Boyz N The Hood is an absorbing, smartly made dramatic encyclopedia of problems and ethics in the black community, 1991. An impressive debut by 23-year-old John Singleton, sincere pic is ultra socially responsible, sometimes to the point of playing like a laundry list of difficulties faced specifically by the urban black community.
Tale principally looks at the lives of three boys in south-central LA, beginning in ’84 and then jumping, after a half-hour, to the present, when the realities of violence hit the teens.
Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr) is a bright but rather sullen and insolent kid who moves to his father’s home when his mother decides he needs a man’s discipline. Dad, whose first name is Furious (Larry Fishburne), is a walking lesson in how to live the right way. Tre’s best friend is Ricky (Morris Chestnut), who wants to be a football player, and they hang out with the latter’s half-brother, Doughboy (Ice Cube), a rough-houser with a generally bad attitude.
Singleton constantly and effectively lays in the constant irritants and reminders of violence in the ‘hood – the jets and choppers flying overhead, the ever-present dense smog, the random, easily-provoked fights, the day-and-night wailing of police sirens, the nearby gunshots.
Lively dialog embraces everything from Furious’ righteous sermons to Doughboy’s rough, sexist diatribes. Director’s skill clearly extends to handling actors, as leading players all do fine jobs of conveying various states of intensity. Produced for $6 million, pic is simple from a technical p.o.v.
1991: Nominations: Best Director, Original Screenplay