John Singleton - Rotten Tomatoes

John Singleton

Highest Rated:   96% Boyz n the Hood (1991)
Lowest Rated:   4% Abduction (2011)
Birthday:  
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

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
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
4% Abduction
  • Director
$27.6M 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
53% Four Brothers
  • Director
$74.5M 2005
82% Hustle & Flow
  • Producer
$22.2M 2005
54% Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Screenwriter
$32.5M 2005
No Score Yet The N-Word
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet The Honourable Wally Norman
  • Prime Minister
2003
91% Baadasssss!
  • Detroit J
$0.3M 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
68% Shaft
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Bored Cop with Coffee
$70.4M 2000
10% Woo
  • Executive Producer
1998
85% Rosewood
  • Director
1997
50% Higher Learning
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1994
10% Beverly Hills Cop III
  • Fireman
1994
31% Poetic Justice
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1993
96% Boyz n the Hood
  • Mailman (uncredited)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1991

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
83% Billions
2016
  • Director
  • Producer
  • 2017
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
2014
  • Guest
  • 2017
29% Rebel
2017
  • Director
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • 2017
59% Snowfall
2017
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
  • 2017
77% The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
2015
  • Guest
  • 2017
96% The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
2015-2016
  • Director
  • Producer
  • 2016
86% Empire
2015
  • Director
  • 2015
No Score Yet Independent Lens
1999
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • 2015
No Score Yet Real Husbands of Hollywood
2013
  • Actor
  • 2014
No Score Yet 30 for 30
2009
  • Director
  • 2010

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