Boyz N the Hood (1991, 112 min.) – Three friends grow up in a South Central Los Angeles neighborhood, where friendship, pain, danger and love combine to form reality. “Poetic Justice” (1993, 109 min.) – A mismatched pair pushed together on a road trip fr Boyz N the Hood John Singleton, at the age of 23, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his debut film, Boyz N the Hood. The film stars Laurence Fishburne, Angela Basset, Ice Cube, and Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. in his first starring role in a feature film. Gooding plays Tre Styles, a teenager growing up in South Central Los Angeles. Poetic Justice Director John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood, Rosewood) made an earnest effort in this, his second, film to say a great deal that is true and relevant about living and loving in a violent, difficult time in American history. Janet Jackson plays a beautician and poet who withdraws into herself after her boyfriend is murdered by gangsters. Higher Learning This ambitious 1995 film by John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood) doesn’t quite succeed at painting the illuminating, collective portrait of college life in the ’90s that the director seeks. But Singleton does do a fine job of defining some conflicting impulses for young people on the cusp of adulthood, particularly the desire to broaden horizons on the one hand and circle the wagons with like-minded allies on the other.