Black cinema had an impressive year. From the days of Black filmmakers creating movies for segregated Black audiences in the early 1900s, Black movies have come a long way down a rocky road.
The Lincoln Motion Picture Company, established by George P. Johnson in 1916, was the first Black-owned company to produce Black stories for Black audiences. Over 100 years later, the number of Black actors and production companies—including Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions, Tyler Perry Studios, and Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, which currently has a deal with Netflix—has increased exponentially. Still, the reality remains that there are significant barriers for most Black creatives in the filmmaking industry.
Fewer Black stories are told on screen. And when they are, they're chronically underfunded and undermarketed. Likewise, Black actors overall are presented with fewer opportunities in their careers. As these statistics slowly change, an integral part of that shift is highlighting and celebrating the Black creatives and films making a mark on the industry and entertaining audiences.
To underscore the year's best projects in Black cinema, Stacker looked at Metacritic data of all movies released in 2022 and ranked the top 25 films, which had to have at least seven reviews to qualify and either be helmed by Black directors, filmmakers, or actors.
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