Teen Movies 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens  

Ranker Film
766 votes 114 voters 5.9k views 34 items

Urban teen movies amplify all of the struggles of adolescence with the added pressure of a sometimes unstable environment. The top urban teen movies feature stories about friendship, relationships, and becoming adults. This is a list of the top movies about inner city teenagers, featuring everything from Do the Right Thing to Kids to Save the Last Dance.

What movies will you find on this list of films focusing on urban teens? You might vote Boyz n the Hood up to the very top. John Singleton's 1991 classic follows a group of friends growing up in South Central Los Angeles as they make plans for their futures. Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lawrence Fishburne, Nia Long, Ice Cube, and many more talented actors appeared in this groundbreaking movie. Dope is another good film featuring urban teenagers.

Young men are often the stars of urban teen films, but in Thirteen, Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed took the spotlight. Other good movies featured on this list of films about inner city teenagers include Harsh Times, Menace II Society, and Higher Learning.

Which urban teen movie deserves the top spot on this list? Decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by

1
29 8
Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding
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
24 7
Juice is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Tupac Shakur, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah
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

3
22 8
Menace II Society is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Samuel L. Jackson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Charles S. Dutton
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

4
25 11
Love & Basketball is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan
Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film tells the story of Quincy McCall and Monica Wright, two next-door neighbors in Los ...more

5
22 9
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell
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

6
24 11
Dope is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Rakim Mayers, Blake Anderson, Bruce Beatty
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

7
21 12
Kids is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny, Harmony Korine
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

8
23 14
Save the Last Dance is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Kerry Washington, Julia Stiles, Bianca Lawson
Save the Last Dance is a 2001 American film produced by MTV Films, directed by Thomas Carter and released by Paramount Pictures on January 12, 2001. The film stars Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick ...more

9
16 8
Coach Carter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti
Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter. It is based on a true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter portrayed by Samuel L. ...more

10
9 3
Freedom Writers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
amyg added Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Imelda Staunton
Freedom Writers is a 2007 drama film starring Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell who wrote ...more

11
15 10
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habi... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauryn Hill, Maggie Smith
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit is a 1993 American comedy film loosely based on the life of Crenshaw High School choir instructor Iris Stevenson, and starring Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by Bill ...more

12
12 7
The Basketball Diaries is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
bigcraig added Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis
The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg from the non-fiction work of the same ...more

13
14 9
Higher Learning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Connelly, Tyra Banks
Higher Learning is a 1995 American romantic drama film, directed by John Singleton, and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional ...more

14
20 15
Thirteen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Vanessa Hudgens, Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter
Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by Hardwicke and Nikki Reed based on events in Reed's life at age twelve and thirteen. ...more

15
14 9
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
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

16
12 8
Fresh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, N'Bushe Wright
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

17
10 10
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
50 Cent, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard
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

18
9 9
High School High is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Tia Carrere, Jon Lovitz, Louise Fletcher
High School High is a 1996 comedy film about an inner city high school in the Los Angeles, California area, starring Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere, Mekhi Phifer, Louise Fletcher, Malinda Williams, and ...more

19
9 9
Dangerous Minds is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Michelle Pfeiffer, Andy Garcia, Paula Garcés
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

20
8 9
Above the Rim is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Tupac Shakur, Bernie Mac, Marlon Wayans
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

21
7 8
Zebrahead is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Michael Rapaport, N'Bushe Wright, Kevin Corrigan
Zebrahead is a 1992 drama film, produced by Oliver Stone, written and directed by Anthony Drazan and starring Michael Rapaport and N'Bushe Wright. Set in Detroit, Michigan, the film is about an ...more

22
7 8
Gridiron Gang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, Jurnee Smollett
Gridiron Gang is a 2006 American sports drama film directed by Phil Joanou, and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell and Kevin Dunn. It is loosely based on the ...more

23
10 12
ATL is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
T.I., Lauren London, Big Boi
ATL is a 2006 American drama film, and the feature film directorial debut of music video director Chris Robinson. The screenplay was written by Tina Gordon Chism from an original story by ...more

24
8 10
Crooklyn is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
RuPaul, Spike Lee, Alfre Woodard
Crooklyn is a 1994 semi-autobiographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The film takes place in Brooklyn, New York and the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant during the summer of ...more

25
8 10
City of Men is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens
Douglas Silva, Darlan Cunha, Jonathan Haagensen
City of Men is a 2007 Brazilian drama film directed by Paulo Morelli. The screenplay was written by Elena Soarez based on a story by Morelli and Soarez. It is a film version of the TV series ...more