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20 Modern Black And White Movies You Should See

19 September 2013 | Features, Film Lists | by David Zou

modern black and white movies

Black and white is the new color in cinemas this year, with Frances Ha, A Field in England and Much Ado about Nothing all joining the trend.

But black and white films have never really gone away. Since the 1970s, fictional feature films have been filmed almost exclusively in color. Still, films from the last few decades are occasionally presented in black-and-white, sometimes due to budget constraints. This is a list of notable feature films whose majority of running time is in black-and-white or monochrome/sepia tone and made after the 1960s.


20. Much Ado About Nothing


The Movie: A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Why You Should See It: There will always be movies that enchant us with their magic, but there will hardly be a journey that goes beyond cinematic borders to deliver the experience of a lifetime. Much Ado About Nothing is undoubtedly the new face of global cinema that enthralls with each passing frame, healing the hidden scars of the heart with its message of a better and humane world.


19. Frances Ha


The Movie: A story that follows a New York woman (who doesn’t really have an apartment), apprentices for a dance company (though she’s not really a dancer), and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles.

Why You Should See It: Written by Baumbach and Gerwig with an effortless combination of sweetness and wit, Frances Ha gets at both the frustrations and the joys of being young and unsure of where to go next. This wry and sparkling city romance is a testament to the ongoing vitality of independent American cinema.


18. Good Night, and Good Luck


The Movie: In the early 1950′s, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history.

Why You Should See It: Beautifully directed by George Clooney (who also co-stars), this is a film that exercises a powerful message and social commentary that remains relevant today. Filmed in tight frames of black and white, “Good Night, And Good Luck” also brings back the smoke-filled atmosphere of broadcast journalism and television in the 1950s.


17. American History X


The Movie: A brutal Neo Nazi skinhead named Derek Vinyard is tried and sent to prison for three years for the murder of two black guys who tried to steal his truck. When he returns from prison reformed, his younger brother Daniel Vinyard who idolizes him is on the brink of becoming a Neo Nazi himself. Derek must save his younger brother from a similar fate.

Why You Should See It: American History X is one of the most powerful movies released in years. Not since Schindler’s List has the subject of racism been so potently presented. The use of black and white cinematography to portray painful flashbacks is amazing.

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