The 10 best street gang movies contain toughened criminals, robberies, and shoot outs. If you want to see a gritty thriller about crime on the streets, watch one of these films. The movies portray various street gangs from the 1800’s to modern day to even the future.

  1. “American Gangster” This street gang movie stars Denzel Washington as a successful drug king pin who finds a cheap way to smuggle heroin into the country. Russell Crowe plays the cop who attempts to take down his enterprise. The street gang move is based on a true story.

  2. “Colors” In this street gang movie, Sean Penn takes on the role of a rookie cop who is paired with a veteran played by Robert Duvall. Together, they must patrol through the streets of East L.A. and attempt to stand against the violence occurring between the Crips and the Bloods. This street gang movie was directed by Dennis Hopper.

  3. “Training Day” This best street gang movie stars Denzel Washington, this time as a detective who begins training a newly assigned cop played by Ethan Hawke. Washington’s solutions for cleaning up the gangs around L.A. make Hawke’s character question the ethics of those serving the state.

  4. “A Clockwork Orange” For a street gang movie set in the future, rent this Stanley Kubrick classic from the 1970’s. Malcolm McDowell plays a vicious street youth who rapes and pillages victims around him. When he is finally caught and placed in a controversial therapy program, the rehabilitation process becomes just as nasty as his crimes.

  5. “City of God” This film shows the brutality of the Rio de Janeiro gangs, who indoctrinate children in violence from a very young age. The street gang movie follows one young man in his attempt to escape the bloodshed and become a photographer.

  6. “The Outsiders” This street gang story was often required reading in school and offers a great film adaptation directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie chronicles the street feud between the wealthy Socs and the poor Greasers. The film stars Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Diane Lane, and Matt Dillon in many of their early roles.

  7. “Sin Nombre” A Spanish language film, “Sin Nombre” chronicles one girl’s trek from the Honduras to the U.S. Along the way, she meets another young man, who is on the run from his own gang after killing its leader. The street gang movie depicts the violence currently erupting south of the border.

  8. “Boyz n the Hood” This street gang movie tells the story of a group of family and friends growing up in an L.A. ghetto. One dreams of a football scholarship, while another falls into the codes and rules of the local gang.

  9. “American History X” Edward Norton delivers a powerful performance as a Neo Nazi leader in L.A. who reforms his ways while in jail. Once he is released, he sets out to save his younger brother from a life of hate and crime, which sets off a civil war on the streets.

  10. “Gangs of New York” This best street gang movie is set during the Civil War period as scores of Irish immigrants face up against the discrimination of native-born New Yorkers. Leonardo DiCaprio leads the Irish against one of film’s best villains, Bill, the Butcher (played by Daniel Day Lewis).