103 user 31 critic

Menace II Society (1993)

1:41 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

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 »
2,439 ( 1,399)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Scary Movie (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A year after disposing of the body of a man they accidentally killed, a group of dumb teenagers are stalked by a bumbling serial killer.

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Stars: Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Marlon Wayans
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.

Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, Alex Henderson
Next Friday (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Uncle Elroy and Day Day owe money on taxes so Craig finds a way to steal from the next door neighbors to pay off the taxes so Uncle Elroy's house doesn't get put up for auction.

Director: Steve Carr
Stars: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Justin Pierce
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir
Juice (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Four inner-city teenagers get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as "the juice".

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Stars: Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins
Barbershop (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop.

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve
Paid in Full (2002)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man from Harlem, forced to cope with the 1980s drug scene, builds an illegal empire, only to have a crisis of conscience.

Director: Charles Stone III
Stars: Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, Chi McBride
Supremacy I (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A just paroled white neo-nazi and his ruthless girlfriend kill a cop and take an African-American family hostage. Meanwhile the supremacist leader who oversees his criminal empire from behind bars, is not happy. Inspired by real events.

Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Joe Anderson, Dawn Olivieri, Derek Luke
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker
New Jack City (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne
South Central (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man is sent to prison for 10 years. Coming out of prison he wants to live a normal life and stop crime but his son has now followed the criminal path of his father.

Director: Stephen Milburn Anderson
Stars: Glenn Plummer, Byron Minns, Lexie Bigham
Above the Rim (1994)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.

Director: Jeff Pollack
Stars: Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, Leon


Cast overview, first billed only:
Grocery Store Woman (as June Kyoko Lu)
Five Year Old Caine
Karen Lawson
Eugene Lee ...
Man #1
Man #2 (as James Pickins Jr.)
Nancy Cheryll Davis ...
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 bloody violence, drug use and pervasive 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)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

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, in post-production, due to air traffic. See more »


Before the drive-by shooting at the end of the film, Illena's cousin is seen loading an Uzi machine pistol, and when the shooting is about to begin, he aims this gun out of the car window. However, when the shooting actually starts, he has changed over to a TEC-9, a completely different type of machine pistol. See more »


Caine: Nigga, I know you ain't dumb enough to be showin' niggas the robbery tape, man. What's up with that?
O-Dog: Man, cool out, nigga. We just havin' fun with the motherfuckin' tape. Damn, alright, ain't nobody else gonna see the tape. The shit is funny to me, though.
See more »


Spoofed in Ali G Indahouse (2002) See more »


Written by Al Green and Teenie Hodges
Performed by Al Green
Courtesy of Hi-Cream Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Menacingly Powerful, and Gritty Urban Drama
16 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

Menace II Society is much more than your typical hood movie. It tells the story of young Caine Lawson, a teen growing up in Watts, California.

The opening briefly shows Caine getting caught up in a grocery store shooting with his friend. This was a chilling way to open the movie, as it shows how easy it is for someone in the ghetto to get caught up in the moment and kill someone. During the opening credits, we see footage of the Watts riots that took place during the 60's. Caine narrates the story of his life, explaining how after the riots, drugs came into effect, and affected his home life as a child. After loosing his parents on at the hands of drugs, he was sent to live with his Grandparents. His Grandparents love him, but they struggled to raise him and tried their hardest to keep him out of trouble.

Not too long into the movie, after we learn about Caine's early life, we see him graduate from High School. He hopes to leave the life of violence that surrounds him in his neighborhood. After falling victim to a violent car jacking, he is brought into violence and crime himself. As the story progresses, and things spiral downward for Caine, he ends up in a hell of a jam and tries to make a way out of it all.

This is an incredible movie. It perfectly balances the ugly crime life and murder of tough inner city neighborhoods, Caine's own personal troubles, police brutality, and drugs.

This is a powerful movie with a great story. It has a good message, but in some ways, I thought the film Boyz N the Hood showed the message in a better way. Menace II Society is more focused on the crime involved in inner cities, where as Boyz N the Hood focuses more on the family life of the characters.

This is an excellent film that you should see if you ever get the chance. It has a good message, and it has some very moving moments in it.

If you enjoyed this, I also recommend Boyz N the Hood, and you'll probably enjoy the Wayans brothers' spoof, Don't be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 103 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

15 Most Bingeable TV Shows

"The IMDb Show" presents the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time, featuring "Rick and Morty," "The Office," and "Lost."

Watch now