Unspeakable Crimes The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto  

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List Rules Films set in or about the urban ghetto

The best ghetto movies explore life in urban communities. This list includes black ghetto movies, hood movies, and ghetto comedies. Characters that live in the ghetto are often depicted as impoverished, engaged in or concerned about gang activity, and mixed up in drugs and other bad behaviors. While some want to escape the lives the were born into, others want to stick around and rule their neighborhoods. This list includes the top ghetto films, but if you believe we missed one, please feel free to add it to the list yourself. Ghetto films began appearing in the late '80s and early '90s with one of the most widely known examples being Menace II Society and Boyz in the Hood. These movies focus on African-American characters who were born and raised in the ghetto mentality. Newer movies like Training Day and City of God tackle life in the ghetto from other perspectives.

What are the best ghetto movies? What are some example of hood films? Ghetto films deal with the urban culture of minorities, and frequently with the plight of growing up in that type of environment. Use this ghetto movie list as a starting off point to vote on what you think are the best films in the genre and to find new movies that you'd enjoy watching.

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Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Bootsdad added 1991 Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia ...more

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Menace II Society is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1993 Menace II Society is a 1993 drama/hood film and the directorial debut of twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes. Set in South Central Los Angeles, the film follows the life of a hoodlum named ...more

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Friday is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1995 Friday is a 1995 American stoner buddy comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny 'Zeus' Lister Jr, and John ...more

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Training Day is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
2001 Training Day is a 2001 American crime thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics ...more

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New Jack City is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1991 New Jack City is a 1991 American crime thriller action film film directed by Mario Van Peebles in his directorial debut, who also co-stars in the film. The film stars Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen ...more

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Juice is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1992 Juice is a 1992 American crime drama thriller directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, written by Ernest R. Dickerson and Gerard Brown. It stars rapper Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. Additional cast ...more

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Paid in Full is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
wiabux added 2002 Paid in Full is a 2002 American crime drama film that was produced by Roc-A-Fella Films and directed by Charles Stone III. It takes place in Harlem just before the Crack Epidemic that hit during ...more

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Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Tom Islava added 2015 Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical film directed by F. Gary Gray. The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and ...more

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8 Mile is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
2002 8 Mile is a 2002 American hip-hop biopic film written by Scott Silver, directed by Curtis Hanson, and starring Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger. The film ...more

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Colors is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1988 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

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Above the Rim is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1994 Above the Rim is a 1994 American drama directed by Jeff Pollack. The screenplay was written by Pollack and screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper, from a story by Pollack and Benny Medina. Starring ...more

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Next Friday is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
2000 Next Friday is a 2000 American stoner comedy film, and the sequel to the 1995 film Friday. This is the first film to be produced by producer Ice Cube's film production company Cubevision. The ...more

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Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
wiabux added 1989 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

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Belly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
ashketchumdurag added 1998 Belly is a 1998 American film, directed by music video director Hype Williams, in his film directing debut. Filmed in New York City as an urban drama, the film stars rappers DMX and Nas, ...more

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City of God is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
2002 City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. The story was ...more

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The Warriors is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Bootsdad added 1979 The Warriors is a 1979 American cult thriller film directed by Walter Hill and based on Sol Yurick's 1965 novel of the same name. Like the novel, the film borrows elements from the Anabasis by ...more

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Baby Boy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
wiabux added 2001 Baby Boy Production NotesIn 1991, 23-year-old director John Singleton guided viewers through South Central Los Angeles, taking for the first time an unflinching look at the devastating impact of ...more

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Set It Off is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Dbo878 added 1996 Set It Off is a 1996 American crime action film directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford. The film stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and ...more

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Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
wiabux added 2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin '‚Äč is a 2005 American hip-hop biopic crime film starring 50 Cent. It is 50 Cent's first film as an actor. It was released on November 9, 2005, and was known as Locked and ...more

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Poetic Justice is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Dbo878 added 1993 Poetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur with Regina King and Joe Torry. It was written and directed by John Singleton. The main character, Justice, ...more

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Don't Be a Menace to South Cen... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1996 Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Paris Barclay, and produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and also written by Wayans ...more

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Notorious is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
ManseebArik added 2009 Notorious is a 2009 American biographical film about the life and murder of Christopher Wallace, an American rapper better known by the stage name The Notorious B.I.G. The film stars Jamal ...more

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South Central is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1992 South Central is a 1992 American crime drama film, written and directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson. This film is an adaptation of the 1987 novel Crips by Donald Bakeer, a former high school ...more

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Fresh is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
ManseebArik added 1994 Fresh is a 1994 crime film written and directed by Boaz Yakin in his film directorial debut, also produced by Randy Oslow and Lawrence Bender. It was scored by Stewart Copeland, a member of The ...more

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Dangerous Minds is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1995 Dangerous Minds is a 1995 American drama film directed by John N. Smith, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It is based on the autobiography My Posse Don't Do Homework by retired ...more

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King of New York is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
gangstarblack added 1990 King of New York is a 1990 crime thriller film, starring Christopher Walken, Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, Giancarlo Esposito, and Steve Buscemi. It was directed ...more

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Waist Deep is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
wiabux added 2006 Waist Deep is a 2006 drama-action film directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall, starring Tyrese Gibson and Meagan Good. It is loosely based on the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, including some similar ...more

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Clockers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
ManseebArik added 1995 Clockers is a 1995 American crime drama film directed by Spike Lee. It is an adaptation of the eponymous 1992 novel by Richard Price, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Lee. The film stars ...more

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Dope is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
carlybobarly added 2015 Dope is a 2015 American comedy-drama coming-of-age film written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa. Malcolm (Moore), a high school "geek" living in the crime-frequent Inglewood, California ...more

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Kids is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1995 Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It features Chloë Sevigny, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, and Rosario Dawson, all in their film ...more

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Friday After Next is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
but chickens double d added 2002 Friday After Next is a 2002 comedy film directed by Marcus Raboy, starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. It is the third film in the Friday series, and the sequel to the 2000 film Next Friday. As of ...more

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Foxy Brown is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
srjthnk added 1974 Foxy Brown is a 1974 American blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars Pam Grier as the title character, described by one character as "a whole lot of woman" who ...more

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One Eight Seven is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Samantha Malcou added 1997 One Eight Seven is a 1997 drama/crime/thriller film directed by Kevin Reynolds. It was the first top-billed starring role for Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a Los Angeles teacher caught with gang ...more

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The Wood is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
nicole-ingram added 1999 The Wood is a 1999 romantic comedy, written by Rick Famuyiwa and Todd Boyd. Famuyiwa also directed the film, which stars Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones, and Taye Diggs.

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Hoodlum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
jerel78 added 1997 Hoodlum is a 1997 crime drama film written by Chris Brancato and directed by Bill Duke.

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Judgement Night is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
bojanthebest added

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Coffy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
srjthnk added 1973 Coffy is a 1973 blaxploitation film written and directed by American filmmaker Jack Hill. The story is about a black female vigilante played by Pam Grier. The film's tagline in advertising was ...more

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Straight Out of Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Bootsdad added 1991 Straight Out of Brooklyn is an 1991 independent film directed by Matty Rich in his directorial debut. The film is a gritty story about Dennis, an African-American teen living in a housing ...more

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First Time Felon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Toshihiro Tanaka added 1997 First Time Felon is a 1997 drama film starring Omar Epps.

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B*A*P*S is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
TomicaHarding added 1997 B*A*P*S is a 1997 comedy film written by Troy Beyer, directed by Robert Townsend, and starring Halle Berry and Martin Landau. The movie includes actors such as Bernie Mac, Natalie Reid, and Ian ...more

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Sprung is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Brit Powell added 1997 Sprung is a 1997 comedy film, written and directed by Rusty Cundieff. This film stars Cundieff, Tisha Campbell, Joe Torry, and Paula Jai Parker. It grossed $7,575,028 at the US box office.

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State Property is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
teddybear1029 added 2002 State Property is a 2002 American crime film starring Beanie Sigel, Omillio Sparks, Memphis Bleek and Damon Dash. Rapper Jay-Z appears in a cameo role. It was produced by Roc-A-Fella Films and ...more

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Kidulthood is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
bigcraig added 2006 Kidulthood is a 2006 British drama film about the life of several teenagers in Ladbroke Grove and Latimer Road area of inner west London. It was directed by Menhaj Huda and written by Noel ...more

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Neds is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
bigcraig added 2010 Neds is a feature film directed by Peter Mullan, with dialogue in Scottish English and Glasgow patter. The film tells the story of John McGill, a teenager growing up in 1970s Glasgow, Scotland. ...more

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New Jersey Drive is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Malik Gwitty Otw Burruss added 1995 New Jersey Drive is a 1995 film about joy riding working class teenagers in 1990s Newark, New Jersey, the former "car theft capital of the world". Their favorite pastime is that of ...more

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Gridlock'd is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
ZamanFou added 1997 Gridlock'd is a 1997 comedy-drama film starring Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, and Thandie Newton. It was the directorial debut of Vondie Curtis-Hall, who also wrote the story and screenplay, and had a ...more

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Sweet Sixteen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
bigcraig added 2002 Sweet Sixteen is a 2002 drama film directed by Ken Loach. The film tells the story of a teenage boy from a troubled background, Liam, who dreams of starting afresh with his mother who is ...more

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Madea's Big Happy Family is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
JagYienThiang added 2011 2011 Madea's Big Happy Family is a 2011 comedy-drama film written and directed by Tyler Perry.

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3 Strikes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Malik Gwitty Otw Burruss added 2000 3 Strikes is a 2000 American screwball comedy film, written and directed by DJ Pooh. The film stars Brian Hooks as Rob Douglas, a man just released from a one-year sentence in jail, who already ...more

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La Haine is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
ZamanFou added 1995 La Haine is a 1995 French black-and-white drama/suspense film written, co-edited, and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. It is commonly released under its French title in the English-speaking world, ...more