There are numerous Caribbean shows and movies available for those who are bored of mainstream TV. One place to access Caribbean movies and tv shows is Netflix.
We decided to binge-watch Caribbean shows and movies over the past two months and came up with five (5) Caribbean shows on Netflix. Yes, this list is subjective, but we think they offer a great taste of Caribbean culture.
Finding Caribbean Shows and Movies
There are obviously not a ton of Caribbean shows and movies on Netflix. In another post, we will be featuring Caribbean-owned streaming platforms. These platforms provide access to low budget but often high-quality TV shows and movies.
Below you will find an ever-expanding recommended list of Caribbean shows and movies available on Netflix.
Our criteria for selecting making this list of Caribbean shows and movies was based on Netflix ratings, social media mentions and our own inhouse panel.
Top Boy is a British television crime drama series. Created and written by Ronan Bennett, the series is set on the fictional Summerhouse estate in the London Borough of Hackney.
The first series was broadcast on Channel 4 over four consecutive nights from 31 October to 3 November 2011. A DVD of the first series was issued on 22 July 2013. A second series began airing on Channel 4 from 20 August 2013.
A DVD release of the second series followed on 16 September 2013. Although storylines for a third series were proposed, the series was dropped by Channel 4 in 2014.
After Canadian rapper Drake expressed interest in the show, it was announced in November 2017 that Netflix would revive the series and order a new season of ten episodes, with both Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson reprising their roles.
Series creator Bennett returned to script most episodes, along with the original creative team; Drake, Adel Nur, Maverick Carter, and Jamal Henderson all joined the series as executive producers. The new season premiered on Netflix on 13 September 2019 and was presented as the first season, whilst the original series was added to Netflix under the name Top Boy: Summerhouse. Season 4 will air later in 2021.
Storm Saulter delivers in this movie as a seasoned Caribbean storyteller. SPRINTER tells the story of Akeem Sharp (Dale Elliott), who is set to be Jamaica’s next big track-and-field sensation. Akeem hopes a rise in the track-and-field world will take him to the U.S. to reunite him with his mother (Lorraine Toussaint, Orange is the New Black), who has supported the family while living as an illegal resident for over a decade.
But Akeem’s rising star is weighed down by turmoil at home: a volatile father, and an unruly older brother who insinuates himself into Akeem’s career as a means of escaping – or perhaps enhancing – his scam artist hustle. Not only does Akeem have to prove to himself and to everyone that he can succeed, but also overcome the struggles that may ultimately bring him down.
The film also stars Kadeem Wilson (Ghett’ A Life), Dennis Titus (The Mighty Quinn), Shantol Jackson (Yardie), Bryshere Y. Gray (Empire), and David Alan Grier (In Living Color) with songs by Grammy Award-winning artist NE-YO and Jamaican dancehall performer Shenseea. The film is Executive Produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith along with NBA Veteran and NBA Personality Richard Jefferson.
Yardie is a 2018 British crime drama film directed by Idris Elba, in his feature directorial debut, and starring Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Sheldon Shepherd, and Everaldo Creary.
It is based on the novel of the same name by Jamaican-born writer Victor Headley. It was screened in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. In February 2018, the first trailer to the film and a poster was released.
Here is what the review website RogerBert.com had to say about the movie.
But while “Yardie” often achieves a visual poetry due to Elba’s real-life expertise (he’s from Hackney and his DJ background influences the film’s dancehall sequences), the film is saddled with an extraneous narration that mercilessly distracts the viewer.
Perhaps Elba felt the need to underscore what he’s showing us, but it has the effect of being in the theater with a patron who’s seen the film already and is yelling out what’s going to happen next. It is enough to sink the movie.
Additionally, the adaptation of Victor Headley’s book by screenwriters Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman focuses more on genre expectations than the symbolic and cultural manifestations of loss that haunt the characters.
A Trip to Jamaica
A Nigerian-produced film about Jamaica? Not typical especially with many movies coming out of Nollywood. This might not fight the standard list of Caribbean shows and movies but this movie is a must see if you are looking for something different.
A Trip to Jamaica is a 2016 Nigerian comedy-drama film directed by Robert Peters starring Ayo Makun, Funke Akindele, Nse Ikpe Etim, and Dan Davies.
The film tells a story about the adventures of a newly engaged couple in their relatives’ residence outside Nigeria, and how the secrets of their host led to the eventual breakup of their union amidst the culture shock of the new country and living with upper-class citizens.
Though a huge box office success, breaking the record set by 30 Days in Atlanta for the highest-grossing Nigerian film, it received mainly mixed to negative reviews from critics.
The movie had its worldwide premiere on September 25, 2016, in Lagos State. The event featured a celebrity football game involving ex-internationals, like Kanu Nwankwo, Jay Jay Okocha, Peter Rufai, Joseph Yobo, and Stephen Appiah
ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff?
Bob Marley continues to live vivaciously through his music and video clips. The documentary ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff is a Netflix Original and was released in 2018 and lasts 57 minutes.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
REMASTERED: WHO SHOT THE SHERIFF stars in the 1970s, as Bob Marley’s music career was taking off, and his Jamaican homeland was on the verge of falling apart due to the violence between rival political factions.
As the left wing and right wings of the country played out the Cold War battles also happening throughout the world, Marley tried to remain above the fray, making music intended to be a healing force for the peace and justice of the oppressed.
His home had become a neutral ground for rival politicians and the street gangs they funded. But on December 3rd, 1976, seven men raided Marley’s home while Marley and his band were taking a break from rehearsing.
Marley’s wife Rita was shot in the head, his manager was shot in the legs and torso, and Marley was grazed in the chest and hit in the arm. Miraculously, no one was killed.
This documentary examines the social and political backdrop of Jamaica at the time, the suspects and guilty parties behind the shooting, and how it led to Marley’s exile in London and his triumphant return in the legendary One Love Concert in 1978.
This documentary is a short, concise, and informative documentary that is about the immense power Bob Marley’s music had on so many. This power scared those who were in official power, and the power Marley held as the face of reggae was not something, he allowed to be used by one side or the other. At the height of the Cold War and during intense unrest in Jamaica, this documentary shows how it became impossible for Marley to remain above the fray and still live in his country.
Using archival news footage and contemporary interviews, ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff? shows the events that led up to the assassination attempt on Marley’s life, how his subsequent exile in London coincided with his ascendance as an international superstar and icon of reggae, and how Marley attempted to bring peace to the island by bringing the rival factions together on stage at his triumphant return during the legendary One Love Concert in 1978.
Through all of this, besides the factual accounts and the history, the story that really emerges here is how, especially for Marley, music is, in the immortal words of free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, “the healing force of the universe.”
Over the past 5 years that has been a significant increase in the number of Caribbean shows and movies available through various platforms (Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, Disney+ etc).
Many people are not aware of this but Caribbean television and film industry has been growing and expanding rapidly. In fact, Caribbean television has been growing at a faster rate than the population growth for the past 40 years. This means that the number of people interested in Caribbean television is growing each year and it is therefore becoming more important to support Caribbean shows and movies.
There’s nothing like curling up on the couch, watching Caribbean shows and movies.