Top 10 Black Christmas Films

As we all continue to enjoy the holiday festivities here are our Top Ten Christmas Films to enjoy this year and in years to come …

Merry Christmas Family

The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
The Preacher’s Wife came out in 1996 and I’ve found no film to be more reminiscent of my childhood. Over the years its become a staple whilst decorating the Christmas tree and it always gets me in the Christmas spirit. The film features a star cast of Black Hollywood royalty such as Denzel Washington, Courtney B. Vance, Loretta Devine, Jenifer Lewis, Lionel Ritchie and of course the late, great Whitney Houston.

So what’s it about?
Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) feels as if he has the world on his shoulders. He is spread thin as the pastor of St Matthews Baptist Church. As he struggles to support members of his congregation and keep the church afloat from impending closure, he is missing important dates with his son and his marriage to Julia Biggs (Whitney Houston) is slowly crumbling. He needs a Christmas miracle and gets one in the form of personal angel, Dudley (Denzel Washington). With Houston lending her vocals to the film, The Preacher’s Wife also boasts an outstanding soundtrack which still stands as the best-selling gospel album of all time.

This Christmas (2007)
A Star-studded ensemble cast of Idris Elba, Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Sharon Leal, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown, Columbus Short, Laz Alonzo and Lauren London come together in this popular festive film that features all the shenanigans that you expect from your typical sibling reunion. It’s a gift of petty jokes, bickering, genuine love and Christmas cheer wrapped up in secrets that threaten to ruin the holidays and alter each of their futures. Regina King’s baby oil scene is a favourite that lives rent-free in my head.

So what’s it about?
This Christmas the Whitfield siblings have come back home for the Christmas holiday leaving their mother, Ma’dere Whitfield (Loretta Devine) elated to have all six of her kids together for the first time in four years. On the surface, everyone seems happy but most of the family including the mother are harbouring secrets that reveal there’s more to their lives than meets the eye. With a combination of faith, food, and family This Christmas is heartwarming, romantic, funny, and sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Chris Brown also covers the title track originally by Donny Hathaway which is a great addition to the film’s R&b soundtrack.

Black Nativity (2013)
Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Jacob Latimore, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Nas star in this updated musical adaptation of the Nativity story originally written and staged by famed poet and playwright Langston Hughes. The musical is more theatrical than cinematic in its approach and a definite tribute to Hughes with his quotes and poetry sprinkled throughout. Langston’s dream sequence of the Nativity story is enchanting in its dual blend of fantasy and reality and has to be my favourite scene. It’s extra performative and topped off with the vocals of Jennifer Hudson, Jacob Latimore, Forest Whitaker, Mary J Blige, Luke James and Grace Gibson.

So what’s it about?
Langston (Jacob Latimore) has been raised by his single mother Naima in Baltimore, but when she finds herself financially out of her depth and on the brink of eviction she sends him to stay with his estranged grandparents in Harlem over the Christmas period. Whilst Langston is there the plot unravels and he eventually learns the truth behind the rift that divided his mother and grandparents. There’s a lot of hurtful history to unpack but during the season of giving, they find ways to offer forgiveness and find redemption.

Last Holiday (2006)
Queen Latifah and LL COOL J head this hybrid of a rom-com and Christmas film. Set over the festive period, Last Holiday is a reminder of what can happen if we dare to lean into possibilities and take control of our lives. It’s an uplifting tale of positivity and I will always applaud scenes that showcase a black woman indulging in luxury.

So what’s it about?
Georgia (Queen Latifah) is working as a sales clerk in a job where she is undervalued and unappreciated. She dreams of being a chef and opening her own restaurant and also harbours a huge crush on her work colleague and dream husband Sean (LL Cool J). She even has a personal vision scrapbook where she keeps her dreams chronicled as “possibilities”. When a work mishap occurs, Georgia is checked over by a doctor but instead of the all-clear, she is given the devastating news of a terminal illness. After initially wallowing in her sorrows, Georgia decides to live the rest of her life to the maximum. Using her life savings she flies to a European hotel where she indulges in every luxury available for what she thinks will be her last holiday.

Almost Christmas (2016)
Danny Glover, Mo’nique, Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps and Romany Malco are cast in this tale of love, loss, and the beauty that transpires when the family fight for, instead of against each other. My favourite scene is the Christmas Dinner where a few Christmas bombs go off around the dinner table as well as an actual shotgun.

So what’s it about?
There are five days till Christmas and Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is just hoping to get through them so that the Meyer family can have a traditional Christmas Dinner the way his late wife would have loved. He knows this won’t come easy as it’s been a year since her passing and each of them are still grieving the loss. To top it off he can’t find his wife’s tin of recipes to make her signature sweet potato pie, his daughters are constantly at each other’s throats, his son has a secret betrayal and he might just have one of his own.

Boxing Day (2021)
Aml Ameen directs and stars, playing a successful, Hollywood-based novelist returning home to visit his extended British Caribbean family in London for Christmas with his American fiancee, Lisa (a likeable Aja Naomi King), in tow.

After spending years Stateside away from his family, British author Melvin (Aml Ameen) brings his American fiancée Lisa (Aja Naomi King) back home for Christmas to meet his relatives for the first time. A run-in with his ex-girlfriend Georgia (Leigh-Anne Pinnock), along with some family drama, puts his new relationship to the test.

A Naija Christmas (2021)
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more charming, stylish or competitive family than A Naija Christmas’s fabulous foursome of Kunle Remi, Efa Iwara, Abayomi Alvin and Rachel Oniga. Sprinkled with a heavy-handed helping of Nigerian flair, this Netflix Original pulls on all of the heartstrings and gifts one of the last performances from the late, great Nollywood star Rachel Oniga.

So what’s it about
Fulfilling a mother’s wishes is a responsibility that falls at the feet of all sons, but this time around the reward isn’t just a mother’s smile, it’s the keys to her luxurious home. Uncomfortable with the reality that she is yet to have a grandchild or daughter-in-law, Mama (Rachel Oniga) tasks her three sons Ugo (Kunle Remi), Obi (Efa Iwara) and Chike (Abayomi) with finding a suitable wife to present to her on Christmas Day. Despite its simple premise, the film manages to expertly bring issues of class, faith and gender to the forefront in a way that’s likely to spark some compelling conversations when the end credits roll.

The Best Man Holiday (2013)
Nia Long, Morris Chesnut, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrance Howard… Is there a film with a more likeable cast? I’ll help you out here, the answer is a resounding “hell nawww!”. Set 14 years after the original, The Best Man Holiday brings together all of our favourite stars for a festive tearjerker. Complete with a smooth RnB soundtrack for the ages, Black love never looked or sounded this good!

So what’s it about?
Reprising their roles from the original The Best Man (1999), the group of old college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays and quickly discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries to be reignited. When the two most affluent members of the group—pro football player Lance (Morris Chestnut) and his wife, Mia (Monica Calhoun)—decide to invite the gang for a reunion over the Christmas holidays, friendships and marriages are tested as new crises arise.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (2013)
There’s no Christmas like a Madea Christmas. Without a doubt, Tyler Perry’s most memorable alter-ego Madea, has appeared in over 10 movies but this one is probably the most beloved. ‘Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas’ is the sparkling, typically quirky ornament on perched on top of an incredible career.

So what’s it about?
Madea (Tyler Perry) tags along with her niece, Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford), on a trip to the small town of Buck Tussel with the intention of surprising Eileen’s daughter, Lacey (Tika Sumpter) who had decided that she wouldn’t be venturing home for Christmas this year. We soon find out that her reasoning for not coming home runs far deeper than a case of travel anxiety, but as usual, nothing sneaks past Madea! Absurd laughs and more than a fair share of chaos culminate in a Christmas that none of us will forget.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
A visual spectacle for the ages, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey isn’t just a Black Christmas movie, it’s THAT Christmas movie. Glamorous costumes, outstanding attention to detail, marvellous set designs and a soundtrack so warm and cosy that you’ll forget about your cup of hot chocolate. Jingle Jangle bridges the divide between our legends Forrest Whittaker, Phylicia Rashad and brightest starlets Madalen Mills and Kieron L. Dyer.

So what’s it about?
After being betrayed by his trusted apprentice Guftofson (Keegan-Michael Key), the world’s greatest toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) has lost his spark and is in a state of eternal gloom. That is until his curious granddaughter (Madalen Mills) reignites his creative fire to be great once more.


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