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

Directors:

Albert Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers), Allen Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers)

Writers:

Allen Hughes (story), Albert Hughes (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,973 ( 15)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrin Turner ... Caine
Larenz Tate ... O-Dog
June Kyoto Lu ... Grocery Store Woman (as June Kyoko Lu)
Toshi Toda ... Grocery Store Man
Samuel L. Jackson ... Tat Lawson
Anthony Johnson ... Tony
Brandon Hammond ... Five Year Old Caine
Glenn Plummer ... Pernell
Reginald Ballard ... Clyde
Khandi Alexander ... Karen Lawson
Eugene Lee ... Man #1
James Pickens Jr. ... Man #2 (as James Pickins Jr.)
Nancy Cheryll Davis Nancy Cheryll Davis ... Teacher (as Nancy Cheryl Davis)
Jullian Roy Doster Jullian Roy Doster ... Anthony
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Ronnie (as Jada Pinkett)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Essey was a regular on Crenshaw Boulevard and was used to help choose and "herd" the extras in the movie. He has remained in the Inglewood area. See more »

Goofs

When a final shootout begins, O-Dog is using a Beretta 92F/FS to shoot back at the rival gang. However, immediately after the shootout ends, the emptied pistol changes to a Glock 17. See more »

Quotes

[Sharif tells Caine to stop vomiting]
Sharif: Come on now, get up from off your knees praying to that porcelain god, that white porcelain god.
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Alternate Versions

The Hughes brothers, when queried about the film's explicit content, have often talked about a "prison riot" scene that studio execs forced them to cut in order to avoid an NC-17 rating. The scene has yet to appear in any of the released versions of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE
Written by Kenny Gamble (as Kenneth Gamble), Jerry Butler and Leon Huff
Performed by Jerry Butler
Courtesy of Polygram Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
Menacingly Powerful, and Gritty Urban Drama
16 September 2005 | by FrankBooth_DeLargeSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Menace II Society See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,816,393, 31 May 1993

Gross USA:

$27,912,072

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,912,072
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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