2013 proved to be a great year for films thanks to the works of many black filmmakers. Story lines were compelling, acting was superb and our love for these fictional and non-fictional big screeners grew. The Oscars will have a hard time nominating actors and actresses in each category because a myriad of hollywood’s elite gave award-worthy performances. In the midst of all the winners, there were a few straight-to-dvd movies that made it to theaters. Help us count down our worst to best films of this year!
16. I’m in Love With a Church Girl
The only good thing that came from this movie was Ja Rule having a job post jail-something most convicts can tell you is a hard feat. The rapper starred alongside Adrienne Bailon in this movie that we predicted was a flop from the trailer alone.
15. Baggage Claim
This is Paula Patton’s career side eye. The movie starred many acting favorites and was complete with tons of eye candy, but that was the only plus from this epic fail. Between the failed storyline to the lackluster acting, we’ve seen and expected better from this cast.
Because Kerry Washington had a great year with Scandal, many missed this year’s movie fail. Craig Robinson starred as her boyfriend (not believable) that heads to her family’s house for the weekend to ask her father for her hand in marriage and later proposes to her. The movie was so bad we actually wished Madea would make an appearance to save us from this satirical nightmare.
13. Tyler Perry’s A Madea’s Christmas
It’s time for Madea to retire from acting in any more movies. When Madea first came out, we overlooked her mammy actions and mannish exterior. Too many movies later, we’re tired of seeing a negative and poorly acted depiction of the grandmother we never knew. The storyline was predictable as all of Madea-featured movies are and the well-known and growing actors were over acted and gave an epic fail of a performance.
12. The Call
With hollywood veteran Halle Berry starring in a film, we expected a better storyline at least. The acting was good on all parts but the storyline became more unbelievable as the movie went on. While Halle Berry’s actions (until the end) were understandable, the interaction between the killer and the teenage girl, Casey Welson (played by Abigail Breslin), was unrealistic–for anybody trying to stay alive that is.
11. Temptations: Confesssions of a Marriage Counselor
This was a better Tyler Perry film than we expected, Kim Kardashian included. We expected a train wreck because he featured the reality star but her short performance wasn’t entirely cringe-worthy and the three main characters- Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, and especially Robbie Jones- did stellar jobs. The downside of the film was that it was predictable and Perry rushed the ending.
Could anyone believe Terrence Howard to be Nelson Mandela? Granted the film was focusing on the life and fight of his ex-wife Winnie Mandela, the casting was poorly put together. While Jennifer Hudson can sell the part of Mrs. Mandela, Howard’s portrayal of the former president of South Africa is lackluster. Good thing he had two other superb films this year to make up for it.
Black Nativity is a good holiday family film. The message of family, faith, forgiveness, and love are clearly seen throughout the movie, however the best part of the movie is the ending. Much of the beginning and middle can and mostly likely will be skipped.
Kevin Hart is hilarious. While it’s not the best stand up out of his growing collection, his material is always fresh even if the subjects are the same. The negative is there is so much leading up to the actual stand-up and it seems as his routine is only a half hour long; definitely more worth your money watching home or live.
Common proves once again that he’s not just a talented musician, but has a promising and respectable acting career. Newcomer Michael Rainey Jr. gives a stellar performance. Together they tell a moving coming-of-age story that unfortunately is very common in the black community.
6. The Butler
Lee Daniels does a superb job of depicting the White House and the presidents that inhabited it’s walls through the various trying times of a butler. Also, the underlying story of family and a father/son relationship was understood as well. The entire cast of the film gave Oscar worthy performances.
This film told the inspirational story of the two men who helped changed baseball forever- Robinson and Branch Rickey. The movie was accurate of the prejudice Robinson faced on and off the field and both actors, Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, gave compelling performances.
Idris Elba embodied the walk, look, and soul of Nelson Mandela. He gave a powerful and Oscar worthy performance that evoked various emotions and celebrated the life of a man whose accomplishments and fight against apartheid supercedes anything we can fathom.
Racism is alive and well. Opening around the verdict of Trayvon Martin aided in the message and powerfulness of the story line. Michael B Jordan’s portrayal of Oscar Grant’s story in all his heartbreaking glory make him a future A-lister.
A sequel that outdoes the original, this team of actors bring chemistry past the screen and into your hearts. Reminisce of the original, you’ll yearn for a romance like Lance and Sullivan, want the four guys unbreakable bond, imagine the “what ifs” between Jordan and Harper and get great laughs out of Quentin even when the scene is serious. It’s a feel good depiction of black love and success and it resets the bar on storytelling.
12 Years a Slave was degrading, relentless, tortureful, and goery, but then again so was slavery. This film found it’s limit on what’s acceptable and pushed passed it. It forces you to squirm as you are forced to understand for years this was life for blacks forced into slavery. Chitewel Ejoifor gave a career changing performance, but new actress Lupita Nygon’o demanded her presence in Hollywood with her portrayal. If you want to understand and can handle the real America, this is the film to see.