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Michael (or Fresh as he's well known) is a 12-year-old drug pusher who lives in a crowded housing project with his cousins and aunt. His father has become a street bum, but still meets with... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Brice ...
Jean-Claude La Marre ...
Jake (as Jean LaMarre)
Luis Lantigua ...
Aunt Frances
Anthony Thomas ...
Curtis McClarin ...
Darryl (as Curtis L. McClarin)
Víctor González ...


Michael (or Fresh as he's well known) is a 12-year-old drug pusher who lives in a crowded housing project with his cousins and aunt. His father has become a street bum, but still meets with Fresh on occasion to play chess. Fresh is rather quiet in a crazy world. Fresh's sister is a junkie who sleeps with the dealers who Fresh sells for. As the story progresses Fresh realizes that he doesn't want to sell drugs anymore, he wants out. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In a world where criminals make the rules an innocent boy is out to beat them at their own game. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense, realistic depiction of urban violence, and for drug content, pervasive language, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kint az utcán  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)


$8,094,616 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Fresh comes over to His Dad's Sam's Trailer, Sam (Samuel L. Jackson) who's a drunk,a chess hustler and down on the dumps tells Fresh (Sean Nelson)"Welcome to the Taj Mahal" Sam Jackson used that as a parody to His role as a homeless crackhead in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever (1991) where Westley Snipe's character searches for Sam Jackson "Gator" in a Crackhouse. When Westley who played Flipper, finally finds Gator, hears the same comment about the Taj Mahal. See more »


Curtis's right arm moves from being near his face to being along his body after Jake kills him on the playground. See more »


Esteban: Yeah, I'm asking you a question, is she a freak?
Fresh: Man, you're married.
Esteban: I know you're just a kid Fresh, even though you're smart, so I let you talk to me like that just this one time, but you tell me! You better tell me who she's fucking with.
See more »


Referenced in Dirty Pretty Things (2002) See more »


The Ghetto
Written by Hathaway & Hutson
Published by Peer International Corp./Don Pow Music
Performed by Johnny Gill
Produced by Chuckii Booker for Big Dog Productions
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

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User Reviews

This is the best drama I have EVER seen
30 April 2001 | by (California) – See all my reviews

This film will completely astound you. Unspoiled by the gangsta rap, and glamorisation of street culture that normally pervades a 'black' film, it tells the story of the 12-year old, chess-playing, drug-dealing streetwise genius, Fresh.

Living in poverty with 11 others in his aunt's house, and using his wits to survive, he slowly gets trapped deeper and deeper in the world of drugs, a world in which all his loyalties are challenged.

Most 'hood films either satirise black culture completely with their loud, cool attitudes, or on the other become touchy-feely anti-drugs schmaltz. This is the ONLY film I have seen to tread the thin line between them and come away looking not only credible, but superbly enjoyable.

Both Giancarlo Esposito (the smooth talking drugs dealer) and Samuel L. Jackson (the alcoholic chess-master tramp) give strong, realistic performances in challenging roles. The other characters (like N'Bushe Wright's portrayal of Fresh's sister) are also incredibly well played, and every single one of them is believable.

However, the main credit HAS to go to Sean Nelson. I have never seen such a dignified performance, and i can honestly say that I was AMAZED at how involving the film was. You could empathise with him every step of the way. He was never overly emotional, yet never came across as being arrogant and calculating. He plays the 'streetwise genius' role to perfection, again, remaining completely credible.

The script was also fantastic. Full marks to Boaz Yakin for such an accurate picture of life in the ghetto. This is not a film for those who want the cheap formulaic thrills of violence, sex and guns that are so prevalent today. There are no special effects, no overly violent scenes. Instead, the movie relies on superb acting and a relentless drive for gritty realism.

I cannot recommend this film enough to anyone who appreciates drama - it will really open your eyes.

40 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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