About the Movie "Boyz N the Hood"

by David Harris

"Boyz N the Hood" is a 1991 drama that was released by Columbia Pictures. It stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube and Laurence Fishburne. The film received very good reviews, despite its violent subject matter. "Boyz n the Hood" was written and directed by John Singleton. It is a frank depiction of life in South Central Los Angeles.

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Four Friends

The movie begins in 1984 and focuses on Tre (Gooding, Jr.), an intelligent young African-American boy who is having discipline problems. His mother sends him off to live with his disciplinarian father Furious (Fishburne) in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles. As Furious teaches Tre how to be a responsible man, Tre reunites with his old friends Doughboy, Ricky and Little Chris. As the prologue ends, Tre sees Ricky and Chris get arrested for stealing from a convenience store.

In the Present

The rest of the film takes place in 1991. Tre has gotten his act together. He is a high school senior and wants to go to college. Ricky (Morris Chestnut) is a football star who wants to reach the NFL. He is being recruited by the University of Southern California, but needs a minimum SAT score to get a scholarship. He is also caring for a son. Tre and Ricky's other friends are not doing as well. Little Chris (Redge Green) is confined to a wheelchair due to a gunshot wound, and Doughboy (Ice Cube) deals crack around the neighborhood.

Themes

"Boyz n the Hood" is a coming-of-age story set in the violent world of South Central Los Angeles circa 1991. Singleton takes on heady issues such as drugs, sex, gang warfare and racial inequality. The lack of a strong male role model for young African-American males is also a strong theme in the film, as Furious seems to be the only older man in the neighborhood. Tre is the only one who has the guidance of a father, and the lessons Furious taught Tre keep him alive throughout the film.

Reception

"Boyz N the Hood" opened to extremely positive reviews and grossed more than $57 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said "Boyz N the Hood has maturity and emotional depth," while Variety magazine called it "an absorbing, smartly made dramatic encyclopedia of problems and ethics in the black community, 1991." Singleton was nominated for Oscars for his direction and screenplay. This was his debut film.

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