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John Singleton United States, 1991

Zachary T.'s rating of the film Boyz n the Hood

Its soundtrack hasn't exactly aged well, but really, the sympathetic characters and gritty presentation transcend any minute flaws or awkwardness. Fishburne's truth-bomb monologue on gentrification is built to and earned, and aside from that, it's never preachy or didactic; just honest, intimate, and vital.