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South Central
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Reviews & Ratings for
South Central More at IMDbPro »

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

"South Central was adapted from my novel "South Central L.A. Crips"

Author: DBakeer107 from Inglewood (South Central) CA
31 December 2007

I would like to thank all of the fans and supporters of the the film; it pleases me greatly that you got the message. I am a retired (South Central L.A.) English teacher; I wrote the novel "South Central L.A. Crips(the story of the L.A. Street gang, 1971-1985)" in 1986 as a roman a clef (faction). "Deuce" was a euphemism for "Crip" (which was censored in movies in 1991) It had become obvious to me that the old canon of American literature would not inspire the will necessary to become literate for Crips and Bloods and many other lower class African Americans, so I interviewed hundreds of gangsters over a 4 year span and wrote a book about them that would do the job. The movie "South Central" was, initially, merely a vehicle to advertise the book and promote the message of literacy. I used the book and the movie in my curriculum for 12 years. Gangsters stole it out of my classroom and the local libraries. I considered it an ironic tribute and an effective way to distribute to the people who needed it the most. But, best of all, L.A.'s gang murder epidemic has been subsiding ever since until it's now lower than it has been in over 30 years. "South Central" was made to save lives and I believe it has as "Variety" predicted when it came out in the midst of over 1000 murders in 1992. I rushed it to the screen (I signed a 6 month option w/Steve Anderson for $1)because I knew there was a volcano about to erupt in South Central L.A. from teaching 100's of gangsters in the area; I partnered w/Steve and Oliver Stone because they had the sensitivity for the mission and skill to make the film. Unfortunately, "South Central", though completed in 1991, was not released until the summer of 1992 after the South Central L.A. Uprising which stigmatized it to the owners of theaters causing it to go from a projected 1200 (approx.) screen opening to less than 100. It was a big success immediately in video stores and on cable. Hopefully, it will last as long as "Huckleberry Finn". I am not a "Hollywood" writer; although I wrote the novel and collaborated on the screenplay (for which I received no credit), I was not able to join the WGA (I played Dr. King in the movie, so I am in SAG). However, I am honored to have made the film; I, even, believe it is time to remake it for today's audience. I would have liked to: keep it PG-13; eliminated the N-word and profanity; used more of the slang from the novel("h-nk-ball"?, "ginawagon"!, please); shown more of the L.A. Islamic influence and local history, obviously Bobby (Jimmie Black in the novel) is changed by copious reading like Malcolm X, and I, being a devout Muslim, wanted to note the great work Muslims have done in prisons (this, too, was pretty much anathema in 1991, but we sneaked it in subliminally). I have written a sequel, "Inhale Gasoline & Gun Smoke (the story of the L.A. Uprising)" which is probably too hot for Hollywood but will eventually be made one way or another. I am Executive Producer of SAB Productions and my film "Bilalian" shows on BET's Black Stories every now and then. My new book is "N*GG*S-The Black Curse", and completes my trilogy on South Central L.A.

As Salaamu Alaikum, Donald Bakeer P.S. 100% literacy for African Americans by 2010 (gangstas, too)!

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One of the better examples of the "Criminal makes good" genre.

Author: Ian Alexander Martin from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
31 January 2000

This movie makes you care about its characters. This should be said about all films, but this one accomplishes it where others do not. The story revolves around a young man in South Central Los Angeles who is involved in a gang that is slowly making itself successful by selling drugs. He goes to jail after being convicted of shooting another gang lord. While in prison, his son grows up and is drawn by the romance and easy money of his father's old gang, and becomes involved as well. The story is a little over-simplistic, and the dialogue is a bit thin at times. But the director and cast rise to the challenge and turn this into a film about relationships and philosophy, rather than going for the easy solution of shooting off as many guns as possible. The ending is one of the most sappy we've seen in a while (just a bit too much 'Mom and apple pie'), but given the situation you are willing to go with it. While it's not perfect, this film ultimately works -- which is better than 95% of this genre.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful Acting, worthy of Acadmey attention

Author: mmr07 from Lebanon
3 August 2004

I just wanna say that I caught the last hour of the movie, I have no idea how it started but I was watching the DVD lady Jane and I paused to see what's on TV and there it was, South Central, and I watched the part in prison where Ali defends his friend from the mob inside by giving them what they need from cigarettes and services in return to stay away from the black inmate. The encounter between Ali and boy's father where he describes what happened to his son was the most powerful scene I've seen in any movie, it brought me literarly to tears. Another strong scene was the final 5 minutes, I'll let you discover it for yourselves because you'll be blown away, I don't know why the reating is so little in quantity and in quality, I'm giving it a 9/10 for its strong performances and also a great theme where it touches the source of Black gang violence and how a small corrupted group can effect the whole community, on the other hand also how a corrupted gang member can also be saved by a strong willful cultured person like Ali.

Great Movie, a must see...

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Just in time!

Author: ( from United States
21 May 2007

This movie was filmed around the time of the Rodney King riots that ripped South Central Los Angeles. Let's face it, the heart and soul of Los Angeles isn't Hollywood. It's the people like in this movie who try to make living, earnestly, honestly, and respectively. Sadly, this film is still realistic to the plight of urban problems. I spent a lot of time in one of the great urban cities of the East Coast and the problems of poverty, the lure of leading drug dealing lives is real and tempting, domestic violence, child abuse, gangs, etc. still exist and will exist much to the attempts of prevention or society ignoring their presence. Anyway, this film is truly about the heart and soul of a city of ten million Angelenos and the father's attempt to save his son from a life of crime, violence, death, and drugs in the city. It's not an easy battle.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: Buggieblade from Westbury, NY
20 July 2002

SOuth Central was a gripping drama about a former gang member who has to decide between being a daddy and being a gangster. He rolls with the wrong crowd and gets caught up, BAD MOVE! NOt to spoil the film for those who haven't seen it I'll just leave it at that.

THe direction was fluid and well executed. S. Anderson brings the viewer into the scene and captures the moment with sheer brilliance. THe only two acting performances even worth mentioning were Glenn Plumber's and Byron Minns's. The supporting performances where sub-par but good writing rescued them from seeming cheezy.

I enjoyed South Central. It made my collection and I recommend it for yours.


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The film is "serious" and well intentioned, telling a heart-breaking story with a valid message.

Author: Jim-249 from Luxembourg
22 January 1999

Though the film is "serious" and well intentioned, telling a heart-breaking story with a valid message, its impact is considerably weakened by a naïve story-line and a undistinguished screen-play. I hunted around to see if this was "based on a true story", like "The Birdman of Alcatraz", but I found no evidence; that might have excused some of the awkwardness. There are some movingly warm scenes, though I was never groping for a kleenex. It reminded me of one of those Worthy Westerns I watched as a kid, where the bad guy meets a good guy/woman who changes his life: it had too many predictable and not totally credible steps. When, at the end, the hoodlum about to shoot him says, "Prison sure turned you stoopid!", I was inclined to agree. He talked his way out of the jam, but only because the narrative demanded it: his speech would never have convinced me, any more than Eli's words in the prison cell would have made me turn over a new leaf. These key "speeches" lacked any eloquence, and I frequently found myself predicting the dialogue. Nevertheless its best moments, especially the confrontations, are really gripping - until the end, that is, when it's too easy to foresee that no harm will come to anyone and Good will prevail. It's unfashionable and courageous to give such a story a happy ending (cf. "La Haine", where the vicious circle of hate is NOT broken and a bleak future is foreseen), and perhaps its optimism speaks more deeply to audiences in the States.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

great movie

Author: lilmiss39581 from United States
8 January 2005

This is a very good movie and a realistic view of south central at the time. I lived there and this is one of the few movies that showed a realistic view of life. Glenn Plummer should get more props for his acting. Some parts of this movie touched a lot of us on the streets, the acting is great. This movie laid the foundation for other popular hood movies like boyz n da hood and others, but it is much more than a hood movie it takes you through the struggles of life on the streets and how sometimes you can't help the situation that you're in. It tells of a man who had a messed up childhood, and who had to get his life together to save his son from the same hardships that he had growing up without a dad.It ends up being a true love story.. the love between a real father and his son.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

South Central

Author: ladygee627
28 March 2005

We need more positive movies like south central

by - ladygee627 7 minutes ago (Mon Mar 28 2005 10:34:50)

We need more positive movies like south central. The part of Ali played by Carl Lumbly was so touching, sincere, and genuine. He actually made Bobby Johnson change his life for the better. Nurse Shelby brought out emotions in Bobby Jr. Emotions Bobby didn't know he had in him just by a mere act of kindness of nurse Shelby playing table tennis and spending quality time with him, time that his own mother never gave him.

It's the simply things that counts in life that we need to express in our Movies, our music and in our everyday lives.

This is truly a must see movie!

I give it a 10 & A+


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function gang crime drama

Author: SnoopyStyle
10 April 2015

It's the summer 1982. Bobby Johnson (Glenn Plummer) leaves jail to reconnect with Ray Ray, Bear and Loco. Ray Ray wants to get rid of smackman Genie Lamp and build his gang The Deuces. Bobby suspects that his baby mama Carole has been with Genie. Bobby kills Genie and gets put away in prison. Ray Ray becomes a rich gang leader and he gets Bobby's son Jimmie working for him. In prison, drug addicted Loco tells Bobby about Ray Ray's self serving ways. When Jimmie gets shot, Bobby blames Ray Ray and leaves the Deuces. He takes up with Muslim Ali (Carl Lumbly) and tries to straighten out his life. In the hospital, Jimmie is befriended by nurse Shelly.

The story is functional urban gang crime drama. The production is lower grade. Director Stephen Milburn Anderson doesn't have much cinematic style. The acting is generally good with some bad exceptions. There are a few too many incidents of over-acting. The plot is uninspired without any surprises. It's not particularly special.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Well intentioned but not brilliant!

Author: gazineo-1 from Brasilia, Brazil
12 April 2002

Well intentioned but not brilliant urban drama focused on the live of a young black gang member (Plummer) who goes to prison for ten years and, after been released, tries hard to protect his only son against the bad influence of his ex - partners in crime. The movie is predictable and although sometimes gripping, the overcome is clearly inferior when compared with other movies of the same genre. Anyway, Plummer and Dupree are good in their roles. I give this a 5 (five).

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