February 06, 2013

Khalid's 28 Days of Blackness: Day 6: Boyz N the Hood

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                               Boyz n the Hood (1991)
 American crime drama film written and directed by John Singleton. Starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube, Larry Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long and Angela Bassett, the film depicts life in poor South Central (now South) Los Angeles, California.
Boyz n the Hood was filmed and released in the summer of 1991. It was nominated for both Best Director and Original Screenplay during the 1991 Academy Awards, making Singleton the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director and the first African–American to be nominated for the award.
The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.[2] In 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.[3]


In 1984, ten-year-old Tre Styles (Desi Arnez Hines II) lives with his single mother Reva Devereaux (Angela Bassett) in Inglewood, California. After Tre gets involved in a fight at school, his teacher calls Reva. The teacher informs Reva that although Tre is rather intelligent, he is immature and lacks respect for classmates and adults alike. Frightened about the future of her child, Reva sends him to live in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles with his 27-year-old father, Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne), from whom she hopes Tre will learn life lessons.
On the night of Tre's arrival, he hears his father firing at a burglar. LAPD officers arrive more than an hour later, and eventually decide the crime is unimportant because nothing was taken and the burglar escaped completely unharmed. The police, particularly the African American officer, treat Furious with disrespect and contempt. The following day, Tre reunites with childhood friends Darrin "Doughboy" Baker, Doughboy's maternal half-brother Ricky, and Chris. Doughboy and Ricky live with their mother across the street from Furious.
While Ricky is naïve and trusting, Doughboy is aggressive and street-smart. He soon gets into a fight to retrieve Ricky's stolen football, but is beaten up. The ball is returned to him later by a Bloods gang member. Furious, who appears to be the only father present in the neighborhood, takes Tre on a fishing trip, where they talk, and he asks him about sexual nature and discusses the responsibility of fatherhood to him. The pair return to Crenshaw, where they notice Doughboy and Chris being led by police officers into a squad car after having been caught stealing in the local shop.
Seven years later, in 1991, a "welcome home" party is being held in the Baker home. Doughboy (Ice Cube), who had previously dropped out of high school, has just been released from prison, and sits at a table playing dominoes with Chris (Redge Green), now in a wheelchair, "Dookie" (Dedrick D. Gobert), and "Monster". Ricky (Morris Chestnut), now a star running-back for Crenshaw High School, lives at home with his mother Brenda (Tyra Ferrell), girlfriend Shanice (Alysia Rogers), and their toddler son. After the party is over, Tre walks home with leftovers for his father. As he walks along the street, Tre notices another one of the numerous babies belonging to drug-addict Cheryl walking dangerously on the street. He hurries to pick her up and brings her back to Sheryl, angrily reminding her to "keep the babies off the streets." Continuing on the way home, Tre encounters a group of Bloods gang members, who threateningly tease Tre by pointing a double-barreled shotgun at him. When Tre gets home, he gets a haircut from his 34-year-old father, telling him about his first failed attempt to have sex. Tre's father seems amused at first, but then sternly asks if Tre used a condom, for he was afraid of becoming a grandfather. Life goes on in the hood, with scenes including Tre flirting with Brandi and a drug-addict getting beat up by Doughboy and the gang after stealing Dookie's necklace. One night, a man from the USC comes to interview Ricky about college, with Ricky's rude friends giving him a bad impression. Ricky hopes to earn a scholarship to USC, but is daunted by the requirement that he must earn a 700 on his SAT to pass.[4] Meanwhile, Furious has managed to secure Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), who now holds a steady job and excels at school. He hopes to attend college with his girlfriend, Brandi (Nia Long), whose desire to remain abstinent is a source of tension between them.
One night, during a local street racing gathering, Ricky is provoked by Ferris (Raymond Turner), a Bloods member. In defense of Ricky, Doughboy brandishes his .45 ACP handgun. Ferris fires his MAC-10 into the air, causing everyone to speed away from the scene. Tre and Ricky are pulled over by an LAPD patrol; the lead officer turns out to be the same one who responded to Furious' 9-1-1 burglary call years ago. The officer shoves a gun in Tre's neck and taunts him, asking what he will do about it. Tre arrives late to Brandi's house and breaks down crying; later that night, they have sex for the first time.
The next day, Ricky, annoyed by his girlfriend, has a fight with Doughboy. Brenda rushes to Ricky's aid while berating Doughboy. This incident made Doughboy even more angry and he asks furiously, "What you hit me for!?" Ricky and Tre later head to the grocery store, but encounter Ferris and the Bloods. Doughboy senses that Tre and Ricky are in trouble. Ricky and Tre cut through back alleys and separate to avoid them, but the Bloods find them. Ricky is shot once in the leg and once in the back and is instantly killed. The Bloods race away from the scene. Tre cradles Ricky's corpse as he mourns his friend while Doughboy and his friends arrive too late, and are just as grief-stricken as Tre. The boys take Ricky's body home where Brenda and Shanice hysterically blame Doughboy, who unsuccessfully tries to comfort them. Later that night, Brenda sobs over Ricky's test results, discovering he earned a 710 — just enough to qualify for a USC scholarship.
Doughboy, Dookie, Monster, and Tre vow revenge on the Bloods. Furious finds Tre holding his .357 Magnum pistol and seemingly convinces him to abandon his plans. However, Tre sneaks out of his bedroom window to join Doughboy and the Crips. Later that night, as the gang drives around the city, Tre realizes he is making a mistake and asks to be let out of the car. Doughboy pulls over and lets Tre out at a bus stop. Doughboy finds the Bloods eating at a fast-food restaurant, upon whom Monster opens fire with a Type 56 assault rifle in a drive-by shooting. Despite both Monster and Dookie's pleas to flee the scene, Doughboy gets out of his car and personally finishes Ferris and the other wounded gang member, avenging Ricky's death. Meanwhile, Tre returns home to which he finds his waiting father. Furious and Tre silently exchange glances for a moment, and then Furious enters his own room and slams the door.
The next morning, Doughboy visits Tre, now understanding Tre's reasons for abandoning the gang. Doughboy — having killed three men — knows that he will soon face retaliation for Ferris' death, and accepts the consequences of his crime-ridden life. He plaintively questions why America "don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the Hood." He sorrowfully says that he has no brothers left now after Ricky's death, but is embraced by Tre, who says Doughboy still has "one brother left." Doughboy then walks away, pouring out his malt liquor simultaneously.
In the epilogue text, it is revealed that Doughboy is murdered two weeks later. Tre and Brandi go on to attend Morehouse and Spelman in Atlanta, respectively.



 Critical response

Boyz n the Hood has received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 96% based on 48 reviews, with an average score of 8.3/10, making the film a "Certified Fresh" on the website's rating system.[5] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 73%, based on 18 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".[6]

Cultural impact


  • It has been stated by John Singleton that all of N.W.A. were supposed to play Doughboy's friends in the movie but Ice Cube left N.W.A. which caused tension between them.
  • During the time of this movie Ice Cube was feuding with Eazy-E & N.W.A. which is the reason why the crackhead that got beat up by Doughboy and his crew was wearing a shirt that says We Want Eazy.
  • John Singleton was 23 when he directed the movie.
  • This is the first of many films such as Friday and Are We There Yet? that Ice Cube and Nia Long have appeared in together.
  • The plot and setting of the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was derived from the film.

Awards and accolades

  • Nominee, Best Director, John Singleton
  • Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, John Singleton
BMI Film Music Award: 1992
  • Winner, Outstanding Motion Picture, Boyz n the Hood
  • Nominee, Best Movie, Boyz n the Hood
  • Winner, Best New Filmmaker, John Singleton
National Film Preservation Board, USA: 2002
  • National Film Registry, Boyz n the Hood
  • Winner, Best New Director, John Singleton
Political Film Society, USA: 1992
  • Winner, PFS Award, Peace
  • Nominee, PFS Award, Exposé
  • Nominee, PFS Award, Human Rights
Writers Guild of America, USA: 1992
  • Nominee, WGA Award (Screen), Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, John Singleton
  • Winner, Young Artist Award, Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
In 2007, Boyz n the Hood was selected as one of the 50 Films To See in your lifetime Channel 4\
Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
U.S. U.S. R&B
1991 Boyz n the Hood

Khalid B. Scott, MSW, CADC, MISA I, LCWS, QMHP