There are movies that have a theme related to hip-hop music or culture or include hip hop artists in the cast. Also there are films about racial discrimination, blaxplatation theme, and some "living-in-the-ghetto" classic movies.
Legendary New York graffiti artist Lee Quinones plays the part of Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer... (82 mins.)
“ "Wild Style" is not only one of the first hip-hop films to ever reach a wide audience, but it remains the best document of the richness of hip-hop's five pillars (DJing, MCing, beatboxing, grafitti, breakdancing) and the beauty of its birth place (New York). The film also features several of rap's originals ( Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Flash, and more). ” - d-tovstoles
A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem. (110 mins.)
“ The Curtis Hanson-directed film made us feel every heavy step Eminem (who portrayed Jimmy Smith) took in going from the streets of Detroit to success in rap. "8 Mile," which was inspired by Eminem's own life, is a harsh, yet hopeful, story of an aspiring rapper which motivates till this day. Em won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for film's soundtrack single, "Lose Yourself." ” - d-tovstoles
An aspiring DJ, from the South Bronx, and his best friend, a promoter, try to get into show business by exposing people to hip-hop music and culture. (105 mins.)
“ While hip-hop was taking its baby steps, director Stan Lathan helped introduce the genre to the mainstream with his drama about an aspiring Bronx-bred DJ. ” - d-tovstoles
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax. (103 mins.)
“ "Dave Chappelle's Block Party," directed by Michel Gondry and inspired by seminal soul doc "Wattstax," captures the unity in hip-hop as Chappelle gathers innovative hip-hop and R&B acts ( The Fugees, The Roots, Kanye West ) together to perform for fans that have traveled from across the states to Brooklyn, NY. ” - d-tovstoles
A struggling young jazz dancer meets up with two break-dancers. Together they become the sensation of the street crowds. (90 mins.)
“ Director Joel Silberg documents the trying yet well-worthwhile effort behind break dancing as three dancers work to perfect their moves and get recognized. The film's motto speaks for itself: "Push it to pop it! Rock it to lock it! Break it to make it!" ” - d-tovstoles
“ "The Art of Rap" is the one film that truly dives into the craft of rap. Director Ice-T goes beyond his personal experience to feature the perspectives of legendary rappers including Afrika Bambaataa, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kanye West. ” - d-tovstoles
“ The '98 break-up of one of hip-hop's most influential groups, A Tribe Called Quest, left many saddened and confused. Ten years after their last album, director Michael Rapaport took fans inside Tribe's 2008 reunion tour, interweaving artist commentary and archival footage to tell the group's tumultuous tale. ” - d-tovstoles
In this movie based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings, up-and-coming manager Russell Walker manages... (97 mins.)
“ Writer Ralph Farquhar and director Michael Schultz gave hip-hop aficionados a window into the early days of record label Def Jam Recordings. Though fictionalized, the film includes performances and cameos by Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, and LL Cool J. ” - d-tovstoles
Hustle & Flow
With help from his friends, a Memphis pimp in a mid-life crisis attempts to become a successful hip-hop emcee. (116 mins.)
“ It's not easy to break into the rap scene, especially if you have to transition from a life of crime. Director Craig Brewer and producer John Singleton capture the setbacks and run-ins of pimp-turned-rapper DJay, played by Terrence Howard. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and won for Best Original Song with Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." ” - d-tovstoles
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
A tale of an inner city drug dealer who turns away from crime to pursue his passion, rap music. (117 mins.)
“ 50 Cent followed in Eminem's footsteps when creating this semi-autobiographical film of his own life, showing the ups and downs he had to face to make himself into a successful entrepreneur and artist. ” - d-tovstoles
A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing. (69 mins.)
“ Style Wars is a 1983 documentary on hip hop culture, directed by Tony Silver and produced in collaboration with Henry Chalfant. The film has an emphasis on graffiti, although bboying and rapping are covered to a lesser extent. The film was originally aired on PBS television in 1983, and was subsequently shown in several film festivals to much acclaim, including the Vancouver Film Festival. It also won the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.
The documentary shows both the young artists struggling to express themselves through their art, and their points of view on the subject of graffiti, as well as the views of then New York City Mayor Ed Koch, one-armed graffiti writer Case/Kase 2, graffiti writer Skeme and his mother, graffiti "villain" Cap, now deceased graffiti writer Dondi, Seen and Shy 147, graffiti documentarian (and co-producer of the film) Henry Chalfant, breakdancer Crazy Legs of Rock Steady Crew, police officers, art critics, subway maintenance workers, as well as several "people on the street". ” - d-tovstoles
Black & White
A group of white high school teens become involved with Harlem's black hip-hop crowd. (98 mins.)
“ Black and White is a 1999 American film directed by James Toback, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gaby Hoffmann, Allan Houston, Jared Leto, Scott Caan, Claudia Schiffer, Brooke Shields and a number of rap musicians, namely members of the Wu-Tang Clan (Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Oli "Power" Grant, Masta Killa and Inspectah Deck) and Onyx (Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz).
The film also features Ben Stiller in a rare dramatic role as a sleazy police detective, as well as Mike Tyson playing himself. It had its first showing at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 1999, followed by a second screening at the Toronto Film Festival on September 15, 1999. It had its widespread theatrical release in the U.S. on April 5, 2000.
The inner workings of the New York hip-hop scene, and the fascination of white observers with rap music and hip-hop culture, set the stage for this drama written and directed by James Toback.
Rich Bower (Power) is a mover and shaker in the world of rap music (he's involved with a number of other licit and illicit business ventures as well), and his apartment is a favored meeting place for musicians, hangers-on, and hipsters who want to seem cool, including a clique of white kids who want to be on the inside of what they consider the coolest scene of the day. Sam (Shields), a filmmaker, is making a documentary about Rich and his circle, with the help of her husband Terry (Downey), a closeted homosexual who doesn't feel at home in this milieu.
Dean (Houston) is Rich's friend since childhood and a talented college basketball player. He is offered a deal by a bookmaker, Mark (Stiller) to throw a few games for a price. Dean takes the money against his better judgment, and he soon realizes how much of a mistake he made when Mark turns out to be a cop hoping to dig up dirt on Rich. Rich in turn discovers that Dean might be forced to tell what he knows to stay out of jail, and he decides that Dean has to be killed; however, rather than murder his friend himself, Rich asks one of the white kids who hangs out with him, who seems especially eager to prove himself, to do it for him. The kid, however, is actually the son of the District Attorney.
Also contributing to Black and White's supporting cast are boxing legend Mike Tyson, musician Bijou Phillips, Wu Tang Clan rapper Raekwon, model Claudia Schiffer, and Donald Trump's former spouse Marla Maples. ” - d-tovstoles
Boyz n the Hood
Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects. (112 mins.)
“ Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American drama film written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Morris Chestnut, Larry Fishburne, Nia Long and Angela Bassett, depicting life in South Central Los Angeles.
Boyz n the Hood was filmed from October 1 to November 28, 1990 and released on July 12, 1991. It was nominated for both Best Director and Original Screenplay during the 1991 Academy Awards, making Singleton the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director and the first African–American to be nominated for the award.
The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. In 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. ” - d-tovstoles
Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St... (101 mins.)
“ Trespass is a 1992 action-crime-thriller movie directed by Walter Hill, and starring Bill Paxton, Ice Cube, Ice-T, and William Sadler. Paxton and Sadler star as two firemen, who decide to search an abandoned building for a hidden treasure, but wind up being targeted by a street gang.
Trespass was written decades earlier by a pre-Back to the Future Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. The film was intended to be an update of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It was to be titled Looters, but because of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the producers thought a change to the title would be appropriate. ” - d-tovstoles
A "rapumentary", covering the rise to fame of MC Gusto, Stab Master Arson, and Dead Mike: members of the rap group "CB4"... (89 mins.)
“ CB4 is a 1993 American comedy film directed by Tamra Davis, and starring Chris Rock. The film follows a fictional rap group named 'CB4', named after the prison block in which the group was allegedly formed (Cell Block 4). The movie primarily parodies the rap group N.W.A among other gangsta rap aspects, and contains short segments featuring celebrities and musicians such as Halle Berry, Eazy-E, the Butthole Surfers, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Flavor Flav, and Shaquille O'Neal. ” - d-tovstoles
People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus. (127 mins.)
“ Higher Learning is a 1995 American drama film, directed by John Singleton, and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams (Omar Epps), a black track star who struggles with academics; Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson), a shy and naive girl; and Remy (Michael Rapaport), a lonely and confused man seemingly out of place in his new environment.
The film also featured Tyra Banks' first performance in a theatrical film. Laurence Fishburne won an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture"; Ice Cube was also nominated for the award. This was the last film appearance of Dedrick D. Gobert, who was shot dead in 1994 prior to the film's release. Gwyneth Paltrow appears briefly in the film as a student, the only time in her film career to date she has had an uncredited role.
The exterior shots and outdoor scenes were shot on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) while the interiors were shot at Sony Pictures Studios. ” - d-tovstoles
Two homies, Smokey and Craig, smoke a dope dealer's weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe to the dealer by 10 p.m. that same night. In that time, they smoke more weed and get jacked and shot at in a drive-by. (91 mins.)
“ Friday is a 1995 stoner comedy-drama-buddy film directed by F. Gary Gray, making it his directorial debut for a hit movie. Starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tommy Lister, Jr., and John Witherspoon, the film revolves around 16 hours in the lives of unemployed slackers Craig Jones and Smokey, who must pay a drug dealer $200 by 10:00 PM that night. The film spawned two sequels: Next Friday and Friday After Next, and a proposed fourth film, Last Friday. ” - d-tovstoles
Uncle Elroy and Day Day owe money on taxes so Craig finds a way to steal from the next door neighbors to pay off the taxes so Uncle Elroy's house doesn't get put up for auction. (98 mins.)
“ Next Friday is a 2000 stoner comedy film, and the sequel to the 1995 film Friday. This is the first film to be produced by producer Ice Cube's film production company Cubevision. The film is directed by Steve Carr, and stars Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Don "D.C." Curry, John Witherspoon, and Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. ” - d-tovstoles
Friday After Next
Craig and Day Day have finally moved out of their parents houses and into their own crib. The cousins work nights at a local mall as security guards... (85 mins.)
“ Friday After Next is a 2002 comedy film directed by Marcus Raboy, starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. It is the third installment in the Friday series, and the sequel to the 2000 film Next Friday. ” - d-tovstoles
Vusi Madlazi returns to the South African village he left as a young boy (he was organizing against apartheid... (95 mins.)
“ Dangerous Ground is a 1997 thriller starring Ice Cube and Elizabeth Hurley. It was directed by Darrell Roodt and written by Greg Latter and Darrell Roodt. ” - d-tovstoles
The Players Club
A woman must contend with rival strippers and her boss in an attempt to make a legitimate living. (104 mins.)
“ The Players Club is a 1998 comedy/drama thriller film from New Line Cinema starring Bernie Mac, LisaRaye, and Jamie Foxx. Ice Cube, who has a small role in the film, wrote and made his directorial debut. The movie was released on April 8, 1998. The movie made $5,894,607 in its opening week. Its box office grossed total came to $23,261,485 ” - d-tovstoles
I Got the Hook Up
Two small time scam artists, Black and Blue, sell boom boxes and broken TVs from their van at the parking lot. When, by mistake, a shipment of cellular phones gets to them, it doesn't take long before FBI and gangsters are after them. (93 mins.)
“ I Got the Hook-Up is a 1998 U.S. crime comedy film, starring Anthony Johnson, Master P, Ice Cube, C-Murder and directed by Michael Martin. This was No Limit Records' first theatrical release. The movie was distributed by Dimension Films. ” - d-tovstoles
Thicker Than Water
In Los Angeles, two rival gang leaders are also trying to be music producers. When DJ's equipment shorts... (91 mins.)
“ Thicker Than Water is a 1999 film starring a host of rappers and urban entertainers such as Fat Joe, Mack 10, Ice Cube, MC Eiht, Big Pun, and others. The film contains rappers from both the East and the West Coast, as it was made after the end of the East Coast-West Coast feud. ” - d-tovstoles
All About the Benjamins
A bounty hunter chases and catches suspects all over Miami . He ends up getting shot at and start to second guess his job as a bounty hunter ... (95 mins.)
“ All About the Benjamins is a 2002 American action comedy film directed by Kevin Bray, and starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps as a bounty hunter and repeat offender who join forces to find a group of diamond thieves, the former for glory, and the latter to retrieve a winning lottery ticket. ” - d-tovstoles
A day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop. (102 mins.)
“ Barbershop is a 2002 American comedy film directed by Tim Story, produced by State Street Pictures and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on September 13, 2002. Starring Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, and Anthony Anderson, the movie revolves around social life in a barbershop on the South Side of Chicago. Barbershop also proved to be a star-making vehicle for acting newcomers Eve and Michael Ealy. ” - d-tovstoles
“ Barbershop 2: Back in Business is a 2004 American comedy-drama film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on February 6, 2004. A sequel to 2002's Barbershop, also from State Street producing team Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr., Barbershop 2 deals with the impact of gentrification on the reputation and livelihood of a long-standing south Chicago barbershop.
Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, and several other actors reprise their roles from the first Barbershop film. However, a few of the original film's actors such as Tom Wright and Jazsmin Lewis return with smaller roles.
Barbershop 2 also features what is billed as a "special appearance" by Queen Latifah, who starred in a spin-off, Beauty Shop which was released in early 2005. ” - d-tovstoles
Are We There Yet?
Nick Persons is a selfish player who owns a collectables sports shop in Vancouver. Everything in his life is perfect until he meets Suzanne Kingston... (95 mins.)
“ Are We There Yet? is a 2005 American/Canadian family comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Ice Cube. It was produced by Revolution Studios and distributed by Columbia Pictures. Although it was panned by critics, it grossed $82 million in North America alone and sold 3.7 million DVDs.
The film, while set in Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, British Columbia and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, was mostly shot on location in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, including a view of the Lions' Gate Bridge, the Financial District skyscrapers and the downtown scene near the film's conclusion. A sequel, Are We Done Yet?, was released in 2007, and a television series based around the film's main characters premiered in 2010. ” - d-tovstoles
Are We Done Yet?
Newlyweds Nick and Suzanne decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor with a bizarre approach to business. (92 mins.)
“ Are We Done Yet? is a 2007 family comedy film starring Ice Cube. The film is both a remake of the classic Cary Grant comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House and a sequel to 2005's comedy Are We There Yet? The film was directed by Steve Carr from a screenplay by Hank Nelken. It was produced by Revolution Studios and reincarnated RKO Pictures, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film was shot on location in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada, but is set in Newberg, Oregon, United States. ” - d-tovstoles
Durell Washington and LeeJohn Jackson are best friends and bumbling petty criminals. When Durell learns... (96 mins.)
“ First Sunday is a 2008 American comedy film from Screen Gems, written, produced and directed by David E. Talbert, and is his first feature film. ” - d-tovstoles
The true story of Jasmine Plummer who, at the age of eleven, became the first female to play in Pop Warner football tournament in its 56-year history. (94 mins.)
“ The Longshots is a 2008 biopic family comedy-drama film sports movie based on the real life events of Jasmine Plummer, the first female to participate in the Pop Warner football tournament.
The film stars Ice Cube and Keke Palmer, their second movie together after Barbershop 2: Back in Business. It is directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. ” - d-tovstoles
The Janky Promoters
Two shady concert promoters (Cube and Epps) get into hot water when their chance to book a superstar rapper goes awry. (85 mins.)
“ Janky Promoters is a comedy, re-teaming Ice Cube and Mike Epps who play as "janky" promoters who book rapper Young Jeezy to play at their concert, only to fail at doing it the right way and thus getting into more trouble than they bargained for. ” - d-tovstoles
Kevin Carson is a young man living in the projects who has to survive a three-day weekend after his opportunistic neighbors find out he's holding a winning lottery ticket worth $370 million. (99 mins.)
“ Lottery Ticket is a 2010 comedy film directed by Erik White and starring Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Keith David, Charlie Murphy, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Loretta Devine and Ice Cube in lead roles. The storyline is based on the life of Kevin Carson who wins the $370 million lottery, and soon realizes that people from the city are not his real friends, but are after his money. The film released on August 20, 2010. ” - d-tovstoles
A pair of violent Men have spiritual awakenings. (96 mins.)
“ Belly is a 1998 American film, directed by music video director Hype Williams, in his film directing debut. Filmed in New York City as an urban drama, the film stars rappers DMX and Nas, alongside with Taral Hicks, Method Man, dancehall artist Louie Rankin and R&B singer T-Boz. Besides starring in the film, Nas also narrates and collaborated with Hype Williams on the film's script along with DMX (who also uncreditelly narrates the beginning and the end parts of the film). ” - d-tovstoles
If you ever wanted to know what really goes on backstage, this is the definitive inside look - uncut and uncensored... (86 mins.)
“ Backstage is a 2000 documentary film directed by Chris Fiore, chronicling the 1999 Hard Knock Life tour that featured several of hip hops top acts including Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man and Redman. Produced by Damon Dash, Backstage featured live performances by several members of Def Jam's roster and gave an in-depth look at what happened backstage. ” - d-tovstoles
Orin Boyd, a tough cop in an inner-city precinct discovers a web of dirty cops and corruption. (101 mins.)
“ Exit Wounds is a 2001 action film based on the book of the same name by John Westermann. The book takes place on Long Island, while the film is set in Detroit. The film was directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, and stars Steven Seagal as an urban detective notorious for pushing the limits of the law in his quest for justice. Although the story is set in Detroit, many goofs in production make it apparent that most of the movie was filmed in Toronto, Ontario; Hamilton, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta.
It is the second of three subsequent films directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and produced by Joel Silver (preceded by Romeo Must Die the year before and followed by Cradle 2 the Grave two years later) that focus on martial arts based action in an urban setting with a hip-hop heavy soundtrack and featuring many of the same cast (such as DMX and Anthony Anderson).
As of 2013, Exit Wounds is the last Steven Seagal movie to be distributed by Warner Bros. ” - d-tovstoles
Cradle 2 the Grave
A jewel thief's daughter is kidnapped after he steals a collection of prized black diamonds, which aren't at all what they seem. (101 mins.)
“ Cradle 2 the Grave is a 2003 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak featuring actor Jet Li and rapper DMX. ” - d-tovstoles
Never Die Alone
A drug kingpin's return home touches off a turf war. (88 mins.)
“ Never Die Alone is a 2004 crime thriller film directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by Donald Goines. ” - d-tovstoles
New Orleans has the No. 1 per capita murder rating in the nation. A decade earlier the city was dubbed... (90 mins.)
“ Death Toll is a 2008 action film starring DMX, Lou Diamond Phillips, Leila Arcieri and Keshia Knight Pulliam, written and produced by Daniel Garcia of the rap group Kane & Abel and directed by Phenomenon. Filming was done in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and New Orleans, Louisiana. ” - d-tovstoles
Four inner-city teenagers get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as "the juice". (95 mins.)
“ Juice is a 1992 American crime drama film that stars rapper Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. Additional cast members include Jermaine "Huggy" Hopkins, Khalil Kain, and Samuel L. Jackson; the film features cameo appearances by Queen Latifah, EPMD, Special Ed, Ed Lover, Doctor Dré, Flex Alexander, Fab Five Freddy, Yo-Yo, Donald Faison and Treach. The film was directed by cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson who has directed and written other Hollywood films such as Surviving the Game and Bulletproof as well as some television series such as ER and The Wire.
The film touches on the lives of four black youths growing up in Harlem. It follows the day to day activities in the young men's lives starting out as innocent mischief but growing more serious as time passes by. It also focuses on the struggles that these young men must go through everyday as well such as police harassment and their families.
The film was shot on location in New York City mainly in the Harlem area. ” - d-tovstoles
In this film, we see the world through the eyes of main character Justice, a young African-American poet. A mail carrier invites a few friends along for a long overnight delivery run. (109 mins.)
“ Poetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King and Joe Torry. It was written and directed by John Singleton.
The main character, Justice, writes beautiful poems which she recites throughout the movie. The poems are in fact by Maya Angelou. Angelou also appears in the movie as one of the three elderly sisters, May, June and April (called the "Calendar Sisters") whom the characters meet at a roadside family reunion. The Last Poets make an appearance toward the end of the film.
Poetic Justice reached #1 in the box office its opening weekend, grossing $11,728,455. It eventually grossed a total of $27,515,786.
Jackson received nominations for the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, with the Billboard Hot 100 number one song, "Again".
The film was later referenced in Kendrick Lamar's single "Poetic Justice", which was titled after and based on the film, sampled Jackson's "Any Time, Any Place" and became a Top 10 hit in 2013. ” - d-tovstoles
Above the Rim
Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard. (96 mins.)
“ Above the Rim is a 1994 American drama directed by Jeff Pollack. The screenplay was written by Pollack and journalist-turned-screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper (writer of New Jack City), from a story by Pollack and Benny Medina.
Starring Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, Leon Robinson and Marlon Wayans, the film tells the story of a promising New York City high school basketball star and his relationships with two people; one a drug dealer and the other a basketball star now employed as a security guard at his former high school. The movie was shot in Harlem with various scenes in the movie filmed at Manhattan Center high school in East Harlem. ” - d-tovstoles
After a friend overdoses, Spoon and Stretch decide to kick their drug habits and attempt to enroll in a government detox program... (91 mins.)
“ Gridlock'd is a 1997 crime thriller comedy-drama starring Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, and Thandie Newton. It was the directorial debut of Vondie Curtis-Hall, who also wrote the story and screenplay, and had a small part in the film. The film's opening was relatively low, despite critical acclaim; its opening weekend netted only $2,678,372 and it finished with a little over $5.5 million. The film paid tribute to star Tupac Shakur, who had been murdered four months prior to the film's release. ” - d-tovstoles
Two corrupt cops murder an undercover DEA agent by mistake, and frantically try to cover their tracks by framing a homeless man for the crime... (111 mins.)
“ Gang Related (1997) is a crime drama film written and directed by Jim Kouf which stars James Belushi, Dennis Quaid, James Earl Jones, David Paymer, and Tupac Shakur. The film revolves around two corrupt detectives who attempt to frame a homeless man for the murder of undercover DEA agent they themselves had killed. The film is also famous for being Tupac Shakur's last movie performance. ” - d-tovstoles
The life and death story of Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), who came straight out of Brooklyn to take the world of rap music by storm. (122 mins.)
“ Notorious is a 2009 American biographical film about the life and murder of The Notorious B.I.G. who is played by Jamal Woolard.
The film was released in American theaters on January 16, 2009, by Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film's MPAA rating is R for pervasive language, some strong sexuality including dialogue, nudity, and for drug content. ” - d-tovstoles
One Eight Seven
After surviving a brutal attack (Instrument used was a board with nails in it) by a student, teacher Trevor Garfield moves from New York to Los Angeles. (119 mins.)
“ One Eight Seven (also known and abbreviated as 187) is a 1997 drama/crime/thriller film directed by Kevin Reynolds. It was the first top-billed starring role for Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a Los Angeles teacher caught with gang trouble in an urban high school. The film's name comes from the California Penal Code Section 187. ” - d-tovstoles
Fun-loving Bobby is a mail boy in a big firm, but he has a trump card, his best friend Waymon, a "white"... (83 mins.)
“ Strictly Business is an 1991 American comedy film directed by Kevin Hooks, and starring Tommy Davidson, Joseph C. Phillips, and Halle Berry. The supporting cast includes Anne-Marie Johnson, David Marshall Grant, Jon Cypher, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film follows the ways of a mail clerk as he tries to hook his executive friend up with his clubbing girl pal and plays on comedy, business, romance, and ethics. It features a young Sam Rockwell, and the R&B group Jodeci right before their musical success. The film was shot at various locations in New York City. The prime location used in shooting the film was Manhattan. The film was released on November 8, 1991 and was made for a selected audience and was not as widely released as most films of that year. ” - d-tovstoles
Friends and family of a married black architect react in different ways to his affair with an Italian secretary. (132 mins.)
“ Jungle Fever is a 1991 American drama film directed by Spike Lee, starring Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra. It was Lee's fifth feature-length film. The film mainly explores interracial relationships against the urban backdrop of the streets of 90s New York City. This was the film debut of Queen Latifah and Halle Berry. ” - d-tovstoles
“ Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads is a 1983 independent film by Spike Lee. Lee submitted the film as his master's degree thesis at the Tisch School of the Arts.
Lee's classmates Ang Lee and Ernest R. Dickerson worked on the film as assistant director and cinematographer, respectively. The film was the first student film to be showcased in Lincoln Center's New Directors New Films Festival. Lee's father, Bill Lee, composed the score. The film won a Student Academy Award. ” - d-tovstoles
“ She's Gotta Have It is a 1986 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee. It is Lee's first feature-length film.
The film stars Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks and John Canada Terrell. Also appearing are cinematographer Ernest Dickerson as a Queens resident and, in an early appearance, S. Epatha Merkerson as a doctor. ” - d-tovstoles
A not so popular young man wants to pledge to a popular fraternity at his historically black college. (121 mins.)
“ School Daze is a 1988 American musical-drama film, written and directed by Spike Lee, and starring Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin. Based in part on Spike Lee's experiences at Atlanta's Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University, it is a story about fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. It also touches upon issues of real and perceived racism related to skin tone bias and hair quality within the African-American community. The second feature film by Spike Lee, School Daze was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures. ” - d-tovstoles
Do the Right Thing
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence. (120 mins.)
“ Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American drama 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 Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson. It is also notably the feature film debut of Martin Lawrence and Rosie Pérez. The movie tells the story of a neighborhood's simmering racial tension, which comes to a head and culminates in tragedy on the hottest day of the summer.
The film was a commercial success and received numerous accolades and awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Lee for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Supporting Actor for Aiello's portrayal of Sal the pizzeria owner. It is often listed among the greatest films of all time. In 1999, it was deemed to be "culturally significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, one of just five films to have this honor in their first year of eligibility. ” - d-tovstoles
Mo' Better Blues
Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic lives. (129 mins.)
“ Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 drama film starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee, who also directed. It follows a period in the life of a fictional jazz trumpeter, Bleek Gilliam (played by Washington), as a series of bad decisions result in his jeopardizing both his relationships and his playing career. The film focuses on themes of friendship, loyalty, honesty, cause-and-effect and ultimately salvation. It features the music of the Branford Marsalis quartet and Terence Blanchard on trumpet. The film was released five months after the death of Robin Harris and is dedicated to his memory. ” - d-tovstoles
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam. (202 mins.)
“ Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical motion picture about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, the film stars Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman, Jr., and Delroy Lindo. Lee has a small supporting role as Shorty, a character based partially on real-life acquaintance Malcolm "Shorty" Jarvis, a fellow criminal and jazz trumpeter. Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and future South Africa president Nelson Mandela have cameo appearances.
The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his criminal career, his incarceration, his conversion to Islam, his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his later falling out with the organization, his marriage to Betty X, his pilgrimage to Mecca and reevaluation of his views concerning whites, and his assassination on February 21, 1965. Defining childhood incidents, including his father's death, his mother's mental illness, and his experiences with racism are dramatized in flashbacks.
Malcolm X's screenplay, co-credited to Lee and Arnold Perl, is based largely on Alex Haley's 1965 book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Haley collaborated with Malcolm X on the book beginning in 1963 and completed it after Malcolm X's death.
Malcolm X was distributed by Warner Bros. and released on November 18, 1992. Denzel Washington won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". ” - d-tovstoles
's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973. (115 mins.)
“ 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 1973. Its primary focus is a young girl, Troy (played by Zelda Harris), and her family. Throughout the film, Troy learns life lessons through her four rowdy brothers, her loving but strict mother (Alfre Woodard), and her naive, struggling father (Delroy Lindo).
A distinctive characteristic of Crooklyn is its soundtrack, composed completely of music from the 1970s, except the hit single "Crooklyn" by the Crooklyn Dodgers, a rap crew composed of Buckshot, Masta Ace and Special Ed. A two-volume release of the soundtrack became available on CD along with the release of the film.
Similarly to School Daze, Do the Right Thing and She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee appears in Crooklyn. He plays a bully and drug addict named Snuffy.
Crooklyn is one of only two films directed by Spike Lee to earn a PG-13 rating in the USA, the other being 1992's Malcolm X. ” - d-tovstoles
Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them. (128 mins.)
“ Clockers is a 1995 American crime drama film directed by Spike Lee. It is an adaptation of the eponymous 1992 novel by Richard Price, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Lee. The film stars Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo, and Mekhi Phifer in his debut film role. Set in New York City, Clockers tells the story of Strike (Phifer), a street-level drug dealer who becomes entangled in a murder investigation. ” - d-tovstoles
New Jersey Drive
Jason and Midget are two young, black teenagers living in Newark,New Jersey, the unofficial car theft capital of the world... (98 mins.)
“ New Jersey Drive is a 1995 film about joy riding working class teenagers in 1990s Newark, New Jersey, the former "car theft capital of the world". Their favorite pastime is that of everybody in their neighborhood: stealing cars and joyriding. The trouble starts when they steal a police car and the cops launch a violent offensive that involves beating and even shooting suspects. The film stars Sharron Corley, Gabriel Casseus, and Saul Stein. At the time, the city of Newark had the highest automobile theft rate in the country, and Newark mayor Sharpe James refused to allow filming of New Jersey Drive within the city limits; therefore, the filming locations were in the surrounding locations of Newark and mainly East Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York rather than Newark itself. ” - d-tovstoles
Tales from the Hood
A funeral director tells four strange tales of horror with an African American focus to three drug dealers he traps in his place of business. (98 mins.)
“ Tales From the Hood is a 1995 horror anthology film directed by Rusty Cundieff, and executive produced by Spike Lee. The film presents four short African American-themed horror stories, presented within a frame story of three drug dealers buying some "found" drugs from an eccentric and story-prone funeral director. ” - d-tovstoles
Get on the Bus
A disparate group of African-American men travel by bus to Washington, DC for the Million Man March. (120 mins.)
“ Get on the Bus is a 1996 film about a group of African-American men who are taking a cross-country bus trip in order to participate in the Million Man March. The film was directed by Spike Lee and premiered on the one-year anniversary of the march. ” - d-tovstoles
4 Little Girls
A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement. (102 mins.)
“ 4 Little Girls is a 1997 American historical documentary film about the 15 September 1963 murder of four African-American girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. It was directed by Spike Lee and nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Documentary".
The events inspired the 1964 song "Birmingham Sunday" by Richard and Mimi Fariña. The song was used in the opening sequence of the film, as sung by Mimi's sister, Joan Baez.
4 Little Girls premiered Wednesday, June 25, 1997 at the Guild 50th Street Theatre in New York City. It was produced by 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Lee's production company, and Home Box Office (HBO). ” - d-tovstoles
He Got Game
A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence. (136 mins.)
“ He Got Game is a 1998 American sports-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate convicted for killing his wife. The father of the top-ranked basketball prospect in the country, Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by NBA star Ray Allen), Jake is released on parole for a week by the state's governor in order to persuade his son to play for the governor's alma mater in exchange for a heavily reduced prison sentence. Filming took place between July and September 1997, and locations such as Coney Island, Brooklyn, Cabrini–Green housing projects in Chicago, Illinois, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California. ” - d-tovstoles
The Best Man
Harper's autobiographical novel is almost out, his girlfriend Robin desires commitment, and he's best man at the wedding of Lance... (120 mins.)
“ The Best Man is an American 1999 romantic comedy-drama film, written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It was produced by 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, with Lee's cousin, Spike Lee, serving as producer. The film stars Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut and Sanaa Lathan, and is considered to be a male-centered answer to female-targeted films such as Waiting to Exhale.
A Christmas-themed sequel, The Best Man Holiday, was released on November 15, 2013 with a reunited cast. ” - d-tovstoles
“ The Original Kings of Comedy is a 2000 stand-up comedy film, directed by Spike Lee, and featuring the comedy routines of Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. Filmed in front of an audience at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, the comedians give the audience their views about African-American culture, race relations, religion and family. The film was produced by MTV Films and Latham Entertainment, and distributed by Paramount Pictures.
The film was shot over the last two nights (February 26 and February 27, 2000) of the Kings of Comedy tour with Harvey, Hughley, Cedric, and Mac. Its on-stage routines are intercut with brief sections of video footage showing the comedians backstage, promoting the show on the radio, at the hotel, and during a basketball game. The film spawned into multiple spin-offs and films similar to this one. ” - d-tovstoles
Love & Basketball
In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad... (124 mins.)
“ Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film tells the story of Quincy McCall (Epps) and Monica Wright (Lathan), two next-door neighbors in Los Angeles, California who are pursuing their basketball careers before eventually falling for each other. The film was produced by 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, and marks the directing debut of screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood. ” - d-tovstoles
She Hate Me
Fired from his job for exposing corrupt business practices, a former biotech executive turns to impregnating wealthy lesbians for profit. (138 mins.)
“ She Hate Me is a 2004 independent comedy-drama film directed by Spike Lee and starring Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Ellen Barkin, Monica Bellucci, Brian Dennehy, Woody Harrelson, Bai Ling and John Turturro.
The film garnered controversy, and, as with many of Lee's films, touches on comedy, drama, and politics. Unlike many prior works, Spike Lee does not have an acting credit in this film.
The film was shot mostly on location in New York City, including each of the city's five boroughs. It was nominated for various awards (see below), but did not win. She Hate Me was released in July 2004 and grossed almost half a million dollars at the box office in limited release, with overall revenues of around $1.5 million. The shooting budget was estimated at $8 million. ” - d-tovstoles
Sucker Free City
(2004 TV Movie)
Sucker-Free City, or S.F.C., revolves around the conflicts among white, black, Latino and Asian street gangs in San Francisco. (113 mins.)
“ Sucker Free City is a 2004 television film directed by Spike Lee. The film examines white, black, and Chinese characters in San Francisco and the conflicts they encounter with each other. The film was intended to be the pilot for a Showtime television series, but Showtime declined to pick up the series. The film was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and was subsequently broadcast on television on the Showtime Network. ” - d-tovstoles
Miracle's Boys is about three brothers on their own going through life.
“ Miracle's Boys is a six-part miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Jacqueline Woodson, shown on The N in February 2005. The series was directed by Neema Barnette, LeVar Burton, Ernest R. Dickerson, Bill Duke, and Spike Lee and was filmed on-site in Harlem, New York. It also includes a theme song by rapper Nas. ” - d-tovstoles
All the Invisible Children
Seven short films - each one focused on the plight of a different child protagonist. (124 mins.)
“ All the Invisible Children is a 2005 anthology film on the theme of childhood and exploitation. It is a collection of seven short films, each focused on a different child. The film has a total runtime of 116 minutes, averaging 16 minutes each. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 1 September 2005. ” - d-tovstoles
When We Were Kings
A documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire, "The Rumble in the Jungle," between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali. (88 mins.)
“ When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The fight was held in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30, 1974.
The film features a number of celebrities, including James Brown, Jim Brown, B.B. King, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, Spike Lee and Thomas Hauser.
When We Were Kings was released in 1996 to strong reviews, and won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. ” - d-tovstoles
The Best Man Holiday
When college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays, they discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be reignited. (123 mins.)
“ The Best Man Holiday is a 2013 American Christmas comedy-drama film directed and written by Malcolm D. Lee, a sequel to the 1999 film, The Best Man. The film, released on November 15, 2013 by Universal Pictures, stars Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Morris Chestnut,Monica Calhoun, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall, reprising their roles from the 1999 film along with the supporting cast. ” - d-tovstoles
New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder. (99 mins.)
“ Shaft is a 2000 American action-crime film directed by John Singleton, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Pat Hingle, Toni Collette, Busta Rhymes, Vanessa L. Williams, and Mekhi Phifer. This film is not a remake of the 1971 film of the same name, but rather a sequel, since it features Richard Roundtree briefly reprising his role as the original John Shaft. Jackson's John Shaft character is the nephew of the original John Shaft. The film received fairly positive reviews and opened at the number one position at the box office when it debuted June 16, 2000. ” - d-tovstoles
This is the story of Jody, an unemployed young black man, who's been living with his mother for several years... (130 mins.)
“ Baby Boy is a 2001 American coming-of-age urban comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Singleton. It has been considered a sequel of sorts to Singleton's more famous work Boyz n the Hood. The film follows bicycle mechanic Joseph "Jody" Summers as he lives and learns in his everyday life in the hood of Los Angeles. It represented the film debut of R&B singer Tyrese Gibson. Baby Boy was filmed in 2000 and released in summer 2001. ” - d-tovstoles
2 Fast 2 Furious
Former cop Brian O'Conner is called upon to bust a dangerous criminal and he recruits the help of a former childhood friend and street racer who has a chance to redeem himself. (107 mins.)
“ 2 Fast 2 Furious is a 2003 American street racing action film directed by John Singleton. It is the second installment in The Fast and the Furious film series. In 2 Fast 2 Furious, ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) teams up with his ex-con friend Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and works with undercover U.S. Customs Service agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) to bring Miami-based drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) down. ” - d-tovstoles
Four brothers look to avenge their mother's death. (109 mins.)
“ Four Brothers is a 2005 American vigilante film directed by John Singleton. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin and Garrett Hedlund. The film was shot in Detroit, Michigan and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. ” - d-tovstoles
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. (165 mins.)
“ Django Unchained is a 2012 American western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film was released on December 25, 2012 (Christmas Day), in North America.
Set in the antebellum era of the Deep South and Old West, the film follows a freed slave (Foxx) who treks across the United States with a bounty hunter (Waltz) on a mission to rescue his wife (Washington) from a cruel plantation owner (DiCaprio).
The film received very positive reviews from critics and was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Christoph Waltz received several accolades for his performance, and won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His first Oscar was for another Tarantino film, 2009's Inglourious Basterds; few actors have won more than once in this category. Tarantino won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, his second Oscar in this category for which he first won in 1995 for co-writing Pulp Fiction, as well as the Golden Globe and the BAFTA. The film grossed over $425 million in theaters worldwide, making it Tarantino's highest grossing film to date. ” - d-tovstoles
The Great White Hype
When the champ's promoter, Rev. Sultan, decides something new is needed to boost the marketability of the boxing matches... (91 mins.)
“ The Great White Hype is a 1996 film directed by Reginald Hudlin. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Berg, Damon Wayans, Jeff Goldblum, Jon Lovitz, Cheech Marin, John Rhys-Davies, Salli Richardson and Jamie Foxx.
The movie is a satire of racism in boxing. The name is a play on the title of the 1970 film, The Great White Hope, but it is not based on an actual boxing contest. It was inspired by Larry Holmes's 1982 fight with Gerry Cooney and Mike Tyson's 1995 return fight vs. Peter McNeeley.
The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox, which also distributed the earlier film. ” - d-tovstoles
Two friends who have gone too long without sex set out to get some. (79 mins.)
“ Booty Call is a 1997 comedy film, written by J. Stanford Parker (credited as Bootsie) and Takashi Bufford, and directed by Jeff Pollack. The film stars Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, Vivica A. Fox and Tamala Jones. ” - d-tovstoles
While they're on vacation in the Southwest, Rae finds out her man Michael spent their house money on a classic car... (89 mins.)
“ Held Up is a 1999 American comedy film starring Jamie Foxx and Nia Long. ” - d-tovstoles
Any Given Sunday
A behind-the-scenes look at the life-and-death struggles of modern-day gladiators and those who lead them. (162 mins.)
“ Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, consisting of Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and legendary NFL players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor.
Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer. ” - d-tovstoles
A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974. (157 mins.)
“ Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of the boxer Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith, from 1964 to 1974 featuring his capture of the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston, his conversion to Islam, criticism of the Vietnam War, banishment from boxing, his return to fight Joe Frazier in 1971, and, lastly, his reclaiming the title from George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle fight of 1974. It also discusses the great social and political upheaval in the United States following the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. ” - d-tovstoles
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles
, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s. (152 mins.)
“ Ray is a 2004 biographical film focusing on 30 years of the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was directed by Taylor Hackford and starred Jamie Foxx in the title role; Foxx received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.
Charles was set to attend an opening of the completed film, but he died of liver disease in June, several months before its premiere. ” - d-tovstoles
“ Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story is a 2004 television film starring Jamie Foxx and Lynn Whitfield. The film was directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. Other cast members in the film include Lee Thompson Young and CCH Pounder. ” - d-tovstoles
Before I Self Destruct
A coming of age story about an inner-city youth raised by a hardworking single mother. When his dream... (79 mins.)
“ Before I Self Destruct is a 2009 American crime drama film starring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson that is included with the album of the same name. It was released on November 23, 2009. ” - d-tovstoles
A drama set in the world of gun-running. (82 mins.)
“ Gun is a 2010 direct-to-video action film directed by Jessy Terrero, written by Curtis Jackson starring himself, Val Kilmer and James Remar. Filming took place in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. ” - d-tovstoles
Eddie Murphy: Raw
Eddie Murphy in a stand-up performance recorded live. For an hour and a half he talks about his favourite subjects: sex and women. (93 mins.)
“ Eddie Murphy Raw (1987) is an American stand-up comedy film directed by Robert Townsend and starring Eddie Murphy. It was Murphy's second feature stand-up video, following Eddie Murphy Delirious. The 93-minute show was filmed in New York City's Felt Forum, a venue in the Madison Square Garden complex. ” - d-tovstoles
The Return of Superfly
This is a sequel to the movie, Superfly. In it Nathan Purdee is now playing the role of Priest who was played by Ron O'Neal in the previous movie... (95 mins.)
“ The Return of Superfly is a 1990 blaxploitation film directed by Sig Shore as the second sequel to the 1972 film, Super Fly (after Super Fly T.N.T.). The film starred Nathan Purdee and Margaret Avery and featured a performance by Samuel L. Jackson. In this third entry in the Super Fly films, Priest returns to New York from Paris to find who is responsible for his friend's murder. With a couple of new friends, he attempts to bring the killers to justice while trying not to get into criminal activity like he did years ago. ” - d-tovstoles
In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East. (157 mins.)
“ American Gangster is a 2007 American biographical drama crime film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Steve Zaillian. The film is based on the criminal career of Frank Lucas, a gangster from La Grange, North Carolina who smuggled heroin into the United States on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War before being detained by a task force led by detective Richie Roberts. It features Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington in leading roles, with Ted Levine, John Ortiz, Josh Brolin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Ruby Dee, and Lymari Nadal in supporting roles.
Development for the film initially began in 2000, when Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment purchased the rights to a New York magazine story about the rise and fall of Lucas. Two years later, screenwriter Steven Zaillian introduced a 170-page scriptment to Scott. Original production plans were to commence in Toronto for budget purposes; however, production eventually relocated permanently to New York City. Because of the film's rising budget Universal canceled production in 2004. After negotiations with Terry George, it was later revived with Scott at the helm in March 2005. Principal photography commenced over a period of five months from July to December 2006; filming took place throughout New York City and concluded in Thailand.
American Gangster premiered in New York on October 20, 2007, and was released in the United States and Canada on November 2. The film was well received by most film critics, and grossed over US$266.5 million worldwide, with domestic grosses standing at $130.1 million. Many of the people portrayed, including Roberts and Lucas, have stated that the film took many creative licenses with the story, and three former DEA agents sued Universal claiming the agency's portrayal was demoralizing. American Gangster was nominated for twenty-one awards, including two Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Supporting Actress (Ruby Dee), and won three including a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for Dee. ” - d-tovstoles
Menace II Society
A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life. (97 mins.)
“ 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 Caine Lawson and his close friends. It gained notoriety for its scenes of violence, profanity, and drug-related content. Menace II Society was critically acclaimed for its gritty portrayal of urban violence and its powerful underlying messages. ” - d-tovstoles
A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed. (119 mins.)
“ Dead Presidents is a 1995 American crime film written by Michael Henry Brown, also written, produced and directed by the Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen Hughes), starring Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker, Freddy Rodriguez, N'Bushe Wright and Bokeem Woodbine. The film chronicles the life of Anthony Curtis, focusing on his teenage years as a high school graduate and his experiences during the Vietnam War. As he returns to his hometown in The Bronx, Curtis finds himself struggling to support himself and his family, eventually turning to a life of crime.
Dead Presidents is based partly on the real-life experiences of Haywood T. Kirkland, whose true story was detailed in the book Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans by Wallace Terry. Certain characters from the film are based on real acquaintances of Kirkland, who served time in prison after committing robbery in facepaint. ” - d-tovstoles
Street pimps, all of them African-American, discuss their lives and work: getting started, being flamboyant... (87 mins.)
“ American Pimp is a 1999 documentary that examines the pimp subculture in the United States. It was directed by the Hughes Brothers, the filmmakers behind Menace II Society and Dead Presidents.
The documentary consists of first person interviews of people involved in the pimping lifestyle. The interviews are separated by short clips from 1970s blaxploitation films such as Willie Dynamite, The Mack, and Dolemite.
The first portion of the documentary focuses on pimps working illegally. The illegal pimps that are interviewed are from all over the United States, e.g., Charm from Hawaii, Fillmore Slim from San Francisco, and Payroll from Las Vegas. These pimps, and many others discuss their theories on the history of prostitution. The pimps go on to talk about their philosophy on pimping, and how they live their daily life.
The film also discusses the legal sector of prostitution. Dennis Hof, the owner of the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, is interviewed. He feels that Nevada is much smarter than the other states because they have imposed the proper health and background checks on prostitution, instead of trying to suppress prostitution by making it illegal.
The majority of the documentary glorifies the pimping lifestyle. The pimps and prostitutes interviewed mainly discuss the perks of the lifestyle. They talk about the money they have made, and the expensive suits and cars they were able to buy. However, near the end of the film, the interviews involve prostitutes that have died from the lifestyle as well as pimps who have retired and hold straight jobs or those who are now in jail. ” - d-tovstoles
Knights of the South Bronx
(2005 TV Movie)
The movie is based on the life & times of David MacEnulty who taught schoolchildren of the Bronx Community... (89 mins.)
“ Knights of the South Bronx is a 2005 TV film about a teacher who helps students at a tough inner-city school to succeed by teaching them to play chess. It was directed by Allen Hughes and written by Jamal Joseph (story and teleplay) and Dianne Houston (teleplay). ” - d-tovstoles
Death and violence anger a 12-year-old drug courier, who puts his employer's against each other. (114 mins.)
“ Fresh is a 1994 crime film written and directed by Boaz Yakin in his film directorial debut, and produced by Lawrence Bender (seen in a cameo appearance), who was riding the wave of success of Reservoir Dogs. It was scored by Stewart Copeland, a member of The Police.
Marketed as a hip hop 'hood film, Fresh went relatively unnoticed by the public, but won critical acclaim. An emotional coming of age story, it offers a realistic glimpse of the dangerous life in New York City's projects during the crack epidemic. "There's shocking resonance to the notion of a grade-school boy who's become a criminal out of sheer pragmatism," wrote Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman ” - d-tovstoles
Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract with him. (136 mins.)
“ Coach Carter is a 2005 American drama sports film directed by Thomas Carter. It is based on a true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, who made headlines in 1999 for benching his undefeated high school basketball team due to poor academic results. The story was conceived from a screenplay co-written by John Gatins and Mark Schwahn, who created the TV series One Tree Hill. The film also recycles a handful of plot devices from another television series, The White Shadow, which director Carter also co-starred in. The ensemble cast features Rob Brown, Channing Tatum, Debbi Morgan, and musical entertainer Ashanti.
The film was a co-production between the motion picture studios of MTV Films and Tollin/Robbins Productions. Theatrically and for the home video rental market, it was commercially distributed by Paramount Pictures. Coach Carter explores professional ethics, academics and athletics. The sports action in the film was coordinated by the production company ReelSports. On January 11, 2005, the original motion picture soundtrack was released by the Capitol Records music label. The film score was composed and orchestrated by musician Trevor Rabin.
Coach Carter premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on January 14, 2005 grossing $67,264,877 in domestic ticket receipts. The film took in an additional $9,404,929 in business through international release for a combined worldwide total of $76,669,806. Preceding its initial screening in cinemas, the film was generally met with positive critical reviews. With its initial foray into the home video marketplace; the widescreen DVD edition of the film featuring deleted scenes, a music video, and special features among other highlights, was released in the United States on June 21, 2005. ” - d-tovstoles
Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader. (100 mins.)
“ Soul Men is a 2008 American musical comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac, Sharon Leal and Sean Hayes. This was Bernie Mac's final film appearance, before his death on August 9, 2008. The film was released on November 7, 2008.
Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes both died in unrelated circumstances on August 9 & 10 of 2008, respectively. Director Lee said the film was heavily re-edited to soften the tone of the film, as a tribute to the two actors. ” - d-tovstoles
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. (110 mins.)
“ Precious (full title Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire) is a 2009 American drama film directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey. The film marked the acting debut of Sidibe.
The film, then without a distributor, premiered to acclaim at both the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, under its original title of Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire. At Sundance, it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for best drama, as well as a Special Jury Prize for supporting actress Mo'Nique. After Precious' screening at Sundance in February 2009, Tyler Perry announced that he and Oprah Winfrey would be providing promotional assistance to the film, which was released through Lions Gate Entertainment. Precious won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film's title was changed from Push to Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, to avoid confusion with the 2009 action film Push. Precious was also an official selection at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival (particularly the Un Certain Regard category).
Lionsgate gave the film a limited release in North America on November 6, 2009 (the release was expanded on November 20). Precious received largely positive reviews from critics: the acting, the story, and its message were generally praised. In the film's opening weekend in limited release, it grossed $1.8 million, putting it in 12th place at the box office. As of February 2010, the film had grossed over $47 million domestically, ranking no. 65 for 2009, recouping its $10 million budget, and making it a box office success.
Precious received six nominations, including one for Best Picture, at the 82nd Academy Awards. Geoffrey Fletcher won for Best Adapted Screenplay. Mo'Nique won the award for Best Supporting Actress, for which she received a standing ovation at the ceremony, along with numerous other accolades. ” - d-tovstoles
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. (146 mins.)
“ The Help is a 2011 American drama film adaptation of the novel of the same name (2009) by Kathryn Stockett, adapted for the screen and directed by Tate Taylor. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about a young white woman, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, and her relationship with two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson during Civil Rights era America (the early 1960s). Skeeter is a journalist who decides to write a book from the point of view of the maids (referred to as "the help"), exposing the racism they are faced with as they work for white families.
Set in Jackson, Mississippi, it stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Ahna O'Reilly, Chris Lowell, Sissy Spacek, Mike Vogel, Cicely Tyson, LaChanze, and Allison Janney. Produced by DreamWorks Pictures and distributed by Disney's Touchstone Pictures label, the film opened to positive reviews and became a box-office success with a gross of $211.6 million against its budget of $25 million.
In February 2012, the film received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress for Davis, Best Supporting Actress for Chastain, and a win for Best Supporting Actress for Spencer. On January 29, 2012, the film won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a ” - d-tovstoles
The Great Debaters
A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. (126 mins.)
“ The Great Debaters is a 2007 American biopic period drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington and produced by Oprah Winfrey and her production company, Harpo Productions. It is based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team by Tony Scherman for the 1997 Spring issue of American Legacy.
The film co-stars Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker, Denzel Whitaker, Gina Ravera, Jermaine Williams and Jurnee Smollett. The screenplay was written by Robert Eisele. The film was released in theaters on December 25, 2007. ” - d-tovstoles
A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires. (120 mins.)
“ Blade is a 1998 American vampire-superhero action film starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff, loosely based on the Marvel Comics character Blade. Snipes plays Blade, a human-vampire hybrid who protects humans from vampires.
The film was directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer. Blade grossed $70 million at the U.S. box office, and $131.2 million worldwide. It was followed by two sequels, Blade II and Blade: Trinity, both written by Goyer. ” - d-tovstoles
Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires. (117 mins.)
“ Blade II is a 2002 American vampire superhero action film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Blade. It is the sequel of the first film and the second part of the Blade film series. It was written by David S. Goyer, who also wrote the previous film. Guillermo del Toro was signed in to direct, and Wesley Snipes returned as the lead character and producer.
The film follows the dhampir Blade in his continuing effort to protect humans from vampires. ” - d-tovstoles
Paid in Full
A young man from Harlem, forced to cope with the 1980s drug scene, builds an illegal empire, only to have a crisis of conscience. (97 mins.)
“ Paid in Full is a 2002 American crime drama film that was produced by Roc-A-Fella Films and directed by Charles Stone III. It takes place in Harlem just before the Crack Epidemic that hit during the 1980s. The title of the film is taken from the 1987 album by Eric B. and Rakim.
"Paid in Full" is based on three friends Alberto "Alpo" Martinez, Rich Porter and Azie "AZ" Faison. Cam'ron plays as Rico, Mekhi Phifer plays as Mitch, and Ace is played by Wood Harris. ” - d-tovstoles
Blade, now a wanted man by the FBI, must join forces with the Nightstalkers to face his most challenging enemy yet: Dracula. (113 mins.)
“ Blade: Trinity is a 2004 American vampire superhero action film, written and directed by David S. Goyer, who also wrote the screenplays to the first two Blade films. It is the third and final film in the Blade trilogy, following on from Blade and Blade II and it is based on the Marvel Comics character Blade, played by Wesley Snipes. The story continues in 2006's Blade: The Series. This was Wesley Snipes' last theatrical release film until 2009's Brooklyn's Finest. ” - d-tovstoles