Movies can have an incredible impact on social change. From Crash to Fruitvale Station, a dramatized version of events offers the kind of human perspective that news reports and statistics can't. With the recent tragic deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown — young, innocent Black men killed by police brutality — films about social injustice are more important than ever.
Our list kicks off with Spike Lee's urban drama Do the Right Thing. The director made a powerful point about how little things have changed in New York from 1989 to 2014 by splicing together footage of Garner's death with that of his fictional character Radio Raheem.