Rolling Stone - 08/08/1991
New York Times - 07/12/1991
"...[A] terrifically confident first feature....[Fishburne endows] enormous dignity and grace..."
USA Today - 07/12/1991
"...BOYZ N THE HOOD juggles a half-dozen characters with remarkable ease, never losing sight of their destination....Singleton has made the punchiest feature debut in recent memory..."
Film Comment - 09/01/1991
"...The movie has value. It corners moviegoers, almost at cinematic knife point, and tells them what they need and don't want to know..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/12/1991
"...Strong and striking....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....A debut to remember..."
Premiere - 12/01/2003
"[I]t's ultimately a tender tragedy about the powerful influence, good and bad, of family and friends."
Uncut - 08/01/2004
"It's characterised by Singleton's unflinching storytelling, plus a career-best performance from Cuba Gooding Jr...."
A.V. Club - 08/17/2011
"Singleton set out to make his MEAN STREETS, capturing both the daily threat of violence and the enduring sense of community in the neighborhood where he grew up, and BOYZ N THE HOOD gets that across fairly often."
Entertainment Weekly - 07/22/2011
"At the time, it was a revelation....[With] strong performances from Fishburne and acting newbie Ice Cube..." -- Grade: B
John Singleton emerged from USC film school with his passionate script already written, and at age 23 he made the film that spawned a score of ghetto dramas. From the opening shot--a sign reading "Stop"--to the final message of "Increase the Peace," Singleton's desire to galvanize his audience is clear. The violence destroying South Central Los Angeles is seen through the eyes of Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.), whose intelligence and common sense would be wasted in the 'hood if not for his father, Furious (Laurence Fishburne), who imparts discipline and responsibility to his son. Tre's friends aren't so lucky, though, especially Doughboy (Ice Cube), who has been in and out of institutions since childhood and now sits on his porch with a forty in his hand and a pistol in his waistband. Singleton is ambitious enough to tackle a host of problems, from African American business practices to the bias of the SAT test, but the real power of the film lies in the performances of its principals. Cuba Gooding, in his first role, doesn't let Tre come off like a goody two-shoes, while Ice Cube gives a tragic nobility to a young man who knows he's doomed.
Since the age of 10, Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) has been living with his father in South Central Los Angeles--where the challenge lies in simply staying alive long enough to become a man. To make matters worse, Tre's friend Doughboy (Ice Cube) is on the wrong path. John Singleton's directorial debut is part bildungsroman, part gangster film, part call-to-arms for an African American community besieged by violence, drug use, teen pregnancy, and AIDS.
African American Culture |
Coming Of Age |
Essential Cinema |
Los Angeles, California |
Race Relations |
The film was shot on location in Los Angeles, California.
At the time of its release, BOYZ N THE HOOD was the highest-grossing black-themed film ever, earning ten times its six million dollar budget.
The opening of BOYZ N THE HOOD was marred by violence; 33 were wounded and one person was killed when trouble erupted at 20 theaters in the first week.
The title of the film is from a song on rapper Eazy-E's first solo album.
For BOYZ N THE HOOD, 24-year-old John Singleton became the youngest person ever to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.
The film soundtrack includes songs by Yo-Yo, Ice Cube, 2 Live Crew, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Monie Love, and Quincy Jones.