Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The film is an inflammatory morality play shot through with rage and despair.
There is a real terror in the faces of these kids as they realize that people have died, that guns kill, that your life can be ruined, or over, in an instant.
Boston Globe
Juice is a film about choices. The right ones. The tragically wrong ones. There will be comparisons to Matty Rich's brilliant "Straight Out of Brooklyn," but Dickerson's effort is more richly textured, more grounded in an ordinary kid's point of view. And Dickerson's dogged determination to film from that perspective has resulted in a film rich in the right lingo, the right clothes, the right attitudes. [17 Jan 1992, p.67]
The film winds up taking a clear anticrime stance, and Mr. Epps ably conveys Q's trepidation about his friends' behavior. But Juice also revels in the flash, irreverence and tough-guy posturing to which the film's violence can ultimately be traced.
Dickerson and co-writer Gerard Brown exhibit a sharp ear for dialog and have some real finds in their largely unknown cast.
Dickerson's story of street kids at risk breaks no new ground. It is better than most, but not by much. Sure looks good, though.
USA Today
Dickerson's direction seems more assured as Juice progresses, but by then, the film has become less a dilemma movie than a melodramatically conventional revenge piece. [17 Jan 1992, p.4D]
Though it is a vivid, promising piece of work from first-time director Ernest R. Dickerson, it also shows how difficult it's becoming to deal with this material in any kind of fresh manner.
Dickerson's point in this passable but rather routine picture is that no one is exempt from the spidery grip of frustrations brought on by poverty and a life of depressed opportunities; that, given these circumstances, anyone can pick up a gun as the only answer to his problems.
It's a perfectly competent film, but the title quantity is the one thing this dry and earnest movie hasn't got.

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