20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

In this feature, we’re diving into the vast realm of science fiction cinema, honing in on those films that spotlight Black actors in prominent roles. Our curated list encompasses a wide range of films, from the blockbuster hits to the lesser-known cinematic gems featuring Black leads.

You’re likely familiar with Men in Black, but how about Space is the Place? In this compilation, we’re expanding your cinematic universe with such titles. We invite you to linger and explore this curated selection.

Men in Black (1997)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Agent K and Agent J are government employees determined to do their job as well as possible. But what will happen when they encounter an interstellar cockroach that wants to destroy the Earth?

Since 1960, Earth has been a haven for numerous extraterrestrial life forms. The 1,500 visitors are mostly based in New York, and their behavior and movements are monitored by a secret organization led by the strict manager Zed (Rip Torn). One of the best agents is the middle-aged Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), and his new partner is the young and unrestrained agent Jay (Will Smith), recruited from the New York police force.

After an unforgettable baptism of fire and their first encounter with an alien, Jay and Kay receive the news that one of the deadliest forms of life has arrived on earth – a gigantic insect, determined to destroy the planet. With the help of the beautiful doctor Laurel (Linda Fiorentino), the agents begin to deal with the bloodthirsty being.

Men in Black is probably one of the best-known sci-fi movies with a Black actor in a leading role, so that is the reason we have put it in the first place.

Black Panther (2018)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Marvel’s Black Panther follows T’Challa, who after the death of his father, the king of Wakanda, returns home to the closed, technologically advanced African nation to take the throne and become the new king. But then an old enemy reappears, and TChallin’s character as a king and Black Panther is put to the test when he gets involved in a terrible conflict that threatens the survival of Wakanda and the whole world.

The Black star of the movie Chadwick Boseman is unfortunately not with us anymore, but his role in entertainment will always be with us, and this list of the best Black sci-fi movies wouldn’t be complete without Black Panther.

Pitch Black (2000)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

When a spaceship crashes due to a meteor shower, it lands on a deserted desert planet, and among the few survivors is the hardened cold-blooded killer Riddick (V. Diesel). After finding an abandoned facility and water, it appears to the rest of the crew that the only danger on the planet with three suns and no nights is Riddick.

They will soon learn the hard way that there are murderous monsters in the underground that do not come out to the light, and almost at the same time they will learn that an eclipse of all three suns is coming soon, which will cover the planet in darkness for several days, and they will become prey. And the only one who can help them is Riddick.

The viewers recognized the quality of the film, and “Pitch Black” earned twice as much as invested in America alone. That, and the fact that Vin Diesel is now the legendary Riddick, makes us put it on the list of the best Black sci-fi movies.

Space Is the Place (1974)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Sun Ra–space-age prophet, pharaonic jester, shaman-philosopher, and Avant-jazz keyboardist/bandleader–lands his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. With Black Power on the rise, Ra disembarks and proclaims himself “the alter-destiny.” He holds a myth-vs.-reality rap session with black inner-city youth at a rec center, threatening “to chain you up and take you with me, as they did you in Africa,” if they resist his plea to go to outer space.

He duels at cards with The Overseer, a satanic overlord, with the fate of the black race at stake. Ra wins the right to a world concert, which features great performance footage of the Arkestra. Agents sent by the Overseer attempt to assassinate Ra, but he vanishes, rescues his people, and departs in his spaceship from the exploding planet Earth.

Space Is the Place is an 85-minute Afrofuturist science fiction film made in 1972 and released in 1974. It was directed by John Coney, written by Sun Ra and Joshua Smith, and features Sun Ra and his Arkestra. A soundtrack was released on Evidence Records.

Son of Ingagi (1940)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Son of Ingagi is about Elanor and Bob Lindsay inheriting the house of doctor Helen Jackson who had just returned from her trip to Africa. Jackson also returned with a missing link monster named N’Gina as well as African gold. When N’Gina drinks the doctor’s potion, it puts him into a rage that makes him murder Dr. Jackson. The Lindsay family inherits Jackson’s house where they soon find the presence of the monster.

Son of Ingagi is a 1940 American Black sci-fi movie directed by Richard C. Kahn. It was the first science fiction horror film to feature an all-black cast. It was written by Spencer Williams based on his own short story, House of Horror. Although the film’s title appears to suggest that it is a sequel to the 1930 movie Ingagi, it is not. (The latter is an exploitation film in the guise of an ethnographic film in which purported African women are given over to gorillas as sex slaves).

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

It’s about a new Spider-Man world and a completely different story that will make us rethink everything we’ve known about the most famous Spider-Man in the world. We are introduced to the story by a teenager from Brooklyn – Miles Morales, who reveals to us the unlimited possibilities of the Spider-Man world, but also – he is not alone.

One of the best Spider-Man adaptations on screen, this time, led by the Black actor Shameik Moore.

The Meteor Man (1993)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

One night, Jefferson Reed, a high school teacher, is hit by a piece of meteorite. After that he gets certain abilities: he can fly, although he is afraid of heights; he can learn any book in just fifteen minutes. Family and friends urge him to protect a community that is being bullied by a hideous group called the Golden Lords.

Another superhero Black sci-fi movie on our list, but this one was before the superhero subgenre became all the bells and whistles.

The Matrix (1999)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

A retired software professional leads a double life. He spends his nights in front of his computer where, under the pseudonym Neo, he becomes a hacker trying to discover something he himself is not sure exists. After he comes into contact with Morpheus, a legendary hacker whom the government claims is a terrorist, he is pursued by the police led by the dangerous agent Smith (H. Weaving).

Morpheus reveals to him that he is part of the matrix, which is an illusion of the world, that is, a virtual reality that computers have been using for centuries to control the enslaved human race. Morpheus is the leader of a small group of people who have learned the truth and are trying to start a war for liberation from the computers. A new hope awakens in them, because according to legend, the Chosen One is coming – the only one who will be able to stand up to the machines. Everything indicates that Neo could be the one.

Even though, technically, Keanu Reeves is the main actor in this sci-fi movie as Neo, many would argue, including your writer, that Morpheus, led by Laurence Fishburne is at least of the same importance. So, I will put this movie on the list of the best Black Sci-fi movies.

Spawn (1997)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Al Simmons (Michael Jai White), a soldier-killer, is betrayed by a secret government agency, headed by a man named Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen). Wynn orders his master assassin, the Priest, to eliminate him. After Simmons dies, the dark forces immediately transport him to Hell, where Malebolgia, the demonic leader of Hell’s army, offers him a Faustian bargain. If Simmons becomes his eternal servant and leader of Hell’s army at Armageddon, he will be allowed to return to Earth to see his beloved wife, Wanda Blake (Theresa Randle).

Simmons accepts the offer and transforms into Hellspawn, Malebolgia’s servant in the necroplasmic ward, who is not only a living, breathing creature, but also the only thing in the entire world willing to protect him. Upon returning to the living, Simmons learns that five years have passed since his death. Wanda has remarried his best friend Terry and is living the life he always wanted. Following the path of his new life, he encounters a strange demon Violator, clown-like in appearance, who wants to lead Spawn (as Violator calls Simmons) down a path that leads to evil.

On his journey through his strange new life, Spawn also meets a mysterious old man named Cogliostro who, as a fellow Hellspawn, teaches him how to master his highly scattered energy. Jason Wynn is Spawn’s ultimate goal, but shortly afterward Spawn reveals that killing Wynn would actually trigger Armageddon (the end of the world). After he decides to spare Wynn’s life, the final battle between Spawn and the transformed Violator ensues, which ultimately results in the villain’s return to Hell with a tarnished reputation, thanks to the failed mission and Spawn vowing to dedicate his life to the fight for justice.

In 1998, the film was nominated at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for the Saturn Award in the category “Best Makeup”, and in the same year at the “Blockbuster Entertainment” awards, the film Spawn was nominated in three categories: Michael Jai White – for the best up-and-coming actor, John Leguizamo-for best-supporting actor in a horror movie and Theresa Randle-for best supporting actress in a horror movie.

Blade (1998)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

With superhuman strength and resistance to light, but with an insatiable vampire appetite, Blade (Wesley Snipes) is a vampire hunter who remains on the side of good only with the help of the man who rescued him early from the embrace of death – the faithful Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). Blade’s vampiric hunger can only be tamed by Whistler’s serum, but his body is slowly becoming more resistant and his appetite for blood stronger.

When Blade meets the beautiful hematologist Karen Jenson (N’Bushe Wright), he hopes the doctor will find a solution to his unfortunate condition. But a new movement in the vampire underworld brings waves of chaos and death: the rebellious vampire, Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) has canceled obedience to the natives, and decided to call on the God of Blood. And only Blade can stop the coming apocalypse.

Combining the eeriness and asceticism of expressionism with frenetic action and sharp humor, “Blade” boasts a completely atypical hero and rarely seen the elegance of action scenes. Wesley Snipes proved to be literally born for the role of an unusual vampire hunter, and the new sequels only confirmed the cult status of the saga. The unusual sight of a vampire in the snow in the final scene of this brilliant action thriller is the key to its success. In an unprecedented way, the authors combined the seriousness of classic horror with comic book playfulness and brought to life a unique world where humans and vampires walk the same streets.

This spectacular Hollywood product is based on the comic book of the same name, and its “driving force” is the Black main actor and co-producer Wesley Snipes, one of the biggest African-American stars of those days (Jungle Fever, New Jack City, Passenger 57, Rising Sun). Four years later, an equally successful sequel “Blade II” was filmed, again with Snipes and Kristofferson.

Independence Day (1996)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

It was a perfectly normal summer day… until, without warning, a huge shadow darkened the Earth. An unusual atmospheric phenomenon, ominous and hypnotic, spread over our entire planet. The question of whether we are alone in the universe has finally been answered. And in just a few minutes, the lives of all beings are changed forever.

Here, aliens in countless spaceships arrive out of nowhere and gather over the world’s largest cities, creating global panic. And it’s justified, because the evil visitors level New York, Washington and Los Angeles with the death ray. A handful of brave Americans, including a “Clinton-like” president, a fighter pilot and a computer freak called David, try to devise a strategy against the invaders.

On the Fourth of July, their risky plan goes into effect and several fighter pilots (including the president) launch an attack on the spaceships. However, their success and the fate of the world depend on David trying to disarm the mothership.

With a budget of 71 million dollars and unprecedented special effects, “Independence Day” is a grandiose, high-tech homage to the disaster movies of the seventies and the war movies of the forties. Led again by the great Black actor (even though, not that great of a man, Will Smith).

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

The film follows a young black telemarketer who adopts a white accent to succeed at his job. Swept into a corporate conspiracy, he must choose between profit and joining his activist friends to organize labor.

Sorry to Bother You is one of the smartest Black sci-fi movies you can find, so give it a shot if you haven’t already.

The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

A man from another planet has descended from space to New York. As he tries to fix things, he resembles an African-American man with strange feet. His attempt to fit in in Harlem is an allegory for immigrants and their experiences in the US. Meanwhile, two hunters from his home planet come to Earth to capture him.

See You Yesterday (2019)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

The film follows the story of an ambitious Black science prodigy, who uses her prowess and capabilities to create time machines to save her brother who has been killed by a racist police officer. As she tries to alter the events of the past, she will eventually face the perilous consequences of time travel.

See You Yesterday is a 2019 American science fiction film directed by Stefon Bristol with a screenplay by Bristol and Fredrica Bailey based on Bristol’s 2017 short film of the same name. It stars Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow and Astro. It was released on May 17, 2019, by Netflix.

Gemini Man (2019)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Elite assassin Henry Brogan is pursued by a mysterious intelligence officer who can seemingly predict his every move. To his horror, Brogan soon realizes that the man trying to kill him is a younger, faster, cloned version of himself.

Gemini Man is an innovative sci-fi action thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, a 51-year-old elite assassin who is ready to end his career after completing his 72nd job. His plans are completely upended when he becomes the target of a mysterious operative who can seemingly predict his every move. To his horror, Brogan soon realizes that the man trying to kill him is a younger, faster, cloned version of himself. The film was directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee.

Event Horizon (1997)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

The lost spaceship “Event Horizon” has been found seven years after its mysterious disappearance. Now a first-rate rescue crew sets out in search of the truth… Only to discover a world of evil beyond their wildest nightmares.

Dr. William Weir is a scientist who designed a spaceship called Event Horizon that will explore the outer reaches of space beyond the planet Neptune. The ship uses a special transport mechanism that essentially creates a black hole that the ship can pass through allowing it to travel vast distances in seconds. Event Horizon mysteriously disappears mid-mission without any trace of the ship and crew, but reappears in Neptune’s orbit after a seven-year absence and sends a distress signal.

Spaceship “Lewis and Clark” and Dr. Weir were sent to investigate. The crew of Lewis and Clark are convinced that Weir is keeping something from them, and when they discover the Event Horizon, they discover that things are not what they seem, and the ship has been taken over by an evil presence.

I, Robot (2004)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

Chicago, 2035. The world has created a well-branched system of robots that are programmed to, like personal guards, help and protect people. But detective Del Spooner (W. Smith) is not sure about the 100% safety of the machines, especially when the news spreads that the distinguished scientist in the field of robotics, Dr. Alfred Lanning (J. Cromwell), has been killed under unexplained circumstances.

Spooner immediately thinks, although without concrete proof, that the robots are to blame for this, which seems impossible, because they are programmed to do no harm. However, if they were able to do so, it would have dire, perhaps disastrous, consequences for humanity. Spooner begins an investigation into the scientist’s death, and turns to Susan Calvin (B. Moynahan), an expert in robot psychology, for help. The trail will lead him to the robot Sonny (A. Tudyk), who may be involved in the case.

Another movie on the list with the lead Black actor Will Smith.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

A young man (Terence Nance) is stood up on a date by a beautiful woman (Namik Minter), he begins to wonder about the nature of feelings and what exactly makes up a specific moment in time.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is a 2012 American semi-animated sci-fi comedy-drama-romance film, directed by Terence Nance in his feature directorial debut. The film follows a quixotic artist who, when stood up by an attractive woman, makes a film about it and shows it to her. The film was adapted from Nance’s 2006 short film, How Would You Feel?. It premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and has received generally positive reviews from critics.

Sleight (2016)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

A young street magician is left to take care of his younger sister after the death of their parents. In order to secure a roof over his head, he must turn to an illegal business that will result in his sister’s kidnapping, forcing him to use magic and his brilliant mind to save her.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

20 Best Black Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

After the discovery of a new form of space travel and the disappearance of Meg’s father, she, her brother and her friend must join three magical beings on a journey across space to save it from a terrible evil.

After the disappearance of the scientist Meg Murry’s father, three celestial beings travel to Earth to help Meg in her search. Traveling through folds in time and space known as “tessering”, they travel to worlds beyond their imaginations, where they face an evil force. In order to return home, Meg must face the darkness within and find the strength to defeat the darkness that surrounds the universe.

And with this movie, we bring to the end our list of the best black sci-fi movies. I hope you have enjoyed it and find your next watch.


  • Mitchel Pemberton

    As a movie geek, I loved ranking movies, shows, anime, and fictional characters with my friends. Writing about them now is a dream come true for me.

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