Boyz n the Hood

Movie review by Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Boyz n the Hood Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Powerful, old-school look at life surrounded by violence.

R 1991 112 minutes

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 14 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Great movie based in the most violent period in LA

America was experience high gang violence (higher than today) during the late 1960s through 70s/80s90s. Especially in the inner cities such as LA/Chicago/New York City. This movie accurately portrays life in the ghetto. Expect a lot of cussing, over 100 F Bombs are used throughout the film. The violence is quite brutal & realistic which could scare children.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 18+

A well-made morally misguided ghetto flick

During an iconic scene in which Fishburne's character Styles describes the gentrification of Black American communities in the United States, it is on the surface a good description of the semi-organized undermining of the economic power, or the little thereof of black people. However if the scene is listened to carefully, Styles explicitly instructs his fellow neighbours to "keep the community black." And by that he's not just referring to keeping it mostly black, he means to keep *all* black... Black-owned and black-occupied. This means no Whites, no Asians, no Jews, no anybody who is not of the same race (i.e. black). Sounds mighty racist, doesn't it? Apparently, racial segregation ceases to be a problem if done by black people. There is an irony in the whole thing, concentrations of any demographic naturally cause rifts in national unity... Whether it be rich people living apart from everyone else, poor people all living together, or blacks all living together... In the end the film, maybe unintentionally, promotes an attitude of segregation... Of an "us vs. them" mentality. It doesn't take an historian to know the consequences of this sort of cultural mindset. Absent of sufficient economic resources and a firm cultural attitude of law and order, ethnic ghettos almost never work. They inevitably exacerbate racist beliefs and further the divide away from national cohesion. The result is not so much a nation united by a common purpose and culture, but rather a "mosaic" of cultures, developing semi-apart from one another. With few exception, this does not lead to a peaceful social order, evident simply by looking at a map of the world showing which countries rank highest in diversity... Most of which most certainly do not make any serious attempts to integrate their population or instil a culture that respects the rule of law. Quite the opposite so, those countries are by and large overrun with corruption and deadly sectarian violence. This demonstrates that it is not so much racial diversity that is innately a problem, but rather the diversity that arises when social divisions grow too great. Integration and rule of law is key. Apart from its failure to address that particular issue, Boyz n the Hood is a good film. While Fishburne's character is indeed a black separatist, he does try to steer his son in the right direction by discouraging him from using violence, and encouraging him to avoid unsafe sex. Unfortunately, this doesn't really work too well, albeit it works enough to keep his son alive. The film also includes strong performances and an excellent screenplay. The constant dread of violence is conveyed subtlety, but well enough to teach the audience of the harsh alternate reality people face in the black ghettos of America.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

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