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Parents' Guide to

Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Over-the-top parody has frequent cursing, raunchy humor.

Movie R 1996 89 minutes
Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

This title has:

Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This parody has moments that are still hilarious decades after its initial release. Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is at its best and most timeless when the humor transcends the genre of the movies it's parodying. The recurring joke of Keenen Ivory Wayans as the mailman who turns to the camera and yells "Message!" whenever a heavy-handed comment on society is shoehorned into the story; comments on the lack of positive roles for African-American actresses in Hollywood; and a group of LAPD detectives in the station gathered around an arcade game modeled after the Rodney King case are all moments of barbed humor reminiscent of the Wayans' best sketches on In Living Color. The references to the OJ Simpson case and Bernie Mac as a black police officer who hates black people have also stood the test of time.

As for the rest, some of it depends on your taste in humor, and some of it simply hasn't aged well. There's a lot of humor in sight gags and exaggeration that almost reaches the gut laughs of a parody like Airplane!. The parodies of stock characters in the "hood" movies of the '90s sometimes make it unclear what the target of the humor is supposed to be: the way these movies are written or the people themselves. In other words, while it's safe to give the Wayans the benefit of the doubt that they're obviously not making fun of welfare recipients, stronger and more thoughtful humor might have been employed instead of fridges with blocks of clearly labeled government cheese. And jokes involving snipers killing innocent people don't seem all that funny anymore in a country with so many mass shootings. References to drinking 40s and smoking blunts are also beyond played-out by this point.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: January 12, 1996
  • On DVD or streaming: November 25, 2014
  • Cast: Shawn Wayans , Marlon Wayans , Vivica A. Fox
  • Director: Paris Barclay
  • Inclusion Information: Gay directors, Black directors, Black actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Island Pictures
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 89 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: Strong language, sexuality, some drug content and violence.
  • Last updated: December 23, 2022

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