Straight Outta Compton

Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation.In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these young men revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war. [Universal Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 100
    Straight Outta Compton is among the most potent rags-to-riches showbiz movies ever made.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 13, 2015
    88
    Straight Outta Compton plays better when it's outside the box, showing us N.W.A power and the consequences of abusing it. Would the movie be better if it didn't sidestep the band's misogyny, gay-bashing and malicious infighting? No shit. But what stands is an amazement, an electrifying piece of hip-hop history that speaks urgently to right now.
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Aug 6, 2015
    83
    Straight Outta Compton is a hugely entertaining film that works best if you don’t look at it too closely and just listen.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Aug 13, 2015
    75
    It's overlong and sanitized but succeeds in presenting an important part of contemporary American culture to a mainstream audience.
  5. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jul 31, 2015
    70
    If the movie pushes most of the ugliest behavior off onto side players (like the notorious Suge Knight, played by R. Marcus Taylor), it does for the most part fulfill its mission, breathing life into the origin story of a group whose influence is still being felt.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Aug 13, 2015
    63
    It's most towering accomplishment are its set pieces, which manage to be brash, exhilarating, and even occasionally moving.
  7. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Aug 11, 2015
    50
    It's clear that Straight Outta Compton is at once too padded and too thin. It's as if the story of these real-life legends was so unruly and dangerous that the filmmakers became the cops, forcing it into submission.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Aug 14, 2015
    10
    I saw it at a Thursday Night Preview. This is going to be one of those instant classics. Five boyz from the hood, who knew they wanted to beI saw it at a Thursday Night Preview. This is going to be one of those instant classics. Five boyz from the hood, who knew they wanted to be successful, who were experimenting with music, and created something that was never heard before. Something that took off like wildfire, and they had no control over it's success. They went from a friends basement to the world stage in a few short years. And how instant success can also be a downfall. This is a MUST SEE MOVIE. Expand
  2. Aug 26, 2015
    10
    If you are going into "Straight Outta Compton" not expecting to hear so many curse words and poor treatment to women, then you clearly do notIf you are going into "Straight Outta Compton" not expecting to hear so many curse words and poor treatment to women, then you clearly do not know what you are walking into.

    I was going to start with everything bad, but I can't think of anything. This is literal perfection for a biopic, Gary Gray chose an all-star cast that did an excellent portrayal of their characters, at some points, I thought Ice Cube's son was actually Ice Cube! It shows the harsh world that they grew up in and the mistreatment by the police, and in return, N.W.A. 's I-dont-care attitude. I would say it needed all the language, have you heard any N.W.A. song? If you're going to make a movie about artists, the least you could do is preserve their artistic intentions, which were to show a harsh reality through harsh language and lyrics. The women, drugs, violence, all of that just melds together with the emotionally gripping story and the end product is pure cinema gold. I must say, it is an intense movie and is not for the light- hearted. A major step up from the movie "Notorious", which it is commonly compared with.
    Expand
  3. Aug 14, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. this is a really really really good movie! i had a ton of concerns mainly because i was not sure if the acting was going to work i was not sure how cover songs would work but it never was a disappointment. the acting was superb! these guys were crying yelling and were pissed off and i was sometimes forgetting that it was a movie um this movie is not for everyone ok its very sad its brutal and its going to make you fee really uncomfortable sometimes especially with the Rodney king part of the movie its not fun to watch but thats how it was intended and im glad this stuff was brought up they push it to the max here so they can explain what happened and how they became a non violent weapon against all of this crap that was going on in the city of Compton! now i have only one very small complaint being that this movie can only go on for so long meaning this huge story was crammed into 2 and a half hours one minute there broke dudes trying to make a point and half hour later there huge stars its way too fast. but this movie is so good it could be as much of a classic as the album straight outta compton and its worth every single cent. Expand
  4. Aug 20, 2015
    9
    "Straight Outta Compton" 10 Scale Rating: 8.5 (Great) ...

    The Good: Despite being filled with unknowns, the film is well acted and full of
    "Straight Outta Compton" 10 Scale Rating: 8.5 (Great) ...

    The Good: Despite being filled with unknowns, the film is well acted and full of great performances. You can tell that the leads were fans of the source material. O'Shea Jackson Jr, playing his real life father Ice Cube in the film, was especially good and stood out from the rest. The film itself is fascinating and at times far more humorous than I expected it to be. Some will go into the film assuming it is dark and violent and while it certainly doesn't pull any punches, it has more heart and at times has a lighter tone than you'd think. The soundtrack is obviously top notch and well crafted. It didn't simply play N.W.A.'s greatest hits, but also timed them well and showcased a lot of solo material throughout the movie. A great love letter to the group and something that fans of N.W.A.'s music will be proud of.

    The Bad: If you're not a fan of N.W.A., then you won't like it nearly as much. You'll still be entertained to an extent, but it won't grab you like it would someone who grew up with the music. Some moments of their career was glossed over somewhat and I would have liked to seen more of their rise than is shown. MC Ren, a founding member of the group, is completely under-represented and fades into the background even more so as the film chugs along. I understand that Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy had titanic solo careers, but Ren was one of the driving forces behind the group and the chief rapper on a lot of their tracks. It's a shame that he didn't quite get the credit he deserves.
    Expand
  5. Aug 23, 2015
    9
    Straight Outta Compton is definitely the best biopic of the decade. This is because of it's great script, great acting, and great chemistryStraight Outta Compton is definitely the best biopic of the decade. This is because of it's great script, great acting, and great chemistry between its stars. The performance I was most impressed with was by Ice Cube's son, who played Ice Cube. Paul Giamatti was also good in the film. This movie will definitely (well, I hope) a good amount of Oscars for its great direction Expand
  6. Aug 28, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Emerging from Compton, Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, NWA revolutionised rap culture with their music and tales about life on the streets. This biopic, directed by F. Gary Gray, is more relevant today than ever. Black artists expressing themselves in a time of police brutality, harassment, media spin, social unrest, it's scary how it all mirrors recent events. It's not all a sociopolitical commentary though, it's about the art of young men who dreamt of bigger things, the early days of laying down beats in the bedroom, the first gig, the recording sessions. And then the fame and fortune, the sex and drugs, the threats and violence.

    A lot of ground is covered in the 2 hours and 27 minutes runtime: Eazy-E meeting Dr Dre and Ice Cube, the recording of Straight Outta Compton, the touring and FBI threats, the breakup of NWA, Cube's solo success, Dre signing with Suge Knight's Death Row records and the fallout, working with Snoop Dogg and Tupac, Eazy's death from AIDs. The film picks up in speed and left me asking for a slower pace, mainly in the second half. It's annoying that melodrama is favoured instead of real incidents swept to the side: Dre's violent encounter with a woman journalist, Eazy E's diss track about Dre, Cube's and Dre's music that was influenced by the LA Riots (although the Rodney King trial and riots are played out in the background). Even if all that was included, there would still be those complaints of "Ah but what about the misogyny! And the homophobic lyrics!?" etc. It's a tough and complex task, but what's here is what matters the most: the relationships and the music.

    The performances of Ice Cube (played by his son O'Shea Jackson Jr), Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins), MC Ren (Aldis Hodge), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) and DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) cannot be faulted. Each one dishes out pulsating rage and energy throughout, from the desperate hard times to the excessive good times. These young men have come out of nowhere to carry this film with their chemistry and it's impressive, especially Corey Hawkins who is (only slightly) the standout. Paul Giamatti plays their shady manager Jerry Heller, who is at the core of the conflict and mistrust that engulfs the band later on.

    The soundtrack, mostly NWA material and tracks from Dr Dre's new release 'Compton', keeps the action and drama together at all times. Live performances of their classic anthems like Straight Outta Compton or the studio session for **** The Police as the band hits their groove, it's all seamless and entertaining. This is obviously coming from a fan of the music, how non rap fans will react is for someone else to review!

    Although not perfect and history being tweaked to appeal to a larger audience, barring sequels and franchise blockbusters, Straight Outta Compton is one of the best films of the year so far.
    Expand
  7. Aug 24, 2015
    0
    I was not able to count the numbers of the words **** and **** but I think they came out about even. And the treatment of women? This is aI was not able to count the numbers of the words **** and **** but I think they came out about even. And the treatment of women? This is a lousy example of successful blacks. Hard working honest blacks should picket this cesspool of ideas before it spills out onto the streets.

    One of my high school kids said that rap was for blacks who could not really sing. Now I see his point.
    Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Movie Preview: 10 Films to See in August

    Movie Preview: 10 Films to See in August Image
    Published: August 4, 2015
    Our editors select 10 noteworthy films headed to theaters this month, including Straight Outta Compton, a trio of Sundance hits (including the latest from Noah Baumbach), and Joel Edgerton's hair-raising directorial debut.

Showtimes

To get showtimes near you, enter your zip code.