In the vein of Spike Lee's "in your face" political statements, Boyz N the Hood falls flat despite some moments of greatness. Singleton's praise as a writer/director seems somewhat overblown. Nevertheless, this solid depiction of the life in the "hood" features a great turn by Fishburne, whose societal statements are still in tune with today's realities.
The subject matter its pretty complicated, but in general its extremely easy to fall on the wrong path of life when you are living on a society where human identity its based on possessions, social status and racial origins. Solid characters, good acting, great atmosphere and a lot of reflexive social commentaries worth listening. For a debut film this is totally impressive.
I didn't love or hate Boyz N the Hood. It felt like overrated diet Spike Lee and came off more like a diluted episode of Yo MTV Raps than a platform for the few nuggets of wisdom Laurence Fishburne's character imparted. Ice Cube was fun and I'm sure this is Cuba Gooding Jr's only good performance. Fishburne was great and there wasn't enough Angela Bassett. There's never enough Angela Bassett...
Even if you are not from South Central Los Angeles you can relate to the characters in this realistic movie. You don't gotta be from "tha hood". In fact the whole world is a GHETTO! Find the Special Edition DVD. I listened to John Singleton's Commentary. Very insightful, he breaks down all the shots he did, all the inspiration for the film. And he made this at only 22 years old! It is definitely a classic!
A landmark of its genre, though it's pretty dated today. The acting is excellent all around - every performance was genuine and engrossing. The loose plot dragged in places, the story did not seem to be on par with the characters - but there are a number of genuinely intense moments. The overbearing music score ruined several scenes, quashing the drama with melodramatic sentimentality.