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Top 12 Must-Watch Ice Cube Movies That Redefined Cinema

Discover the diverse Ice Cube movies through his impactful roles and contributions in movies, spanning from iconic classics like "Friday" to action-packed blockbusters and socially conscious comedies. Explore the dynamic range of the rapper-turned-actor's filmography.

Author:Buttskin Family
Reviewer:Caden Steelheart
Nov 08, 2023436 Shares48.4K Views
Ice Cube, the iconic rapper turned actor, has carved an indelible path in the world of cinema. Known for his compelling performances, diverse roles, and even his involvement behind the scenes, Cube's transition from the musicindustry to the silver screen has been a journey marked by versatility and impact. With a repertoire spanning various genres, Ice Cube moviesinfluence is not only evident in his on-screen presence but also in his role as a writer, producer, and filmmaker. Let's delve into the dynamic landscape of Ice Cube's cinematic legacy.

Who Is Ice Cube?

Ice Cube, whose real name is O'Shea Jackson, is a prominent American rapper, actor, producer, and filmmaker. He initially gained fame as a member of the pioneering rap group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) in the late 1980s. He was known for his bold and incisive lyrics that often addressed social and political issues, earning him recognition as one of the most influential figures in rap and hip-hop music.
Beyond his music career, Ice Cube successfully transitioned into acting and filmmaking. He made his mark in Hollywood through his roles in several notable films, including "Boyz n the Hood," "Friday," "Barbershop," and the "xXx" action series. Ice Cube's contributions to cinema go beyond acting; he's also a producer and has been involved in creating and developing various film projects through his production company, Cube Vision.
Ice Cube is celebrated for his versatility, not only as a performer but also as a writer and producer, and he has left a significant impact on both the music and film industries. His work often reflects a blend of social commentary, humor, and a keen understanding of various genres, earning him respect as a multifaceted artist and a cultural icon.

'Friday' Film Franchise (1995-2002)

The "Friday" film franchise is a series of comedy films created by Ice Cube, with Cube himself starring in the leading role. The franchise is known for its humor, memorable characters, and portrayal of life in the neighborhood. Here's an overview of the films in the franchise:

Friday (1995)

The original film, set in South Central Los Angeles, follows a day in the life of Craig Jones (played by Ice Cube) and his friend Smokey (portrayed by Chris Tucker). The plot revolves around their misadventures, which include dealing with neighborhood bullies, relationships, and a looming threat of losing their lives over a drug deal gone wrong.
In "Friday," Ice Cube not only stars as the lead character Craig Jones but also co-wrote the script. His portrayal of Craig showcases his natural charisma, humor, and ability to portray relatable, everyday characters. Cube's talent in blending humor with authentic portrayals of urban life is evident, contributing to the film's success.

Next Friday (2000)

The sequel shifts focus to Craig's adventures after he moves to the suburbs to live with his uncle and cousin after surviving the events of the first film. He encounters new neighborhood characters and comedic situations while trying to stay out of trouble.
In "Next Friday," Ice Cube's character maintains his relatable charm, showcasing his ability to evolve Craig's story while preserving the comedic essence of the franchise. Cube's humor and timing continue to shine, ensuring the film's success.

Friday After Next (2002)

This installment brings Craig and Day-Day (played by Mike Epps) back to their old neighborhood, facing new challenges during the Christmas season. The film follows their misadventures as security guards in a shopping mall.
Once again, Ice Cube demonstrates his knack for storytelling, humor, and character development. His portrayal of Craig in a different setting, yet true to the franchise's tone, maintains the essence of the series.

Boyz N The Hood (1991)

Boyz N The Hood movie poster
Boyz N The Hood movie poster
"Boyz n the Hood" is a powerful 1991 drama film directed by John Singleton. It is a coming-of-age story that explores the lives of young African Americans in the violence-ridden neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. Ice Cube, in his acting debut, played a significant role in this critically acclaimed film.
The film follows the lives of three young men: Tre Styles (portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr.), Ricky Baker (played by Morris Chestnut), and Doughboy (played by Ice Cube). Tre is a responsible and ambitious high school student, Ricky is a talented football player with dreams of a scholarship, and Doughboy is Tre's hotheaded brother involved in gang life. The story depicts their struggles, friendships, and the harsh realities they face in their neighborhood, dealing with issues like gang violence, poverty, and family dynamics.
In "Boyz n the Hood," Ice Cube's portrayal of Doughboy was powerful and emotionally resonant. His performance showcased a raw and authentic representation of a young man dealing with the challenges and hardships of growing up in a dangerous environment. Cube's ability to convey the complexity of his character, with both vulnerability and toughness, was a standout in the film. His performance was widely praised for its authenticity and depth, marking his transition from music to acting as a significant success.

"Barbershop" Film Franchise (2002-2016)

The "Barbershop" film franchise comprises comedy-drama movies that revolve around the lives, conversations, and interactions within a barbershop. Ice Cube stars in and produces these films, which feature a talented ensemble cast. Here's an overview of the movies in the franchise:

Barbershop (2002)

The first film is set in a barbershop in the South Side of Chicago. Calvin Palmer Jr. (played by Ice Cube) inherits the struggling family barbershop and decides to sell it due to financial difficulties. However, he changes his mind after realizing the shop's significance to the community. The movie unfolds with colorful characters, humorous interactions, and thought-provoking conversations that take place within the barbershop.
Ice Cube not only starred as the main character, Calvin, but he also produced the film. His portrayal of Calvin displays his knack for delivering a relatable, down-to-earth character who must navigate the challenges of family, business, and community. Cube's role as both the lead actor and a key figure behind the scenes contributed to the film's success.

Barbershop 2: Back In Business (2004)

The sequel continues the story of the barbershop, which now faces competition from a trendy chain salon opening nearby. The film delves deeper into the lives and stories of the barbers and their relationships while they band together to save their cherished establishment.
Once again, Ice Cube reprised his role as Calvin and continued to exhibit his talent in leading the ensemble cast. His portrayal as a character torn between tradition and modernity, along with his investment in the well-being of the barbershop, added depth to the film.

Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)

In this installment, the barbershop unites to combat the growing violence in their neighborhood by turning the shop into a safe space for the community. The film addresses social issues such as gang violence and its impact on the community while infusing humor and camaraderie.
Ice Cube's return as Calvin maintained the heart of the series, presenting a character who cares deeply for the community and the well-being of his barbershop. His role as a central figure in the ensemble cast helped drive the film's narrative and emotional core.

'21 Jump Street' Film Franchise (2012-2014)

In the "21 Jump Street" film franchise, Ice Cube plays a significant supporting role and contributes to the comedic elements of the series. Here's an overview of the movies in which Ice Cube appears:

21 Jump Street (2012)

The film follows two underachieving police officers, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), who are sent undercover to a high school to investigate and stop the spread of a new synthetic drug. Ice Cube plays the role of Captain Dickson, their no-nonsense, straight-talking police captain who oversees the undercover operation.
Ice Cube's portrayal of Captain Dickson is a highlight of the film, providing a mix of humor and authority. He brings a comedic edge with his deadpan delivery and no-holds-barred attitude, serving as a foil to the main characters. Cube's performance adds a layer of humor and intensity to the film, making his character an integral part of the comedic dynamic.

22 Jump Street (2014)

The sequel follows Schmidt and Jenko as they go undercover at a college to investigate a new drug spreading on the campus. Ice Cube reprises his role as Captain Dickson, overseeing their operation once again.
Ice Cube maintains the same comedic energy and authoritative presence in the sequel, providing humor through his interactions with the main characters. His role as Captain Dickson continues to add humor and an element of no-nonsense supervision to the storyline, contributing to the film's comedic dynamic.

Higher Learning (1995)

Higher Learning movie poster
Higher Learning movie poster
"Higher Learning" is a 1995 drama film directed by John Singleton, and Ice Cube plays a significant role in the movie, contributing to the film's exploration of racial tensions and social issues on a college campus.
The film is set at the fictional Columbus University and revolves around the lives of various students from diverse backgrounds as they navigate through their college experiences. Ice Cube portrays Fudge, an older student and the leader of a group advocating for black empowerment. The story intertwines the lives of the students, addressing themes such as racism, identity, violence, and cultural divisions.
In "Higher Learning," Ice Cube's portrayal of Fudge is intense and compelling. His character is a focal point in addressing the racial and societal tensions on the campus. Cube's performance captures the complexities of Fudge's anger, frustration, and motivations, embodying a character driven by a sense of injustice and empowerment. His portrayal of Fudge adds depth to the film, portraying the challenges faced by marginalized communities and the tensions prevalent in society.

Three Kings (1999)

"Three Kings" is a 1999 warfilm directed by David O. Russell, in which Ice Cube plays a prominent role alongside a star-studded cast. The film is set during the aftermath of the Gulf War.
The story is set in 1991, just after the end of the Gulf War. Ice Cube portrays Chief Elgin, one of the soldiers in a small group led by Major Archie Gates (played by George Clooney). The soldiers stumble upon a map revealing the location of hidden Kuwaiti gold stolen by the Iraqi army. What begins as a plan to steal the gold escalates into a mission to help oppressed Iraqi civilians amidst the chaos in the region.
In "Three Kings," Ice Cube's performance as Chief Elgin stands out for its depth and authenticity. He portrays a soldier who is initially cynical but gradually becomes more empathetic toward the plight of the Iraqi civilians. Cube's portrayal of Elgin as a soldier grappling with his conscience and the moral complexities of the situation showcases his acting range. He excels in conveying a character evolving from skepticism to a sense of responsibility and compassion in a war-torn environment.

Ride Along (2014)

Ride Along movie poster
Ride Along movie poster
The film follows Ben Barber (played by Kevin Hart), a high school security guard who aspires to become a police officer. In an attempt to prove himself to his girlfriend's brother, James Payton (portrayed by Ice Cube), a tough and no-nonsense detective, Ben joins James on a ride along—a day of patrolling the streets of Atlanta. James puts Ben through a series of increasingly chaotic and humorous situations to test his mettle, but they end up entangled in a real case involving a notorious criminal.
In "Ride Along," Ice Cube excels in portraying the stern and seasoned detective, James Payton. His performance showcases his ability to embody a character who is serious, no-nonsense, and at odds with Kevin Hart's comedic antics. Cube's portrayal adds a perfect contrast to the humor provided by Hart's character, creating a dynamic and engaging duo. He brings a strong and commanding presence to the film, balancing the comedic elements with his character's tough exterior.

Are We There Yet? (2005)

Ice Cube stars as Nick Persons, a single playboy and sports memorabilia collector. He meets Suzanne Kingston (played by Nia Long), a divorced mother of two children, Lindsey and Kevin. Suzanne needs to travel out of town for work, and unable to find a sitter, she reluctantly asks Nick to look after her children. Nick agrees to take the kids on a road trip to accompany them to Vancouver to visit their mother. The journey is filled with chaotic and comedic incidents as Nick attempts to win the children over and get them safely to their destination.
In "Are We There Yet?," Ice Cube showcases his comedic talent by portraying a character, Nick Persons, who is initially resistant to the idea of caring for children. Cube excels in delivering humor through Nick's interactions with the mischievous children, navigating the challenges of the road trip, and developing an unexpected bond with them. His performance displays his versatility, balancing the comedic aspects with moments of sincerity and growth as his character learns to connect with the children.

All About The Benjamins (2002)

All About The Benjamins movie poster
All About The Benjamins movie poster
Ice Cube portrays a bounty hunter named Bucum Jackson. He's on the trail of a small-time con artist named Reggie Wright (played by Mike Epps). As Bucum is pursuing Reggie to collect his bail, they unwittingly become entangled in a diamond heist. The duo finds themselves in a series of wild, action-packed misadventures involving criminals and stolen diamonds. Throughout the chaos, their relationship shifts from adversaries to an unexpected partnership.
In "All About the Benjamins," Ice Cube shines in his role as Bucum Jackson. His performance as a tough, no-nonsense bounty hunter delivers a perfect blend of action and humor. Cube excels in displaying the character's resilience, determination, and street smarts, all while infusing humor into action-packed situations. His on-screen chemistry with Mike Epps adds to the film's dynamic, providing both comedic banter and a shared sense of camaraderie.

The High Note (2020)

The film revolves around the world of the music industry and follows the story of Grace Davis (played by Tracee Ellis Ross), a music icon whose career is at a crossroads. Maggie Sherwoode (played by Dakota Johnson) is Grace's overworked personal assistant, aspiring to become a music producer. As Maggie sees an opportunity to help Grace rejuvenate her career, tensions arise between Grace's desire for creativity and the demands of the commercial music industry.
In "The High Note," Ice Cube portrays Jack Robertson, a successful and demanding music producer. He mentors and guides Maggie in her pursuit of becoming a producer, sharing insights about the industry. Cube's character serves as a pivotal figure in Maggie's professional journey and provides valuable advice to her in navigating the music business.

Fist Fight (2017)

Fist Fight movie poster
Fist Fight movie poster
The movie centers around two high school teachers, Strickland (played by Ice Cube) and Andy Campbell (portrayed by Charlie Day). On the last day of the school year, Strickland, known for his no-nonsense and tough approach, gets into an altercation with a student. As a result, he faces the threat of losing his job. Andy, in an attempt to save his own job, tries to pacify the situation. However, Strickland challenges him to a fightafter school hours, leading to a chaotic day filled with anticipation and hilarity.
In "Fist Fight," Ice Cube excels in his role as Strickland, the intimidating and no-nonsense teacher. Cube's portrayal perfectly captures the character's tough demeanor and unyielding personality, creating a balance between humor and seriousness. He brings a commanding presence and comedic timing to the role, portraying the character's no-nonsense attitude while infusing humor into the chaotic situation.

The Glass Shield (1994)

The film is centered around J.J. Johnson (played by Michael Boatman), a young and idealistic African-American deputy at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. J.J. becomes the first black officer at an infamous station and witnesses systemic corruption and racism within the department. He teams up with Deputy Deborah Fields (portrayed by Lori Petty) to uncover and expose the injustices, aiming to bring about change. Ice Cube portrays Teddy Woods, an inmate at the station who aids in shedding light on the corruption.
In "The Glass Shield," Ice Cube excels in his role as Teddy Woods, an incarcerated individual who assists in revealing the corruption within the system. Cube's performance brings depth and authenticity to the character, portraying Teddy as a sharp and observant individual who aids in exposing the truth. His role adds a layer of authenticity and intensity to the film, shedding light on the complexities of the justice system.

Ice Cube Movies - FAQs

What Is Ice Cube's Real Name?

Ice Cube's real name is O'Shea Jackson.

How Did Ice Cube Get His Name?

He adopted the stage name "Ice Cube" because he felt his previous nickname, "O'Shea Jackson," didn't suit his public persona. The "Ice" part represents his cool demeanor, and"Cube" refers to his multifaceted nature.

Is Ice Cube Still Making Music?

While focusing more on his acting and business ventures, Ice Cube occasionally releases music, although he hasn't been as active in the music industry in recent years.

What Is Ice Cube Famous For?

Ice Cube is renowned for his contributions to rap and hip-hop music as a founding member of the legendary rap group N.W.A. He's also celebrated for his successful transition into acting, starring in numerous films and producing several movies.

How Many Kids Does Ice Cube Have?

Ice Cube has four children - two sons, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Darrel, and two daughters, Karima and Deja.


From his groundbreaking debut in Boyz n the Hood to the cult phenomenon of the Friday franchise and his forays into action films and socially conscious comedies, Ice Cube's imprint on movies is undeniable. His ability to seamlessly transition between genres and deliver performances that resonate with authenticity and depth has solidified his position as a versatile and influential figure in Hollywood. As he continues to evolve and take on new projects, Ice Cube's impact on the film industry remains both remarkable and enduring, leaving an unmistakable legacy for generations to come.
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