Movies We Recommend

A beautiful film based on the short life of famed artist Jean Michel Basquait. Jeffrey Wright stars as the young, homeless artist who took over the 1980’s art scene with his abstract graffiti art.
If you’re a scary movie fan, check out Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone. It’s a Spanish film so unless you’re bilingual, you’ll have to read subtitles. You’ll be glad you gave it a chance.
Marion Cottllard gives an Oscar winning performance in La Vie En Rose, a biopic revolving around the life of French singer Edith Piaf. Bring a box of tissues. One of the best performances of the decade.
Based of the Jeffrey Eugenides novel, The Virgin Suicides tells the tale of five sisters and their eventual suicide. Sophia Coppola’s directs this 70’s era flick starring Kirsten Dunst.
Maria Full of Grace in an award winning film that tells the story of 17 year old Maria Alvarez who turns to internal drug smuggling after discovering that she is pregnant. Joshua Martson writes and directs.
Dirty Pretty Things, directed by Steven Frears revolves around two Nigerian immigrants who disocver more than they bargain for in the toilet of a London hotel room.
Paul Mooney delivers another laugh filled (and message filled) performance in Paul Mooney: Jesus Was Black…So Was Cleopatra- Know You History. Centered around his show at The Laugh Factory, Mooney hits us again with another reason to love him.
Livin’ Large stars Terrence “T.C.” Carson as Dexter Jackson, an Atlanta delivery man with dreams of being a big time news reporter. After getting his big break Jackson discovers that being on TV might cost him his black identity.
Nothing But A Man stars Ivan Dixon a man who longs to be treated and respected as a man during the racially charged 60’s. After falling for a beautiful young woman this restless soul discovers the peace in love. This is sited as Malcolm X’s favorite film.
Tom Hanks stars as America’s favorite slow person: Forrest Gump. No matter how many times you watch this movie, it never gets old. It’s message is timeless. A beautiful story directed by Robert Zemeckis
Akeelah and The Bee tells the tale of eleven year old Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), a young girl from L.A.’s south side who takes part in a spelling bee to avoid detention. Laurence Fishburne stars as Dr. Larabee, a professor who discovers her potential to go national and inspire the community and family who once troubled her.
Damon Wayans stars as Pierre Delacroix, an Ivy League television writer in LA, fed up with the Studio system. After his ideas of a “normal” black family television show are shut down repeatedly he creates a new age minstrel show to protest. To his surprise the show becomes a hit and the repercussions that follow are endless. Bamboozled is a Spike Lee Joint!
Based on Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved follows former slave Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) a mother with an anguished past as she welcomes a strange young woman into her home. A haunting tale thick with emotion.
Set in a Brooklyn neighborhood during the 2003 black out, Blackout shines light on true stories that unfolded when the city was at its most vulnerable. Zoe Saldana and Jeffrey Wright star.
Boomerang: a throwback reminder of the good ole’ days when movies about black people had nothing to do with them being “black people”. Eddie Murphy stars in this classic about a powerful young exec who has every game in life figured out except for women and love. An All Star cast supports him: Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Allen Grier, Martin Lawrence, Grace Jones, Chris Rock and Eartha Kitt.
Another Spike Lee Joint! Seen through the eyes of young Troy ( Zelda Harris), Crooklyn follows the inner workings of the Carmichael family during the 70’s. When tragedy strikes Troy discovers that the lessons she’s learned from her family have likely prepared her for life itself.
This will make you laugh to no end. Period.
Believe it or not Eddie Murphy’s bright n’ tight, kool-aid jumpsuit isn’t the funniest thing in Delirious. This is one of Eddie Murphy’s shinning moments. A reminder of who he truly is underneath all those busted studio movies. A must see for any comedy fan.
Another Coen brother masterpiece comes in the form of Fargo. William H. Macy stars as Jerome Lundegaard, a used car salesman who after botching the pretend kidnapping of his wife for ransom money, finds himself caught in a chain of events he never intended to unleash. Frances McDormand stars as the pregnant, nonchalant detective who makes sense of this twisted tale.
What could be mistaken for a horror movie at first viewing actually is one of the most interesting looks into the human mind I’ve ever seen. Grey Gardens is a documentary that follows Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother “Big Edie” (Cousins of Jackie O) as they patrol their dilapidated mansion in the Hamptons. The eccentric lives these women lead are strangely heartbreaking, beautiful and intriguing. Strongly recommended.
I can only sing the praises of Keenen Ivory WayansI’m Gonna Git You Sucka. This movie was the foot stone of the black “spoof” movie genre. From start to finish Sucka packs every scene with over the top humor paying homage to the Blacksploitation and 70’s era films which left much to be mocked. I loved it when movies like this were seen for what they were (intentionally over the top comedies catered toward black audiences) Nowadays the majority of black films released by major studios are in this same vein. Only difference is, they’re calling it “normal behavior”.
In Bruges is a dark British comedy staring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. After finishing at hit on a local priest the two hit men are sent by their employer to lay low in the city of Bruges, a boring village with interesting inhabitants. When the real reason for their stay reveals itself the two men find themselves stuck in a stressful (and bloody) situation. If you’re taking antidepressants, don’t watch this.
Based on the real life story of Joe Clark, Lean On Me follows one inner city high school’s transformation from a crime filled, hopeless institute to a place where students have a chance at life.
Passionate about giving his students the attention and discipline they need, Joe Clark goes to the farthest (and most illegal) extents to bring East Side High closer to their dreams. Morgan Freeman stars.
You have to love a movie that makes you laugh just as hard as it makes you cry. Roberto Benigni writes, directs and stars in this beautiful story about a father’s love toward his wife and son. Set in Nazi occupied Italy, Life Is Beautiful follows the Orefice family during their imprisonment at a Jewish concentration camp. This movie will seriously have you crying a your desk three weeks after watching it. Simply wonderful.
Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan star in Love and Basketball, a story of two childhood friends who fall in love with basketball first, and then each other. Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.
This is a classic and needs to be respected as such. Watch it with a glass of wine and your boo.  Love Jones stars Larenz Tate and Nia Long as two twenty-somethings who find themselves falling in instant love after a chance meeting at The Sanctuary,  an upscale poetry/jazz house in Chicago.

–>The Namesake, based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel of the same name follows two generations of the Ganguli family. Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli (Tabu and Irrfan Khan) are first generation immigrants from West Bengal, India. We follow their adjustment to American living and culture as well as the raising of their American born children, Gogul (Kal Penn) and Sonia (Sahira Nair). This is an amazing film about family and culture.

Mira Nair directs.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist stars Michael Cera and Kat Dennings as two teens who incidentally meet while looking for their favorite band’s secret show in New York. A wild night ensues as the two embark on an adventure together that includes gay cabaret dancers, a girl in a Christmas tree and lots of crazy good music. Based off the novel by Rachael Cohn and David Levithan.

Just days before his birthday 25 year old Tate Bradely (Jocko Sims) commits suicide. He survives this attempt but suffers from a lingering secret that is slowly revealed as several family members and friends appear at his doorstep to check in on him. Something Is Killing Tate is written and directed by Leon Lozano.

–>Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera star in Paper Heart, a pseudo-documentary that goes on a search to define the meaning of love. Not soon after her search begins Yi discovers that the love she’s trying to define is closer than she realizes. Directed by Nicholas Jasenovec.

Quentin Tarantino threw murder, laughter, sex, pop culture and violence into a blender and Pulp Fiction came out the other end. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are Jules and Vincent, two hit men sent to retrieve a briefcase stolen from their employer. Throw in a bribed boxer, a mobster’s wife and an adrenaline filled syringe and you’ve got yourself the most memorable film of the 90’s.
Loarraine Hanberry’s brilliant stage play is brought to life in 1961’s A Raisin In The Sun. Sidney Poitier, Rudy Dee, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn and Louis Gosset Jr. star as a poor family living in a single south side Chicago apartment. While waiting for an insurance check to arrive from the death of their father and Husband, each member of the Younger family dreams of using the money to accomplish their own personal dream. Who’s dream will prevail will decide which dreams will have to wait or die all together.

Nola Darlings (Tracy Camilla Johns) is a woman who isn’t willing to commit to one single man. When each of her three boyfriends demand to have her to themselves Nola is left to decide between her mission and her men. Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terell and Spike Lee star as the men fighting for her heart. A She’s Gotta Have It is a Spike Lee Joint!
Slumdog Millionare is the poignant story of Jamal (Dev Patel), a teenaged contestant on India’ s version of “Who Want To Be A Millionare?”.  As Jamal advances in the game the story of his life unfolds and the mystery as to how a kid from the slums of Mumbai knows all the answers is solved. A beautiful story about family, courage, destiny and love. Freida Pinto Co-stars as the beautiful Latika. Danny Boyle directs.
Best friends Bobby and Waymon (Tommy Davidson and Joseph C. Phillips) work at the same firm but have two completely different functions. Bobby is a mail clerk with hopes of one day being a big shot like Waymon, who’s about to make partner. The two make a deal that if Bobby can help Waymon get the girl of his dreams, Natalie (Halle Berry), he’ll help Bobby get into the Junior Partner Program. As expected, hilarity ensues in this classic comedy directed by Kevin Hooks.
Everyone knows a Sybil but the movie about the real one is much more interesting. Sally Field earned herself an Emmy for her brilliant portrayal of Sybil Dorsett, a young woman whose troubled childhood spun her into creating 13 different personalities that reveal themselves sporadically throughout her life. Joanne Woodward plays Cornelia B. Wilbur, the psychiatrist who helps free Sybil from the multiple personalities that threaten to ruin her.
Don’t let the DVD cover fool you. This is a love story. Taxi Driver puts a telescope on the solitary life of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a mentally unstable war vet who works the night shift as a New York taxi triver. His hatred toward all things “unclean”grows stronger and take new form when he befriends a 12 year old prostitute named Iris. Jodie Foster, Cybil Shepherd and Harvey Keitel support.
Back when Dustin Hoffman was a little stud, The Graduate tells of Benjamin Braddock, a recent college grad who after being seduced by a much older woman, finds himself falling in love her daughter.
Never has there been a more interesting end to a film than in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. Daniel Day Lewis gives an amazing performance in this dark, beautifully told story about a brilliantly troubled man and his quest for oil.
Based off the novel by Lukas Heller, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as two sisters sharing a dark secret and cruel insanity under the same roof. If you enjoyed Misery, you’ll love this.
A bio pic about Tina Turner’s rise to fame while enduring abuse at the hands of husbad Ike Turner. What’s Love Got To Do With It is directed by Brian Gibson starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne as the infamous Ike and Tina Turner.
Starring Mia Farrow and John Cassevetes as Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse Rosemary’s Baby spins the dark tale of two newlyweds who move into a new apartment complex full of creepy neighbors. When Rosemary is mysteriously impregnated she becomes consumed with paranoia over the safety of her unborn child. This critically acclaimed movie was directed by the infamous Roman Polanski.
Based on the best selling memoir Mommie Dearest tells of the abuse Joan Crawford inflicted upon her adopted children, as seen through the eyes of her oldest daughter Christina Crawford. Faye Dunaway gives a riveting performance as Joan Crawford and bears an uncanny resemblance. This is a must see!
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