There is something about black gangster movies that just seems to captivate audiences. Perhaps it’s the gritty realism, or the powerful stories that are often told. Whatever the reason, black gangster movies have been some of the most popular films of all time. In this blog post, we will share the 10 best black gangster movies of all time. These are some truly amazing films that you won’t want to miss!
Set It Off 
In the film Set It Off, four African American women in Los Angeles who have been disadvantaged by the socioeconomic system they live under decide to take matters into their own hands and rob a bank. They are successful in their first heist but things quickly unravel as they attempt their second robbery. The film explores themes of race, class, and gender, and the ways in which they intersect. It is a gritty and realistic portrayal of inner city life, and the characters are complex and fully-realized. The film is ultimately a story about friendship, betrayal, and survival.
Training Day 
Denzel Washington stars as Alonzo Harris, a corrupt narcotics officer who inducts Ethan Hawke’s character, Jake Hoyt, into the LAPD’s narcotics division. Jake quickly realizes that Alonzo is a dirty cop, and is torn between doing what’s right and following orders. The two clash as the day goes on, with Alonzo’s true colors eventually showing.
American Gangster 
In 1970s America, drug kingpin Frank Lucas (Washington) rises to the top of the criminal underworld by smuggling heroin into the country via the coffins of dead American soldiers. His rival, Richie Roberts (Crowe), is a narcotics detective who is determined to bring him down. As the two men engage in an increasingly brutal battle, each realizes that he may have to sacrifice everything – his family, his friends, and even his own life – to prevail.
Hoodlum is a 1997 American crime drama film that tells the story of the gang war between the Italian/Jewish mafia alliance and the black gangsters of Harlem. The film focuses on Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson (Laurence Fishburne), Dutch Schultz (Tim Roth), and Lucky Luciano (Andy García).
Dead Presidents 
Anthony Curtis (Larenz Tate), a soldier, returns home to the Bronx after enduring a traumatic tour of duty in Vietnam. But life does not get any easier for Anthony or his friends as they struggle to find employment and provide for their families during tough economic times. Desperate, Anthony partners up with Skip (Chris Tucker), an addict, and Kirby (Keith David), a small-time criminal, to rob a bank—an act that could improve all of their lives significantly.
Menace II Society 
The film is set in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Caine Lawson, a young street hustler, is trying to escape the violence and poverty of his everyday life. When Caine’s best friend, O-Dog, kills a Korean store owner during a robbery, Caine is drawn deeper into the street life.
Waist Deep 
The movie follows the story of an ex-con named O2, (played by Tyrese Gibson) who is trying to make a new life for himself and his son. However, when his son is kidnapped by a gang, O2 is forced to go back to a life of crime in order to save him. With the help of his former partner, Tyrese sets out to take down the gang and get his son back.
In Shottas, friends Biggs (Kymani Marley) and Wayne (Spragga Benz) turn to a life of crime in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami. They quickly become the city’s most wanted men, leading a double life of luxury and violence.
In the movie Takers, a group of professional thieves plan and execute a heist. They are successful in robbing the bank, but one of the members betrays the group and tries to keep the entire haul for himself. This sets off a chain of events that leads to a dangerous game of cat and mouse between the thieves and the police. In the end, only the most skilled and ruthless will be left standing.
New Jack City 
These are just a few of the great black gangster movies. If you haven’t seen them, we highly recommend that you check them out! We’re sure you’ll enjoy them as much as we did. Thanks for reading and happy watching!
What are some of your favorite black gangster films? Let us know in the comments below!