The remarkable debut of writer-director John Singleton, who, at 23, broke Orson Welles' record as the youngest director ever to receive an Oscar® nomination. A disquieting slice of life set in the ghettos of South-Central Los Angeles, it revolves around a trio of young friends and their attempts to merely survive in a world where death is common and frequently arbitrary. Laurence Fishburne excels as a single father trying to raise his son right, and the kids are played by then-mostly-unknown Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Morris Chestnut, as well as rapper Ice Cube. Nia Long, Angela Bassett, Regina King and Tyra Ferrell co-star. Its success sparked an entire genre of "hood" movies, none of them nearly as impressive.