The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The story of the rise and subsequent implosion of one of the most influential bands in US rap history gets a sweeping, epic, but somewhat partisan treatment in F Gary Gray's explosive drama Straight Outta Compton.
The core of the story is business, the object is power, and the quirks of desire and twists of the unconscious are given no place in the struggle-which the movie sharply carries ahead to the present day.
While no one will mistake this for a protest film-there are too many pool parties-the movie's portrait of a militarized police force all too eager to assault young black men can't help but resonate in our own moment.
Director F. Gary Gray has too big a story to tell, enough for a TV miniseries (or a season's worth of Behind the Music episodes), and you can see him straining to cram everything in even as the film stretches to the two-and-a-half hour mark.
There's some grit at the get-go, and some thrill at witnessing the development of a musical form. But the drama slows down once the money starts rolling in and the rappers' chief antagonists become each other, and maybe their manager.
Like its subjects, the iconic late rap conglomerate N.W.A., F. Gary Gray's "Straight Outta Compton" starts out strong, peaks quickly, and then gets tangled in complications and compromise and falls apart.
If any film should be forgiven its excesses, it's Straight Outta Compton, which is about the clashes and camaraderie among men whose unruliness sparked a cultural moment that was beyond their ability-and their willingness-to contain.
F. Gary Gray's excellent film is as sympathetic as it is bombastic, even when it depicts some of the rough stuff, a lot of the stupid excesses that come with fame, and even some quasi-criminal activities.
As enlightening as it is entertaining, as sobering as it is exhilarating, "Straight Outta Compton" reminds viewers not only who N.W.A. were and what they meant, but also why they mattered - and still do.
Jackson Jr. artfully evokes Ice Cube's tough-guy charisma. Mitchell's Eazy emerges as the film's most complicated figure, throwing his lot in with a manager who may not have his best interests at heart.
Policemen, journalists who dislike rap and Suge Knight will find little to enjoy in this movie - all are portrayed as villains with zero subtlety. But the film as a whole is critical of its heroes' mistakes.
But as a depiction of a time and place, Straight Outta Compton - from its low-rider Chevys on hydraulics blaring hip-hop to police battering ram vehicles crashing into suspected crack houses - nails it.
The sheer force of Straight Outta Compton steamrolls its flaws. Director Gray, who is from Compton and made a name for himself directing some of hip-hop's best music videos, has given us a movie that feels honest and urgent.
There's a grittier, grimier story in here, but it needed a different script and probably a different director than the uncritical F. Gary Gray, whose resume is studded with old-school rap videos and Ice Cube projects.