7 Movies That Remember the Dream

Movies that touch on the life of this extraordinary man.

Civil rights mural in Atlanta depicting the work of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Forty3Zero / Shutterstock.com)

The impact that Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK) had on America is something to be commemorated and celebrated. On the anniversary of his birth, it is important to remember the dream and the incredible life he lived.

Here are a variety of movies that touch on different aspects of his life, as a civil rights activist, but also as husband, father, and man of faith. Some of these seven films, according to Good Housekeeping,  are documentaries and others are Hollywood movies that brought the life and words of this great man into movie theaters or into your living room.

King in the Wilderness

This 2018 documentary does not try to present a glorified version of MLK, but rather seeks to present his commitment to non-violent change, according to Parade. It shows a man who was torn and conflicted in the last months of his life and shares the views of how King was seen by the Black Power Movement and former president, Lyndon B Johnson. King in the Wilderness was first shown at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.


This 2014 historical drama won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture and is about MLK’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. It centers on the Selma to Montgomery (Alabama)  march and the voting rights act of 1965. This time was a turning point in the movement as it was brought directly into the living rooms of many people. Selma was released just before the 50th anniversary of the march that helped change America.

I Am MLK Jr.

This 2018 documentary examines the life and work of MLK and the impact he had on the Civil Rights Movement. The movie features interviews from the late congressmen John Lewis,  activists Reverend Al Sharpton, Diane Nash, and many more civil rights leaders. I am MLK, Jr is set in the churches he preached in and provides a large range of perspectives on why the legacy of King is still so relevant today.

Our Friend, Martin

Our Friend, Martin is a great family friendly animated film that was released in 1999, according to Good Housekeeping. The fictional movie features a 12-year-old boy who would rather play baseball than study. On a field trip to visit MLK’s childhood home, the boy is transported back in time and meets MLK at pivotal times of the leader’s life.

Legacy of Love

This 2020 documentary narrates the love story behind Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott, according to Parade. It begins with the couple meeting in Boston at the time when King was working on his doctorate at Boston University and Scott was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music. Legacy of Love shows the love between the couple and their family as well as highlighting their journey to higher education.

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

This 1970 award-winning documentary is about MLK’s role in the  1955 bus boycott in Montgomery,  Alabama and other pivotal events. King: A Filmed Record uses newsreels of many of his inspiring speeches that are narrated by Harry Belafonte, Paul Newman, Ben Gazzara, Anthony Quin, Charlton Heston, and others. It was shown in theatres as a one-time-only event on March 24, 1970.


This 2020 documentary exposes the US government's monitoring and persecution of MLK through declassified FBI files. MLK/FBI covers FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s attempts to discredit the civil right activist by collecting recordings and images of MLK’s sexual infidelities. Much of the film utilizes actual footage of MLK from 1955 through 1968. There are a series of interviews that are used as voiceovers throughout the film.