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Menace II Society Reviews

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Don't let the silly styling of the title put you off; this is a powerful, convincing, and terrifying look at teenage crime in contemporary Watts.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 17, 2008
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bleak, brilliant, and unsparing: a full-scale vision of the madness that is tearing up the black inner city.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

March 17, 2008


The Hughes brothers' debut is an exhilarating urban nightmare.

Full Review Source: Film4

March 17, 2008

TV Guide's Movie Guide

An impressive first feature from the 21-year-old twin brother directing team of Albert and Allen Hughes.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

March 17, 2008
Leonard Klady
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fierce, violent and searing in its observation, the film makes previous excursions seem like a stroll through the park.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 17, 2008
Emanuel Levy

The most stunning feature debut in the new African-American cinema, even more so than Boyz N the Hood to which the coming-of age feature bears thematic resemblance.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

December 27, 2006
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Regrettably, the Hughes brothers' first feature is a compendium of clichés.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Brad Laidman
Film Threat

It makes the Hood seem worse than Vietnam.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 5/5

December 6, 2005
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena

Um retrato impiedoso (e real) de uma sociedade preconceituosa, injusta e massacrante que transforma jovens em ameaças e que, infelizmente, é encontrada em todo o mundo.

| Original Score: 4/5

April 18, 2005
Douglas Pratt

Stylistically the film is brilliant, making repeat viewings highly appealing.

| Original Score: 3/5

November 6, 2004
Dragan Antulov

One of greatest filmmaking achievements of the 1990s.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10

September 16, 2003
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Strong stuff, but the film-making's a little rough around the edges.

| Original Score: 3/5

May 23, 2003
Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Menace II Society is terrific on ambiance, it is considerably less successful in revealing character.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

May 20, 2003
Blake Davis
KFOR Channel 4 News

A more honest and better made movie than any of the other group of films made about black neighborhoods in the early 90's.

| Original Score: 4/5

April 28, 2003
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum

A classic film! Introduced mainstream America to the dangers of blowjobs.

| Original Score: 3/5

December 22, 2002
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal

An important American film, in the way it's both artistically achieved and representative of a reality.

Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal | Original Score: 4/4

September 10, 2002
Scott Weinberg

One of the few films to follow "Boyz" that actually had something new to add.

| Original Score: 4/5

July 26, 2002
Christopher Null

To be sure, it's in an influential and powerful story -- but it comes off as considerably more shallow than the reality it claims to portray.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/5

January 25, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nothing the Hughes brothers have done in their videos for Tone Loc, Tupac Shakur and others prepares you for the controlled intensity and maturity they bring to their stunning feature debut.

May 12, 2001
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

In the end, it's about life and death, and all the choices we make in between.

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 27, 2001
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