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Directed by John Singleton

United States 1991 112 mins. In English

Serving as an early ’90s clarion call to those unaware of how bad conditions of poverty, substance abuse, gang violence, and systemic racial discrimination had become for young, black men in inner-city environments, John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood might be the most exceptional directorial debut of that decade. Young Tre (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) walks the straight and narrow as he watches his close friend Doughboy (Ice Cube) drink away his time while drifting closer and closer to the gangster life. Doughboy’s half-brother Ricky (Morris Chesnut) throws himself into athletics as a means of escaping the hood and supporting his child, but escaping one’s background may prove to be harder than he thinks. “Watched again, a quarter of a century on, what is so striking is not the confrontational aggression but the movie’s humanity, idealism and lack of cynicism, bolstered by intelligent and powerful performances.”—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.