10 Best Hood Movies on Netflix (Feb 2024)


As 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 films are often torn between the dreams of a bright future and the violent criminal gangs ruling their neighborhoods.

Hood movies emerged as powerful social commentaries when filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee came forward as advocates of black cinema in the 90s. As one of the most prominent streaming services in the world, Netflix offers a vast collection of great hood movies to its audience.

10. Brotherly Love (2015)

‘Brotherly Love’ follows the lives of three siblings as they try to navigate their lives while trying to stay together in their Philadelphia neighborhood. The eldest sibling, June (Cory Hardrict), gets swayed by the streets thanks to his father’s death and the financial crash that followed. Sergio (Eric D. Hill, Jr) is the best high school basketball player in the country but is struggling with the fame. Their sister, Jackie (Keke Palmer), has a passion and talent for music but finds herself sidetracked by love. On top of all this, their mother (Macy Gray) is an addict. A story of struggle underscored by life in the hood, ‘Brotherly Love’ is directed by Jamal Hill. You can stream it here.

9. Concrete Cowboy (2020)

‘Concrete Cowboy’ follows fifteen-year-old Cole (Caleb McLaughlin), who is sent by his mother to his father, cowboy Harp (Idris Elba), for the summer. Directed by Ricky Staub, the film showcases the differences between the father and the son, a strained relationship that is symbolized by the very setting in which Harp finds himself: a cowboy community in Philadelphia. We get to see how the two overcome their mutual differences in this deeply moving film that aptly showcases African-American horse-riding culture. You can watch the film here.

8. Beats (2019)

‘Beats,’ a film directed by Chris Robinson, tells the powerful story of a young, Black teenager named August Monroe, portrayed by Khalil Everage, who is struggling to cope with a traumatic event that changed his life. The movie explores the healing power of music as August, guided by a former music manager played by Anthony Anderson, rediscovers his love for music production and forms a deep connection with a talented but troubled classmate, played by Harrison Knight. Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s South Side, ‘Beats’ offers an authentic portrayal of the challenges faced by young Black individuals, highlighting their resilience, talent, and the potential for positive change through art and mentorship, making it an impactful and relatable film for the Black community. You can watch the movie here.

7. They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

They Cloned Tyrone,’ directed by Juel Taylor in his feature film directorial debut, takes the hood movie stereotype to new heights through its unique blend of science fiction, comedy, and mystery. With a stellar cast including John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx, the film explores the story of Fontaine, a drug dealer in the suburban neighborhood of the Glen. This hood film delves into a government cloning conspiracy as Fontaine, alongside Slick Charles and Yo-Yo, uncovers disturbing experiments on impoverished, predominantly Black populations. The film’s gripping plot and exploration of racial issues make it a thought-provoking and impactful entry into the hood movie genre, shedding light on social issues while delivering a compelling and unconventional narrative. You may watch the film here.

6. Street Flow (2019)

‘Street Flow’ is a French movie directed by Leïla Sy and Kery James and centers on three brothers. One of the elder two brothers is a gangster, while the other is a scholar. The youngest brother, a teenager, must choose what life he wants for himself. The gritty and dark drama highlights the difficulties of life in the suburbs of Paris, where crime is overflowing and the middle class is marginalized. It has all the elements of a classic hood movie presented through the lens of brotherhood. Feel free to check out the movie here.

5. Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Directed by John Singleton, ‘Boyz n the Hood’ stars Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, and Morris Chestnut. A coming-of-age drama, the film takes place in South Central Los Angeles and follows three young boys, Tre, Doughboy, and Ricky. While Tre has his hardened father to ensure that he learns the right values, there’s no one to do the same for Doughboy and Ricky, who end up becoming a part of the gang culture. How these two different worlds affect the friendship and what the outcome is when the two collide are what this film shows. The recipient of many accolades for the way it presents its themes and the performances of the actors, ‘Boyz n the Hood’ is a must-watch. You can do so here.

4. 13th (2016)

’13th’ is a docudrama directed by Ava DuVernay. The film provides a keen look into the nuances of the U.S. prison system. There have been visible and invisible traces of racial discrimination and prejudices prevailing in society throughout. Ava DuVernay draws an original picture of the criminalization of African Americans in the country. The director checks the socio-economic reasons behind the facts and figures of the ‘prison boom.’ ’13th’ often positions itself on the other side of hood movies. It functions as an origin story of violence and crime while also exploring the roles of racial, political, and economic forces.

Using archival footage and testimonies from activists, politicians, historians, and former inmates, DuVernay weaves a shocking narrative of the embarrassment and horrors of mass criminalization. ‘13th‘ was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. You can watch the docudrama here.

3. Burning Sands (2017)

‘Burning Sands’ centers on a black fraternity named Lambda Lambda Phi at Frederick Douglass University. The plot follows Zurich, who is in the first year of college. In the first few weeks, everything goes fine for Zurich, but things take an ugly turn when he starts the Hell Week of Pledging for his fraternity. The various kinds of horrible experiences the brotherhood has to go through consist of complex trials and abuse. As the torment intensifies, Zurich is torn between the fraternity’s code of silence and balance it with the life outside the brotherhood. One night, the hazing rituals cross all limits and end up in the death of a pledge. The incident clears Zurich’s cloudy conscience about the next step against abuse and hazing. The movie is directed by Gerard McMurray from a screenplay by McMurray and Christine Berg. ‘Burning Sands‘ stars Trevor Jackson, Tosin Cole, and DeRon Horton in significant roles. You may watch it here.

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2. Roxanne Roxanne (2017)

‘Roxanne Roxanne’ is a musical drama movie written and directed by Michael Larnell. It is based on the life of Lolita Shanté Gooden, better known as the rapper Roxanne Shante. The film tells a dramatized story of Roxanne’s life in the New York suburbs during the 1980s. While defending herself from the dangers in the hood, Roxanne becomes a hip-hop sensation through handwork and determination. The gritty and inspirational film provides a riveting look at the rising influence of hip-hop on hood culture during the 80s. You can stream the film here.

1. All Day and a Night (2020)

All Day and a Night’ is a crime drama movie written and directed by Joe Robert Cole about Jahkor Lincoln, an aspiring rapper who ends up in prison. The film unfolds the various circumstances, decisions, and the system that leads young Jahkor on a path of crime. The film is an impactful introspection of life in a crime-driven and violent neighborhood. A father-son relationship is at the center of the narrative that heavily examines the theme of social oppression. Its thoughtful writing addresses various real issues, while earnest performances from Ashton Sanders, Jeffrey Wright, Regina Taylor, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II elevate its realism. You can stream ‘All Day and a Night’ here.

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