Most Popular African American Protagonist Movies and TV Shows

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1. Dolemite (1975)

R | 90 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

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... See full summary »

Director: D'Urville Martin | Stars: Rudy Ray Moore, D'Urville Martin, Jerry Jones, Lady Reed

Votes: 2,920

2. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

R | 135 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
83 Metascore

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace

Votes: 160,045 | Gross: $48.69M

3. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
75 Metascore

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 61,166 | Gross: $24.38M

4. Coming to America (1988)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
47 Metascore

An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and will.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Paul Bates, Garcelle Beauvais, Feather

Votes: 148,221 | Gross: $128.15M

5. Creed II (2018)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Sport

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
66 Metascore

Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, newly crowned heavyweight champion Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago.

Director: Steven Caple Jr. | Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad

Votes: 79,701 | Gross: $115.72M

6. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
80 Metascore

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.

Director: Boots Riley | Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick

Votes: 43,969 | Gross: $17.49M

7. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 185,752 | Gross: $115.65M

8. The Equalizer (2014)

R | 132 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour

Votes: 306,217 | Gross: $101.53M

9. The Book of Eli (2010)

R | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
53 Metascore

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Gary Oldman

Votes: 274,463 | Gross: $94.84M

10. Creed (II) (2015)

PG-13 | 133 min | Drama, Sport

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
82 Metascore

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad

Votes: 227,946 | Gross: $109.77M

11. American Gangster (2007)

R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
76 Metascore

An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin

Votes: 369,963 | Gross: $130.16M

12. Black Lightning (2018– )

TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A crusading school principal gets back into action as the original African-American electrical superhero.

Stars: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams

Votes: 17,269

13. Deja Vu (2006)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
59 Metascore

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer

Votes: 278,257 | Gross: $64.04M

14. Flight (I) (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
76 Metascore

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle, John Goodman

Votes: 305,689 | Gross: $93.77M

15. The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Votes: 72,166 | Gross: $98.47M

16. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
64 Metascore

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher

Votes: 150,400 | Gross: $234.76M

17. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 114,001 | Gross: $26.83M

18. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

R | 106 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
55 Metascore

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, Victor Gojcaj

Votes: 174,856 | Gross: $65.45M

19. Insecure (2016– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Romance

7.8
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Follows the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman.

Stars: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Lisa Joyce

Votes: 9,301

20. Trading Places (1983)

R | 116 min | Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
69 Metascore

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche

Votes: 124,360 | Gross: $90.40M

21. Safe House (2012)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
52 Metascore

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga

Votes: 194,098 | Gross: $126.37M

22. Unstoppable (2010)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
69 Metascore

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee

Votes: 174,332 | Gross: $81.56M

23. Rush Hour 3 (2007)

PG-13 | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
44 Metascore

After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads' secret leaders.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Max von Sydow, Hiroyuki Sanada

Votes: 143,036 | Gross: $140.13M

24. Marshall (2017)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
66 Metascore

The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.

Director: Reginald Hudlin | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown

Votes: 15,034 | Gross: $10.05M

25. Gothika (2003)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
38 Metascore

A depressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr., Charles S. Dutton

Votes: 101,265 | Gross: $59.69M

26. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
76 Metascore

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Meryl Streep, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 98,075 | Gross: $65.96M

27. Everything, Everything (2017)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Romance

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
52 Metascore

A teenager who's spent her whole life confined to her home falls for the boy next door.

Director: Stella Meghie | Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera

Votes: 27,940 | Gross: $34.00M

28. The Haves and the Have Nots (2013– )

Unrated | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.0
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Centers on the rich Cryer and Harrington families (the haves) and the poor Young family (the have nots) whose lives intertwine when Hanna Young begins working for the Cryers.

Stars: Tika Sumpter, John Schneider, Crystal Fox, Angela Robinson

Votes: 2,526

29. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 128,695 | Gross: $75.33M

30. Shaft (1971)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

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

Director: Gordon Parks | Stars: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John

Votes: 15,074

31. No Good Deed (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 84 min | Action, Crime, Drama

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
26 Metascore

An unstable escaped convict terrorizes a woman who is alone with her two children.

Director: Sam Miller | Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo

Votes: 16,260 | Gross: $52.54M

32. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, RaéVen Kelly, Virginia Capers

Votes: 15,746 | Gross: $39.10M

33. Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

R | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
48 Metascore

Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills to help Taggart and Rosewood investigate Chief Bogomil's near-fatal shooting and the series of "alphabet crimes" associated with it.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Jürgen Prochnow, Ronny Cox

Votes: 99,510 | Gross: $153.67M

34. Next Friday (2000)

R | 98 min | Comedy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
41 Metascore

Uncle Elroy and Day Day owe money on taxes so Craig finds a way to steal from the next door neighbors to pay off the taxes so Uncle Elroy's house doesn't get put up for auction.

Director: Steve Carr | Stars: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Justin Pierce, John Witherspoon

Votes: 34,128 | Gross: $57.33M

35. Think Like a Man (2012)

PG-13 | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
51 Metascore

Four friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy

Votes: 41,294 | Gross: $91.55M

36. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
78 Metascore

An African-American man is hired to find a woman, and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal.

Director: Carl Franklin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals, Don Cheadle

Votes: 16,074 | Gross: $16.03M

37. War Room (2015)

PG | 120 min | Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
26 Metascore

A seemingly perfect family looks to fix their problems with the help of Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman.

Director: Alex Kendrick | Stars: Priscilla C. Shirer, T.C. Stallings, Karen Abercrombie, Beth Moore

Votes: 11,845 | Gross: $67.79M

38. Boomerang (1992)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
45 Metascore

A successful executive and womanizer finds his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new female boss turns out to be an even bigger deviant than he is.

Director: Reginald Hudlin | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier

Votes: 23,879 | Gross: $70.10M

39. Good Burger (1997)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Family

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
41 Metascore

Two dim-witted teenagers are forced to save the fast food restaurant they work at from going out of business, despite a new-and-improved burger joint opening across the street that want to be the "Top Dog" in the fast food industry.

Director: Brian Robbins | Stars: Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Sinbad, Abe Vigoda

Votes: 24,047 | Gross: $23.69M

40. Jungle Fever (1991)

R | 132 min | Drama, Romance

6.5
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Friends and family of a married black architect react in different ways to his affair with an Italian secretary.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis

Votes: 15,678 | Gross: $32.48M

41. Rosewood (2015–2017)

TV-14 | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Miami pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. finds secrets in people's bodies using his state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.

Stars: Morris Chestnut, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Gabrielle Dennis, Anna Konkle

Votes: 6,450

42. Waiting to Exhale (1995)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.9
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Based on Terry McMillan's novel, this film follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender.

Director: Forest Whitaker | Stars: Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon

Votes: 8,823 | Gross: $67.05M

43. Yo Gabba Gabba! (2007–2019)

TV-Y | 23 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Yo Gabba Gabba! is a fun live-action program for young children ages 1 and up. Join our host DJ Lance Rock as he introduces us to friendly toy monsters in a magical land full of music, ... See full summary »

Stars: Lance Robertson, Adam Deibert, Erin Pearce, Amos Watene

Votes: 1,226

44. Daddy's Little Girls (2007)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Romance

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
49 Metascore

A mechanic falls in love with his attorney.

Director: Tyler Perry | Stars: Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Louis Gossett Jr.

Votes: 6,692 | Gross: $31.34M

45. Barbershop (2002)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
66 Metascore

A day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Anthony Anderson

Votes: 28,045 | Gross: $75.78M

46. Ricochet (1991)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A District Attorney is terrorized by the criminal he put away years ago when he was a cop.

Director: Russell Mulcahy | Stars: Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T, Kevin Pollak

Votes: 14,917 | Gross: $21.76M

47. How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
56 Metascore

Stella is a highly successful, forty-something San Francisco stock broker who is persuaded by her colorful New York girlfriend Delilah to take a well deserved, first-class vacation to ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan | Stars: Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King

Votes: 6,391 | Gross: $37.67M

48. Love Thy Neighbor (2013– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Reality-TV

4.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

From Tyler Perry's plays, gun-toting Grandma Hattie has been given her own sitcom. Managing the Love Train Diner with her brother-in-law Floyd, she dishes out justice in the best way: with love.

Stars: Jonathan Chase, Leigh-Ann Rose, Palmer Williams Jr., Patrice Lovely

Votes: 645

49. Think Like a Man Too (2014)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Romance

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
38 Metascore

All the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas, but plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Wendi McLendon-Covey, La La Anthony

Votes: 18,703 | Gross: $65.18M

50. Doc McStuffins (2012– )

G | 11 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Doc McStuffins" is an imaginative animated series about Doc McStuffins, a young girl who aspires to be a doctor like her mom and communicates with and heals broken toys and stuffed animals.

Stars: Lara Jill Miller, Kiara Muhammad, Loretta Devine, Robbie Rist

Votes: 1,629



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