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Top reviews from the United States
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I adore deep, graphic real movies based on actual events and or movies about certain era's. Whether its war movies, gangster movies etc. Just the type of taste I have. I love gangster movies, from Chicano to mob, to one of my favorites, the struggle of the African american. I grew up in East LA in the 90s, I was around Chicano gangs. And for anyone that hasn't lived this lifestyle, this is as real as it gets. You will watch, you will sigh, you will awww, but above all, it will change the way you view things a bit. That's the type of movie I like. No comparison go boyz n the hood, both are great. Do I recommend this movie? I do, but watch it because you want to, not because you hope it fails. Remember to watch with an open mind. If you are a racist peice of trash. Just stay away and watch duck dynasty.
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2019
LA today has it's own problem such as with the growing homelessness rate. The city I would not say that it's safe now, but it is no where near as violent as it was during the 1980s/1990s. The early 1990s LA had on average about 900-1,000 homcides per year, which beats today Chicago murder rate! I know this review isn't going over the movie itself. But if you are interested in LA past violent gang history, then this is a must see film!
This is one of the greatest movies that I have ever seen in my life. I haven't watched it since I was a teenager. I remember being thoroughly entertained by the movie when I saw it at the theater back in 1993. Still, when I watched it yesterday I was surprised at how incredible it is. All of these years later - and after viewing thousands of movies during the past 2 decades - I can honestly look back and say that this movie ranks among the all time great films as far as I am concerned.
I put this up there with The Empire Strikes Back, Do The Right Thing, To Kill A Mockingbird, Goodfellas, The Godfather (Parts 1 & 2), Die Hard, Taxi Driver, Akira and a handful of other movies that I have come to respect as the best of the best.
The mix of drama and comedy is not rivaled by any other movie that I have seen. As serious as the subject matter in the movie is - I don't think that I have ever laughed so hard at some of the scenarios that play out in a film. The characters are realistic (I knew somebody like every major character in the film when I was growing up) and despite the comedic output the grim tone of the film is somehow preserved throughout the entirety of its' running time.
This is a classic film and deserves to go down in history for the delightful performances by the leads, the insightful writing and direction that captures the danger and excitement of the lives of these characters and the incredible cinematography.
The film received widespread critical acclaim at the time of its' release. It won a best film award in 1994 and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in the same year. If you look at the list of movies that came out in 1993 you will note that those are incredible achievements for a film with the modest budget that Menace II Society was created with. 22 years after the debut of Menace II Society I think it should be looked back upon as the cinematic masterpiece that it is.
This is more than upper echelon film making. This is one of those times when all the stars lined up perfectly for a project and everything fell into place to create something that exceeded the bounds of perfection.
When you think of good coming of age movies that came out during the early 90's, you can't compile your list without naming Menace II Society. I love this movie, not just because I'm big on nostalgia and everything 90's, but because like Poetic Justice, South Central, Juice, Boyz n the Hood, Above the Rim, Strapped and many others, this movie showcased what was occurring in many urban areas across America...it may not be glamorous but it's what reality was for so many.
One of my all time favorite movies. Very authentic and a must see for ppl that don't understand what it's like to grow up in that environment and like to judge without truly understanding. Maybe after seeing movies like this some can have compassion instead of being judgemental.
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2017
This is a classic movie that will correlate with the struggles many African-American males living in the inner-city may experience for years to come. Some have said it is a stereotypical portrayal of black males....but as we know, some stereotypes are based in fact. Very sad but very true reality expressed in this movie. Someone borrowed my original and I didn't even want it back, opted to just re-buy the Director's Cut. Sits side-by-side with Boyz In The Hood, and South Central and Juice.
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2002
It seems that there are two distinct camps when it comes to Menace II Society. Those who either love Boys N the Hood and completely hate Menace II Society, and those who love Menace II Society and think that Boys N the Hood is okay or watered down. Unfortunately, the division of these two camps has placed both movies in categories that I don't think are appropriate for either one. Menace is more graphic and violent then BNTH, but both films are equally good. Menace is a good film. The acting is a bit tried at times. Tyrin Turner is a virtually unknown actor with little under his belt. There were also a lot of unknown actors with very little experience. Yet, there were some extremly noteworthy performances. In particular, Larenz Tate, Jada Smith, and...suprisingly....MC Eight. I had a chance to meet Larenz in college a while back and it is almost hilarious how far removed from the character he actually is. The storyline is extremely moving and graphic. For those living the life it is predictable. For those unaware of the street life it is shocking. Overall, the entire movie will have you glued to your seat. I give this movie 5 stars because it moving and true to life.
4.0 out of 5 starsI thought killing those fools would make me feel good, but it really didn't make me feel anything.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 13, 2011
The directorial debut of twin brothers Albert and Allen Hughes, Menace II Society is a tough, no nonsense look at youthful black life in the Watts section of Los Angeles. The Hughes Brother's movie charts the hapless life of Caine (Tyrin Turner) as he seeks to escape the ghetto. The son of both a drug dealer (Samuel L. Jackson in a potent appearance) and an addict, Tyrin, surrounded by guns and a machismo culture, is tied to his friends and the way of life afforded him. Even as love and a chance of a way out arises with Jada Pinkett's (terrific) pretty Ronnie, it's doubtful if Tyrin will escape from the revolving door of death.
Menace II Society had a troubled beginning, refused a video certificate on the grounds of its profane language and brutally violent scenes, it has since gone on to be viewed as one of the finer exponents of anti-violence involving Black Americans. That wasn't always the case though, many critics in the 90s were prone to calling it a film that glamorises the lifestyle of "Hood" gangsters, but offered a saver of sorts by correctly saying it had realism in amongst the harshness. Certainly the dialogue and regional slang was refreshing to hear, thus affording "Menace" and its makers praise for keeping it real, so to speak.
Ineviatbly comparisons were (are) drawn with John Singleton's 1991 film, Boyz n the Hood. But although "Menace" is rawer, uncompromising and more visceral with impact, it lacks the intelligence of Singleton's film. Where "Boyz" had fully rounded characters, character with which to hang your hat on to, "Menace" is just a social group of youths we neither know or care about outside of the group, ego driven dynamic. When lead protagonist Tyrin is trying to deal with his inner conflict, we the audience are treated to standard run of the mill melodrama. The streetwise edginess that the Hughes' began their film with (the opening is nigh on horrific) has long since gone as they try to make a film that touches all the bases of Black Americana.
Easily the most realistic of all the ghetto films made, in fact the film at times feels like we are on a documentary drive around downtown Watts. Menace II Society, however brutal it clearly is, has loaded the gun and shot the bullet, only to see it narrowly miss the whole target it was aiming for. Still it's one hell of an experience though. 8/10
I used to own this movie on VHS and i just watched it for the 1st time in a long time in a friends house on DVD, the reason why im on here RE-PURCHASING IT !!! I used to watch Menace to society & Boyz in the hood religiously when growing up and would recommend both to anyone out there curious about purchasing them. A must have for any collection PEACE OUT !!! Lol.