As illegal immigration and racial tensions become the common perils of urban societies, hood movies have become a full-fledged genre. These movies shed light on the lives and struggles of the African-American or Hispanic-American communities against the backdrop of a metropolis. The recurring themes in hood movies include gangs, drug trafficking, drug consumption, hip-hop, racial discrimination, and police abuse. The protagonists in such movies are often torn between the dreams of a bright future and the violent criminal gangs ruling their neighborhood. Hood movies emerged as powerful social commentaries when filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee came forward as the advocates of black cinema in the 90s. With that said, here’s the list of really good hood movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
6. Fresh (1994)
Set in the decadent surroundings of Brooklyn, New York, ‘Fresh’ follows the life of its titular character, who is a 12-year-old boy. Fresh lives with his junkie sister Nichole and alcoholic father Sam. He is so disheartened by the poverty, corruption and racism prevailing all around him. When Nichole starts sleeping with the local kingpin Esteban, Fresh manipulates some of the old masterful moves his father Sam made while playing chess. He wants this new plan to free Nichole from the tentacles of the drug lord and also release his tormented soul from the dangerous neighborhood. ‘Fresh’ sheds light on the hard living conditions in the suburbs through Fresh’s life.
The movie works as a drama and a thriller and it compares different layers in the societal framework. It is certainly entertaining but there are several moments that disturb you to the core. When the movie presents the harsh realities of existence through the eyes of a 12-year-old, its impact multiplies. ‘Fresh’ stands out from other cliched hood movies with its unromantic portrayal of Harlem life and burning social issues. The film is directed by Boaz Yakin and stars Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito and Samuel L. Jackson in major roles.
5. Brooklyn’s Finest (2009)
Set in the notorious neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn, ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ is a crime drama that revolves around three cops. They are from different sections of society and approach their jobs through different point of views. Despite their racial, economic, social, and political differences, Eddie, Sal and Tango find their destinies entangled. All three of them are fed up with the drug-ridden BK housing project and violence and corruption of Brooklyn’s 65th Precinct. The movie digs deep into the societal framework through the three cops to make a social commentary on power and corruption. Eddie, Sal and Tango are the personifications of a predicament of the American society. ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ is also a multilayered movie that offers adequate entertainment for hood flicks lovers. Directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Michael C. Martin, the movie is hailed for its performances and overall craft. ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes.