John Singleton

John Singleton

Highest Rated: 96% Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Lowest Rated: 5% Abduction (2011)

Birthday: Jan 6, 1968

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Becoming, at the age of 24, the youngest individual and the first African American ever to be nominated for a Best Director Academy Award, John Singleton made movie history with Boyz 'N the Hood, his astonishing 1991 directorial debut. An intensely personal portrait of life and death in South Central L.A. that was inspired by the director's own experiences, the film earned Singleton comparisons to past wunderkind Orson Welles and heralded him as one of Hollywood's most important new directors.Born January 6, 1968, in the South Central L.A. neighborhood he would later immortalize on celluloid, Singleton was the son of a mortgage broker father and a company sales executive mother. Raised jointly by his divorced parents, he went on to attend the University of Southern California, where he majored in film writing. While a student at U.S.C., Singleton won a number of writing awards that led to a deal with the Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year. At the age of 23, he wrote and directed Boyz 'N the Hood, a coming-of-age drama that centered on an intelligent 17-year-old's (Cuba Gooding Jr.) efforts to make it out of his neighborhood alive. Featuring a strong cast that included Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, and Laurence Fishburne, and deft direction that humanized the violence of South Central L.A. rather than sensationalized it, the film was a major critical and commercial triumph. One of the highest-grossing films in history to have been directed by an African American, Boyz 'n the Hood also made history with its twin Best Screenplay and Best Director Oscar nominations for its young writer/director. In addition to those nominations, Singleton was also honored with the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First-Time Director.Singleton followed Boyz 'N the Hood with Poetic Justice in 1993. Starring Janet Jackson as its heroine, a South Central L.A. hairdresser coping with the shooting death of her boyfriend, the film boasted magnetic performances from its entire cast, which also included rapper Tupac Shakur as Jackson's love interest. Although it was profitable, Poetic Justice failed to find favor with most critics, some of whom noted that it lacked the power and urgency of Singleton's previous effort. The director's subsequent project, Higher Learning (1995), also fared rather poorly among critics. A drama about racial, gender, and political conflict on a college campus, it benefited from the performances of its ensemble cast, which included Omar Epps, Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, and Kristy Swanson, but was weighed down by the presence of one too many one-dimensional characters that existed to highlight the issues Singleton was attempting to explore. Ironically, it was Singleton's most critically appreciated effort since Boyz 'N the Hood that was virtually ignored by audiences. Rosewood, a powerful drama based on the real-life 1923 massacre and destruction of an African-American town in Florida by whites from a neighboring community, was widely considered Singleton's strongest film since his directorial debut. A dense and ultimately depressing multi-character epic fueled by the presence of such talented actors as Ving Rhames, John Voight, and Don Cheadle, the film did not attempt to make a happy ending out of its stark material, which may have accounted for its inability to win a large audience.In 2000, Singleton returned with his biggest project to date, a glossy, expensive remake of Shaft. Starring Samuel L. Jackson as its titular, Armani-clad hero, the nephew of original Shaft Richard Roundtree (who had a cameo in the new film), the film was an exercise in flamboyant, unapologetic political incorrectness, featuring easily distinguishable bad guys and good guys and meaty helpings of bad-ass attitude. Shaft earned decidedly mixed reviews but was a summer audience pleaser, putting its director back on the map. Finding his way back into familiar territory, Singleton's next film, Baby Boy (2001), was con


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Talk: Race in America Actor 2017
61% Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People Executive Producer $65.7K 2014
No Score Yet Uprising: Hip Hop and the LA Riots Actor 2012
5% Abduction Director $27.7M 2011
75% These Amazing Shadows Actor 2011
No Score Yet Luke Cage Director 2009
15% Illegal Tender Producer $3.1M 2007
66% Black Snake Moan Actor Producer $9.3M 2007
No Score Yet Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters Actor 2006
52% Four Brothers Director $74.5M 2005
82% Hustle & Flow Producer $22.2M 2005
No Score Yet The N-Word Actor 2004
No Score Yet The Honourable Wally Norman Prime Minister 2003
91% Baadasssss! Detroit J $0.4M 2003
36% 2 Fast 2 Furious Director $127.1M 2003
60% Beyond Vanilla Actor 2003
71% Baby Boy Director Producer Screenwriter $27.9M 2001
No Score Yet Directed by Alan Smithee Actor 2001
67% Shaft Producer Screenwriter Director Bored Cop with Coffee $70.4M 2000
10% Woo Executive Producer 1998
86% Rosewood Director 1997
45% Higher Learning Director Producer Screenwriter 1994
10% Beverly Hills Cop III Fireman 1994
34% Poetic Justice Producer Screenwriter Director 1993
96% Boyz n the Hood Mailman (uncredited) Screenwriter Director 1991


81% Snowfall
Executive Producer Creator Screenwriter Director 2019
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Guest 2018
38% Rebel
Producer Executive Producer Director 2017
88% Billions
Producer Director 2017
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
Guest 2017
93% American Crime Story
Producer Director 2016
84% Empire
Director 2015
No Score Yet Independent Lens
Producer Executive Producer 2015
No Score Yet 30 for 30
Director 2015
No Score Yet Real Husbands of Hollywood
No Score Yet The Game
No Score Yet The Mo'Nique Show
Guest 2011
67% The Movies


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