071 - Boyz N The Hood (1991)

Boyz N The Hood is the emotional story of a black neighbourhood.

Tré Styles (Cube Gooding Jr.) had a misspent youth. Despite being a smart child, his mother is forced to send him to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles so that he can be educated in 'being a man'. There he catches up with his friends, brothers Darrin 'Doughboy' (Ice Cube) and Ricky Baker (Morris Chestnut).

Forward 7 years, and Ricky has settled down and is looking forward to going to college with Tré while Doughboy seems happier wasting his life away on alcohol. Later, events will change all of their hopes and aspirations.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Considering I'm basically a young white male brought up in a mostly sheltered background, my appreciation of a film that is about a black ghetto seems difficult to comprehend. The colloquialisms are frequent making the dialogue often difficult to understand. Once this is combined with the obvious social stereotypes there is a film that seems very difficult to get along with.

The name of the film - Boyz N The Hood - will immediately throw some people off. I must admit I raised one eyebrow when I saw this was a film I was going to watch. How can a film with such awful grammar and spelling be worth the time of day?

The reason, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, is that Boyz N The Hood is a very emotional film. The opening text sets the scene stating that "one out of twenty-one black males will be murdered". Whether this statistic was true, or if it is still relevant today doesn't matter. By this point you should be aware as to the type of film to come.

The pace of the film is slow despite the violence that haunts the streets. Many of the police are power-hungry and unhelpful while a helicopter is often heard overhead reminding you that these characters cannot escape their background, as if perhaps their fate has already been sealed.

Despite all of the bad in the film, one scene, a soliloquy with Jason 'Furious' Styles (Laurence Fishburne) is perhaps one of the best moments of film that I have ever seen. I must admit, from now I won't be so quick to judge someone just because of where they live.

A fantastic, if understated, film.



  1. I have never seen this film but from the impact it has had on you, it is one which I will definately add to my 'must watch list' - I just have to get through another 249 films on the IMDB Top 250 first. Maybe in a couple of years....

  2. I know the feeling of "Maybe in a couple of years...".

    That's why I added the 'Meanwhile...' page - so that I could still enjoy other movies without feeling guilty about neglecting the reviewing!

    Boyz N The Hood is definitely worth a watch if just for another perspective on a completely different culture.


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