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Menace II Society (1993)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  26 May 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 37,435 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 94 user | 24 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.


(as The Hughes Brothers) , (as The Hughes Brothers)


(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grocery Store Woman (as June Kyoko Lu)
Toshi Toda ...
Grocery Store Man
Anthony Johnson ...
Brandon Hammond ...
Five Year Old Caine
Reginald Ballard ...
Karen Lawson
Eugene Lee ...
Man #1
Man #2 (as James Pickins Jr.)
Teacher (as Nancy Cheryl Davis)
Jullian Roy Doster ...
Ronnie (as Jada Pinkett)


This urban nightmare chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA. Written by Daniel Bredy <gt3655a@prism.gatech.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is the truth. This is what's real.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Straßenkämpfer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)


$27,900,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Clifton Powell and Ian Davids scene where Chauncy receives information about a car to steal had to be dubbed by the actors due to air traffic. See more »


Ilena's weight fluctuates throughout the film. When we first see her at the barbecue, she is somewhat slim. When she is shown talking to Caine on the phone, which because of her pregnancy is presumably within a month later, she is noticeably heavier. See more »


Caine: My grandpa asked me one time if I care whether I live or die. Yeah I do. Now it's too late.
See more »


Referenced in The Critic: L.A. Jay (1994) See more »


Written by Lord Jamar (as L. DeChalus), Sadat X (as D. Murphy) and DJ Sincere (as T. Perry)
Performed by Brand Nubian
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant movie
16 March 2000 | by (helsinki, finland) – See all my reviews

Menace was a brilliant film. There are many reasons to it, but I think what makes it so special is it's sense of style. It proves effectively that a gritty street-drama doesn't have to look bad in order to be realistic. Instead of using hand held cams and grainy film the Hughes' shoot their film with style, influenced by John Woo, and action-comics.

The violence used is also excessive and very graphic. There are brutal beatings as well as bloody shootings, all shot much better than your average action-movie. Like as in Dead Presidents, the directors aren't afraid of over-doing anything. Through slow-motion and impressive camera manoeuvering they're making great, exhilarating action.

Well, besides the violence the movie is great in many other ways. The shootings and bloodlettings are just to make it more realistic, which is pretty much the goal of the movie. In heartbreaking detail the main characters narrate us through youth criminality, drug-dealing, racism and a lot of other nasty stuff. The voice-over works really well, making Menace a sort of black "Goodfellas".

The story is great, in some points resembling some greek tragedy, with a storyline used successfully in other movies like Carlito's Way, Goodfellas, American History X and many others. It's about changing your life in time, before it's too late. If you don't change in time, all your past sins will come back to you. The movie is hilarious, sad, suspenseful and very educational for those who think there is racial equality in USA.

The Hughes' are young, aggressive and untouchable film-makers who intend to show you the real world, and do it with style.

43 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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convienient store owner was pretty stupid admirdemondo
Ilena's Pregnancy rlstokey
Things We Learned From Watching M II S MierdaDeToro
Better with Tupac? sweetlou_89
Was Caine raped in prison? ac1223
is it just me or is GTA San Andreas pretty much based off of this movie? andrewhhh
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