Film Review-Boyz In The Hood


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Name of Film: Boyz in the Hood.


Era film trying to portray: The early 1990s, when black American ghetto neighborhoods were full of gangs and violence.


Ethnic group: Black Americans.


Who were the main characters?


The film was starred by Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Junior, Laurence Fishburn, Angela Bassett and Nia Long as the main characters.


Describe each main character’s role?

Jackson Baha Young (Ice Cube) acts as Darrin Baker “Doughboy” who is Ricky’s half brother. Doughboy acts as a school drop out that goes into drugs and crime as a thief and finally gets imprisoned.

Donovan McCrary (Morris Chestnut), Ricky Baker acts as a maternal half brother to Doughboy. He is a well behaved boy and football player in High School. He is also Tres friend.

Desi Arnez Hines (Cuba Gooding junior) acts as Tres Styles a son to Angela Bassett and Furious (Laurence Fishburn). He is also a Crenshaw High senior.Laurence Fishburne acts as “Furious” (Jason Styles) and a father to Tres and husband to Angela Bassett. He plays the role of a good father that trains and brings up his son Tres into a good person as he grows up. He shows the character of an ideal father, despite the challenges in the neighborhood.

Reva Devereaux Styles acts as Angela Bassett the mother of Tres and the wife of Jason Styles.Nia Long (Brandi) is Tres girlfriend, a well behaved girl preparing to go to college.

Did you notice any stereotypical portrayals of the group being examined?

If so what were they?

The movie examines and reinforces the black stereotype which portrays the black people as being low life people that do nothing to help themselves out of the lowly life. It portrays them as being violent and inclined towards drugs, crime and sex. This is a typical stereotype in America about the inner city’s ghetto population mostly consisting of blacks. Blacks are portrayed as thugs grouping up in gangs to push drugs and commit criminal offenses which finally either lead to death or incarceration. Dough boy is portrayed as a lazy, young black school drop out always lazing around on the porch with beer and engaging in conversations to plan crime. He is seemingly not bothered with his poor situation and he is not even working towards getting out of it. The black people are made to appear like savage murderers.

What values, attitudes, beliefs did the characters exhibit?

The characters in the movie espoused various values and attitudes there were some carefree characters such Doughboy who portrayed criminal mentalities and laziness. On the other hand, there other characters such as Tres, Nia and Ricky who portray good habits positive attitudes in life and hold on to values of up holding good morals. The later group expressed characters of violence and immorality whereas; the former displayed characters of good morals such chastity and faithfulness.



Briefly what was the plot of the movie?

Singleton portrays hard social problems within Los Angeles inner city through the use of three key characters-Tres, Ricky and Doughboy. The two (Ricky and Doughboy) are friends to Tres. They grow up together, but each one them takes a contrasting path in life. The two half brothers are totally contrasting in character and this leads them on to different paths of life. Doughboys falls prey to drugs and crime and he finally ends up in jail though he is later released. On the other hand, his half brother Ricky is an athlete, and unlike doughboy he is able to keep in school and finally anticipate a scholarship to USC through his sportsmanship. Their friend Tre grows in with good manners and he is able to secure a stable job and keep himself off drugs and crime.

All this happens courtesy of his loving, caring and guiding father-an un-expected icon in society. The story takes its last turn of events when Doughboy defends Ricky using his gun against a gang led by Ferris, and later the gang hunts them down and shoots Ricky dead. Later, Doughboy picks up his gang members and they go hunting for Ferris. They manage to kill Ferris and the gang member despite; Tres back out from the plan. Later, Rickys girlfriend finds that he would have made it to get the scholarship because his score was high enough. The movie finally ends with the death of Doughboy two weeks after Rickys burial. Finally, Tres and Nia are able to join college.

What were the problems?

The main problems in the movie included gang fights and drugs.

How were they resolved?

The problems were actually solved in the most irrational manner possible, through shoot outs that led to the death of most of the involved characters.



After viewing the film, what comes to mind when you think of the group being portrayed?

After viewing the movie I think it is a strong cultural representation of what actually goes on in the inner city, where black people live in low life. The group presented is actually endangered and its future is bleak if the crime mentality, violence, drugs and sex issues are not addressed and education enhanced for them to build a better future.

What surprised or angered you? Why?

The most disappointing thing about the group portrayed is that their children are brought with least care and guidance on to a better future save for Tres father. The gangs also seem to operate in manner arrogance as if the law does not exist.

Did any part of the film hurt or offend you? What and why?

The offending part was the scenes that involved the loss of the lives of young and ambitious people like Ricky, whose future was snuffed in the gun smoke and his young wife and childe left lonely and mourning. It was a desperate situation for a young lady of her age, and the child would grow without a father and probably turn to crime too.

Is this film helpful in diffusing stereotypes? Why or why not?

The film is actually helpful in diffusing stereotypes, though not all people might agree because of the portrayal of violent scenes, crime, drugs, and murder amongst the blacks. The portrayal of Furious as a good loving and caring father, Ricky and Tres as good sons and Nia as a well behaved and ambitious chaste lady, helps in showing that not all people that live in the ghetto are bad, violent or immoral.

Do you have any objections to the film?  What and why?

There are purely no objections to the film in fact it is a good portrayal of the social problems that our society has and it gives us a challenge to think how to alleviate them.




Did your perceptions of this culture change after this film?

The perceptions remain pretty much the same, but I learned that amongst these people there are many that live good and upright lives and they would wish for the best in life.

In what way did you perceptions change?

I learned that amongst these people there are many that live good and upright lives and they would wish for the best in life.


John Singleton (writer) and Steven Nicolaides (Producer), (1991),. Boyz in the Hood, Columbia Pictures Production


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