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The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto

Updated January 29, 2021 11.4k votes 3.7k voters 456.5k views148 items

List RulesFilms 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. 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." Other movies like Baby Boy, Training Day, and City of God tackle life in the ghetto from other perspectives. There are also white ghetto film like 8 Mile. All-in-all this a bigger list than just the top 10 ghetto movies.

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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  • 1
    Bootsdad added

    Boyz n the Hood

    1991
    825
    125

    ActorsIce Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long

    Directed byJohn Singleton

  • 2

    ActorsSamuel L. Jackson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Charles S. Dutton, Khandi Alexander, Bill Duke

    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

  • 3
    378
    97

    ActorsEva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington, Dr. Dre, Ethan Hawke

    Directed byAntoine Fuqua

  • 4

    Juice

    1992
    490
    69

    ActorsTupac Shakur, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah, Omar Epps, Donald Faison

    Directed byErnest R. Dickerson

  • 5
    319
    74

    ActorsChris Rock, Ice-T, Judd Nelson, Wesley Snipes, Flavor Flav

    Directed byMario Van Peebles

  • 6
    253
    40

    ActorsTupac Shakur, Bernie Mac, Marlon Wayans, Wood Harris, Henry Simmons

    Directed byJeff Pollack

  • 7
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    Straight Outta Compton

    2015
    293
    70

    ActorsO'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, Aldis Hodge

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

  • 8
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    Baby Boy

    2001
    230
    37

    ActorsSnoop Dogg, Taraji P. Henson, Tyrese Gibson, Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson, Ving Rhames

    Directed byJohn Singleton

  • 9
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    Belly

    1998
    197
    32

    ActorsNas, DMX, Method Man, Sean Paul, AZ

    Directed byHype Williams

  • 10

    Friday

    1995
    652
    277

    ActorsIce Cube, Meagan Good, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Chris Tucker

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

  • 11
    285
    63

    ActorsIce Cube, Chris Tucker, Mike Epps, Michael Rapaport, Tamala Jones

    Directed bySteve Carr

  • 12
    213
    59

    ActorsAlice Braga, Seu Jorge, Matheus Nachtergaele, Douglas Silva, Darlan Cunha

    Directed byFernando Meirelles

  • 13
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    Set It Off

    1996
    192
    27

    ActorsQueen Latifah, Dr. Dre, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Blair Underwood

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

  • 14
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    Do the Right Thing

    1989
    153
    38

    ActorsSamuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee, John Turturro, Rosie Perez

    Directed bySpike Lee

  • 15

    Colors

    1988
    168
    72

    ActorsSean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle, Mario Lopez, Damon Wayans

    Directed byDennis Hopper

  • 16
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    Get Rich or Die Tryin'

    2005
    230
    51

    Actors50 Cent, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Joy Bryant, Bill Duke

    Directed byJim Sheridan

  • 17

    8 Mile

    2002
    295
    143

    ActorsEminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon, Taryn Manning

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

  • 18
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    Paid in Full

    2002
    364
    169

    ActorsRegina Hall, Cam'ron, Angie Martinez, Chi McBride, Damon Dash

    Directed byCharles Stone III

  • 19
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    Notorious

    2009
    138
    30

    ActorsAngela Bassett, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Naturi Naughton, Aunjanue Ellis

    Directed byGeorge Tillman, Jr.

  • 20

    ActorsVivica A. Fox, Bernie Mac, Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans

    Directed byParis Barclay

  • 21
    Bootsdad added

    The Warriors

    1979
    132
    57

    ActorsMercedes Ruehl, Robert Townsend, James Remar, David Harris, David Patrick Kelly

    Directed byWalter Hill

  • 22
    190
    115

    ActorsGlenn Plummer, Carl Lumbly, Byron Minns, Lexie Bigham, LaRita Shelby

    Directed byStephen Milburn Anderson

  • 23

    Kids

    1995
    90
    49

    ActorsRosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny, Harmony Korine, Jon Abrahams, Leo Fitzpatrick

    Directed byLarry Clark

  • 24
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    Waist Deep

    2006
    113
    38

    ActorsMeagan Good, Jayceon Terrell Taylor, Tyrese Gibson, Kimora Lee Simmons, Arnold Vosloo

    Directed byVondie Curtis-Hall

  • 25
    carlybobarly added

    Dope

    2015
    96
    31

    ActorsShameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise, Chanel Iman

    Directed byRick Famuyiwa