Boyz n the Hood (1991)
John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood remains one of the best fictionalized and most poignant summaries of some of America's toughest internal problems - racism, violence, poverty, and drug abuse. This is not a hip-hop film, nor a detached and dehumanized story about "gang violence" (the great over-simplified scapegoat of the issues treated in this film), its a story about growing up fatherless or motherless in a war zone with a faceless enemy, where people do not value each other's lives at all and value their own lives only slightly more.
Laurence Fishburn leads one of the best casts of the early 1990s, in his memorable portrayal of Furious Styles, a father trying to raise his son (Cuba Gooding Jr) well in an environment where murder and substance abuse are day-to-day realities - South Central L.A. The film follows his son, Tre, and his friends, from the hardships of childhood in an irrelevant educational system and a neighborhood which doesn't allow kids to be kids, through to the realities of making decisions about the value of life and the development of responsibility and hope as young adults. (IMDB mstomaso)