Boyz N the Hood
Director: John Singleton Run Time: 112 min. Rating: R Release Year: 1991
Starring: Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut
“Fantastic cast all around. Laurence Fishburne gives a masterful performance as Furious Styles in John Singleton’s debut film about a boy who goes to live with his father in south central LA, and the beauties and struggles of what that reality ultimately is. Definitely one of those films I watched when I was way too young but it still had such an impact. Such raw and gripping emotion. It’s a different kind of coming of age story that wasn’t always represented cinematically. Easy classic.” ~ Donald Elise Watkins, guest curator of Black Cinema 2023
Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Larry Fishburne), in tough South Central Los Angeles. Although his hard-nosed father instills proper values and respect in him, and his devout girlfriend Brandi (Nia Long) teaches him about faith, Tre’s friends Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Ricky (Morris Chestnut) don’t have the same kind of support and are drawn into the neighborhood’s booming drug and gang culture, with increasingly tragic results.
John Daniel Singleton was an American director, screenwriter, and producer. He made his feature film debut writing and directing Boyz n the Hood (1991), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming, at age 24, the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for that award. One of the most successful and groundbreaking directors in African-American cinema, Singleton’s films including Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995), Rosewood (1997), Shaft (2000), and Baby Boy (2001) represented the African-American experience in urban populations, focusing on themes such as black masculinity, trauma, racism and ethnicity. Singleton was also known for casting rappers/musicians in prominent roles such as Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, Janet Jackson, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Tyrese Gibson, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and André 3000.
“It’s always risky to proclaim a new force in film based upon just one film, but Boyz N the Hood is good enough to suggest that John Singleton is going to be a major player for a long time.” ~Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune