Boyz n the Hood

Critics Consensus

Well-acted and thematically rich, Boyz N the Hood observes urban America with far more depth and compassion than many of the like-minded films its success inspired.



Total Count: 69


Audience Score

User Ratings: 144,103
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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, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Boyz n the Hood

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (17)

  • It seems as box-fresh as a pair of white high-tops and as powerful and funny today as it was in 1991.

    Oct 28, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Boyz N the Hood is a passionate drama shot with fluency and style, a study of what amounts to life during wartime, with people grimly used to gunfire and helicopters thudding overhead.

    Oct 27, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • It feels like it should be cheesy and manipulative, but the utter sincerity lifts it immeasurable.

    Oct 26, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's always risky to proclaim a new force in film based upon just one film, but Boyz N the Hood is good enough to suggest that John Singleton is going to be a major player for a long time.

    Aug 1, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Like a jazz ensemble, Singleton and his actors slowly involve us in an almost sensual melange of moods, images and situations that take us inside the ghetto in a way mainstream films almost never do.

    Aug 1, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Singleton sometimes displays his youthful inexperience in melodramatic emphasis and rhetorical flourishes, but he has created a deeply troubling film about responsibility.

    Aug 1, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boyz n the Hood

  • Jun 03, 2016
    Much harder to take seriously after having seen the multitudes of parodies it has had taken off of it, despite its exceedingly dark subject matter. Still a good film though.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2016
    An unpretentious portrait of a neighborhood dominated by violence, police abuse and even misogyny, and, while it does have some funny moments, it is a serious, realistic look at a slice of American society at constant odds with limited opportunities and public indifference.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2015
    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 B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2014
    A heartbreaking, exceptionally acted look at violence in America. Thoughtful, current, and necessary.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer

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