Fruitvale Station (2013)

Not a huge fan of cell-phone graphics and I suppose in retrospect there might be a couple moments here too on-the-nose, but damn if this isn’t ultimately utterly beautiful and devastating in its execution. Naturalistic dialogue, excellent acting, and gorgeous handheld cinematography subtly portray Black beauty and heart poking their way through the cracks of white concrete (see the b-day dinner) only to be crushed mercilessly by the boot of racist law enforcement in a gut-wrenching final act.
9

Black Panther (2018)

The people, sets, and costumes of the fascinating Wakanda are a fantastic breath of fresh air, and the supporting characters especially (Nakia, Okoye, Shuri) all beg for further fleshing out. As an action film it worked better with Serkis’ simpler villain (see the awesome South Korea sequence) than Jordan’s more complex one, as the good vs. evil nuances he introduced deserved a slower drama instead of a sudden civil war and typical superhero climax (though the epilogue was of course touching).
6