Menace II Society

1 h 36 min1993R
A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.
Allen HughesAlbert Hughes
Tyrin TurnerLarenz TateJada Pinkett
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Darin Scott
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingsubstance usealcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.7 out of 5 stars

6255 global ratings

  1. 86% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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FrankReviewed in the United States on July 11, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
How much emotion can a movie give?
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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.
4 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on February 8, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Do you care whether you live or die? I don't know
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Tyrin Turner is the anti-hero of Menace II Society a story about lessons learned too late made by the Hughes Brothers. As Turner’s grandfather asks him in one scene “Do you care whether you live or die?” To which turner replied, “I don’t know.” The story is about whether he will come to care about his life or not.

The movie starts off with the environment that shaped Turner. His dad (Samuel L. Jackson) was a drug dealer who was killed and his mother (Khandi Alexander) was a drug addict who overdosed. When he was a little kid he saw his father kill a man. He went to go live with his grandparents as a result who had no real control over him. It was no surprise that he would turn to the streets when he became a teenager. Turner’s character’s name Cain is also based upon the biblical story of Cain and Abel about brother killing brother which is played out throughout the film. It’s a very powerful story right up there with its contemporary of the time Boyz In The Hood.

Turner gives a strong performance. You would think that this film would have propelled him into bigger and better things but it didn’t. The rest of the cast like Larenz Tate, Jada Pinkett Sith, Clinton Powell as well as the Hughes Brothers all did.
2 people found this helpful
Smiley McGrouchpants Jr.Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Like the electricity in Soderbergh's "Che" ... like crossing the line into the world that is Scorsese's "Goodfellas" ... you are crossing the line into another world, and *you are there*.

(If David Lynch did it, it'd be "surreal." If it was "Un Chien Anadalou" or "Meshes of the Afternoon," it'd be a surreal work of art. If it was Thomas Pynchon's "Journey into the Mind of Watts," it's be a piece of reportage ... well?)

The idea that you're falling over the line comes out of Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever," "Do the Right Thing," and little else -- maybe Alex Cox's "Repo Man," if you're partial to that.

Trust going over the line. Trust this movie! Once you're going, there ain't no coming back ... all of society looks like a fraud ... mostly!

("Check out Ismael Reed. He knows more about this stuff, than you'll ever find here!"--Thomas Pynchon' in "Gravity's Rainbow" (1973))

"A word to the wise guy ... " -- as William S. Burroughs says ...
One person found this helpful
Cornelius DeMarcusReviewed in the United States on March 29, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the greatest films ever made.
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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.
3 people found this helpful
gReviewed in the United States on December 2, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
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Not a BAD movie but nothing great. --- Don't waste your money on the pricey CRITERION version either. Get the older blu-ray before it disappears. - The pic + sound quality are plenty good. --There's not a single great gang banger movie out there. --- The best of them are all 3/3+ star movies. --- If you truly want to experience the very best Rent or buy the Series "THE WIRE" --- It's about 1000 times as good. - Plus you'll get 5 seasons to enjoy.
JessicaReviewed in the United States on August 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Watch watch movie
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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.
3 people found this helpful
TacoReviewed in the United States on June 17, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
enjoyable to watch
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I liked the fact that it was a hood movie but still found ways to be touching in the fact that they have a life too and aren't just people mindlessly killing each other over colors like some people think so I like this movie and would definitely recommend it to some people (you wouldn't suggest this movie to your mom or someone really sensitive so that's why I said some)
victorvilliansReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Menace II society captures how LA was back in the day!
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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!
One person found this helpful
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