Top 20 Best Movies About Slavery Of All Time !

“Slavery” was one of the most common involvements that led to the Civil War in the USA. Nowadays, slavery is a big problem in many countries, and people are trying to do something about it. Slavery is a crime against humanity. Numerous movies are being made every year on the subject of slavery. These movies give an insight full experience of how slavery feels like. Below we have designed a list of the top 20 best movies about slavery of all time. If you’re looking for historically accurate films that emphasize the horrors of slavery, look no further. Today we’ll be sharing the top 20 best movies about slavery of all time. From historical dramas to horrific nightmares, this list has it all.

Slavery was largely used in construction works and as domestic help for wealthy families. The slaves were shackled and often whipped; they could be bought, sold, or given away as gifts. It is also a great approach to teach people about this dangerous period in human history. Movies about slavery are meant to remind the world of what has happened in the past and that they have to be careful while doing slavery in the present and the future.

Here are 20 of the best movies about slavery of all time. We have included some pretty cool “black films,” which were shot by African-American directors too. The Slavery movies listed below are ranked in order of popularity and include film trailers when available. This greatest Slavery movie list contains details about each movie, such as the director and cast members.

Which is the best movie about slavery of all time streaming on Amazon Prime Video?

The Biography, Drama, History 2013 movie 12 Years A Slave is the best movie about slavery that streams on Amazon Prime with 95% Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Is there any good movie about slavery available on Netflix?

Lincoln (2012) is the best slavery movie on Netflix with 7.3 IMDB score.

20. Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Director:Ridley Scott (The Last Duel)
Genre:Action, Adventure, Drama
Cast:Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Currently streaming on:Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:6.0
Rotten Tomatoes:31%

The Exodus (2014) is one of the movies about slavery in America based on the Biblical story of Moses preceding the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery after 400 years. The Exodus: Gods and Kings movie was directed by Ridley Scott with a Budget of $140 million, including $100 million for visual effects. This is one of the most expected dramas of 2014 that will make you believe in God’s miracles. The story revolves around the life of Moses, based on the biblical account of Moses from Exodus. The movie is not only about Moses but also about Ramses II and his family. The main actors included Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Ramses, John Turturro as Seti I, and Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters: Afterlife) as Tuya. It was released on December 12th, 2014, in theatres around the world.

19. In Dubious Battle (2016)

Director:James Franco
Genre:Crime, Drama, History
Cast:Nat Wolff (The Stand), James Franco, Vincent D’Onofrio
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:6.1
Rotten Tomatoes:30%

In Dubious Battle is a historical film by writer/director James Franco and it’s one of our favorite movies about slavery in America of 2016 so far. It didn’t take a spot in the Deep South, but rather the Pacific Northwest before World War II when the government began cracking down on labor movements. The film stars James Franco as a labor organizer who traveled to Washington with his family for the apple harvest and stayed to help build unions and advocate for better working conditions for migrant workers. The movie doesn’t have much dialogue, but that’s intentional because there are many different groups of people on screen using sign language.

18. Amazing Grace (2006)

Director:Michael Apted
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, JustWatch
IMDb Rating:6.1
Rotten Tomatoes:67%

Amazing Grace is a 2006 flick about the song’s writing’s real-life events, including John Newton’s participation in the abolition movement. The film also depicts William Wilberforce’s fight in Parliament and his later work outlawing slavery throughout the British Empire. The story contrasts his actions with his partner in business and religion, John Newton, who writes prolifically against abolition while taking money from slave owners. It was partially filmed on location at St. Michael’s Church, the Choir of St. Michael performed at East Cowes, Isle of Wight, where Newton is buried in music for the film.

17. Unbroken (2014)

Director:Angelina Jolie
Genre:Action, Biography, Drama
Cast:Jack O’Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:7.2
Rotten Tomatoes:51%

Unbroken is a 2014 American movie about slavery directed by Angelina Jolie. Set during World War II, the film follows the real-life story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete. He was shipwrecked in a plane crash and survived unbroken for 47 days before being captured by Japanese soldiers. Two years before the cinema release, director and producer Angelina Jolie showed an unfinished version of the 2014 slavery movie at the Utah Valley University. It was reported that almost 100 members of the university were dissatisfied with it.

16. Free State of Jones (2016)

Director:Gary Ross
Genre:Action, Biography, Drama
Cast:Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:6.9
Rotten Tomatoes:47%

One of the recent and new movies about slavery is Free States of Jones of 2006. This slavery drama is directed by Gary Ross and written by Leonard Hartman and Gary Ross and stars Mathew McConaughey. The film is based on the equivalent story of Newton Knight, a plot to overthrow the Confederacy from Jones County, Mississippi, during the American Civil War. The film was released on Jun 24, 2016. The Free State of Jones tells the real-life story of Newton Knight, who led a rebellion against the Confederacy in Jones County. It was a time when southern states started to rebel against the Confederacy, and one rescued Slave’s desire for revenge led to a massive rebellion in rural Georgia.

15.  Belle (2013)

Director:Amma Asante
Genre:Biography, Drama, Romance
Cast:Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:7.3
Rotten Tomatoes:84%

Belle is a 2013 British-American period drama film directed by Amma Asante, written by Misan Sagay, and produced by Damian Jones. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson (The Third Day), and Matthew Goode. This movie has been a buzz recently as it centers on an 18th-century love story set in England. The film rotates around the passion story of a young mixed-race woman with her slave trader. Her father and the man who trades the slaves have issues with their relationship, which only seems to deepen as time passes. This is why one should not judge people by what they can see on the surface.

14. The Birth of A Nation (2016)

Director:Nate Parker
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video
IMDb Rating:6.4
Rotten Tomatoes:73%

Moving on to other new movies about slavery is The Birth of A Nation of 2026. It is an American historical drama film about Nat Turner, the imprisoned man who led a slave insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. The story revolves around African-American slave Nat Turner who led a slave rebellion that resulted in the deaths of 60 men (including his wife and children). Though it dealt with slavery, this was not simply another ‘story’ about slavery. It featured a couple of new faces, including Armie Hammer (Death on the Nile) and Jane Allan, who are commended. The movie certainly had its critics, but Nate Parker was a good opening as a director.

13. Ben-Hur (1959)

Director:William Wyler
Genre:Adventure, Drama, History
Cast:Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Warnerbros
IMDb Rating:8.1
Rotten Tomatoes:86%

Ben-Hur is a 1959 historical drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd. A remake of the 1925 silent flick with the same title, Ben-Hur, was adapted from Lew Wallace’s 1880 fantasy Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay, written by Karl Tunberg, is based on the 1925 version written by screenwriter June Mathis. The story of the prince who became a slave and a slave who became a gladiator is an adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. During production, Charlton Heston suffered a broken ankle from falling off a chariot. It was decided to film his scenes while sitting in a chair, leaving action sequences to stand out from the rest.

12. The Pianist (2002)

Director:Roman Polanski
Genre:Biography, Drama, Music
Cast:Adrien Brody (The French Dispatch), Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay
Currently streaming on:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
IMDb Rating:8.5
Rotten Tomatoes:95%

The Pianist 2002 is a highly inspirational movie about slavery. It is based on the dramatic life story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a legendary Polish pianist and composer, during World War II. The movie unfolds in two different timelines: pre-war Warsaw and the war years in Occupied Poland. “The Pianist” is a film directed by famous French director Roman Polanski. It tells the true story of a Polish-Jewish piano player who survived the Holocaust during World War II. The movie was chosen for 11 Oscars and won three, including Best Actor, Best Director awards too. You can enjoy this movie about slavery on Netflix, too, along with your family.

11. Sankofa (1993)

Director:Haile Gerima
Cast:Kofi Ghanaba, Oyafunmike Ogunlano, Alexandra Duah
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video
IMDb Rating:6.9
Rotten Tomatoes:86%

Sankofa is a 1993 American film directed by Haile Gerima. This movie about Slavery tells the story of an African slave who escapes to freedom in the North via the Underground Railroad. Sankofa was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Camera d’Or award for first-time filmmakers. Watching the Sankofa movie, it is clear to see how these challenges are still the same. We still have racism in our society, blacks and whites who refuse to understand each other that does not go away. This is one of the movies about slavery for kids, which you can watch with your kids too and inspires them.

10.  I Am Slave (2010)

Director:Gabriel Range
Genre:Biography, Drama, Thriller
Cast:Wunmi Mosaku, Isaach De Bankole, Lubna Azabal
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video
IMDb Rating:6.7
Rotten Tomatoes:

I Am Slave, a movie directed by Gabriel Range, is based on true events. Although the movie makes its way to present the facts about the slavery of Malia people in 1859, some parts completely re-enact what happened. I am Slave is a standalone epic drama film that speaks about human trafficking, sex slavery, and how young girls were sold to men in different parts of the world under misleading circumstances. It also talks about how they were abused, and their bodies were made to give pleasure to men who bought them to be their wives.

9. Roots (1977)

Director:Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene, Gilbert Moses
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:LeVar Burton, Robert Reed, John Amos
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max
IMDb Rating:8.4
Rotten Tomatoes:

Roots movie is one of the best movies ever made based on slavery, a terrible and evil thing in America. The movie was based on the text written by Alex Haley. It became very popular among the American people, shocked to see what happened in America in the 1700s. Roots’ movie tells about a historical fact not many people realize about the history and how it affected some American families. Roots (1977) have some horrible scenes which will touch your core. That watermelon scene depicted brutal, inhumane, maniacal treatment of black people as compared to white-skinned people. The issue of Civil Rights was and is a very heated topic, especially when slavery is addressed. And this movie brought raw emotion to the forefront then and still today with its CD release.

8. 13th (2016)

Director:Ava DuVernay
Genre:Documentary, Crime, History
Cast:Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker
Currently streaming on:Netflix
IMDb Rating:8.2
Rotten Tomatoes:97%

The 13th, one of the best movies about slavery, is directed by Ava DuVernay, is a documentary film about the horrific and prevalent practice of mass incarceration within the United States. It analyzes how slavery is a judicial and systemic problem. The first half of the flick centers on slavery during its most difficult times, from 1619 to 1865. The second half of the documentary focuses on historical slavery and turns to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. 13th 2016 is a Biographical, Drama, History movie. The four-hour documentary takes a look at the reality of modern slavery in America. That’s why in no doubt, it is one of the most inspirational and one of the most-watched movies about slavery for kids.

7. Tamango (1958)

Director:John Berry
Genre:Drama, History
Cast:Dorothy Dandridge, Curd Jürgens, Jean Servais
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, JustWatch
IMDb Rating:6.5
Rotten Tomatoes:

The Tamango 1958 movie is one of the oldest movies in Hollywood or American movies on slavery. This 1958 French/Italian film is directed by John Berry, a blacklisted American director who exiled himself to Europe. Dorothy Dandridge and Curd Jurgens star in the movie with co-stars Alex Cressan and Jean Servais. It was based on the short story by Prosper Merimee, first promulgated in 1829. The flick is about a slave ship on its passage from Africa to Cuba, the various characters, and the slaves’ resistance while on board. The film is about slavery and the life of African musicians. It was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1958 and ranked as one of the best slavery movies.

6. Amistad (1997)

Director:Steven Spielberg (Animaniacs)
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, JustWatch
IMDb Rating:7.3
Rotten Tomatoes:77%

This historical drama film is directed by Steven Spielberg, based on an uprising aboard the bondsman ship La Amistad. Mende captives from Sierra Leone who had been abducted and sold into bondage. It stars Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to the name of the ship on which the drama takes place (the Spanish word for “friendship” ): La Amistad means “friendship” in Spanish. Amistad is, without any doubt, a great choice. It is one of the best slavery movies and about the slave trade in centuries past. Amistad 1997 slavery movie is the place to go if you have a hard time getting cash. If you want to know about what movie A Slave Ship for Kids is, we’ve got just the thing for you!

5. Gone With the Wind (1939)

Director:Victor Fleming, George Cukor
Genre:Drama, History, Romance
Cast:Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:8.1
Rotten Tomatoes:90%

One of America’s most iconic classic movies is Gone with the Wind 1939 slavery movie based on the novel of the same title. This famous Hollywood movie gave birth to three award-winning academy actors in the film industry: Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, and Hattie McDaniel. It also made history classified as the highest-grossing film by 1939 and was ranked as the 8th highest-grossing flick of all time. It is an American masterpiece in which a manipulative woman and a corrupt man carry on a tumultuous love affair in the American south through the Civil War and Reconstruction. This controversial movie is one of the top spots among classic films due to its many awards, nominations, and memorable quotes. The film created such a stir in 1939 that even to this day, fans express their love or dislike for this masterfully shot masterpiece.

4. Glory (1989)

Director:Edward Zwick
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes (Mission Impossible 7)
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, JustWatch
IMDb Rating:7.8
Rotten Tomatoes:93%

Glory is a 1989 American Civil War epic film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick, and Morgan Freeman. It was chosen for five Academy Awards and won three: Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Writing. Including three Oscars and four Golden Globes. Glory 1989 is an American masterpiece movie. It is based on a real story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, an African-American regiment, during the American Civil War. The entire story revolves around Robert Shaw, a white officer, who faces opposition from his fellow officers and ire from enemy soldiers for leading a battalion of black soldiers.

3. Django Unchained (2012)

Director:Quentin Tarantino
Genre:Drama, Western
Cast:Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Right Stuff)
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix
IMDb Rating:8.4
Rotten Tomatoes:87%

Django Unchained is a 2012 American western drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is a highly stylized tribute to Spaghetti Westerns, particularly the 1966 film Set in the Old West and Antebellum South. The film starred Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz (Alita Battle Angel 2), Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson and was nominated for several movie industry awards, including five Academy Awards. The entire story revolves around Django. When Django, a slave, is freed, he joins forces with a bounty hunter to rescue his wife, who Calvin, a hard-hearted plantation owner, has enslaved.

2. Lincoln (2012)

Director:Steven Spielberg
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
Currently streaming on:Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, JustWatch
IMDb Rating:7.3
Rotten Tomatoes:89%

Lincoln is a 2012 American historical movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Tony Kushner. It is the third installment in Spielberg’s long-running eponymous “Lincoln” trilogy, which also includes Saving Private Ryan (1998) and The Pacific (2010). This is one of the most decent movies about slavery in America that highlights the issues that led to the Civil War and abolishing slavery. The movie is focused on Abraham Lincoln and his political difficulties with Congress when slavery was still allowed as a practice in the country. This is one of those historical movies which could be watched many times by anyone who has an enthusiasm for history.

1. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

Director:Steve McQueen
Genre:Biography, Drama, History
Cast:Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
Currently streaming on:JustWatch, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
IMDb Rating:8.1
Rotten Tomatoes:95%

The movie 12 Years a Slave (2013) is based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography. It illustrates the horrors of slavery in the mid 19th century and tells the story of an African American man living free in New York State who is kidnapped and sold into Southern slavery. No doubt, 12 Years a Slave is one of the best slavery movies which explores the cruelty of slavery and the resilience, strength, and endurance that human beings possess when faced with unspeakable situations. This movie, named 12 Years a Slave, reminds us that people in the old times were much stronger than nowadays. Every aspect of the movie leaves an impression of a great epic: acting, directing, photography and sets.


This list from the golden days of Hollywood is here to put an edge on your search for some best movies about slavery. Thousands of movies can’t be made about this topic, but we’re hoping that this list will be enough for you to watch.

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