80s The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood  

Ranker Film
247 votes 82 voters 6.4k views 11 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite gang films that were released in the 1980s

This list of the best ‘80s hood movies includes some influential films and at least one masterpiece. These 1980s hood films reflect the urban experience and each offers something unique, but they were all also overshadowed when the sub-genre exploded in the early 1990s. Still, several important hood movies were released in the '80s, depicting street life, drugs, gangs, music, violence, and a host of other topics.

No discussion of top ‘80s hood movies would be complete without Spike Lee’s
Do the Right Thing. This 1989 hit influenced all subsequent hood movies, and it is even more relevant more than 25 years later. Another important ‘80s hood film is Stand and Deliver, starring Edward James Olmos as an inner-city teacher attempting to reach his students through calculus. While those '80s movies about the hood are serious dramas, this list of 1980s hood movies also includes Coming to America, the seminal comedy about an African prince looking for love in Queens, New York.

Here you’ll also find hip-hop-influenced films like
Breakin’ and Krush Groove. So what are your favorite ‘80s hood movies? Help us rank this list however you want by voting up your favorites. Don’t forget to check out the list of the best ‘90s hood movies to see how the genre progressed.

31 6
Coming to America is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Coming to America Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones Coming to America is a 1988 American comedy film directed by John Landis, and based on a story originally created by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the lead role. The film also co-stars ...more

21 5
Lean on Me is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Lean on Me Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd, Regina Taylor Lean on Me is a 1989 dramatized biographical film written by Michael Schiffer, directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Morgan Freeman. Lean on Me is loosely based on the story of Joe Louis ...more

16 10
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Chris Rock, Jim Brown, Damon Wayans I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is a 1988 parody film of blaxploitation movies written, directed by, and starring Keenen Ivory Wayans. Featured in the film are several noteworthy African American actors ...more

13 8
Bad Boys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Bad Boys Sean Penn, Ally Sheedy, Clancy Brown Bad Boys is a 1983 crime drama film written by Richard Di Lello and directed by Rick Rosenthal.

12 7
Stand and Deliver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Stand and Deliver Andy Garcia, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips Stand and Deliver is a 1988 American drama film based on the true story of high school math teacher Jaime Escalante. Edward James Olmos portrayed Escalante in the film and received a nomination ...more

14 10
Colors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Colors Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle Colors is a 1988 American police procedural action crime film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of South ...more

15 12
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Do the Right Thing Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama hood film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, who also played the part of Mookie in the film. Other members of the cast include Danny ...more

8 6
Breakin' is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Breakin' Jean-Claude Van Damme, Ice-T, Christopher McDonald Breakin', released as Breakdance: The Movie or Break Street '84 in some countries, is a 1984 breakdancing-themed film directed by Joel Silberg. The film setting was inspired by a 1983 German ...more

9 9
Krush Groove is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Krush Groove Chris Rock, LL Cool J, Bobby Brown Krush Groove is a 1985 Warner Bros. film that was written by Ralph Farquhar and directed by Michael Schultz. This film is based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings and up-and-coming record ...more

9 9
Beat Street is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Beat Street Rae Dawn Chong, Mary Alice, Kadeem Hardison Beat Street is an American 1984 drama film featuring New York City hip hop culture of the early 1980s; breakdancing, DJing, and graffiti. It began with a script written by Steven Hager titled ...more

8 9
Babylon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Movies About Life in the 'Hood
Babylon Mel Smith, Maggie Steed, Brian Bovell Babylon is a 1980 British film co-written by Martin Stellman and Franco Rosso, who also directed it. Produced by Gavrik Losey and the National Film Finance Corporation, the film is regarded as a ...more