Attack The Block: 7 Movies Set in The Projects

Friday, March 23 by Loretta Arnold

The best movie projects were about life in the projects. Fast, real, hardcore drama whipped with cold hearts, cash, drugs and guns marks these five movies set in the projects. From New York to California, the locations were only half as feared as the stories themselves. These movies attack the block beginning with a super movie from the seventies with an even better soundtrack.

"Super Fly"


When a guy makes tons of cash off of cocaine sales, you know he's stepping where angels fear to tread. Priest, played by Ron O'Neal, and his partner Eddie, played by Carl Lee, gather savings to prepare for a super drug escape. Cash goal? The hundred-thousands mark, three times over. But Scatter, played by Julius Adams, another drug dealer, does not have the resources to come up with that much cocaine. Priest and Eddie try another source. Thanks to the new guy named Fat Freddie, played by Charles McGregor, a bust forces the dealers to do business with cops. "I scratch your back" scheme in this classic 1972 movie involving the Harlem projects and some super tunes. "The man best watch out!"

"American Gangster"

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Based on "The Return of Super Fly," Frank Lucas was not only raised in the projects, he raised the projects. A serious drug dealer with a keen eye on cash flow. Frank is one of the most powerful unknown gangsters ever to walk Harlem undetected until one investigator began digging. They get Frank where they want him after multiple attempts. Frank's brother, who worked for the U.S. military, helped deliver drugs through coffins from overseas. Cops try to form the bust and succeeds. Frank ends up getting picked up at a church service. He goes to jail and assists the police on catching other crooked cops involved in hush money. At the end Frank walks out a free man after years in jail. But Frank discovers another world— unlike the one he once owned. This film was shot various New York locations and in Thailand. A flick for Denzel Washington fans. Washington is nothing short of outstanding in his Frank Lucas portrayal.

"Tragedy: The Story of Queensbridge".


"Tragedy: Story of Queensbridge" involves the New York housing project called Queensbridge and the struggles of a hip hop MC named Tragedy Khadafi. Intelligent Hoodlum (Tragedy Khadafi) offers views of the world's largest housing project from inside the hood. Don't you want to know where hip hoppers NAS and Mobb Deep came from? Or would you settle for cracking open a forty to witness tragedy on the project? This 2006 flick is a favorite of hip hop fans.

"Public Housing"


"Public Housing" is a 200-minute fierce documentary exposing the life and times in Ida B. Wells public housing development in Chicago. Battles between addiction, welfare, unemployment, drugs and alcohol are only a few topics explored in this film. A worthy documentary of experienced hardships offering more reasons to assist those in housing projects. Tissue alert! This film can touch hearts.

"Clockers" by Spike Lee.


Street drug dealers in Brooklyn, otherwise known as "clockers", rule this flick as the main character named Ronald "Strike" Dunham, played by Mekhi Phifer, wants out but doesn't know how to escape. Living off of a stomach reliever, Strike is torn between gang activity and two investigators. Another shooting occurs. The shooter confessed after the investigator lied and told him Strike squealed. Nearing the end a boy shoots a guy named Errol with Strike's gun. Strike is given a way out when the investigator allows him to leave—his drug life behind.

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