5 fantastic films to watch over Fourth of July weekend

Whether you want to be inspired by a "hoe" or a hero, there's something for everyone on our latest list

Loading the player...

While some folks may feel funny about celebrating the Fourth of July, one thing we can all be happy about is the impending long weekend and all the extra time it will provide to catch up on some fantastic films. Fortunately, there is no shortage of fresh content hitting screens big and small and we’ve got your guide to what to watch this weekend, no matter your mood.

Whether you want to be inspired by a “hoe” or a hero, there’s something for everyone in our latest list.

Check it out:

The One and Only Dick Gregory

If you’re looking to learn about a true American hero, this enlightening documentary on prolific comedian and humanitarian Dick Gregory is the perfect choice. Executive produced by Lena Waithe and Kevin Hart, and directed by Andre Gaines, the film captures the immeasurable impact Gregory and his work had on the culture and the country. His groundbreaking knack for telling race jokes to rooms full of white folks was unheard of at the time and laid the foundation for comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock to do what they do.

He used his platform to fight alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders and eventually left the entertainment industry altogether to pursue his activism full time. Dick Gregory is the epitome of Black excellence and his story will finally be presented to the world when the film premieres on Showtime on July 4. 

Zola

This highly-anticipated film starring Taylour Paige and Colman Domingo premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and it’s finally time for the world to watch in amazement. The film’s director, Janicza Bravo (Lemon) infused her unique vision into the project and managed to make it feel just as entertaining as the original 144 tweets that inspired it.

Let’s be clear: there’s nothing funny about realizing just how degrading sex work can be, and Bravo walks the line between comic relief and intensely realistic scenes. Zola (Paige), a Detroit waitress, strikes up a new friendship with a customer, Stefani (Riley Keough), who convinces her to join a weekend of dancing and partying in Florida.

What at first seems like a glamorous trip full of “hoeism” rapidly transforms into a 48-hour journey involving a nameless pimp, an idiot boyfriend, some Tampa gangsters, and other unexpected adventures in this wild tale.

The Legend of the Underground

Nneka Onuorah and Giselle Bailey co-direct this eye-opening film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this month. In it, they uncover the rampant discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in Nigeria and explore the lives of several charismatic youngsters who must choose either to fight for freedom or flee to live ‘freely’ in the United States.

Through social media, celebrity and bold creativity, they spark a cultural revolution that challenges the ideals of gender, conformity, and civil rights in Nigeria. Executive produced by John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius, The Legend of the Underground is a startling and inspiring look at a community that continues to fight even when their very existence is criminalized by their country. Check it out on HBO

No Sudden Move

This flick from Steven Soderbergh features an all-star cast that includes Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Bill Duke, and Kieran Culkin among others. Set in 1954 Detroit, No Sudden Move centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them—and for what ultimate purpose—weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

The ensemble cast carries this old school thriller that’s sure to entertain you over the long weekend. Catch it in theaters or on HBOMax. 

Summer of Soul

This delicious documentary from Questlove is the perfect pick for anyone looking to reminisce about the magic of music. Summer of Soul marks the directorial debut of The Roots’ beloved frontman and has already caused quite a stir on the festival circuit, nabbing the coveted Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance.

Taking place in 1969 Harlem, the film follows a magical six weeks of summer during the Harlem Culture Festival, an event that celebrates Black history, culture, music, and fashion. This feel-good flick is sure to keep the whole family happy and it premieres on Hulu July 2. 

Loading the player...

Don’t miss Chris Witherspoon, founder & CEO of PopViewers, as he runs down his top three recommendations on our latest series, Weekly Watch.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!

Loading the player...