Boyz in the Hood(1991) – The film follows the life of main character, Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who is sent to live in South Central, Los Angeles with his father. Tre is caught between his life at home with his devoted father and his friends whose lives are heavily tied to the streets.
Paid in Full (2002) – Set in the 1980s, this movie tells the story of Ace (Wood Harris) who is a young man living in Harlem and works at a dry cleaner shop. Ace meets a drug dealer who convinces him to become on as well. Ace get his friends Mitch (Mehki Phifer) and Rico (Cam’ron) to join him. They ultimately become the biggest drug dealers of Harlem, but their friendship and loyalty is tested as their bankroll grows.
Friday (1995) – Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker) are two friends who just got fired from their job for stealing so their left with time on their hands for their Friday. On top of the fact that they’re unemployed, they also have bills due and Smokey owes a local drug dealer money. As their day goes on, the two experience a lot in their LA neighborhood like street fights, perverted pastors, and crackheads all within that one day.
Menace II Society (1993) – After spending the majority of his youth as an LA gang member, Caine (Tyrin Turner) decides he wants to change his lifestyle. However, he doesn’t consider that the gang lifestyle isn’t just something that you walk away from.
Juice (1992) – Four friends growing up in Harlem who do petty crimes together decide to do something a little bigger like robbing a convenience store. This idea puts all of the friends at odds and the repercussions are detrimental for all of them.
Poetic Justice (1993) – Dealing with the lost of her murdered boyfriend, Justice (Janet Jackson) copes by writing poetry. Justice gets her friend, Iesha (Regina King) to give her a lift to a convention in Oakland, but Iesha’s boyfriend, Chicago and his coworker, Lucky (Tupac Shakur) tag along. Lucky and Justice are drawn close together even when they are at odds during their trip to Oakland.
Love Jones (1997) – Darius (Larenz Tate), an aspiring writer, and Nina (Nia Long), an aspiring photographer, meet in a Chicago club and have an instant connection. share an instant connection. They bond over music, photography and poetry which eventually blossoms into a sultry romance. Things come to a halt when Nina decides to move to New York and mend fix things with her ex-fiancé, Marvin (Khalil Kain). Nina’s decision leaves Darius heartbroken and the status of their relationship uncertain.
Set it Off (1996) – After losing her job as a bank teller, Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) starts working at a janitorial service with her friends, Tisean (Kimberly Elise), Cleo (Queen Latifah), and Stony (Jada Pinkett). The women are all struggling with different things, but one struggle they have in common is their lack of money so concoct a plan where they rob multiple banks. Initially, their plan is successful, but after their first few robberies they start to get the attention of a police detective and things start to go downhill.
White chicks (2004) – FBI agent brothers, Marcus (Marlon Wayans) and Kevin Copeland (Shawn Wayans), accidentally ruin a drug bust so as punishment, they are forced to escort a pair of socialite sisters to the Hamptons. The sisters are being used as bait for a kidnapper, but when the girls realize the FBI’s plan, they refuse to go. As a result and due to the lack of options, Marcus and Kevin decide to disguise themselves as the socialites in order to get the job done.
New Jack City (1991) – Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) is a heartless drug tycoon of New York City. He has built a multimillion-dollar empire with the help of his minions who call themselves the Cash Money Brothers. Scotty (Ice-T) and Nick (Judd Nelson) are two police officers who are familiar with Nino and their sights are set on dismantling his empire.
Brown Sugar (2002) – Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) and Dre (Taye Diggs) who are childhood friends that bond through their love for hip hop. They both have careers in the music/entertainment industry which seems to satiate their passion. Sidney is the editor-in-chief of the hip-hop magazine, XXL and Dre is an A&R for Millennium Records. All is going well between the two until Dre announces that he will be getting married which causes Sidney to question how she really feels about her childhood friend.
Higher Learning (1995) – This film focuses on a group of incoming freshmen at Columbus University. It encompasses the many struggles college students face on the day to day. The film follows the lives of the freshmen students: Malik Williams (Omar Epps), a varsity athlete; Remy (Michael Rapaport), an awkward outcast and wide-eyed Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson). The three students try to find themselves and adapt to their new environment. Remy finds acceptance among a group of neo-Nazis, which causes tensions to rise even higher on a campus already divided by racial, socio-economic and gender lines.
ATL (2006) – Four teenage friends are living in Atlanta, the city where hip-hop music is everything and the place to hang out is the local rollerskating rink. As they start to prepare for life after high school, they face some challenges and some heartbreak that brings about some turning points in their lives.
Coming to America (1988) – Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is a pampered prince from a wealthy African country. Akeem wants a wife who will love him for him and not his time. In an effort to escape an arranged marriage, he flees to America with his sidekick, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), to find a wife. Akeem goes to America disguised as a foreign student working in fast food and romances Lisa (Shari Headley), his boss’s daughter, but struggles with revealing his true identity to her and his intentions to his king father (James Earl Jones).
The Color Purple (1985) – This film is based on the novel of the same name that was written by Alice Walker. The tale follows the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a woman living in the South who survives abuse and bigotry. Celie’s abusive father marries her off as a child to an equally demeaning man called “Mister” (Danny Glover). Celie’s life goes downhill tremendously as she tried to cope with her new life that isn’t any better than the last. She continues to carry on despite the hardships she has face in hopes of one day reuniting with her sister in Africa.
The Wood (1999) – Three old friends, Mike (Omar Epps), Roland (Taye Diggs) and Slim (Richard T. Jones) go down memory lane as they recount the memories of their shared childhood in Inglewood. The trio are preparing for Roland’s wedding to his fiancée, Lisa (LisaRaye). However, Roland goes missing so Mike and Slim have to find their friend who has gotten cold feet and return him to his bride before it’s time for the wedding. As they search for Roland, they continue to bring up stories about lessons they learned during their awkward teenage years.
Coach Carter (2005) – Based on a true story, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California. Carter intends to get the school’s basketball team in shape. Through the use of tough rules and academic discipline, coach Carter get the players on a winning streak, but the players’ grades start to plummet so Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. He faces criticism by the players and their parents, but continues to stick to his guns through his determination to get the team to excel academically as well as on the court.
Crooklyn (1994) – Troy Carmichael (Zelda Harris) lives with her mother, Carolyn (Alfre Woodard) who is a teacher and her father, Woody (Delroy Lindo) who is a Jazz musician, and her four brothers. As her parents worry about monthly bills, Troy is sent away to her aunt’s home for a summer visit, but when she comes back home to Brooklyn , she finds out that a family member is gravely ill which forces her to learn about life and loss.
Bad Boys (1995) – Miami narcotic detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) set out on an investigation for a suspected inside job when $100 million worth of heroin they recently confiscated is heisted from station headquarters. Internal Affairs gives the detectives five days to track down the drugs before they shut down the narcotics division. They work together with a call girl in order to track down the drugs.
Belly (1998) – Sincere (Nas) and Buns (DMX) are childhood friends who have always lived life close to the edge and always did whatever it takes to survive. As adults, they built a life for themselves from drug dealing and robbery. However, as time goes on Sincere starts to stray away from the criminal lifestyle and joins a black Muslim religious group. Buns, on the other hand is doing the opposite as he is sinking deeper into the criminal life and ends up facing serious jail time. Investigators offer Buns an option to get out of doing jail time which forms a wedge between the two friends.
Which Classic is your Favorite?