Boyz n the Hood

July 12th, 1991


Boyz n the Hood

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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

Director: John Singleton

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.

Hudhail Al-Amir - S.A.T. Man
Lloyd Avery II - Knucklehead #2
Angela Bassett - Reva Styles
Mia Bell - Female Club Member
Lexie Bigham - Mad Dog
Kenneth A. Brown - Little Chris
Nicole Brown - Brandi - Age 10
Ceal - Sheryl
Morris Chestnut - Ricky Baker
Darneicea Corley - Keisha
John Cothran Jr. - Lewis Crump
Ice Cube - Doughboy / Darren
Na'Blonka Durden - Trina (as Na' Blonka Durden)
Susan Falcon - Mrs. Olaf
Jessie Lawrence Ferguson - Officer Coffey (as Jesse Ferguson)

Taglines: 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

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $10,023,462 (USA) (14 July 1991) (829 Screens)

Gross: $57,504,069 (USA)

Technical Specs


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.

Factual errors: 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.

Officer Coffey: Something wrong?
Furious Styles: Something wrong? Yeah. It's just too bad you don't know what it is... *Brother*.

User Review

Hard, thoughtful film with messages for everybody

Rating: 10/10

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 adults.

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 the Hood.


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