Best South African Movies

This page is updated regularly. Subscribe, so you don't miss new recommendations. The list of "Best South African Movies" contains films with the following parameters. Style: serious, realistic, touching, intense, emotional and exciting. Plot: violence, murder, survival, gun, death, friendship, danger, brutality, storytelling and betrayal. Genre: Drama, Action and Thriller. Country: South Africa, USA and UK.
Best South African Movies
Best South African Movies
TOP Movies: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Black Panther (2018), The Lion King (2019), Chappie (2015), I Am All Girls (2021), Tsotsi (2005), Escape Room (2019), District 9 (2009), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Khumba (2013), The Fall (2006), The Siege of Jadotville (2016), Yesterday (2004), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), Safe House (2012), The Giver (2014), Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017), Faith Like Potatoes (2006), Spell (2020), Spud (2010).

List of Best Movies

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: Australia
Duration: 120 min.
Story: An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be ...
Style: exciting, suspense, rough, suspenseful, psychotronic ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: post apocalypse, chase, future dystopia, survival, post apocalyptic, apocalypse, distopia, dark hero, danger, anti hero, car chase, car ...
Time: future
Place: australia
Is relevant ?
Black Panther (2018)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Country: USA, South Africa
Duration: 134 min.
Story: King T'Challa returns home from America to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne by factions within ...
Style: suspense, futuristic, stylized, intense, surprise ending ...
Plot: superhero, technology, good versus evil, warrior, martial arts, king, meteorite, loss of father, murder, haunted by the past, black hero, chase ...
Time: future, year 1992, 1990s, 2010s, 21st century ...
Place: africa, oakland california, nigeria, london, south korea
Is relevant ?
The Lion King (2019)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical
Country: USA, UK, South Africa
Duration: 118 min.
Story: Simba idolises his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle ...
Style: psychotronic, colourful, touching, epic, tense ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: animals, talking animals, lion, disney, kingdom, king, jungle, prince, father son relationship, redemption, wilderness, childhood trauma ...
Time: 2010s
Place: africa
Is relevant ?
Chappie (2015)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: South Africa, USA
Duration: 120 min.
Story: Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings—some good, some bad—and he will rely on his heart and ...
Style: philosophical, exciting, suspenseful, stylized, humorous ...
Audience: teens, boys' night
Plot: artificial intelligence, robot, cyborgs, technology gone awry, technology, cyberpunk, a.i., parents and children, man versus machine, androids, distopia, crimes ...
Time: future, 21st century, 2010s, near future
Place: johannesburg south africa, south africa, africa
Is relevant ?
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I Am All Girls (2021)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: South Africa
Duration: 107 min.
Story: A special crimes investigator forms an unlikely bond with a serial killer to bring down a global child sex trafficking syndicate.
Style: based on true events
Plot: child trafficking, revenge killing, human trafficking, female vigilante, video cassette, playground, shipping container, investigator, childhood memory, car rollover, female detective, child ...
Time: year 1994
Place: johannesburg south africa
Is relevant ?
Tsotsi (2005)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: UK, South Africa
Duration: 95 min.
Story: The South African multi-award winning film about a young South African boy from the ghetto named Tsotsi, meaning Gangster. Tsotsi, who left home as a child to get away from helpless parents, finds a baby in the back seat of a car that he has just ...
Style: bleak, sincere, emotional, captivating, rough ...
Plot: poverty, gang, bully, redemption, baby, murder, robbery, slum, life is a bitch, society, haunted by the past, urban ghetto life ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: south africa, johannesburg south africa, africa, boston
Is relevant ?
Escape Room (2019)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, South Africa
Duration: 99 min.
Story: Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control, and must use their wits to survive.
Style: surprise ending, exciting, suspense, mind bending, captivating ...
Plot: puzzle, riddles and clues, survivor, death, quest, teamwork, characters killed one by one, clue, group of strangers, insecurity, code, trapped ...
Place: chicago illinois
Is relevant ?
District 9 (2009)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: South Africa, USA, New Zealand, Canada
Duration: 112 min.
Story: Aliens land in South Africa and, with their ship totally disabled, have no way home. Years later, after living in a slum and wearing out their welcome the 'Non-Humans' are being moved to a new tent city overseen by Multi-National United ...
Style: serious, biting, suspense, rough, exciting ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: distopia, space and aliens, alien, alien encounter, human nature, racism, alien race, quarantine, chaos and mayhem, transformation, confined, metamorphosis ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2000s
Place: south africa, africa, johannesburg south africa
Is relevant ?
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Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Country: South Africa
Duration: 119 min.
Story: This South African movie tracks the rise of a once-petty criminal to the heights of the criminal underworld. After cutting his teeth on hijacking, before moving onto bigger game, an ambitious man hits a setback when most of his gang are shot.
Style: epic, serious, rough, suspenseful, captivating ...
Plot: urban ghetto life, criminal heroes, gangsters, gang war, drug lord, drug dealing, group of criminals, thief, buddies, ambition, gang, life is a bitch ...
Time: 20th century, 90s, 1990s
Place: south africa, africa, johannesburg south africa
Is relevant ?
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, War
Country: UK, South Africa, Italy, USA
Duration: 121 min.
Story: Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his ...
Style: emotional, rough, thought provoking, uplifting, sincere ...
Plot: genocide, racism, against humanity, war crime, un, cruelty, war, refugee, corpse, massacre, atrocity, hotel ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 1990s
Place: africa, rwanda, congo, somalia, tanzania
Is relevant ?
Khumba (2013)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
Country: South Africa
Duration: 85 min.
Story: A half-striped zebra is blamed for the drought and leaves his herd in search of his missing stripes. He is joined on his quest by an overprotective wildebeest and a flamboyant ostrich; they defeat the tyrannical leopard and save his herd.
Style: feel good, humorous, touching, not serious, captivating ...
Audience: family outing, kids, pre-teens
Plot: zebra, survival, friendship, obsessive quest, misfit, heroic mission, danger, save the day, wilderness, leaving home, odd couple, animal life ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: africa
Is relevant ?
The Fall (2006)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Country: USA, South Africa, India
Duration: 117 min.
Story: In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story about 5 mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, ...
Style: surreal, offbeat, light, emotional, intense ...
Plot: hospital, imaginary kingdom, suicide attempt, escape from reality, adventure, friendship, storytelling, imagination, adventurer, good versus evil, princess, disguise ...
Time: 1920s, 20th century, 1910s, 20s
Place: los angeles, taj mahal, istanbul turkey, india
Is relevant ?
The Siege of Jadotville (2016)
Genre: Action, Drama, History, Thriller, War
Country: Ireland, South Africa
Duration: 108 min.
Story: Irish Commandant Pat Quinlan leads a stand off with troops against French and Belgian Mercenaries in the Congo during in the early 1960s.
Style: suspense, realistic, tense, factual, political ...
Plot: mercenary, conflict, civil war, war, courage, betrayal, irish, politics, survival, fight scenes, propaganda, conspiracy ...
Time: 1960s, 60s
Place: congo, africa, ireland
Is relevant ?
Yesterday (2004)
Genre: Drama
Country: South Africa
Duration: 90 min.
Story: After falling ill, Yesterday learns that she is HIV positive. With her husband in denial and young daughter to tend to, Yesterday's one goal is to live long enough to see her child go to school.
Style: touching, uplifting, sincere, emotional, gloomy ...
Plot: aids, terminal illness, village, parents and children, human spirit, kindness, society, life is a bitch, hopes, family problems, injustice, down on your luck ...
Time: contemporary
Place: africa, johannesburg south africa, south africa
Is relevant ?
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Country: UK, South Africa, France
Duration: 141 min.
Story: A chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
Style: emotional, realistic, serious, sincere, thought provoking ...
Plot: prison, human spirit, oppression, heroes, rebellion, political unrest, fighting the system, prison life, historical figure, social problems, marital problem, civil rights ...
Time: 20th century, 90s, 70s, 60s, 50s ...
Place: south africa, africa
Is relevant ?
Safe House (2012)
Genre: Action, Thriller
Country: South Africa, USA, Japan
Duration: 115 min.
Story: A dangerous CIA renegade resurfaces after a decade on the run. When the safe house he's remanded to is attacked by mercenaries, a rookie operative escapes with him. Now, the unlikely allies must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them ...
Style: exciting, suspenseful, twists and turns, serious, realistic ...
Audience: boys' night, girls' night
Plot: cia, espionage, gunfight, on the run, secret agents, mercenary, cia agent, corruption, betrayal, who to trust, danger, fistfight ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: africa, south africa, cape town south africa, paris france, langley virginia
Is relevant ?
The Giver (2014)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, South Africa, Canada
Duration: 97 min.
Story: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world.
Style: thought provoking, philosophical, futuristic, atmospheric, suspenseful ...
Audience: teens
Plot: distopia, future dystopia, society, utopia, youth, life is a bitch, teaching the ways of the world, rebelliousness, destiny, danger, human nature, fighting the system ...
Time: future
Is relevant ?
Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017)
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Western
Country: South Africa
Duration: 120 min.
Story: Twenty years ago, the young 'Five Fingers' fought for the rural town of Marseilles, against brutal police oppression. Now, after fleeing in disgrace, freedom-fighter-turned-'outlaw' Tau returns to Marseilles, seeking only a ...
Plot: getting home, countryside, return home, gang, poverty, prisoner, oppression, small town, corruption, police, police brutality, change ...
Place: south africa, marseille
Is relevant ?
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Faith Like Potatoes (2006)
Genre: Drama
Country: South Africa
Duration: 116 min.
Story: Frank Rautenbach leads a strong cast as Angus Buchan, a Zambian farmer of Scottish heritage, who leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land reclaims and travels south with his family to start a better life in KwaZulu ...
Style: christian film, serious, sincere, uplifting, touching ...
Plot: food, human spirit, farm, friendship, starting over, political unrest, social differences, religions or cults, hopes, society, redemption, friends ...
Time: 20th century, 80s
Place: africa, south africa
Is relevant ?
Spell (2020)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Country: USA, South Africa
Duration: 91 min.
Story: A father survives a plane crash in rural Appalachia, but becomes suspicious of the elderly couple who take him in to nurse him back to health with the ancient remedies.
Style: scary, weird, intense, suspense, psychotronic ...
Audience: teens
Plot: plane crash, evil force, supernatural horror, prisoner, backwoods, escape, voodoo doll, cult, witch doctor, supernatural, death, paranormal ...
Time: contemporary
Place: appalachia, west virginia
Is relevant ?
Spud (2010)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: South Africa
Duration: 103 min.
Story: It's South Africa 1990. Two major events are about to happen: The release of Nelson Mandela and, more importantly, it's Spud Milton's first year at an elite boys only private boarding school. John Milton is a boy from an ordinary ...
Style: sentimental, sincere, realistic, feel good, serious ...
Plot: friendship, fish out of water, teachers and students, private school, love and romance, school, teenage love, boarding school, power relations, friends, youth, fall in love ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: south africa, africa
Is relevant ?
10,000 BC (2008)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, History
Country: USA, South Africa
Duration: 109 min.
Story: A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe.
Style: epic, exciting, serious, suspenseful, psychotronic ...
Audience: teens
Plot: survival, adventure, daring rescue, heroic mission, pyramid, wilderness, cave, danger, redemption, legends and myths, mammoth, destiny ...
Time: stone age, prehistoric times, prehistory, future
Place: north africa, egypt
Is relevant ?
Material (2012)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: South Africa
Duration: 94 min.
Story: Cassim Kaif is a young Muslim man who works in his father's fabric shop in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. In the family tradition, Cassim, as the only son, is expected to take over the family business from his father.
Style: touching, humorous, inspirational, captivating, light ...
Plot: follow your dream, parents and children, unsupportive parent, family relations, family business, family tradition, lifestyle, workplace, hopes, stand up comedian, against the odds, secret ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: south africa
Is relevant ?
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Dredd (2012)
Genre: Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
Country: UK, South Africa, USA, India
Duration: 95 min.
Story: In the future, America is a dystopian wasteland. The latest scourge is Ma-Ma, a prostitute-turned-drug pusher with a dangerous new drug and aims to take over the city. The only possibility of stopping her is an elite group of urban police called ...
Style: futuristic, intense, neo noir, exciting, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: tough law enforcer, post apocalypse, judge, lone hero, drug lord, fighting crime, cyberpunk, distopia, survival, psychic, corruption, police ...
Time: future
Place: usa, america
Is relevant ?
From a House on Willow Street (2016)
Genre: Action, Crime, Horror, Thriller
Country: South Africa
Duration: 90 min.
Story: After a young woman is kidnapped, her captors soon come to realize that in fact they may be the ones in danger and this young woman has a dark secret inside her.
Style: scary, disturbing, suspenseful, tense, suspense
Audience: teens
Plot: demon, kidnapping, possession, supernatural, abduction, nightmare, ghost, violence, demonic possession, evil, danger, gory ...
Time: contemporary
Is relevant ?
The Bang Bang Club (2010)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Country: Canada, South Africa
Duration: 106 min.
Story: In the early to mid '90s, when the South African system of apartheid was in its death throes, four photographers - Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and João Silva - bonded by their friendship and a sense of purpose, worked ...
Style: serious, realistic, thought provoking, rough, based on true events
Plot: photographer, photojournalist, media, newspaper, journalism, society, life risking, life is a bitch, danger, state affairs, political unrest, discrimination ...
Time: 20th century, 90s, year 1994, 1990s
Place: south africa, africa
Is relevant ?
Noem My Skollie: Call Me Thief (2016)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: South Africa
Duration: 140 min.
Story: The story takes place in the 1960’s on the impoverished Cape Flats in South Africa. Four boys form a teenage gang to protect themselves from bullying and rape and almost as soon as their childhood pact is declared do they begin the downward spiral ...
Plot: afrikaans, jail
Is relevant ?
The World Unseen (2007)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: South Africa, UK
Duration: 93 min.
Story: A drama centered on two women who engage in a dangerous relationship during South Africa's apartheid era.
Style: touching, serious, realistic, bleak
Plot: lesbian, lesbian relationship, lgbt, love and romance, forbidden love, gender, injustice, self discovery, society, life is a bitch, rebellion, friendship ...
Time: 20th century, year 1952
Place: south africa, africa
Is relevant ?
White Lion (2010)
Genre: Drama, Family
Country: South Africa
Duration: 88 min.
Story: According to the legend of the Shangaan, white lions are the messengers of the gods, but it has been years since one has been seen in their remote African valley. When a white lion is miraculously born into that valley, a young Shangaan named ...
Style: sincere, emotional, exciting, colourful, captivating ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: lion, survival, hunter, friendship, adventure, danger, wilderness, legends and myths, animal life, teaching the ways of the world, death of friend, friends ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: africa
Is relevant ?
Skin (2008)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country: UK, South Africa
Duration: 107 min.
Story: Based on the true story of a black girl who was born to two white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the apartheid era.
Style: sincere, emotional, touching, captivating, contemplative ...
Plot: fall in love, forbidden love, eccentric family, self discovery, human spirit, social misfits, love and romance, society, physical appearance, parents and children, social differences, racism ...
Time: 70s, 20th century, 60s, 50s, year 1965 ...
Place: africa, south africa, johannesburg south africa
Is relevant ?
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