Movies | Complex
Dat History Guy Soul Power: The 25 Greatest Blaxploitation Films | Soul Therapy
EW 10 Best Blaxploitation Flicks | EW.com
eZine Articles Top 10 Greatest Blaxploitation Movies of the Seventies
Film School Rejects 20 Blaxploitation Films to Close Out Black History Month
Flick Chart The Best Blaxploitation Movies of All Time – Flickchart
IMDB The 50 Best Blaxploitation Movies of All Time (Complex Magazine
LA Times 11 blaxploitation movies that helped define the genre – Los Angeles
NY Times Like the New ‘Superfly’? Stream These 13 Classic Blaxploitation Films
Paste Magazine The 5 Female-Led Blaxploitation Flicks to Watch after Proud Mary
Taste Of Cinema The 10 Best Blaxploitation Films of All Time « Taste of Cinema – Movie

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