10 Must-See Black Holiday Movies

This is the time of year to break out all the classic films to get us into the holiday spirit.

This week, marks the ten-year anniversary of the release "The Best Man Holiday." In honor of this iconic film, we had to revisit holidays classics.

During the holiday season, there is nothing quite like gathering with family and friends. No matter what the family tradition may be, more than likely, we’ll all wind up around the TV watching our favorite holiday films, laughing and reciting every line.

To commemorate the season, here’s a list of the best Black holiday films.


  1. The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

    If you don’t go to church during the holiday season, you can at least watch it on TV. A bona fide classic holiday film is "The Preacher’s Wife." A remake of the 1947 film "The Bishop's Wife," "The Preacher’s Wife" tells the story of Rev. Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance), a pastor of a struggling Baptist church in New York City. The church membership and finances are declining, and Henry is feeling the pressure from real estate developer Joe Hamilton (Gregory Hines) to sell the church so that Hamilton can build luxury condominiums in its place.

    While serving the needs of the church, Henry is forgetting the needs of his wife, Julia (Whitney Houston), who feels like their marriage was falling apart. Henry’s prayer to God for help is answered when Dudley (Denzel Washington), an angel, arrives on the scene to show him what’s really important.

    Not only is "The Preacher’s Wife" a great holiday film but the soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score featuring the legendary Whitney Houston returning to her gospel roots.

  2. Call Me Claus (2001)

    "Call Me Claus" is a television comedy film movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Nigel Hawthorne (in his final performance). The movie involves Santa Claus (Hawthorne), who needs a replacement Santa after serving for the past 200 years. He decides on Lucy Cullins (Whoopi Goldberg), an eccentric, grouchy shopping network executive who hires him to promote Christmas decorations and presents on the network. When Lucy hires Nick to play Santa Claus, she gets way more than she bargained for.

  3. Friday After Next (2002)

    Anytime you have Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Kat Williams, Don “D.C.” Curry and Terry Crews together on a film, big laughs are guaranteed. In the third and last installment of Cube’s "Friday" series, "Friday After Next" picks the crazy tales of Craig (Cube) and Day-Day (Epps), who are back at it as mall security cops after the house is robbed by a hood Santa Claus (Rickey Smiley) who swiped all of their Christmas gifts and their rent money.

    Behind on their rent and being threatened by their landlord and her fresh-out-of-prison son, Damon (Crews), Craig and Day Day throw a party to come up with the rent money.

  4. Last Holiday (2006)

    Based loosely on the 1950 British film of the same name by J. B. Priestley, "Last Holiday" stars Queen Latifah as Georgia, a store assistant who is suddenly faced with life-changing news that she has a rare brain condition and now only has a few weeks to live.

    Instead of going into a deep depression, Georgia switches it up and immediately decides to spend her last bit of change on a luxury holiday in Europe before she dies. Georgia lives her best life across the pond and makes the most of the little time that she thinks she has left.

  5. The Perfect Holiday (2007)

    Finding love during the Christmas season definitely will make it a perfect holiday. In "The Perfect Holiday," Nancy (Gabrielle Union), a divorced mother of three, is feeling mad lonely during the holidays. Picking up on her mother’s bad vibe, Nancy's youngest daughter, Emily (Khail Bryant), concocts a plan to try to make her mom happy again. She asks Benjamin (Morris Chestnut), who works as a department-store Santa Claus, to pay Nancy a compliment.

    Benjamin, who is also a struggling songwriter, seems to know the right words to lift Nancy’s spirits. After falling in and out of love, both Nancy and Benjamin ultimately discover what Christmas is all about.

  6. This Christmas (2007)

    Produced and directed by Preston Whitmore and Will Packer and based on the 1970 Donny Hathaway song of the same name, "This Christmas" centers on the matriarch of the Whitfield family, Shirley Ann "Ma'Dere" Whitfield (Loretta Devine), her lover (Delroy Lindo) and all her children who have who returned back home for the holiday season for the first time in four years. The siblings, played Idris Elba, Regina King, Sharon Neal, Chris Brown, Lauren London, Columbus Short and Laz Alonzo, all bring the funny and the drama that’s sure to take place whenever family gets together.

  7. The Best Man Holiday (2013)

    After releasing the classic "The Best Man" in 1999, 14 years later, the sequel "The Best Man Holiday" hit theaters. Written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, "The Best Man Holiday" picks up 15 years later since the crew were last together at the same place, at the same time. College friends Lance (Morris Chestnut), Harper (Taye Diggs), Candace (Regina Hall), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Jordan (Nia Long), Murch (Harold Perrineau), Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) and Mia (Monica Calhoun) finally reunite over the Christmas holidays, and major laughs and drama ensue.

  8. Black Nativity (2013)

    "Black Nativity" was originally written by Langston Hughes in 1961, but in 2013 the stage play got a theatrical release. The updated version tells the story of Langston (Jacob Latimore), who’s being raised by a single mother (Jennifer Hudson), and all of the challenges they are facing.

    Jacob makes his way to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his grandparents, the Rev. Cornell Cobbs (Forest Whitaker) and his wife, Aretha (Angela Bassett), who have a strained relationship with him and his mother. Soon thereafter, Langston refuses to comply with the Cobbs’ strict rules and rebels against them. This leads him on a path back to his mother, where he finds the value of faith, healing and reconciliation with his entire family. On top of all that, the singing throughout the film is epic.

  9. Almost Christmas (2016)

    When the patriarch of the family summons everyone home for Christmas, you show up even if you don’t really want to. That’s exactly what goes down in David E. Talbert’s  "Almost Christmas," and sparks fly.

    Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is a recently retired mechanic and a widower. In an attempt to cope with the loss of his wife, he invites daughters Rachel (Gabrielle Union) and Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) and sons Christian (Romany Malco) and Evan (Jessie T. Usher) to his house for a family celebration. Walter discovers that with all the fighting between his children and the craziness of the rest of the family, it will take a Christmas miracle for them to survive the next five days together.

  10. Trading Places (1983)

    It’s easy to forget that "Trading Places" is not only a legendary comedy but one of the greatest holiday films of all-time. From the beginning of the Christmas season and going all the way to New Year’s Eve, Trading Places captures the two different worlds of the “haves” and the “have nots,” race, class and poverty in a hilarious way.

    The films tells the story of an extremely successful, upper-class executive, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), and a down on his luck hustler, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), who are pawns in a game set up by two brothers, Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy), who own a commodities brokerage in Philadelphia. An employee of the Dukes, Winthorpe is framed by the brothers for a theft and is fired. Then, the brothers place Valentine as a new broker in their firm with street-smarts. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the plot, they come up with a plan of their own to run the Dukes out of business.

    Noted for classic performances from "Saturday Night Live" alums Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd (who rocks one the grossest Santa suits ever), "Trading Places" is one the essential Christmas comedies that's sure to have everyone laughing during the holiday season.

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