AAlthough the genre features many titles, we have compiled a list of the 10 best black gangster movies. The black gangster film genre has spanned across several sub-genres, such as hood films and crime dramas. Several have even won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Director. These movies depicted fantastic and engaging stories that revolve around a struggle of some sort, complete with original and intriguing characters that we still remember to this day. There's more than enough great black gangster movies, but here are the ten best:
- "New Jack City" (1991): Think "Scarface;" New York City Hip-Hop style. In this all-star black gangster classic, Wesley Snipes portrays Nino Brown, a vicious drug lord who takes New York City by storm.
- "King of New York" (1990): "Robin Hood" meets the mafia. Christopher Walken plays Frank White, a mob boss who's fresh out of prison, ready to eliminate the greedy, and give back to the poor by all means necessary. Laurence Fishburne plays his right hand man.
- "American Gangster" (2007): Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of drug lord Frank Lucas who enlisted the help of his relatives and close friends to smuggle drugs straight from the source during Vietnam.
- "Hoodlum" (1997): A classic 90's crime film also starring Laurence Fishburne depicts a fictionalized version of the gang wars between the black gangsters of Harlem, New York and Italian/Jewish mafia during the late 1920s-early 1930s period. The film featured three of the most well-known gangsters from the era: Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson, Lucky Luciano, and Dutch Schultz.
- "Boyz 'N The Hood" (1991): Known as one of the best 'hood films' of the 1990s and directed by John Singleton, this film features an all-star cast that focuses on the poor life of black gangsters in South Central Los Angeles, California. It was nominated for Best Director (the first African-American director to be nominated) and Original Screenplay during the Academy Awards of 1991.
- "Dead Presidents" (1995): Featuring a talented cast including Larenz Tate, Keith David, and Chris Tucker, "Dead Presidents" focuses on the struggle of returned war veterans who are looked down up on by the U.S. government. Anthony Curtis is unable to find support or employment, until he meets a war veteran who has turned to crime to make a better living.
- "Juice" (1992): This classic black crime drama starring Tupac Shakur depicted the lives of four black teenagers growing up in Harlem, from their daily activities, to conflicts with their families and the police, to their overall innocence which they eventually come to lose.
- "Menace II Society" (1993): The first film to be directed by twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes, the film garnered much gossip and recognition for its many scenes of foul language, strong graphic violence, and drug content. It was packed with an all-star cast that included Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, Jada-Pinkett Smith, and Samuel L. Jackson.
- "Training Day" (2001): Starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, "Training Day" depicts a tale of two narcotic detectives amidst a period of 24 hours in the ganglands of South Los Angeles. Washington won the Academy Award for Best Actor on this film.
- "Above The Rim" (1996): Another classic Tupac Shakur film, "Above the Rim" tells the tale of a potential high school basketball player in New York City and examines his relationship with two people in particular: a former basketball star who now works for his former high school and a drug dealer in a black gang.
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