2023 In Film: Movies Starring Strong Black Leads That Left Their Mark On Hollywood

Source: Courtesy / Sony Pictures

What a year we had in Black Hollywood!

As 2023 comes to a close in just a few days, many people are using this period of limbo between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to reflect on the moments that moved, shook and entertained us over the past 365 days.

Theatrical releases made a comeback in a huge way this year, so we figured the best place to start was by looking back on the amazing films we saw in 2023 spearheaded by strong Black leads.


Source: Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon Studios

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Source: Lionsgate

Melanin popped all down the isles of your local theaters, from comedies led by ensemble casts to dramas that brought out surprising emotional performances by fan-favorite actors and actresses in our culture. With 2024 promising even more powerful leading roles for our people — The Book of Clarence! The American Society of Magical Negroes! Beverly Hills Cop 4! — we look back on this year with pride in the foundation laid forth and, quite simply, the immense talent we witnessed on the big screen.

Source: Parrish Lewis / Netflix

Source: General / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Source: Netflix / Netflix


Major highlights included returns from veterans like Denzel Washington, who only made one movie appearance this year but made sure to make it memorable, as well as Jamie Foxx following his health scare that had Black America on edge for months. Fantasia surprisingly made her big screen debut almost 20 years since coming into stardom as the season three winner of American Idol. Two decades later, the 39-year-old singer/actress is still proving that there’s no limit to her God-given talent. Jeremy Wright on the other hand, after years of taking on serious roles with HBO’s Westworld (2016 – 2022) and The Batman in 2022, lightened up to much pleasure in a satirical take on Black stereotypes released just last week.


Source: Claire Folger / 2023 Orion Releasing LLC

Source: Focus Features / A Thousand And One=

While the films we chose to highlight may not be shoe-ins for Oscar season — a few are for sure if you ask us! — each without a doubt were award-worthy titles within many Black households across America. We salute the talent, and only pray it continues to prosper in the foreseeable future.

Major props to the 2023 Black box office!


Source: Jalen Marlowe / Disney

Source: Disney / Disney


Keep scrolling for our year-end list of 2023 films with Black leads that really brought the wow factor this year — let us know if you agree.

The post 2023 In Film: Movies Starring Strong Black Leads That Left Their Mark On Hollywood appeared first on NewsOne.

Help Stop Hate! Spread Love

Widely disseminated misinformation is extremely harmful and serves as a catalyst for hatred, violence and prejudice of every kind. This is counterproductive to the unification and strengthening of a nation. News outlets and journalists have a major responsibility to maintain a high degree of partiality and truthfulness that many Americans feel is not being honored. ADL, the Anti-Semitism Defense League is dedicated to offering impartial education on issues involving anti-Semitism to help Americans make informed decisions. A not-for-profit public service organization powered by Love, ADL provides free resources that educate society on anti-Semitism and ways to work together to combat the ancient hatred while promoting equality and prosperity for all people.

Free Download


Featured Articles

Breach of Contract and Conspiracy to Deprive of Civil Rights: An Evaluation of Potential Legal Claims and Criminal Charges Stemming from the Defamatory Social Lynching of Kyrie Irving

Basketball star Kyrie Irving captured the media’s attention when he faced allegations of anti-Semitism due to a social media post containing a link to the film, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” Succumbing to external pressure, Irving removed the controversial post and offered a public apology. Nonetheless, upon further examination of the circumstances, it appears that Irving might have been criminally deprived of his rights, and could potentially possess a legal claim against his former employer for violating contractual terms.

Send Us A Message

News & Opinions