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Menace II Society
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Menace II Society More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great Action Movie

9/10
Author: Liakot Ali from London
12 June 2006

Menace 2 Society is a brilliant movie based in New York. Its about the life of street thugs played by Tyrin Turner and Larenz Tate. It is the directional debut of the Hughes brothers, who did a Great Job. Tyrin Turner delivers a Good performance as the drug dealer. Larenz Tate is an underrated Superb actor playing the part of O Dog. This is one of his Greatest Performance, watch him in Dead Presidents. Jada Pinkett is very sexy, but in this film she looks a little less sexy then usual. The rest of the supporting cast give a decent role. Bill Duke and Samuel L Jackson are in small roles in this movie. The movie has some great Action scenes and is one of the Best Black Crime (Hood) Movies ever made. Alongside Boyz N the hood, Menace 2 Society is a Fantastic film.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Well-done but familiar

7/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
5 May 2004

Caine (Tyrin Turner) and best friend "O-Dog" (Larenz Tate) grow up in Watts section of California--over run by drugs and violence. Caine is in love with Ronnie (Jada Pinkett) who wants to get out of there with her young son. She wants him to come with her...but can he break away from the drugs and violence he grew up with?

This is very graphic and well-done...but I've seen it all before. Doesn't anyone remember "Boyz N the Hood" which came out in 1991? It told virtually the same tale and had a similar setting. That aside this is still a powerful movie. The language is raw (there is virtual non-stop swearing) and the violence is very bloody, disturbing and right in your face. The movie sometimes hammers it's message too strong (this film is anything but subtle), but it was made by two brothers (Allen and Albert Hughes) when they were only 21 so that can be overlooked. There are also great performances by Turner, Tate and especially Pinkett. Actually, the entire cast is great.

So, I liked it but nothing about it shocked me or told me anything I didn't know. I give it an 8.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

How can a bunch of illiterate gangsters killing people be brilliant?

Author: bodyshots80 (bodyshots80@aol.com) from Houston
20 January 2003

This movie is sad because it really is fake and melodramatic. I think that Don't Be a Menace to SouthCentral while Drinking your Juice in the Hood is actually brilliant. It makes fun of most of what makes this movie so fake and unsettling. If you have seen this and don't live in an urban city in America, you really have no idea how fake this is. One key example is when the Mexican gang took a black gangster to the hospital. This would never happen. Gang members stick together? I thought that they rivaled each other... If you want to see a more realistic depiction of the hood you might want to check out Boyz in the Hood. It has much better acting(the only really well done movie with Ice Cube in it) and much better direction. Of course Menace would have never been made if it had not been for Boyz in the Hood. The only thing that this aimless movie achieves is trying to bring more tension between races.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A great movie, a must-see

Author: ghostfacekillah from Netherlands
4 February 2001

Menace II Society, a great movie. The story outline is good, the actors, all of it. Kaydee "Caine" Lawson, what a good character, and Kevin "O-Dog", do i need to tell more about him, some crazy m*therf*cker he is, damn.

Somebody recommended this movie to me, and i am glad he did. I wouldnt want to miss this one. And dont gimme that b*llsh*t that the movie is racist and stereotypical. Caus' some were just like them in this movie. They DID steel and rob and murdered people. Why does someone immediately have to come with that racial sh*t?! I'm a black man too yeah, i didn't grow up in such a neighbourhood, but simular sh*t happened here.

The whole movie is very realistic, good camerawork. Just one word: 'Fantastic'. This one is of a caliber like American History X and Boyz 'N the Hood. A must see!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I love Gangsta movies

10/10
Author: aaliyah (aaliyah@tlcfan.com) from Essen, Germany
12 September 2000

Menace 2 Society is the best movie I ever watched. I love the story and of course the actors. Tyrin Turner (Caine Lawson) and Larenz Tate (O-dog) play their part so good, that I watched the movie 7 or 8 times. >Anyway, who´s out there, if u like Gangsta movies, don´t hesitate to watch MENACE 2 SOCIETY, u won´t regret...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

BEST INNER CITY FLICK EVER!!!

Author: Pupiz from Chicago, IL
16 January 1999

This movie was incredible and Larenz Tate was indeed a fine actor. It was a story of a guy growing up in the hood, who was telling his story of life and perhaps death. This movie showed the troubles in the inner city with gangs, teenage pregnancy, and theft. It also shows life on both sides of the track in a realistic form. Jada Pinkett was great. See this movie if you haven't. The greatest.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Much more than a 'ghetto' flick.

9/10
Author: C. Armstead Young from around the way.
7 December 1998

I read a review of 'Belly' from a young lady on-line, and of it she said that it was terrible and we need more positive films. While I agree it was terrible, but what we need are better films. Menace II society is one of the most gripping films ever made. More horrifying than Freddie Kruger, Friday the 13th or whatever horror film you can name because this, unfortunately, is reality. Menace steps out of the tired rehashed 'ghetto' mentality with real characters, real motivation (whether you agree with it or not) good acting, and great writing and direction. I salute the Hughes brothers for their strength in getting a film as difficult to watch as this one on the screen. A great film, I believe, affects you once you leave the theater. In that respect, this is great film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Somewhat enjoyable, but overall disappointing,

4/10
Author: Patrick Hester from Georgia
22 January 2017

I went into this movie with high hopes, but once I was done, I was surprised at just how flawed it was. I don't regret watching the film- but it had too many problems for me to ignore.

I'll start with minor things. Some of the editing (cuts, sound, etc.) is not great. Such as a slow motion scene with sound that doesn't match up with the motion, or a cut that goes to the character smiling to a character frowning in the next. Although not a huge issue, it's a bother and too obvious to ignore. It also had some things not done poorly, but not exactly done well either. It was shot decently, but nothing special. Although it won a Best Cinematography award, don't expect a beautiful film. It's not bad, just not great. It does what it's supposed to, and that's all.

But on a positive note, (if you watch the unrated cut) this movie's violence doesn't hold back. It's presented how it should be- bloody and up close. It doesn't cut away from and gruesome shot, because it wants you to see it. The violence is done well, and I'm glad it doesn't restrain itself.

The movie gets it's setting right. What everyone wears, what everyone says, what music they listen to... all feels from the era of which it takes place. The soundtrack does do a good job of making you feel like you're in the time and place the film takes place in, but it could've used a track or two besides the hip-hop and R&B tracks. So many films like this one like to only use these kinds of songs, and some scenes would've been better with a different track. Such as a brief sex scene later in the film (which comes out of nowhere, I might add) that is very cheesy, and the cliché song only makes it worse.

Although the writing is not terrific, the dialogue, in terms of the way they talk, is. They speak like these characters actually would have, and it doesn't feel overdone. They talk like real friends would, and that makes the whole experience more enjoyable, because you feel as if you are watching actual friends. This leads to a big flaw in the film- the acting. To say the least, it fell short. No performance in this whole film stands out as great. The only performance that stands out at all is Jada Pinkett Smith's, which is not great, but good- and better than most in the film, if not all. Much of the delivery feels lazy, and a most characters are just unconvincing. Caine's narration, for instance, was a little hard to listen to. Compared to the rest of his character's dialogue, it was confusing to hear both from the same actor, with a huge gap in performance quality. He's not the only one, either. It's hard to tell who exactly is at fault here- the actors or the Hughes brothers- but overall, the acting felt weak, and took away from the movie quite a bit.

Once I finished Menace 2 Society, I immediately realized it's biggest issues. We are introduced to many characters that are presented as important, but it doesn't take it's time to let us actually spend time with these characters, until they almost feel like extras with lines. Although it focused on a select few characters, they too still feel underdeveloped. From O-Dog, to Caine's grandparents. This movie moves too fast for you to care about the characters and in turn, become invested in their lives. From the beginning scene when Cain is a kid that seems to get cut off out of nowhere, to the ending that feels too rushed to feel any emotion for- It made the whole experience a lot less enjoyable than it would've been. Even the main focus itself seems inconsistent and confused. This movie moves all over the place, and by the end, the impact of the last few moments is severely reduced, because it never lets us get to know Cain, and everyone in his life, as well as we should.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Another gang related movie.

6/10
Author: santiagocosme from Spain
24 November 2016

Black kids in their neighborhood, having absolutely no purpose in life except for hanging out and getting in all sorts of trouble. The movie isn't necessarily bad even though it feels a little cliché. But you don't get too many surprises. Shootings to starts proceedings, more deaths and fights in the middle, and as you can imagine, a few killings at the end. Menace to society doesn't manage to be a great movie because it does not bring anything in addition to flicks likes boys in the hood, or movies of the sort. It is interesting that I saw "Menace to Society" a few days before "Notorious". It certainly helped to build things up and to feel more connected to the theme of the movie: the lives of teenagers that suffer the social inequalities of the country they live in. But apart from the good intention of the director, the movie fails to be anything memorable.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Essential Gang Film?

7/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
6 June 2016

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

While widely praised, others have said this film suffers because it is "cliche". And, you know, I would not disagree with that. Despite not having seen it before, I felt as if I knew every twist and turn by heart. But I don't see this as a negative necessarily, because it makes it sort of the essential Los Angeles gang film -- if you only ever see one, this is probably it.

There is a strange thing about the film, though, and that is we are put in the position to see some of the kids as the protagonists and others as antagonists. But there are few good guys here. Robbery and murder are choices, as is getting your girlfriend pregnant. Why are we supposed to feel this can be so easily forgiven?

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