Menace II Society

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Released 1993

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Movie Summary

Director:
Albert Hughes , Allen Hughes
Released:
1993
Rating:
R

Menace II Society is the incendiary portrait of ghetto life in the Watts area of Los Angeles, and is the explosive debut of The Hughes Brothers (From Hell, The Book of Eli). Caine (Tyrin Turner) and O-Dog (Larenz Tate, Dead Presidents), are childhood friends and viewers witness their botched convenient store snack run in the opening scene, which sets the viewer up for the wild ride through the world that they're about to be treated to. Exposed to violence from an early age by a drug dealer father Tat Lawson (Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction, Unbreakable, The Long Kiss Goodnight), they have carried it into their young adult lives, boosting cars, selling drugs and getting into other ghetto mischief. But, sensing that his days are numbered ' especially after getting strafed in a drive by ' Caine begins to seek a way out. He's given an opportunity when the baby mama of an old colleague Ronnie (Jada Pinkett Smith, Set It Off) expresses her desire to leave also, and from then on it's a race to escape their violent home life for greener pastures.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    As well-directed a film as you'll see from America this year, an unsentimental and yet completely involving story of a young man who cannot see a way around his fate.

  • 90

    Variety

    Fierce, violent and searing in its observation, the film makes previous excursions seem like a stroll through the park.

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    More acutely than any movie before, it gives cinematic expression to the hot-tempered, defiantly nihilistic ethos that ignites gangster rap.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Crime, African-American Drama