Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Rolling Stone
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
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.
90
Variety
Fierce, violent and searing in its observation, the film makes previous excursions seem like a stroll through the park.
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.
88
Chicago Tribune
A film of great integrity, assurance and political passion, if not driving plot. [26 May 1993, Tempo, p.3]
80
May just be the best in its genre… Entertainment and radical street preaching, all rolled into one. If it tells black kids not to try this at home, it also revels cinematically in blam-blam-you're-dead. This is what makes the movie maddening -- and what gives it strength.
78
Austin Chronicle
As uncomfortable as it is to have your nose shoved in this nightmare, its unforgettable in its violent lyricism and the bloody power of its message.
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]
70
Chicago Reader
This shocking, violent, and unsentimental (albeit sensationalized) drama about a second-generation drug dealer (Turner) and the callous world he lives in, produced by "To Sleep With Anger's" Darin Scott, is terrifically acted.
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.

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