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30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens

Updated February 21, 2020 1.3k votes 167 voters 10.7k views36 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.

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  • Kids1
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    Kids

    Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny

    Released1995

    Directed byLarry Clark

    Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It...  more

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  • Dope2
    81
    17

    Dope

    Rakim Mayers, Blake Anderson

    Released2015

    Directed byRick Famuyiwa

    Dope is a 2015 American comedy-drama coming-of-age film directed by Rick Famuyiwa. After being...  more
  • Fresh3
    45
    9

    Fresh

    Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito

    Released1994

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

    Fresh is a 1994 film written and directed by Boaz Yakin in his film directorial debut, also...  more

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  • Boyz n the Hood4
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    12

    Boyz n the Hood

    Ice Cube, Angela Bassett

    Released1991

    Directed byJohn Singleton

    Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama film directed by John Singleton. Three young men...  more

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  • Thirteen5
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    Thirteen

    Vanessa Hudgens, Evan Rachel Wood

    Released2003

    Directed byCatherine Hardwicke

    Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke,...  more

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  • Menace II Society6
    33
    10

    Menace II Society

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jada Pinkett Smith

    Released1993

    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

    Menace II Society is a 1993 drama/hood film and the directorial debut of twin brothers Allen...  more

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  • Juice7
    34
    15

    Juice

    Tupac Shakur, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1992

    Directed byErnest R. Dickerson

    Juice is a 1992 American drama thriller directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, written by Ernest R....  more

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  • Love & Basketball8
    34
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    Love & Basketball

    Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union

    Released2000

    Directed byGina Prince-Bythewood

    Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan....  more

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  • Get Rich or Die Tryin'9
    28
    10

    Get Rich or Die Tryin'

    50 Cent, Viola Davis

    Released2005

    Directed byJim Sheridan

    This film​ is a 2005 American hip-hop biopic crime film starring 50 Cent. It is 50...  more

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  • Gridiron Gang10
    24
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    Gridiron Gang

    Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit

    Released2006

    Directed byPhil Joanou

    Gridiron Gang is a 2006 American sports drama film directed by Phil Joanou, and starring...  more

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  • Save the Last Dance11
    28
    18

    Save the Last Dance

    Kerry Washington, Julia Stiles

    Released2001

    Directed byThomas Carter

    Save the Last Dance is a 2001 American film produced by MTV Films, directed by Thomas Carter...  more

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  • Zebrahead12
    19
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    Zebrahead

    Michael Rapaport, N'Bushe Wright

    Released1992

    Directed byAnthony Drazan

    Zebrahead is a 1992 drama film, produced by Oliver Stone, written and directed by Anthony...  more
  • High School High13
    21
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    High School High

    Tia Carrere, Jon Lovitz

    Released1996

    Directed byHart Bochner

    High School High is a 1996 comedy film about an inner city high school in the Los Angeles,...  more
  • The Hate U Give14
    12
    1

    The Hate U Give

    Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall

    Released2018

    Directed byGeorge Tillman Jr.

    The Hate U Give is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by George Tillman Jr., based...  more

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  • Kidulthood15
    21
    13

    Kidulthood

    Nicholas Hoult, Jaime Winstone

    Released2006

    Directed byMenhaj Huda

    Kidulthood is a 2006 British drama film about the life of several teenagers in Ladbroke Grove...  more

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  • Coach Carter16
    19
    11

    Coach Carter

    Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum

    Released2005

    Directed byThomas Carter

    Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical teen sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter,...  more

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  • City of Men17
    18
    11

    City of Men

    Douglas Silva, Darlan Cunha

    Released2007

    Directed byPaulo Morelli

    City of Men is a 2007 Brazilian drama film directed by Paulo Morelli. The screenplay was...  more
  • Goldie18
    4
    1

    Goldie

    Slick Woods, George Sample III

    Released2020

    Directed bySam de Jong

    Goldie is a 2020 American drama film directed by Sam de Jong. Goldie (Slick Woods) is a...  more
  • Higher Learning19
    17
    10

    Higher Learning

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Connelly

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn Singleton

    Higher Learning is a 1995 American romantic drama film, directed by John Singleton, and...  more

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  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit20
    19
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    Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

    Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauryn Hill

    Released1993

    Directed byBill Duke

    Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit is a 1993 American comedy film loosely based on the life of...  more

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  • Crooklyn21
    16
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    Crooklyn

    RuPaul, Spike Lee

    Released1994

    Directed bySpike Lee

    Crooklyn is a 1994 semi-autobiographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The film...  more

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  • Maria Full of Grace22
    16
    10

    Maria Full of Grace

    Catalina Sandino Moreno, Patricia Rae

    Released2004

    Directed byJoshua Marston

    Maria Full of Grace is a 2004 joint film production between Colombia and the U.S. written and...  more

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  • Freedom Writers23
    13
    7

    Freedom Writers

    Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey

    Released2007

    Directed byRichard LaGravenese

    Freedom Writers is a 2007 drama film starring Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton and...  more

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  • Dangerous Minds24
    14
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    Dangerous Minds

    Michelle Pfeiffer, Andy Garcia

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn N. Smith

    Dangerous Minds is a 1995 American drama film directed by John N. Smith, and produced by Don...  more

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  • Hurricane Season25
    14
    9

    Hurricane Season

    Lil Wayne, Taraji P. Henson

    Released2009

    Directed byTim Story

    Hurricane Season is a sports drama film directed by Tim Story and starring Forest Whitaker,...  more