Light up the fireplace, grab a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa, and snuggle up with the family – it’s officially the holiday season! And what better way to get ready for the best time of the year than with a Black holiday movie marathon with all of our favorite heartwarming classics? Whether you plan your movie marathon as a nightcap after your family Thanksgiving Dinner or play a classic movie a day until Christmas and New Years, we’ve got your Black holiday watch list covered.
From old school classics like The Wiz and The Preacher’s Wife to some of our newer faves like Almost Christmas and Jingle Jangle, there’s a film for every generation, every genre, and every mood for your family to enjoy. So, pop the popcorn, round up the fam, throw on the matching holiday PJs and put your phone on do not disturb because we’ve got your watchlist ready to go! Here’s our list of classic Black films to watch with your family this Thanksgiving and beyond.
The Preacher’s Wife
The 1996 classic film, The Preacher’s Wife, is a must-watch every holiday season. Starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance, the comedy-drama is is a remake of the 1947 film The Bishop’s Wife, and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score.
Almost Christmas is another must-watch this holiday season. Starring our faves like Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, and more, the film follows a father and his children as they try to stop bickering long enough to enjoy Christmas as a family under one roof.
If you don’t watch This Christmas at least once a year then you’re doing the holidays wrong! This holiday classic stars all of Black Hollywood including Loretta Devine, Lauren London, Columbus Short, Idris Elba, Regina King, and Chris Brown as their characters navigate all of their individual family secrets while rediscovering their love for each other as a family during the holidays.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
If you’ve got littles in your family then Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is the perfect holiday film to set the holiday mood! The 2020 Netflix film was one of the best releases of the holiday season and starred the likes of Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, and Madalen Mills. The adorable fantasy film tells the story of a toymaker, Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker), who loses hope after a series of unfortunate events, but regains his holiday spirit when his bright granddaughter arrives on his doorstep. This film is heartwarming, magical, and fun for the entire family!
Although not exactly a holiday movie, The Wiz is definitely a classic Black film that should be in your rotation at least once a year! The film stars our legends such as Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Ted Ross, Nipsey Russell, and Michael Jackson, as they take on this classic remake of The Wizard of Oz. The storyline follows a Harlem schoolteacher Dorothy (Ross) as she’s whisked away to an urban fantasy land called Oz. After accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East upon arrival, Dorothy learns about the Wiz (Pryor), who can help her get back to the city. As she goes in search of the Wiz, she encounters the Scarecrow (Jackson), the Tin Man (Russell), and the Cowardly Lion (Ross). This 1978 classic is a must-see for every generation in the house, especially during the holiday season!
The Best Man Holiday
The Best Man Holiday is a no-brainer when it comes to your holiday watch list! As the sequel to the 1999 film, The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday picks up with the group nearly 15 years after they were last seen together. In the film, college friends Lance (Morris Chestnut), Harper (Taye Diggs), Candace (Regina Hall), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Jordan (Nia Long), Murch (Harold Perrineau), and Mia (Monica Calhoun) reunite over the holidays as they try to rekindle their former bonds. Although much has changed in their personal lives since they were last together, the friends prove that their love for each other is forever, especially during the holidays.
Friday After Next
If you’re looking for some laughs this holiday season, then Friday After Next is a classic, feel-good, comedy film to throw on and get your chuckle on. This 2002 film is the third installment of the Friday movie franchise and follows Craig (Ice Cube) and his cousin, Day-Day (Mike Epps) in their old neighborhood around Christmas time. Things seem to be going great until Santa Claus breaks into their apartment and steals all of their Christmas presents, including their rent money. In order for them to not get evicted before the holidays, the cousins have to take odd jobs around the neighborhood where they encounter all types of hilarious trouble.
This 2000 drama is definitely a tear-jerker but a heart-warming film to watch with the fam this season. The movie follows a Christian drag queen Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames) as he meets a 12-year-old girl (Jessika Quynn Reynolds) and her drug-addicted mother, Wanda (Alfre Woodard). After losing his lover, Heart finds relief from the heartache when he steps in as a father figure to the 12-year-old and welcomes the two women into his life.