Menace II Society Reviews

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
March 17, 2008

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.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
March 17, 2008

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

Full Review | Original Score: A
Leonard Klady
Top Critic
March 17, 2008

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

Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

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

Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic
May 20, 2003

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

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
May 12, 2001

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.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

Anyone who views this film thoughtfully must ask why our society makes guns easier to obtain and use than does any other country in the civilized world. And that is only the most obvious of the many questions the film inspires.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

It's maddening and enlivening. It's brilliant and tacky. It's funny and horrifying. It will gratify the worst elements in the crowd; it will engage the very best.

James Berardinelli
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

It won't be a fun time -- at least not in the conventional sense -- but you'll sit through a ninety-seven minute odyssey that won't be quickly forgotten.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4