Saga of a group of childhood friends growing up in a Los Angeles ghetto.
Release Year: 1991
Rating: 7.8/10 (41,727 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir
John Singleton's portrayal of social problems in inner-city Los Angeles takes the form of a tale of three friends growing up together 'in the 'hood.' Half-brothers Doughboy and Ricky Baker are foils for each other's personality, presenting very different approaches to the tough lives they face. Ricky is the 'All-American' athlete, looking to win a football scholarship to USC and seeks salvation through sports, while 'Dough' succumbs to the violence, alcohol, and crime surrounding him in his environment, but maintains a strong sense of pride and code of honor. Between these two is their friend Tre, who is lucky to have a father, 'Furious' Styles, to teach him to have the strength of character to do what is right and to always take responsibility for his actions.
Lloyd Avery II
Female Club Member
Kenneth A. Brown
Brandi – Age 10
John Cothran Jr.
(as Na' Blonka Durden)
Jessie Lawrence Ferguson
(as Jesse Ferguson)
Once upon a time in South Central L.A. … It ain't no fairy tale
Release Date: 12 July 1991
Filming Locations: Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $10,023,462
(14 July 1991)
Did You Know?
In order to maintain a sense of realism (i.e. shots firing unexpectedly), Singleton never gave the actors cues as to when the shots would be fired. As such, their reactions are real.
Tre is given, by Furious, the tedious job of raking the leaves off of his lawn. There is, however, no tree evident in supporting shots or surrounding lawns to indicate where the leaves had come from.
Something wrong? Yeah. It's just too bad you don't know what it is… *Brother*.
Hard, thoughtful film with messages for everybody
John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood remains one of the best fictionalized
and most poignant summaries of some of America's toughest internal
problems – racism, violence, poverty, and drug abuse. This is not a
hip-hop film, nor a detached and dehumanized story about "gang
violence" (the great over-simplified scapegoat of the issues treated in
this film), its a story about growing up fatherless or motherless in a
war zone with a faceless enemy, where people do not value each other's
lives at all and value their own lives only slightly more.
Laurence Fishburn leads one of the best casts of the early 1990s, in
his memorable portrayal of Furious Styles, a father trying to raise his
son (Cuba Gooding Jr) well in an environment where murder and substance
abuse are day-to-day realities – South Central L.A. The film follows
his son, Tre, and his friends, from the hardships of childhood in an
irrelevant educational system and a neighborhood which doesn't allow
kids to be kids, through to the realities of making decisions about the
value of life and the development of responsibility and hope as young
The cast disappears into their characters and brings each one to life
in a unique and powerful way. losing the identities of big
personalities like Fishburne and Ice Cube is no mean feat. Many of the
performances recorded here are award-worthy – Fishburne, Bassett,
Chesnutt, Gooding, and Ice Cube are especially memorable. For me
personally, this is the film that convinced me that Ice Cube was
destined to become a major personality in American cinema. While I had
enjoyed some of his music prior to this film, it was here that I was
first exposed to his versatility and intelligence as an actor.
While some may see some of the film's messages as heavy-handed, and
others might have issues with the fact that the film deals with so many
of the problems of inner-city life in a very 'in-your-face' almost
archetypal manner, I find these criticisms impossible to justify.
This is a great film about real issues, sensitively portrayed and
thoughtfully examined. Every American who cares about the vast untapped
potential of our people ought to take a long, hard look at this one.
These are not 'black problems', they are everybody's problems, and
their solutions will require everybody's understanding. I could think
of far worse places to begin developing that understanding than Boyz n