Boyz n the Hood (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Boyz n the Hood (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Boyz n the Hood Trailers & Photos

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 performance), a would-be gang banger. Over the years, each chooses his own path: Tre seems bound for college; Ricky is a blue-chip running back with his pick of schools; Doughboy is a dope dealer and bona fide gangster who drifts in and out of the county juvenile facility. All is well until, without warning, a rival gang chases down Tre and Ricky with tragic results. Doughboy immediately prepares for revenge, forcing Tre to decide whether to jeopardize his future and, perhaps, his life for the price of revenge and self-respect. Sometimes riveting, Boyz'N the Hood is not without its problems. The film tries to cram every single issue facing the black community into an hour and a half of screen time, making the film seem at times forced. The symbolism seems forced as well, and the film is often unbearably heavy-handed. Also, the characterization often relies on cardboard cut-outs; every white character in the film is a one-dimensional bigot, and the black police officer with whom Tre and his father deal is even worse than his Caucasian counterparts. Still, the unevenness of the film is redeemed by some moments of true brilliance. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovimore
Rating: R (Violence, language, sensuality)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Singleton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 6, 2001
Columbia Pictures


Ice Cube
as Doughboy
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Tre Styles
Morris Chestnut
as Ricky Baker
Laurence Fishburne
as Furious Styles
Nia Long
as Brandi
Tyra Ferrell
as Mrs. Baker
Angela Bassett
as Reva Styles
Desi Arnez Hines II
as Tre (age 10)
Kenneth A. Brown
as Little Chris
Meta King
as Brandi's Mom
Whitman Mayo
as The Old Man
Lloyd Avery II
as 2nd Knucklehead
Mia Bell
as Female Club Member
Nicole Brown
as Brandi (age 10)
as Sheryl
John Cothran Jr.
as Lewis Crump
Susan Falcon
as Mrs. Olaf
Kareem J. Grimes
as Ice Cream Truck Kid
Valentino Harrison
as Bobby (age 10)
Baha Jackson
as Doughboy (age 10)
Kirk Kinder
as Officer Graham
Regina King
as Shalika
Leanear Lane
as 2nd Gangster
Donovan McCrary
as Ricky (age 10)
Don Nelson
as 1st Gangster
Malcolm Norrington
as 1st Knucklehead
Esther Scott
as Tisha's Grandmother
Vonte Sweet
as Ric Rock
John Singleton
as Mailman (uncredited)
as Yo Yo
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Boyz n the Hood

Critic Reviews for Boyz n the Hood

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (10)

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

Full Review… | August 25, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 17, 2008
Top Critic

A booming, heart slam of a film.

March 17, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

Audience Reviews for Boyz n the Hood


Powerful in performance and message. John Singleton's Boyz N the Hood tackles this dangerous subject with sleek direction and emotional drive. The script is intangible to any other in its genre or subject and with the aid of Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube, Fishburne and casts makes for a masterful picture. 4.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

A heartbreaking, exceptionally acted look at violence in America. Thoughtful, current, and necessary.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
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.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Boyz n the Hood Quotes

– Submitted by Moe J (23 months ago)
– Submitted by Caesar M (2 years ago)
– Submitted by redwan a (3 years ago)
– Submitted by redwan a (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Boyz n the Hood on our Movie forum!