Monday, September 12, 2011

Top 5 Inner City Movies

Since this is a long list there are some qualifying factors.  The neighborhood has to be a character (ie memorable).  The city has to be urban (so, Billy Elliot, El Mariachi and Fish Tank are out).  There are films that I’m on the fence about, such as The Last Dragon, Seven, LA Confidential and The Departed, which definitely have aspects that should get them on this list, but for LA Confidential the inner workings aren’t unique to LA and besides some accents, it’s hard to argue that The Departed is a unique depiction of Boston sub-culture.  The city in Seven was such a character, but more to set a mood than the actual city itself.  It could be Chicago (with the elevated train), or New York (screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker credits this city as his biggest influence), or even Boston (there is a radio broadcast on at one point – with a DJ from Boston – John McClellan). However, the city itself was never actually mentioned.  Further to that point, I’m ruling out any cities that don’t actually exist, such as Dark City and Gotham in Batman (1988) and Batman Begins (2007).

Honorable Mentions:
25th Hour
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Above the Law
Amores Perros
Bad Lt.
Big Trouble Little China
Bloody Sunday
Boyz N’ the Hood
Chop Shop
Dark Days (documentary)
Dirty Pretty Things
Elite Squad
Far and Away
Gangs of New York
Ghost Dog – Way of the Samurai
Gone Baby Gone
Hard to Kill
In America
Laws of Gravity
Lean on Me
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Menace II Society
New Jack City
Out for Justice
Outside the Law
Pope of Greenwich Village
Pusher (entire trilogy)
Raging Bull
Raising Victor Vargas
Saturday Night Fever
Scarface (Original)
Slumdog Millionaire
Taxi Driver
The Basketball Diaries
The Corruptor
The Fighter
The Informer (1935)
White Men Can’t Jump

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