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Boyz n the Hood (1991)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

93

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 141,736

My Rating

Movie Info

Director John Singleton's debut chronicles the trials and tribulations of three young African-American males growing up in South Central Los Angeles. When young Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a bright underachiever, begins to show signs of trouble, his struggling professional mother (Angela Basset) sends him to live with his father (Lawrence Fishburne), a hard-nosed, no-nonsense disciplinarian. There he befriends Ricky (Morris Chestnut), a burgeoning football star, and Doughboy (Ice Cube, in a standout

R,

Drama

John Singleton

Mar 6, 2001

Columbia Pictures

Watch It Now

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (2) | DVD (20)

Even in its warmest moments, there is a fearful chill in this hood's air. And on the hearts of its boyz.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An absorbing, smartly made dramatic encyclopedia of problems and ethics in the black community, 1991.

March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A booming, heart slam of a film.

March 17, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shows some genuine talent in handling character and action, and equal amounts of confusion and attitude when it comes to matters of gender and ghetto politics.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes the film so affecting is the no-nonsense direction and Singleton's sure, specific sense of the rewards and hardships of community; in this, he is lent excellent support from a fine cast.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In this setting, the actors could easily disappear into speeches or stereotypes, but they don't; the film's strength is that it sustains an intimate and realistic tone.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An incredibly moving, character-rich drama about life in South Central L.A.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

A coming-of-age story without fluidity, hopping from scene to scene often indiscriminately. Singleton has stamina but lacks connective tissue, messing up development and motivation, unable to juggle the three distinct perspectives.

July 12, 2011 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com | Comments (4)
BrianOrndorf.com

An assured effort that hits home in relating to parental responsibility as a means of encouraging good citizenship.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[VIDEO ESSAY] "Boyz N the Hood" is more than a time-capsule of American existence. It is a boldly defiant, and desperate, call for peace in the midst of anarchy.

March 8, 2011 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

One of America's most important films.

March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A film any seasoned director would be proud of, but as a debut is nothing short of amazing.

March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Singleton strips his art of almost all ambiguity in the service of thematic and emotional and political transparency.... A tragic purgation of pity, anger, and fear.

October 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Singleton turns a typical coming-of-age yarn into the angry expression of the plight of young black males in the ghetto. This accomplished debut still represents the helmer's best work.

May 4, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

There's a good reason this flick made such a big splash and inspired so many copycats.

December 21, 2005 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

Singleton had his fingers on the pulse of South Central at a time when it desperately needed help. It's too bad we didn't listen to him soon enough.

December 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

I's a sadly optimistic and touching classic that confidently conveys a coherent solemn mood of a modern American wasteland.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

John Singleton's ground breaking film that launched many careers.

June 29, 2005
Video-Reviewmaster.com

One of the best films ever made - unforgettable stuff

March 31, 2005
Film Threat

Speaks to our hearts with its messages about responsibility, manhood, friendship, hope, self-esteem, and prosocial behavior

August 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Powerful and affecting largely because John Singleton has created characters of a distinctive world with whom we can identify.

February 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Boyz n the Hood

A heartbreaking, exceptionally acted look at violence in America. Thoughtful, current, and necessary.
July 23, 2014
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Once upon a time in South Central L.A. ... It ain't no fairy tale.

Good strong Film! John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood remains one of the best fictionalized and most poignant summaries of some of America's toughest internal problems - racism, violence, poverty, and drug abuse. This is not a hip-hop film, nor a detached and dehumanized story about "gang violence", its a story about growing up fatherless or motherless in a war zone with a faceless enemy, where people do not value each other's lives at all and value their own lives only slightly more. This is a great film about real issues, sensitively portrayed and thoughtfully examined. Every American who cares about the vast untapped potential of our people ought to take a long, hard look at this one. These are not 'black problems', they are everybody's problems, and their solutions will require everybody's understanding. I could think of far worse places to begin developing that understanding than Boyz n the Hood.

John Singleton's portrayal of social problems in inner-city Los Angeles takes the form of a tale of three friends growing up together 'in the 'hood.' Half-brothers Doughboy and Ricky Baker are foils for each other's personality, presenting very different approaches to the tough lives they face. Ricky is the 'All-American' athlete, looking to win a football scholarship to USC and seeks salvation through sports, while 'Dough' succumbs to the violence, alcohol, and crime surrounding him in his environment, but maintains a strong sense of pride and code of honor. Between these two is their friend Tre, who is lucky to have a father, 'Furious' Styles, to teach him to have the strength of character to do what is right and to always take responsibility for his actions.
July 21, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Even though Stanley Clarke's score is just awful.
June 24, 2013
Kevin Cookman

Super Reviewer

Hollywood has churned out story after story after story. Some are inspirational; some are hilarious; and some are heart-wrenching. But with so many stories comes to question whether these stories are thrown out to the public simply as techniques to stir audiences emotionally or to actively broaden the perspectives audiences may have to act out and do something that the world may be inspired by. I personally don't believe that movies will have that kind of impact, but "Boyz n the Hood" manages to do something that many films fail to do: be pure and honest.

The film has good intentions. America as it stands, is looked at as a prosperous, safe, and united nation. Not in the hood. The hood's a dangerous place, which is the main theme that lies in "Boyz n the Hood". This theme's been done an exhaustive amount of times. I could just imagine critics saying, "Yes, we get it black America." Regardless, the way the characters are portrayed, how direct the themes are addressed, and how they're resolved delivered in such an extremely pure, honest, and true to the heart manner, that this theme hits home powerfully. It's apparently clear that the purpose of this film is not just to bring awareness with a lukewarm attempt, but full-heartily wants to pry audiences off their chairs to do something. However, I must stress that it is not executed in a way that is too preachy as well (I'm looking at you "Crash"). It's an engaging narrative bolstered with genuinely relatable characters and a script that's flexible and smooth. I haven't seen a film this straight-forward and non-deceptive with no agenda for a very, very long time.

"Boyz n the Hood" might not have the straps of a technically marvelous film. It doesn't have the prettiest cinematography, camerawork, or editing, but the heart behind the film, the genuinely engaging characters, the themes, and messages push the film to great heights. "Boyz n the Hood" is more than an entertaining hoodrat flick.
November 27, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

    1. Sheryl: Doughboy! Got some blow, got some rock?
    2. Doughboy: Get the fuck out of my face! And keep them goddamn babies off the streets!
    – Submitted by Moe J (7 months ago)
    1. Furious Styles: Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.
    – Submitted by Caesar M (17 months ago)
    1. Tre Styles: RICKY!
    – Submitted by redwan a (2 years ago)
    1. Doughboy: Either they don't know...don't show...or don't care about what's going on in the hood.
    – Submitted by redwan a (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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