Alfre Woodard is an American actress known for her remarkable performances in a wide range of films spanning multiple genres.
With a career spanning several decades, Woodard has established herself as a versatile and talented actress with a reputation for her powerful performances and emotional depth. Here’s an introduction to some of the best Alfre Woodard movies.
Best Alfre Woodard Movies
Her performances are often marked by her ability to convey deep emotions and portray complex characters with authenticity and depth. If you are a fan of powerful performances and thought-provoking films, Alfre Woodard’s movies are definitely worth exploring.
1. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
“Star Trek: First Contact” is a science fiction film directed by Jonathan Frakes and released in 1996. It is the eighth feature film in the “Star Trek” franchise and the first one to feature the cast of the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” without the original series cast.
The film follows the Enterprise crew as they travel back in time to prevent the Borg, a cybernetic race, from changing history and preventing humanity’s first contact with an alien race.
The film was a commercial and critical success and is often cited as one of the best “Star Trek” films.
2. Knucklehead (2015)
“Knucklehead” is a 2015 South Korean film directed by Ben Wada. The film stars Yoo Ji-tae as a former boxer who now works as a debt collector for a loan shark.
He is assigned to collect money from a young man, played by Park Jung-min, who is a talented fighter but lacks the skills and training needed to compete professionally.
The two men form an unlikely friendship as they work together to overcome their personal demons and achieve their dreams.
The film explores themes of redemption, friendship, and the struggles faced by those living on the margins of society.
3. Cross Creek (1983)
“Cross Creek” is a 1983 film directed by Martin Ritt, based on the memoirs of writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The film follows Rawlings, played by Mary Steenburgen, as she leaves her comfortable city life to move to a remote Florida farming community in the 1930s.
There, she finds inspiration for her writing and becomes close with the locals, including a talented African American cook named Geechee (played by Alfre Woodard) and a moonshiner named Marsh Turner (played by Rip Torn).
The film was well-received by critics and received two Academy Award nominations, including one for Steenburgen’s performance.
4. Crooklyn (1994)
“Crooklyn” is a 1994 film directed by Spike Lee, which tells the story of the Carmichael family, an African-American family living in Brooklyn in the 1970s.
The film is a coming-of-age tale that follows the experiences of Troy, the only daughter of the Carmichael family, as she navigates life in a bustling city and learns important lessons about family, community, and identity.
Here are three reasons to watch “Crooklyn”:
Authentic Portrayal of African-American Family Life: “Crooklyn” offers a realistic and nuanced portrayal of African-American family life in the 1970s.
From the challenges of living in an urban environment to the importance of family and community, the film explores the complexities of African-American experiences during this time period.
Strong Performances: The film features strong performances from its cast, including Zelda Harris as Troy and Alfre Woodard as her mother, Carolyn.
The interactions between the Carmichael family members are genuine and heartfelt, making the audience feel invested in their lives and struggles.
Classic Spike Lee Style: “Crooklyn” was directed by Spike Lee, who is known for his unique style and perspective on African-American experiences.
The film features many of Lee’s signature elements, including use of music and cinematography to convey mood and emotion, as well as a focus on social commentary and political issues.
5. American Violet (2008)
“American Violet” is a powerful drama film directed by Tim Disney and based on a true story. The film follows the story of a young African-American single mother named Dee Roberts, played by Nicole Beharie, who is falsely accused and arrested for drug trafficking.
Despite facing intimidation and threats, she decides to fight the charges against her and clears her name with the help of a civil rights attorney, played by Tim Blake Nelson.
Here are some reasons to watch “American Violet”:
The film sheds light on issues of racial discrimination and police brutality that still persist in America today. It highlights how innocent people can be falsely accused and jailed because of systemic biases and corruption.
The powerful performances of the cast, especially Nicole Beharie, who gives a gripping portrayal of Dee Roberts, make the film emotionally compelling and resonate with audiences.
“American Violet” is based on a true story, which makes the film all the more impactful and relevant. It is a reminder of the importance of fighting for justice and standing up against injustice, no matter how difficult the fight may be.
6. Holiday Heart (2000 TV Movie)
“Holiday Heart” is a 2000 TV movie directed by Robert Townsend. It is a drama film that originally aired on the cable network Showtime.
In “Holiday Heart,” Ving Rhames portrays the title character, Holiday Heart, a drag queen with a heart of gold who befriends a young girl named Nikki, played by Jessika Quynn Reynolds.
Nikki and her drug-addicted mother Wanda, portrayed by Alfre Woodard, become intertwined in Holiday Heart’s life, and he becomes a surrogate father figure to Nikki while trying to help Wanda overcome her addiction.
The film explores themes of love, compassion, and acceptance, as Holiday Heart forms an unlikely bond with Nikki and tries to provide stability and care in their lives.
It also addresses the challenges and struggles of addiction and the impact it has on individuals and their families.
Ving Rhames delivers a powerful performance as Holiday Heart, bringing depth and emotion to the character. The film has been praised for its performances, particularly Rhames and Woodard’s portrayals, as well as its heartfelt story and messages of love and compassion.
“Holiday Heart” has been recognized for its representation of LGBTQ+ characters and themes, and it has become a cult classic for its touching story and memorable performances.
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7. The Wishing Tree (2000 TV Movie)
“The Wishing Tree” is a TV movie released in 2000, directed by Ivan Passer. Alfre Woodard stars in the lead role as Clara Collier, a woman who returns to her hometown in Louisiana to care for her ailing grandmother, Miss Annie, played by Mary Alice.
The film revolves around Clara’s journey of self-discovery as she reconnects with her roots and learns valuable life lessons from her grandmother.
Woodard’s performance in “The Wishing Tree” is heartfelt and touching, capturing the complexities of Clara’s character as she navigates her past, present, and future.
The film explores themes of family, community, and the power of hope and resilience. Woodard’s portrayal of Clara is imbued with emotional depth and authenticity, earning her critical acclaim for her performance.
“The Wishing Tree” is a heartwarming film that showcases Alfre Woodard’s talent as a versatile actress who can effortlessly portray multi-dimensional characters.
Her performance in the film adds depth and emotional resonance to the story, making it a standout entry in her filmography. If you’re a fan of Alfre Woodard’s work or enjoy heartfelt dramas with strong performances, “The Wishing Tree” is a TV movie worth checking out.
8. Funny Valentines (1999)
“Funny Valentines” is a 1999 drama film directed by Julie Dash. The film follows the story of a woman named Joyce, played by Alfre Woodard, who returns to her hometown in Georgia after years of living in New York City.
She is reunited with her estranged husband, played by Loretta Devine, and the two try to reconcile their differences.
As they spend time together, they begin to confront the secrets and lies that have kept them apart for so long. The film explores themes of love, family, and the power of forgiveness.
9. Miss Evers’ Boys (1997 TV Movie)
“Miss Evers’ Boys” is a 1997 television movie directed by Joseph Sargent and starring Alfre Woodard, Laurence Fishburne, and Craig Sheffer.
The film is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Study, a medical experiment conducted by the United States Public Health Service from 1932 to 1972 in which African American men were intentionally infected with syphilis and denied treatment, even after penicillin became available.
Woodard plays Eunice Evers, a nurse who participates in the study and struggles with her conscience as she witnesses the devastating effects of the disease on her patients.
Fishburne plays Caleb Humphries, one of the study participants who becomes Evers’ close friend. The film was praised for its powerful performances and handling of a sensitive and important topic.
10. Juanita (I) (2019)
“Juanita” is a 2019 American drama film directed by Clark Johnson and written by Roderick M. Spencer, based on the novel “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof” by Sheila Williams.
The film stars Alfre Woodard in the lead role of Juanita, a tired and overworked nurse who decides to take a solo road trip to Montana in search of adventure and self-discovery.
Here are three reasons to watch “Juanita”:
Alfre Woodard’s performance: Alfre Woodard delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Juanita, a woman who is tired of her routine and is in search of something more.
Woodard’s performance is both funny and heartbreaking, and she carries the film with her strong screen presence.
A unique story: “Juanita” tells the story of a middle-aged African-American woman who takes a solo road trip to find herself, a premise that is not often explored in mainstream cinema.
The film provides a refreshing take on the classic road trip movie, and it deals with themes of self-discovery, family, and second chances.
Beautiful scenery: The film was shot on location in Montana, and the stunning landscapes provide a beautiful backdrop to Juanita’s journey. The cinematography captures the beauty of the natural surroundings, making “Juanita” a visually striking film.
11. Clemency (2019)
“Clemency” is a gripping drama film directed by Chinonye Chukwu. The film stars Alfre Woodard as Bernadine Williams, a prison warden who has presided over numerous executions during her career.
As she prepares for the next execution, she starts to question the morality and efficacy of the death penalty system, leading her to confront her own demons and personal struggles.
Here are some reasons to watch “Clemency”:
The film offers a deep and thought-provoking exploration of the emotional and psychological toll of the death penalty system on both the prisoners and the people involved in the process, especially the executioners.
It raises important questions about the morality and ethics of capital punishment.
Alfre Woodard delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Bernadine Williams, portraying the character’s inner conflicts and struggles with a great deal of emotional depth and authenticity.
“Clemency” is a timely and relevant film that offers a critical perspective on the criminal justice system in America, and its impact on individuals and society as a whole. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in social justice issues and the human cost of capital punishment.
12. What’s Cooking? (2000)
“What’s Cooking?” is a 2000 comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha. It is a multigenerational ensemble film that explores the lives of four ethnically diverse families as they come together for Thanksgiving dinner in Los Angeles, California.
The film features an ensemble cast, including Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies, Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert, Maury Chaykin, and others, portraying members of the four families with different cultural backgrounds.
Jewish, African American, Latino, and Vietnamese.
“What’s Cooking?” delves into the complexities of family dynamics, cultural identity, and the challenges and joys of assimilation and maintaining traditions in a diverse society.
The film weaves together the stories of the four families, their struggles, aspirations, and celebrations during the Thanksgiving holiday, with humor, drama, and heartwarming moments.
The film has been lauded for its portrayal of cultural diversity and its exploration of themes such as family, identity, and community. It has been praised for its strong performances from the ensemble cast, as well as its poignant and timely storytelling.
“What’s Cooking?” offers a unique perspective on the American experience through the lens of diverse cultural backgrounds, providing a thought-provoking and heartfelt portrayal of modern American life.
13. Down in the Delta (1998)
“Down in the Delta” is a drama film directed by Maya Angelou and released in 1998.
The film tells the story of a troubled African-American family living in urban Chicago, and how a trip to their family’s ancestral home in rural Mississippi helps them rediscover their roots, heal old wounds, and find a sense of belonging.
The main character, Loretta Sinclair, portrayed by Alfre Woodard, is a single mother struggling with substance abuse and raising her troubled son, Thomas, played by Mpho Koaho.
Loretta’s mother, Rosa Lynn, portrayed by Mary Alice, takes charge of the situation and sends Loretta and Thomas to stay with their extended family in Mississippi for the summer.
While in Mississippi, Loretta and Thomas learn about their family’s history, culture, and the importance of community.
The film also features notable performances by actors such as Esther Rolle, Wesley Snipes, and Loretta Devine. “Down in the Delta” explores themes of family, addiction, African-American culture, and the importance of connecting with one’s roots.
It received generally positive reviews for its performances and portrayal of African-American family dynamics.
14. Follow Me Home (1996)
“Follow Me Home” is a dramatic film directed by Peter Bratt and released in 1996. The film tells the story of four artists from different cultural backgrounds who embark on a road trip across the American Southwest in search of an elusive Native American activist.
The film stars Alfre Woodard as Evey, a Native American artist and activist who goes missing while on a trip to the Four Corners area of the United States.
The other three artists – a Chicano muralist, an African American performance artist, and a white photographer – set out to find Evey and also to explore the complex issues of race, identity, and politics that surround her disappearance.
As they journey through the stunning landscapes of the Southwest, the four artists confront their own biases and prejudices, and learn to see the world through each other’s eyes.
They also encounter a range of characters, including a group of radical activists, a white supremacist militia, and a Navajo healer, who challenge their assumptions and force them to reevaluate their beliefs.
“Follow Me Home” is a powerful exploration of the intersections of race, culture, and politics in contemporary America, and a testament to the enduring power of art to bridge divides and promote understanding.
15. Bopha! (1993)
“Bopha!” is a drama film directed by Morgan Freeman and released in 1993. The film is set in South Africa during the apartheid era and follows a black police officer named Micah Mangena, played by Danny Glover, who is torn between his loyalty to the government and his growing awareness of the injustices committed against his own people.
The film also stars Malcolm McDowell, Alfre Woodard, and Marius Weyers.
The title “Bopha!” is a Zulu word that means “strike” or “hit”, which reflects the violent nature of the political conflict depicted in the film.
“Bopha!” was Freeman’s directorial debut and was praised for its strong performances and insightful portrayal of the complexities of life under apartheid.
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16. Passion Fish (1992)
Passion Fish is a 1992 American drama film directed by John Sayles. The film tells the story of a soap opera actress named May-Alice Culhane (played by Mary McDonnell) who becomes paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident.
She returns to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate and hires a nurse named Chantelle (played by Alfre Woodard) to take care of her.
At first, May-Alice is bitter and resentful towards Chantelle, but the two eventually develop a strong bond as Chantelle helps May-Alice come to terms with her new life. Along the way, May-Alice reconnects with old friends and confronts the demons of her past.
The film received critical acclaim for its performances, particularly McDonnell and Woodard’s, as well as its nuanced exploration of disability and female friendship.
It was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Actress for McDonnell, and won several other awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
17. Grand Canyon (1991)
“Grand Canyon” is a drama film released in 1991, directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell, and Mary-Louise Parker.
The film tells the story of various characters living in Los Angeles who are brought together through a series of chance encounters and events. Mack (played by Kevin Kline) is a successful lawyer who is going through a midlife crisis.
While driving home one night, he gets lost and finds himself in a dangerous neighborhood, where he is saved by Simon (played by Danny Glover), a tow truck driver.
As the two men become friends, they encounter other characters, including an immigration lawyer (played by Mary McDonnell) who is struggling with the death of her father, a Hollywood producer (played by Steve Martin) who is having relationship issues, and a single mother (played by Mary-Louise Parker) who is raising her son on her own.
The film deals with themes of loneliness, isolation, and the search for connection in a sprawling, modern city. It was well-received by critics and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
18. Unnatural Causes (1986 TV Movie)
“Unnatural Causes” is a television movie that was first broadcast on CBS on January 19, 1986. The movie was directed by Lamont Johnson and written by John Gay, based on the book “Death of a Harvard Man” by Michael Dornheim.
The movie tells the true story of Dr. Mark Shelton (played by John Ritter), a brilliant young doctor who is recruited by Harvard Medical School to conduct cutting-edge research.
However, when Dr. Shelton begins to uncover evidence that a number of mysterious deaths are linked to a dangerous drug being tested at the hospital, he becomes a target of powerful forces who will stop at nothing to silence him.
As he fights to uncover the truth, Dr. Shelton finds his career and his life in danger, and must rely on the help of his wife (played by Alfre Woodard) and a sympathetic journalist (played by Patti LaBelle) to bring the conspirators to justice.
“Unnatural Causes” was critically acclaimed for its suspenseful plot and strong performances by the cast. The movie was nominated for four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or a Special.
19. Heart and Souls (1993)
“Heart and Souls” is a fantasy comedy film released in 1993, directed by Ron Underwood and starring Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin, Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, and Tom Sizemore.
The film tells the story of a businessman named Thomas Reilly (played by Robert Downey Jr.) who, as a child, was born with the ability to see and communicate with four ghosts who have unfinished business on Earth.
These ghosts are the souls of four people who died in a bus accident on the same day Thomas was born.
The film follows Thomas as an adult, struggling with his own life while trying to help the four ghosts – a singer (played by Alfre Woodard), a street magician (played by Charles Grodin).
An aspiring actress (played by Kyra Sedgwick), and a penny-pinching businessman (played by Tom Sizemore) – resolve their unfinished business so they can move on to the afterlife.
Along the way, Thomas discovers the importance of friendship, love, and self-sacrifice.
“Heart and Souls” is a heartwarming and humorous film that explores themes of redemption, love, and the meaning of life.
It received positive reviews for its performances, particularly Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Thomas, as well as its unique and creative storyline.
While not a commercial success at the box office, the film has gained a cult following over the years for its heartfelt story and memorable characters.
3 Reasons To Watch Alfre Woodard Movies
Outstanding Performances by Alfre Woodard: Alfre Woodard is a highly talented and acclaimed actress known for her versatile acting skills.
She has delivered outstanding performances in various films, including “Down in the Delta,” “Clemency,” “Cross Creek,” and “Passion Fish,” among others.
Woodard’s performances are often characterized by her deep emotional range, authenticity, and compelling presence on screen. Watching Alfre Woodard in movies is a treat for any film lover who appreciates exceptional acting.
Representation and Diversity: Alfre Woodard has been a trailblazer for African-American actors in Hollywood, consistently breaking barriers and advocating for representation and diversity in the entertainment industry.
She has portrayed a wide range of diverse characters, including strong, independent women, historical figures, and complex individuals dealing with various social issues.
Watching Alfre Woodard’s movies is not only a chance to witness her exceptional talent, but also to support representation and diversity in film.
Thought-Provoking Themes: Many of Alfre Woodard’s movies tackle important social and cultural issues, including race, gender, identity, and social justice.
Her films often delve into complex human emotions and experiences, shedding light on topics that are relevant and thought-provoking.
Watching Alfre Woodard’s movies can offer deep insights and perspectives on important societal issues, encouraging critical thinking and reflection.
Overall, watching Alfre Woodard’s movies is an opportunity to witness exceptional acting, support representation and diversity, and engage with thought-provoking themes.
0Her performances are captivating and impactful, making her movies a must-watch for any film enthusiast.
Best Alfre Woodard Movies – Wrap Up
Alfre Woodard is a highly acclaimed American actress who has been in the film industry for over four decades. Here are some of her best movies:
Cross Creek (1983) – Woodard received her first Oscar nomination for her role as Geechee in this biographical drama.
Passion Fish (1992) – Woodard’s portrayal of a nurse who helps a soap opera actress (played by Mary McDonnell) recover from a car accident earned her critical acclaim and her second Oscar nomination.
Crooklyn (1994) – This Spike Lee-directed film explores the life of a Brooklyn family in the 1970s, and Woodard’s performance as the mother of five children is a standout.
Primal Fear (1996) – In this legal thriller, Woodard plays a judge who presides over a murder trial involving a young altar boy (Edward Norton) accused of killing a priest.
Love & Basketball (2000) – Woodard plays the mother of a talented basketball player (Sanaa Lathan) who is torn between her love for the sport and her feelings for her childhood friend (Omar Epps).
The Forgotten (2004) – Woodard stars alongside Julianne Moore in this psychological thriller about a mother’s search for her missing son.
12 Years a Slave (2013) – Woodard has a small but powerful role in this Oscar-winning historical drama about a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Clemency (2019) – Woodard delivers a tour-de-force performance as a prison warden grappling with the emotional toll of overseeing executions.
These are just a few of the many excellent performances by Alfre Woodard throughout her career, which have cemented her as one of the most talented and versatile actresses of our time.