Celebrating Black Joy: 50+ Feel Good Movies to Watch

28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Celebrating Black joy is an important aspect of who we are that we often forget to prioritize. And what better way to do so than by watching feel-good movies that showcase the diverse experiences and perspectives of the Black community.

READ: Based on a True Story: 24 Movies About Black History That Aren’t About Slavery

These movies offer a glimpse into the Black experience, showcasing our strengths, triumphs, and joys. From heartwarming family dramas to fantastical adventures, there’s something for everyone in this list. So sit back, relax, and get ready for these feel good movies that bring on Black joy.

Here are 50+ feel good movies that are sure to bring a smile to your face and warm your heart.


Dolemite is my Name

Performer Rudy Ray Moore develops an outrageous character named Dolemite, who becomes an underground sensation and star of a kung-fu, anti-establishment film that could make or break Moore.

Director: Craig Brewer
Writer: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, Craig Robinson, and more



A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of a soul-in-training.

Director: Pete Docter and Kemp Powers
Writer: Pete Docter and Kemp Powers
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad
Stream: Disney+


Sister Act 2

A former lounge singer poses as a nun to teach music to inner-city youth, leading to a choir competition.

Director: Bill Duke
Writer: Jim Cruickshank and Peter Tolan
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, Lauryn Hill
Stream: Disney+


Jump Tomorrow

A young man from Nigeria travels to America to be married, but meets a free-spirited woman and must choose between love and tradition.

Director: Joel Hopkins
Writer: Joel Hopkins
Starring: Tunde Adebimpe, Natalia Verbeke, Peter Riegert
Stream: Not currently available for streaming.


Barbershop Franchise

With a mix of laughter and heartfelt moments, “Barbershop” celebrates the power of community, friendship, and the importance of having a place to call home. Whether you’re a fan of the first film or just discovering the franchise, “Barbershop” is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good comedy with a big heart.

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Writer: Don D. Scott
Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas
Stream: Youtube and other streaming platforms


The Nutty Professor

Director: Tom Shadyac
Writer: Steve Oedekerk
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn
Stream: Netflix

Beyond the Lights

A talented young singer on the brink of superstardom must choose between her career and her own happiness.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
Stream: Netflix


Coming to America

An African prince travels to America to find a bride, disguising himself as a poor immigrant to experience life and love without privilege.
Director: John Landis
Writer: Eddie Murphy and David Sheffield
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones
Stream: HBO Max, Hulu, Roku



Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

A successful talk show host returns to his Southern hometown for his parents’ 50th anniversary and must confront his past.

Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writer: Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Mo’Nique, Cedric the Entertainer
Stream: Peacock


Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

A heartwarming musical adventure about a toymaker and his granddaughter who must find the magic within themselves to save Christmas.
Director: David E. Talbert
Writer: David E. Talbert
Starring: Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Anika Noni Rose
Stream: Netflix



The Photograph

A romantic drama about a young journalist who falls in love with the subject of her latest article, a famous photographer and the secrets of her past.

Director: Stella Meghie
Writer: Stella Meghie
Starring: Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Chanté Adams
Stream: Amazon Prime Video


Summer of Soul

A documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, capturing the essence of soul music and the Black experience in America.
Director: Questlove
Writer: Questlove
Starring: Performances by Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight, and more.
Stream: Hulu



28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy


A comedy about a grown woman who is transformed into her younger self and has to navigate her childhood problems to make things right in the present.

Director: Tina Gordon
Writer: Tina Gordon and Tracy Oliver
Starring: Regina Hall, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin
Stream: Hulu



28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy


A father-son drama about a young man who dreams of becoming a master sommelier, despite his father’s wishes for him to take over the family barbecue business.

Director: Prentice Penny
Writer: Prentice Penny
Starring: Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Niecy Nash
Stream: Netflix


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy
Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Eric Branco.

The 40-Year-Old Version

A comedy-drama about a struggling playwright who reinvents herself as a rapper and finds new success, but also a new set of challenges.

Director: Radha Blank
Writer: Radha Blank
Starring: Radha Blank, Imani Lewis, Antonio Ortiz
Stream: Netflix



The Last Holiday

A feel-good comedy about a shy saleswoman who takes a once-in-a-lifetime trip after she is diagnosed with a terminal illness, discovering a new sense of purpose and confidence along the way.

Director: Wayne Wang
Writer: Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman
Starring: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Gerard Depardieu
Stream: Pluto TV, Paramout+, Youtube, Amazon



Really Love

A rising Black painter tries to break into the competitive art world while balancing an unexpected romance with an ambitious law student.

Director: Angel Kristi Williams
Writer: Angel Kristi Williams, Felicia Pride
Starring: Kofi Siriboe, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, Jade Eshete, Tristan Wilds
Stream: Netflix


Good Burger

A comedy about a fast food restaurant and its employees who come together to save their burger joint from a rival chain.

Director: Brian Robbins
Writer: Dan Schneider, Kevin Kopelow, and Heath Seifert
Starring: Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Abe Vigoda
Stream: Pluto TV, Paramout+, Youtube, Amazon, Roku


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Black is King

Director: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
Writer: Beyoncé Knowles
Stream: Netflix


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy


It’s a comedy-drama film about a high school student in a rough neighborhood who dreams of attending Harvard.

Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Writer: Rick Famuyiwa
Starring: Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons, Zoë Kravitz, Forest Whitaker
Stream: Netflix


The Wood

Three childhood friends reunite in Inglewood and reflect on their lives, loves, and coming of age.

Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Writer: Rick Famuyiwa
Starring: Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones, Taye Diggs, Malinda Williams, Tamala Jones, Duane Finley, Sanaa Lathan
Stream: Hulu, Prime Video, HBO Max


Hair Love

A father learns to do his daughter’s hair for the first time, bonding over their hair journey and self-love.

Director: Matthew A. Cherry
Writer: Matthew A. Cherry, Everett Downing Jr., Bruce W. Smith
Starring: Issa Rae, Matthew A. Cherry
Stream: Netflix


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Miles Morales, a teenager from Brooklyn, becomes the Spider-Man of his universe and joins forces with other Spider-People from different dimensions to stop a threat to all of their worlds.

Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writer: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, John Mulaney, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin
Stream: Netflix



Akeelah and the Bee

A young girl from South Los Angeles competes in the National Spelling Bee, inspiring her community and discovering her own potential.

Director: Doug Atchison
Writer: Doug Atchison
Starring: Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett
Stream: Amazon Prime Video, Tubi


Hidden Figures

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer: Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Stream: Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, Sling TV


Roll Bounce

Xavier (Bow Wow), a teenage boy in Chicago, struggles with the loss of his mother and turns to roller skating as a way to deal with his angst. He and his friends are the stars of the skating rink they frequent, but this is about to change. When it closes down, they have no choice but to try out a more upscale spot, the Sweetwater Roller Rink. There, they enroll in a skating contest, and have to prove themselves to the reigning champions, headed by a skater named Sweetness.

Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writer: Norman Vance Jr.
Starring:Bow Wow, Wesley Jonathan, Jurnee Smollett, Chi McBride, Nick Cannon, Meagan Good, and more
Stream: Tubi


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Jumping The Broom

Two African American families from different walks of life come together for a wedding, where they must confront and reconcile their differing cultures and values.

Director: Salim Akil
Writer: Elizabeth Hunter, Arlene Gibbs
Starring:Paula Patton, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and more
Stream: HBO Max, Prime Video


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy


Two best friends from Atlanta travel to Beverly Hills to become dancers, but instead, they become maids for a wealthy woman and experience the lavish lifestyle.

Director: Robert Townsend
Writer: Troy Beyer
Starring: Halle Berry, Martin Landau, Bernie Mac, Natalie Desselle, Troy Byer, Anthony Johnson, Luigi Amodeo
Stream: Tubi


Major Payne

Maj. Benson Payne (Damon Wayans) lives, breathes and sleeps war. But after being honorably discharged from the Marines due to a lack of wars, Payne, the natural-born killer, has absolutely no idea how to cope in everyday civilian life. Fortunately, before he completely breaks down, Payne finds his way back into a military capacity at Madison Preparatory School, leading a group of misfit JROTC students who don’t want to be led. Whipping these kids into shape might be his toughest battle yet.

Director: Nick Castle
Writer: Damon Wayans, Gary Rosen, Richard Alan Simmons, William Roberts, Dean Lorey
Starring: Damon Wayans, Steven Martini, Orlando Brown, Karyn Parsons, Eddie Kaye Thomas
Stream: Netflix



Rodgers Hammerstein’s Cinderella

A young woman is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess and learns that it’s not the outside that makes one a true princess, but the inside.

Director: Robert Iscove
Writer: Robert L. Freedman
Stream: Disney+



The Fighting Temptations

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Writer: Lisa Jones, Earl R. Gibson III
Starring:Beyoncé Knowles, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, and more
Stream: Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Fubo, Paramount+



The Wedding Party

Romantic comedy film about a couple preparing for their wedding, but the planning process is complicated by cultural differences and meddling family members.

Director: Kemi Adetiba
Writer: Tamara Bardey, Kemi Adetiba
Starring: Adesua Etomi, Banky W, Sola Sobowale, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ireti Doyle, Ali Baba, Dunkan Baker, Emma Oh My God, Zainab Balogun
Stream: N/A



Boxing Day

Melvin, a British author living in America, returns home to London for Christmas to introduce his American fiancée, Lisa, to his eccentric British-Caribbean family.

Director: Aml Ameen
Writer: Aml Ameen, Bruce Purnell
Starring:Aml Ameen, Aja Naomi King, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Stream: Amazon Prime Video



Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

This documentary spotlights Debbie Allen’s career and follows her group of dance students as they prepare for Allen’s annual “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” a reimagining of the classic ballet.

Director: Oliver Bokelberg
Starring: various
Stream: Netflix



Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy


Former first lady Michelle Obama takes an intimate look at her life, hopes, and connections with others.

Director: Nadia Hallgren
Starring: Michelle Obama
Stream: Netflix




A charming and touching film about a talented chef named Carl Casper, who finds himself stuck in a rut working for a high-end restaurant in Los Angeles. After a public meltdown with a food critic, Carl quits his job and decides to start over by launching a food truck. With the help of his ex-wife, son, and best friend, Carl embarks on a journey of self-discovery and rediscovery of his passion for cooking. Along the way, he reconnects with his roots and learns to value the people who matter most in his life.

Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Jon Favreau
Starring: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman
Stream: HBO Max, Hulu, Roku, Prime Video



Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Entergalactic (TV special)

Ambitious artist Jabari attempts to balance success and love after he moves into his dream Manhattan apartment and falls for his next-door neighbor.

Created By: Scott Mescudi Kenya Barris Based on ‘Entergalactic’ by Kid Cudi
Starring: Kid Cudi, Scott Mescudi, Jessica Williams, Ty Dolla Sign, Timothée Chalamet
Stream: Netflix


Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy


A comedy film about a man who discovers he has five other siblings and sets out to find them, only to learn that they are all sextuplets.

Director: Mike Tiddes
Writer: Mike Tiddes, Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Bresha Webb, Michael Ian Black, Mike Epps, Andrew Bachelor, Rick Ross
Stream: Netflix



A butter-carving contest and the competing egos and scandals that arise.

Director: Jim Field Smith
Writer: Jason Micallef
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Rob Corddry, Ashley Greene, Yara Shahidi, Alicia Silverstone, Hugh Jackman
Stream: Prime Video, Youtube, Roku


Support The Girls

Lisa is the general manager of Double Whammies, a sports bar that features skimpily dressed waitresses. Always nurturing and protective of her staff, she soon faces one trying day that tests her optimism at every turn.

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Writer: Andrew Bujalski
Starring: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Dylan Gelula, AJ Michalka, Lea DeLaria, James Le Gros, Brooklyn Decker

Stream: Hulu, Prime



Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

How High

Redman and Method Man star as Jamal and Silas, two regular guys who smoke something magical, ace their college entrance exams and wind up at Harvard. Ivy League ways are strange but Silas and Jamal take it in a stride — until their supply of supernatural smoke runs dry. That’s when they have to start living by their wits and rely on their natural resources to make the grade.

Director: Jesse Dylan
Writer: Dustin Lee Abraham
Starring: Method Man, Redman, Obba Babatundé, Mike Epps, Fred Willard, DJ Pooh
Stream: Amazon Prime Video


Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

House Party franchise

Director: Reginald Hudlin
Writer: Reginald Hudlin, Warrington Hudlin
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Robin Harris, Christopher Reid, A.J. Johnson, Nell Carter
Stream: HBO Max, Prime




The Brothers

Follows the hilarious path of four African-American men as they take on love, sex, friendship and two of life’s most terrifying prospects — commitment and honesty. Lifelong friends banded together to weather love’s innate terrors and occasional triumphs in this brazenly comic yet painfully true exploration of the battle between the sexes. Amidst the career track, basketball and bar hopping, “The Brothers” love women — as many as possible — but a shocking revelation tests their friendship.

Director: Gary Hardwick
Writer: Gary Hardwick, Chris Spencer
Starring: Morris Chestnut, D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy, Shemar Moore, Gabrielle Union, Tamala Jones
Stream: Starz, Youtube, Prime, Sling, Roku, Philo



Inspired by a confident new friend and her mother’s rebellious past, a shy teenager publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.

Director: Amy Poehler
Writer: Tamara Chestna, Dylan Meyer
Starring: Hadley Robinson, Sydney Park, Lauren Tsai, Alycia Pascual-Pena, Anjelika Washington
Stream: Netflix


Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Crazy Rich Asians

Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. She’s also surprised to learn that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and he’s considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse — Nick’s disapproving mother.

Director: John M. Chu
Writer: Peter Chiarelli, Adele Lim
Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Nico Santos, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh
Stream: HBO Max


The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Against all the odds, a thirteen-year-old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine.
Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Writer: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Stream: Netflix



Dating coach Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) mentors a bumbling client, Albert (Kevin James), who hopes to win the heart of the glamorous Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta). While Albert makes progress, Hitchens faces his own romantic setbacks when proven techniques fail to work on Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a tabloid reporter digging for dirt on Allegra Cole’s love life. When Sara discovers Hitchens’ connection to Albert — now Allegra’s boyfriend — it threatens to destroy both relationships.

Director: Andy Tennant
Writer: Kevin Bisch
Stream: Available for rental or purchase on various platforms


Pitch Perfect (franchise)

Pitch Perfect is a musical comedy film series about a group of college students who form an a cappella group and compete against other vocal ensembles. The films feature catchy songs, humor, and heart.

Director: Jason Moore
Writer: Kay Cannon
Writer: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
Stream: Available for rental or purchase on various platforms


Set It Up

The film follows two overworked assistants who hatch a plan to set up their demanding bosses in order to get some peace and quiet at work. However, things take an unexpected turn when they start falling for each other.

Director: Claire Scanlon
Writer: Katie Silberman
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, and Taye Diggs
Stream: Netflix


Instant Family

Instant Family is a heartwarming comedy-drama film about a couple who decide to adopt three foster children and learn to navigate the ups and downs of parenthood.

Director: Sean Anders
Writer: Sean Anders, John Morris
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Escobar, Julianna Gamiz, Allyn Rachel, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty
Stream: Paramount+, Youtube, Hulu, Prime Video


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Nappily Ever After

A soulful barber helps a woman pick up the pieces of her life after an accident at her hair salon makes her realise that she isn’t living her life to the fullest.

Director: Haifaa al-Mansour
Writer: Adam Brooks and Cee Marcellus
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Ernie Hudson, Lynn Whitfield, Ricky Whittle, Camille Guaty, Lyriq Bent, Danielle Nicolet, Lynn Collins
Stream: Netflix


28 Feel Good Movies to Watch for Black Joy

Love & Basketball

Monica and Quincy are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy, whose father, Zeke, plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, is a natural talent and a born leader. Monica is ferociously competitive but sometimes becomes overly emotional on the court. Over the years, the two begin to fall for each other, but their separate paths to basketball stardom threaten to pull them apart.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Kyla Pratt, Regina Hall, Dennis Haysbert, Glenndon Chatman, Gabrielle
Union, Alfre Woodard
Stream: HBO Max, Prime Video, Tubi

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