Crime Shows and Movies 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.

1
1,097 145
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
2
1,097 117
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
3
890 122
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
4
498 120
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 thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more
5
434 96
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 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
6
687 79
Juice is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
1992
Juice is a 1992 American 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 members ...more
7
465 73
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
8
339 71
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
9
408 187
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
10
232 95
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 film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of South ...more
11
350 56
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
12
395 90
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
13
188 45
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
14
256 45
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
15
296 86
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
16
292 49
Baby Boy is listed (or ranked) 16 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 on ...more
17
249 37
Set It Off is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
Dbo878 added 1996
Set It Off is a 1996 American 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 Kimberly ...more
18
188 74
The Warriors is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
254 25
Poetic Justice is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
312 63
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto
wiabux added 2005
This film​ 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 Loaded during ...more
21
295 96
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
22
177 30
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 of Christopher Wallace, an American rapper better known by the stage name The Notorious B.I.G. The film stars Jamal Woolard as ...more
23
257 54
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
24
155 27
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 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
25
126 68
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