Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 78
    All of the major players turn in powerhouse performances, and Fishburne nails his best role yet as Furious.
  2. Singleton shows some genuine talent in handling character and action, and equal amounts of confusion and attitude when it comes to matters of gender and ghetto politics.
  3. 100
    Has maturity and emotional depth: There are no cheap shots, nothing is thrown in for effect, realism is placed ahead of easy dramatic payoffs, and the audience grows deeply involved.
  4. 50
    Boys N the Hood wants to be “The Learning Tree'' and “Super Fly'' at once, an ambition that doesn't seem quite honest. [12 July 1991]
  5. Reviewed by: Lloyd Bradly
    The film not only lives up to its "Increase The Peace" subtitle but by refusing to overtly moralise puts its concerns across with astonishing impact.
  6. Yes, the denouement is disturbing, but it is rather too calculatedly so, and too insistently underlined by an overly sentimental Stanley Clarke score. [12 July 1991]
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Singleton's powerhouse movie has the impact of a stun gun. [15 July 1991]
  8. Flows in a way that seems effortless, following its own path, arriving at its own place. Only after the movie is over are the outlines of its story apparent. I found it impossible to outguess it. [12 July 1991]
  9. Formally, Boyz is just one more old-time bad-neighborhood picture. Instead of, say, Manhattan's Lower East Side in Prohibition days, it's an LA lower-middle-class black neighborhood afflicted with drugs. And Singleton's control of his picture's flow is much less firm than was the other directors'. [2 Sept 1991]
  10. The film's strength is that it sustains an intimate and realistic tone. Mr. Fishburne, who is called upon to deliver several lectures, manages to do so with enormous dignity and grace, and makes Furious a compelling role model, someone on whom the whole film easily pivots.
  11. Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    Singleton's plot is disappointingly conventional; it obeys screenwriting-class rules. The experience he's dealing with here deserves something more than the tidy dramatic structure that he has imposed on it.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Remarkable. [22 July 1991]
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Positive figures--Furious, Tre, Brandi--are rendered perhaps too virtuous, and Singleton becomes a bit preachy in the closing scenes, but an overt "message" movie may be the only appropriate response to the ongoing social crisis addressed.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    In a watershed year for black filmmakers, Singleton has made the punchiest feature debut in recent memory. Those who complain that Lee's characters tangle up his plots will savor Singleton's flawlessly crafted edges. [12 July 1991]
  15. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Ultra socially responsible, sometimes to the point of playing like a laundry list of difficulties faced specifically by the urban black community.
  16. Mr. Singleton is a very good storyteller, but every once in a while he stops his story cold with speeches. You can feel the audience lost interest, as though a commercial has suddenly popped on screen. [18 July 1991, p.A9(E)]
  17. It will often tear at the heart too -- at least, when it doesn't feel like the rap equivalent of a classroom lecture.
  18. 70
    With its energetic cast and insistent street score, it still manages to be poignant without becoming bathetic, and violent without being exploitative.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Dec 20, 2012
    This is a very good representation of the hood, these actors must know a thing or two about it because they gave us an excellent performance, very good script, and location. It has its flaws but it delivers a decent movie but it's definitely not a 10, maybe a 7.5 - 8. Full Review »
  2. Jul 1, 2014
    Boyz n the Hood shows how African Americans to survive in the streets before any of the urban gangster films starting using the cliches of the streets. It is one of the best gangster films of all time. Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    A very funny but also very heartfelt and true inside look at the black culture of America in the early 90's. Brilliant performances, especially from Laurence Fishburne, and a gripping plot make Boyz In The Hood hugely enjoyable and one of the most realistic comedies ever. Full Review »