Rick Famuyiwa. Photograph by Getty Images.
Rick Famuyiwa. Photograph by Getty Images.

Set in Inglewood, in Southwestern Los Angeles, Dope, which was a breakout hit at the Sundance Film Festival in January, defies the stereotypical kids-in-the-hood gangsta film. This one, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, 41, is about three misfit geeks who accidentally end up dealing drugs. As the leader, Shameik Moore easily pivots between comedy, drama, song, and dance, his character going from goofy to solemn. Reportedly sold for a whopping $7 million to Sony Pictures and Open Road Films in a heated bidding war, Dope is both crowd-pleasing and somewhat subversive— an urban coming of age story that delivers humor and gravitas.

Still from Dope. Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.