Notable examples: Menace II Society (1993), Jason's Lyric (1994)

You know why Juice, though not a "gang member movie," is one of the best "hood" flicks of all time? Amongst other strong components, the filmmakers were confident enough in the four main characters' relationships and in-the-street struggles that they didn't feel any need to distract with a romantic subplot. Sure, Q (Omar Epps) has a girlfriend, but she's basically a non-factor.

As much as we like Jada Pinkett's performance in Menace II Society, it's impossible to overlook the fact that she's only there to act as a mushy diversion. Gangsters need love, too, of course, but there's a time and a place for stories about love in the time of urban stress. Makes you appreciate the to-the-point romance Poetic Justice a little more, doesn't it?

Especially when the female's purpose is little more than to be the provider of a "way out." Unable to realize that their neighborhood is bad news on their own, the most clichéd gangbangers in movies typically need a woman's touch to point out the obvious. One doesn't need to be a chauvinist to know that's poppycock.