Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Chicago Sun-Times
As well-directed a film as you'll see from America this year, an unsentimental and yet completely involving story of a young man who cannot see a way around his fate.
100
Entertainment Weekly
Bleak, brilliant, and unsparing.
100
Nothing the Hughes brothers have done in their videos for Tone Loc, Tupac Shakur and others prepares you for the controlled intensity and maturity they bring to their stunning feature debut.
100
The film is one chillingly authentic scene after another... In the end it's more of a war movie than "Saving Private Ryan" ever was.
88
Chicago Tribune
A film of great integrity, assurance and political passion, if not driving plot. [26 May 1993, Tempo, p.3]
88
ReelViews
Menace II Society has a devastating impact. Few films possess the power to keep an audience sitting in stunned silence after the end credits begin rolling, but this is one of them.
75
San Francisco Chronicle
The movie's biggest weakness is in the presentation of Caine's grandparents.... The attempt, it seems, is to show a potentially positive influence in Caine's life. But the grandparents come across as canned characters, corny and concocted. [26 May 1993, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
75
USA Today
An unusually knowing movie from filmmakers of any age, both in its coldly clinical viewpoint and assured filmmaking style that even puts fresh spin on a routine police interrogation. [26 May 1993, Life, p.8D]
60
It lacks the vision, and the fully defined characters, of "Boyz (in the Hood)." Tyrin never becomes more than the sum of his conflicting impulses--he's a composite sample of a social group rather than a fully-fledged individual.
60
It sets some sort of record for use of the expressions "nigga" and "muthafucka".
25
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Because the society in Menace II Society is boxed in sociologically, the picture (for all its strengths) is boxed in esthetically. Already, this genre is beginning to seem as much a victim as the victims it portrays.

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