15+ Thought-Provoking Movies About Slavery You'll Never Forget - Endless Popcorn

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If you’re looking for the best movies about slavery, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best films out there on the topic.

From documentaries to dramas, these movies will give you a powerful look at one of America’s darkest periods. So, without further ado, here are some of the best movies about slavery you can watch now!

1.  12 Years a Slave

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12 Years A Slave Movie Description

Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south. He endures the cruelty of one malevolent owner, while also finding unexpected kindness from another.

In the 12th year of his disheartening ordeal, he meets an abolitionist from Canada who changes his life forever.

2.  Django Unchained

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Django Unchained Movie Description

Django (Jamie Foxx) and Schultz (Christoph Waltz) are on a mission to capture the Brittle brothers. This is successful, and Django is freed.

The two of them then travel around capturing criminals, until they reach Calvin Candie’s plantation. There, Django finds his lost wife is still a slave.

3.  Amistad

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Amistad Movie Description

The Amistad was carrying slaves from Cuba to America in 1839 when they revolted and took control of the ship. They were brought to Connecticut and their release became a heated debate. Property lawyer Roger Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey) wanted to help them get exonerated, eventually joined by John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins).

4.  Glory

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Glory Movie Description

Colonel Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is given the opportunity to lead the first all-African American regiment in the United States Army after the Battle of Antietam.

He assembles a strong and proud unit, including Trip (Denzel Washington), an escaped slave, and John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), a wise gravedigger. The regiment is initially limited to manual tasks, but they fight to be placed in the heat of battle.

5.  The Retrieval

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The Retrieval Movie Description

A young boy during the Civil War develops an unlikely friendship with a freedman while trying to lure him back to the Southern states.

6.  Harriet

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Harriet Movie Description

The heroic story of Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist who escaped from slavery and led dangerous missions to free hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad.

7.  Amazing Grace

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Amazing Grace Movie Description

William Wilberforce (loan Gruffudd) is a member of the House of Commons in 18th-century England. He and his close friend, William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch), begin a lengthy battle to abolish Great Britain’s slave trade.

Wilberforce’s first attempt to pass his legislation is met with defeat in 1791, but he finds new inspiration when he falls in love with Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai).

8.  Lincoln

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Lincoln Movie Description

Despite the high death count of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln remains passionate about his cause: to end the war and abolish slavery through the 13th Amendment.

He is determined to see this through, even if it means pushing against those in government who oppose him. Lincoln has great courage and moral fortitude and is able to compel the nation to aim for the greater good.

9.  Antebellum

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Antebellum Movie Description

After finishing a book tour, successful author Veronica Henley returns home to her husband and daughter.

However, a shocking turn of events soon upends Veronica’s life, plunging her into a horrifying reality that forces her to confront her past, present, and future.

10.  Free State of Jones

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Free State Jones Movie Description

In 1863, Mississippi farmer Newt Knight serves as a medic for the Confederate Army. However, he is opposed to slavery and would rather help wounded soldiers than fight in battle. After his nephew dies during combat, Newt returns home to Jones County so that he can protect his family but is soon seen as a criminal deserter.

He has no choice but to flee and finds refuge with a group of runaway slaves hiding out in nearby swamps. By forming an alliance with these slaves and other farmers, Knight leads a rebellion that changes history forever.

11.  Queen

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Alex Haley’s Queen Movie Description

Queen, a biracial girl, is the daughter of a plantation owner’s son and one of his slaves, Easter. Growing up post-Civil War brought many challenges for Queen, especially since she was constantly trying to pass as white.

Most people Queen met caused her pain and hardship in some way, making it difficult for her to find happiness or feel like she belonged anywhere.

12.  13th

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13th Movie Description

Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary looks at the role that racial discrimination has played in shaping the American prison system, particularly how African Americans have been disproportionately incarcerated.

13.  The Birth of a Nation

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The Birth Of A Nation Movie Description

Nat Turner is an enslaved Baptist preacher living in Southampton County, Virginia on the plantation of Samuel Turner. Rumors of insurrection rippling throughout the area, a cleric comes to the decision that Nate should preach to other slaves in an attempt to quell any rebellious thoughts and prevent an uprising.

As Nate sees more and more of the appalling mistreatment of fellow slaves, he is no longer content to simply preach. On August 21st, 1831, Nat Turner’s quest for freedom and justice leads to a bloody rebellion in Southampton County.

14.  Belle

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Belle Movie Description

The daughter of a British admiral, who is of mixed race, plays a significant role in the campaign to abolish slavery in England.

15.  The Help

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The Help Movie Description

Skeeter (Emma Stone), a southern society girl, returns from college with dreams of being a writer. By choosing to interview the black women who have dedicated their lives to taking care of white families, she stirs things up in her small town.

Aibileen (Viola Davis), the housekeeper of Skeeter’s best friend was the only one that would talk at first. But as they continued their collaboration more and more women decided to come forward with stories of their own.

5 More Movies About Slavery (Honorable Mentions)

As we conclude our list of the best movies about slavery, it’s important to note that many other films tackle this difficult subject matter in a meaningful way.

While our top picks are certainly some of the best in the genre, there are many more that deserve recognition for their powerful depictions of the history of slavery and its lasting impact. In the following section, we will highlight several honorable mentions that didn’t quite make our top picks list but are still worth watching.

  • Emancipation (2022)
  • Emperor (2020)
  • I Am Slave (2010)
  • Freedom (2014)
  • Gladiator (2000)

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