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Boyz N the Hood (reissue)


Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr, Lawrence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, Regina King, Kenneth A Brown, Tammy Hanson

Director: John Singleton

Amid so much cinematic dross in the early 1990s and even more than was inconsequential, it was good to find a film so relevant to modern living, which still has much to teach us today.

To be accurate, the focus is firmly on black modern living in the poor quarter of Los Angeles, where children grow up (if they grow up), trying to concentrate on homework against background noises of police helicopters patrolling the district, not to mention the machine-gun fire of rival gangs exchanging mutual murder.

If the outcome of this particular story is fairly predictable, that's not to deny the strength in its telling. An amazing first-time effort from the then 23-year-old director John Singleton, the film also kick-started the careers of such stars of the future as Bassett, Fishburne, Ice Cube and King. Its portrait of growing-up in the most stressful of circumstances comes across as all too disturbingly real and still affects us all.

David Quinlan

USA 1991. UK Distributor: BFI (originally Sony-TriStar). Colour by deluxe.
111 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 26 Oct 2016