There’s no need to worry about what’s going on in the hood. WatchMojo asked me to compile a list of the best 10 movies of 2014, and I’ve updated it to add a few more recent releases, but for the most part, it’s the same as the original list I put together in 2014. For this list, I’ve selected the movies that depicted life in the ‘hood in the most gruesome and memorable ways.
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#10: “8 Mile” (2002)
It’s impossible to imagine anyone being able to resist the intensity that director Curtis Hanson pulled out in Eminem in this hip-hop film. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, the Oscar-winning song for the film, was as raw and dramatic as this movie about an inner city guy’s tribulations in the hood. To top it all off, Slim Shady’s epic rap duel at the end of “8 Mile” proved once and for all that he can act.
#9: “Friday” (1995)
The day after Craig’s job was terminated is spent lighting up in their South Central neighborhood with his best friend Smokey while coping with a slew of problems that surround them. One of those issues is trying to come up with a means to pay Big Worm the money they owe him by the time the clock strikes ten o’clock. There are several entertaining pranks that go place and “Fridayintensity “‘s helps it stand out from other gangster flicks.
#8: “Hustle and Flow” (2005)
The Oscar-winning song by Three 6 Mafia, “It’s hard out here for a pimp,” has become a catchphrase for the film. That sums up Memphis hustler DJay (Terrence Howard) in Hustle and Flow, a disgruntled pimp who dreams of making it great in hip-hop. “Hard out here for a pimp,” “Whoop That Trick,” and “Hard out here for a pimp” are just a few of the catchy songs Howard recorded in the hopes of selling them to a local rapper (Ludacris) who made it big. As an Oscar-nominated performance by Terrence Howard in the role of a guy so sick of the game that he will lie, cheat and steal to get out of it, Craig Brewer’s picture is masterfully directed.
#7: “La Haine” (1995)
The beating of a teenager by police officers in the neighborhood makes headlines, and his pals promise vengeance if he dies. Matthieu Kassovitz’s savage drama and suspense doesn’t select sides: the cops are violent, the street kid is disgusting, and the parents are absently clueless. When the shots eventually ring out, “La Haine” is terrifying to witness, but it’s also captivating, dramatic, and emotional.
#6: “Menace II Society” (1993)
Young street hustler Allen (as well as co-writer Albert Hughes) attempts to escape the pressures and temptations of his neighborhood in this feature film debut. Caine wants to leave before it’s too late and start over, but it’s difficult to do so when your entire existence is centered on this dangerous culture, including your friends, family, and gangs. Everything about the Hughes brothers’ powerful, convincing, and terrifying depiction of the existence of an African-American youngster living on the streets was perfect.
#5: “Training Day” (2001)
A new cop, a corrupt officer, and a society scrambling to minimize the harm. During Ethan Hawke’s first day on the job, Denzel Washington’s nasty cop is one of the greatest ever seen. In the process, he demonstrates to him that there is more to police work than meets the eye, and that the stench of corruption in their profession is pervasive throughout the field. The streets serve as the backdrop to this day in the life of two cops, assuming they are lucky enough to make it out alive. The performances in “Training Day” are excellent and convincing, and the film as a whole is raw and unforgettable.
#4: “Straight Outta Compton” (2015)
West Coast gangster rap trio NWA, which included Eazy-E, Dre, and Ice Cube, became synonymous with gangsta rap in the late ’80s. With songs like “Gangsta Gangsta” and “Boyz-n-the-Hood,” they put it front and center in American culture. Almost as if it’s a follow-up to the gangster rap classic Goodfellas, their narrative is portrayed in this summer’s surprise success, Straight Outta Compton.
Director F. Gary Gray, known for his work on Ice Cube’s iconic music videos from the 1990s, takes us back to the moment when the trio became national media darlings, defying questions about police brutality and black poverty in the process.. Initiator Eazy-E was Jason Mitchell, lyricist Ice Cube was O’Shea Jackson Jr (the son of Ice Cube), and producer Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) provided the unbeatable beats. They eventually went their separate ways, but not before leaving an indelible imprint on music history that will endure for all time. During a concert in Detroit, the band is threatened by police not to play “F*** Tha Police,” which serves as the film’s central plot point. Who’d a thunk it?
#3: “Boyz n the Hood” (1991)
“Boyz n the Hood” may have been John Singleton’s directorial debut, but his depiction of the socioeconomic issues of inner-city Los Angeles made it a historic film. Following the lives of three friends in the ghetto, this Oscar-nominated film can be regarded as the first hood film. Even after seeing Tre, Ricky and Doughboy hustle it up and fight to stay alive, we haven’t forgotten the pain of seeing them in this film.
#2: “City of God” (2002)
A picture about Rio gangsters is no problem for director Fernando Meirelles. At moments, the violence in this Brazilian film is shockingly real. This franticly dirty but fascinating crime drama included non-professional actors from the slums. This film’s four Oscar nominations and essential message make it all but impossible to forget, even if you shudder at moments during Meirelles’ scenes in “City of God.”
#1: “Do the Right Thing” (1989)
Spike Lee, the director, set out to craft a film that would get our blood boiling and make us want to eat our feelings. With “Do the Right Thing,” he achieved his goal. Lee’s scathing remark serves as a stark reminder of the pervasiveness of racism in the Big Apple. Sal, the Italian-American who employs Mookie, is the father of two sons, one of whom is a bigot and the other who isn’t. Lee tells us all sides of the tale in this comedy-drama that still entertains us with two Oscar nominations and a realistic but gripping look at bigotry.