Boyz n the Hood (1991)

2015 #137
John Singleton | 112 mins | streaming (HD) | 16:9 | USA / English | 15 / R

John Singleton became the first African-American Best Director Oscar nominee, as well as the youngest, for this debut. 23 years on, his story of the lives and troubles of young black men in L.A. remains sadly pertinent.

Unfortunately, the film’s style doesn’t: some parts are plainly constructed and others have dated badly, like the horrible score — bland of-its-time TV soap music, when something befitting the characters (like the hippity-hop tunes that surface occasionally) would seem more appropriate.

Nonetheless, the believable characters, effective storytelling, and authentically new voice (even so temporally removed as we are now) mean it remains powerful filmmaking.

5 out of 5

This drabble review is part of the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2015. Read more here.