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Hood Film
A 2003 photo of director John Singleton, one of the creators of the genre.
Years active1990s
CountryUnited States
Major figuresHughes Brothers, Ernest Dickerson, F. Gary Gray, Spike Lee, John Singleton, Mario Van Peebles
InfluencesBlaxploitation, L.A. Rebellion, Mexploitation, Race film
InfluencedHood parody, e.g. Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

Hood film is a 1990s film genre originating in the United States, which features aspects of urban African American or Hispanic American culture. John Singleton, Mario Van Peebles, F. Gary Gray, Hughes Brothers, and Spike Lee are all directors who have created work typically classified as part of this genre.[1]

The genre has since spread outside the US, to places such as the UK where the genre predominantly showcases aspects of urban Black British culture.[2][3][4]


Characteristics include hip hop music (including gangsta rap), street gangs, racial discrimination, organized crime, gangster, gang affiliation scenes, broken families, drug use and trafficking, and the problems of young people coming of age or struggling amid the relative poverty and violent gang activity within such neighborhoods.

Critical definitions

Critic Murray Forman notes that the "spatial logic" of hip-hop culture, with heavy emphasis on place-based identity, locates "black youth urban experience within an environment of continual proximate danger," and this quality defines the hood film.[1] In a 1992 essay in Cineaction, Canadian critic Rinaldo Walcott identified the hood film's primary concerns as issues of masculinity and "(re)gaining manhood for black men."[5]


Main article: List of hood films

The genre reached the height of its popularity in the 1990s due to the acclaim of the films New Jack City, Boyz n the Hood, Juice and Menace II Society. With the plethora of films both dramas and comedies, hood films of the 1990s are in a sense neo-Blaxploitation films and Mexploitation films.[6][7][8]

The genre has also been parodied with such films as Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.

See also


  1. ^ a b Murray Forman (2002). The 'Hood Comes First: race, space, and place in rap and hip-hop. Wesleyan University Press.
  2. ^ "An Introduction To UK Hood Movies". Complex. Retrieved 2022-06-04.
  3. ^ "Radio 1Xtra Stories: Gangs On Film - Fact or Fiction?". Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  4. ^ Foster, Leonard (2010-05-14). "Noel Clarke and Shanika Warren-Markland: Stars of". FLAVOURMAG. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  5. ^ John McCullough (2006). "Rude and the Representation of Class Relations in Canadian Film". Working on Screen: Representations of the Working Class in Canadian Cinema. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802093882. Archived from the original on 2022-06-04. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  6. ^ ""Menace II Society" – Cineaste". Archived from the original on 2006-09-08. Retrieved 2006-08-17.
  7. ^ Which Way to the Promised Land?: Spike Lee's Clockers and the Legacy of the African American City Archived 2006-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, Paula J. Massood, African American Review, Summer 2001
  8. ^ "Lowering the bar: State of black film at the moment". Archived from the original on 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2007-02-17.