"Boyz N the Hood was and still is one of the most powerful movies I've ever seen. Shot entirely in South Central LA to present the movie as realistic as possible. The movie debuted in theater back in 1991 and had an immediate impact on almost everyone who viewed it.The story about 3 friends growing up in the hood in South Central LA. Each one with their own individual struggle and goals in life. Doughboy (Ice Cube) ,who is a drug dealer, has been in and out of trouble throughout his young life and seems to be happy with his surroundings. Doughboy's brother Ricky (Morris Chestnut) a teenage father with bright hopes and aspirations of becoming an NFL football player ; and Ricky's best friend Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who hopes and dreams of higher education and an escape from the dwelling of the hood. "The Hood" where saying the wrong thing or looking at someone the wrong way can end in death. Tre's father (Larry Fishburne) is a responsible, educated and strict father who makes sure his son stays on the right track in achieving his goals in life. Teaching him about responsibility and keeping your cool in adverse situations in order to make a thoughtful descision. Tre's resolve will be tested when tragedy strikes close to home and revenge and murder seem like the only solution.Fantastic direction by John Singleton and equally impressive acting by all characters are the reason Boyz N the Hood was such a huge success. It was nominated for two acedemy awards (Direction and Screenplay.) ... You have to see this one for yourself you won't be sorry."
"They want us to kill ourselves..."
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 12/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you ever wanted a great example of pure cinema drama at its finest, "Boyz N the Hood" is it. It didn't take long for me to completely involve myself during the viewing of this film. It's powerful, sad, scary, and filled with heart. This is one of those films that completely takes you by surprise by giving you something that you weren't expecting at all. John Singleton's directorial debut doesn't fail to shine for one second in this human-drama powerhouse.The film focuses around three friends who live in South Central, Los Angeles; a place where drugs, guns, and violence appears to be around every corner. The three friends are Tre, Ricky, and Doughboy. Tre's father has tried his best to raise Tre into becoming a real man; supplying him with knowledge and wisdom. Ricky has dreams of being a professional football player while his brother, Doughboy, is always getting into some kind of trouble, whether it be with the law or the neighborhood gang-bangers. In the end, the film is about choices and how every action can set off a chain of events.In the exclusive documentary that's included on this 2-Disc Anniversary Edition DVD, John Singleton says that this was the movie he was born to make, and he's able to show us exactly that and nothing less. Making the movie was taking a pretty big risk, as there was nothing quite like it on the market; however, that didn't stop him from delivering an incredible debut that really stands out from the rest. The main misconception of this movie is that people are willing to automatically assume that the movie is violent and is only about violence (these being people who have never watched the movie) when in actuality, the film focuses more on the aftermath of violent acts rather than the actual acts being carried out. The main focus is always on the characters, and Singleton does a superb job of never losing sight of that. The story is delivered with undeniable care through the great direction of John Singleton.Another factor that makes the film work the way it does is the superb cast behind it. Cuba Gooding, Jr. gives it his all early on in his career and immediately shows promise of a talented actor. Ice Cube proves that not only can he rap, but he can also act by giving life to his character of "Doughboy." Laurence Fishburne is amazing as Tre's father, as he gives an outstanding performance. Everybody else is great as well. This film really launched many careers of many of the actors that appear in this movie.The 2-Disc DVD edition really does the movie justice as it's loaded with some very cool extras. The movie looks and sounds great. The DVD offers both widescreen and full screen versions of the film. Extras that are included on this 2-Disc Anniversary Edition are theatrical trailers, commentary by John Singleton, an exclusive documentary, music videos, and deleted scenes. The documentary was fascinating to watch and was extremely informative into what went on during pre and post-production. Plenty of goodies for DVD enthusiasts all around."Boyz N the Hood" is a touching and exhilarating drama that plays on all of one's emotions. The characters are very real and are easy to care for, and the story is well-structured and executed. I cannot think of a single flaw that I ran across while watching the film. It definitely has become a new favorite in a short amount of time. There is real power within the film that has a unique effect on us when we watch it, or at least it did on me. Definitely a film to check out if you have not already."
How to Survive in South Central.
Themis-Athena | from somewhere between California and Germany | 06/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"South Central L.A.: Where murder rates are five times the nationwide average, or in absolute figures, double the entire U.S.'s death rate for breast cancer (L.A. Times, January 1, 2004.) Where "I'll have my brother shoot you" isn't just an empty threat, and guns are passed from one sibling to another when an older brother goes away to "do time." Where owning a gun is a means of self-protection even for those who've always stayed clear of gangs. Where "where ya' from?" is an inquiry about gang membership, not geographic origin, and wearing the wrong colors can cause you to be "hit up;" resulting in violence, and more violence by way of retaliation. Where over the past 15 years the LAPD has accumulated a backlog of 4,400 unsolved homicides - roughly 3/4 of the city's total - because, as kids learn early, a bullet doesn't come with a name attached; and those who know the killer generally stay mum, either fearing reprisal or preferring to take care of their own, rather than leave justice to a police and a court system they've learned to mistrust. And where crimes like burglary only merit police attention if something actually was stolen, and are quickly sidelined upon the officers' summons to another murder scene.
South Central L.A. is the home of Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and his friends, "Doughboy" and Ricky Baker (Ice Cube and Morris Chestnut). We first meet them at age ten, when Tre's mother (Angela Bassett) sends him to live with his father Jason, a/k/a "Furious" (Laurence Fishburne), who seems better equipped to raise a son in a neighborhood like this. When we see them again they're seventeen, Tre and Ricky about to graduate from high school, while Doughboy has already graduated - from shoplifting to guns and small-time drug deals. And while Furious guides Tre towards moral choices, responsibility, and (self-)respect, Doughboy and Ricky are raised by a mother who lacks the wherewithal to steer them out of the ghetto. Yet, Ricky in particular is naively, fiercely resolved to make it out of there; with a football scholarship (provided his SAT scores are high enough) or if that fails, by joining the army. And in a poignant, spot-on conclusion it is ultimately Ricky who forces Tre and Doughboy to choose their own paths in life, to either be drawn into the ghetto's spiral of violence, or conquer their inner demons and extricate themselves from that vicious circle.
Upon this movie's 1991 release, several Los Angeles cinemas either refused to show it at all or hired extra security guards: That big, in a city that had recently seen the Rodney King beating, was about to be rocked by the Christopher Commission's scathing indictment of its police department, and was gearing up to the riots that would ravage its inner city the following spring, were fears of the reaction to John Singleton's partly autobiographical film. Yet, while "Boyz N the Hood" paints a starkly accurate picture of inner city life's daily realities, it in no way encourages violence - much to the contrary. That it's told from a profoundly "black" perspective is a given; and with that come charges that those of us with a more fortunate childhood often dismiss as the chip on many black people's shoulders - e.g., the notion that drugs, liquor and guns in the ghetto are tacitly encouraged by society's white-dominated ruling circles to keep inner-city minorities subdued. But while neither such charges nor their "white" response are the be-all and end-all of the problem, there is no question that drugs, alcoholism and guns *are* major issues in the 'hood, as are teen pregnancies and unemployment; and Singleton intelligently weaves all of these elements into a compelling picture.
Equally well-deserved as the praise for Singleton, who garnered Best Director and Best Screenplay Oscar nominations and several other distinctions, are the kudos to the movie's outstanding actors. Then-23-year-old Cuba Gooding Jr. came practically out of nowhere to give a fully accomplished, emphatic portrayal as Tre, caught between the lessons of ghetto life and those of his father. (Although this wasn't his first movie, he had never before appeared in a remotely as prominent role.) Morris Chestnut's naively determined football-hero-to-be Ricky is similarly compelling; and Laurence Fishburne noticeably didn't have to reach far for his "Furious" Styles: While based on Singleton's father, the role was created specifically with him in mind. So, reportedly, was Ice Cube's Doughboy; and he, too, is a perfect match, giving the teenage trio's most troubled member a depth clearly informed by his own South Central boyhood, although despite his songs' inflammatory lyrics, he himself stayed clear of gangs. Angela Bassett finally is the perfect foil for the movie's male characters, exemplifying a woman who through hard work gets as far out of the ghetto as conceivable and unlike her ex-husband doesn't avoid the moneyed upper-crust, but doesn't forget her origins, either, and is still perfectly capable of talking tough when challenged.
The movie's last words are Ice Cube's, both spoken as Doughboy and rapped in "How to Survive in South Central," underlying the closing credits. "Either they don't know, don't show or don't care what's going on [here]," Doughboy comments on a TV program about exotic faraway places he's seen shortly after experiencing the kind of violence that he knows will haunt him forever. And in his rap song, sarcastically premised on a guided tour to the "concrete Vietnam" South Central L.A. ("Have you witnessed a drive-by? Okay, make sure you have your camcorder ready!"), Ice Cube warns: "Rule number one: get yourself a gun ... 'cause jackers ... love to start [things]. Now, if you're white you can trust the police; but if you're black they ain't nothin but beasts. ... So don't take your life for granted, 'cause it's the craziest place on the planet ... This is Los Angeles." - "Boyz N the Hood" was released 13 years ago. It is as topical as ever.
Also recommended: Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. G-Dog and the Homeboys: Father Greg Boyle and the Gangs of East Los Angeles The John Singleton Collection (Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning) South Central Menace II Society Juice Dangerous Minds New Jack City (Two-Disc Special Edition)"
Some of you guys just don't get it!
Themis-Athena | 02/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was reading some of the reviews posted below, and was irritated when this movie was so often referred to as a "gang" movie. This isn't a movie about inner-city gangs, folks! The main characters, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Lawrence Fishburne, and his friends Ricky and Doughboy (played by Ice Cube) are NOT gang members. They are simply poor, urban youths trying to make their lives the best they can. I can totally relate to Lawrence Fishburne's character, Furious, who amid the turmoil and suffocating poverty and despair of the ghetto, is trying to build a business that will improve both his family life and the neighborhood, as well as trying to keep his son (Gooding) on the straight and narrow path. Fishburne's character reminded me so much of my own father. I watched this movie in high school, and was blown away by the frankness of the story-telling. It was not overly embellished by tremendous acts of violence, as is the case in most Hollywood movies about the inner-city, nor does it try to ignore the ugliness present in everyday life in South-Central. The most heart-wrenching aspect of this film was the murder of Ricky, the USC-bound football star, who was gunned down in the alley the day he received the SAT result that would have allowed him to pass through the door leading out of the hopelessness of the ghetto."
A true modern day epic , sweeping and truthful.
Ross McKenzie | Seattle, WA United States | 02/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In, hollwood we see epics like Ben Hur and The Godfather to Goodfellas.We consider these epic movies because they sweep us into a storyline full of dramatic tones.What makes an epic shine a good storyline and charachters that you can understand and relate to and care for.Is this Boyz N The Hood yes it is and much much more,this movie is a true modern day epic and truly sweeping an incredible storyline that will keep you involved.it's a very realistic masterpeice and frank look into the life of inner city youth and the battleground they must deal with everyday not on a war zone but in there own neighborhoods. Powerhouse performances by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube.This movie tells us what living in this world is today and the battles you must fight not only for yourself but for the ones you love. A orignal film powerful and very real as well as touching and sad.Admist all the violence ,chaos of a war torn Los Angeles.A heartfelt film and theunfortunate truth very real."