Black phosphorus thin films might offer attractive alternatives to narrow-gap compound semiconductors for optoelectronics across mid- to near-infrared frequencies. In this work, we calculate the optical conductivity tensor of multilayer black phosphorus thin films using the Kubo formula within an effective low-energy Hamiltonian. The optical absorption spectra of multilayer black phosphorus are shown to vary sensitively with thickness, doping, and light polarization. In conjunction with experimental spectra obtained from infrared absorption spectroscopy, we also discuss the role of interband coupling and disorder on the observed anisotropic absorption spectra. © 2014 American Physical Society.