The 50 Best Movies of the '90s

43. Friday (1995)

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Paula Jai Parker, John Witherspoon, Regina King, Faizon Love, Tommy Lister Jr.

Given that he had already made a top-notch hood flick (Boyz N the Hood), it could've been easy for Ice Cube to go the cheaper route and make a goofy Boyzs poof. Thankfully, he took the classier path. Much to the delight of street peeps and film critics alike, Cube assembled a tirelessly quotable comedy that didn't trivialize urban life in any way; the result was, and still is, the 'hood comedy to end all 'hood comedies.

Naturally, its success led to a couple of ho-hum sequels, but the crappiness of Friday After Next can't diminish the original's grandness. It's no coincidence that Chris Tucker isn't in the sequels. As the weed-loving sidekick to Cube's straightman, Tucker deserved a Best Supporting Actor nod; that is, if the Academy's headquarters were based in Compton. MB

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