Since the 1960s, the ratio of feature films shot in black and white to those shot in color has tipped overwhelmingly toward the latter. Each subsequent decade has made monochromatic photography (whether on conventional emulsion film or in digital) more and more a niche enterprise.
In light of this, the decision by director Alexander Payne (The Descendants) to film his latest feature, Nebraska, in black and white is an especially interesting one. Sometimes, a movie seems to demand being shot without color (something that’s absolutely the case with Nebraska) – even in an era in which black and white has fallen out of fashion. Payne’s choice of color palette has left us thinking about other black and white movies produced in the modern era. Join Screen Rant as we explore 10 of our favorite contemporary movies made in black and white.
A note before proceeding: For the purposes of this article, we will consider the term “modern” or “contemporary” to mean “movies produced since 1980.” This is a broad mishandling of the term, but it narrows the field down to decades in which black and white filmmaking became especially sparse.