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From the very beginning, you're drawn in with the suspenseful story. There never seems to be a dull moment at any point. Surprisingly, even though this movie was not a comedy, it had a lot of laugh out loud moments. The director, F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Negotiator), does an amazing job at making you feel every emotion you can think of. From laughter, to happiness, to anger, to even sadness, you're taken on the emotional roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. There were some really tough emotional scenes in the film. What made them so good was the fact that even when you knew a certain event was going to happen, it STILL affects you when it happens.
There's absolutely no question that the main characters are easily relatable and you can expect solid performances all around from all of them. I won't spoil it, but there are some surprise supporting roles that pop up that will deliver as well. (BTW, some of those supporting casts may not "look the part" but as per the director, they make you "feel" the part.) It's safe to bet that when you see O'Shea Jackson Jr. playing the role of his father, Ice Cube, you'll immediately think "He looks and sounds just like him!". Same goes for Jason Mitchell who plays Eazy-E in the film. There's never a moment that you don't believe the actors are the characters they are portraying.
Furthermore, there are plenty of nostalgic moments (pleasant and unpleasant) that will instantly bring you back to that era in the 90s. The movie does an excellent job of capturing the sense of what it was like to grow up in the city of Compton, and the state of society that caused a polarizing shift in the issues our country was facing. Not only that, but even the musical scenes were engaging and entertaining to watch because, if you know they lyrics, you'll jump right in the moment. There are also a bunch of a great references to some classic movies as well that you may remember. If you haven't seen some of these then...well this video may sum up how I would respond to you.
If you're a police officer, you may not like this movie.
All in all, this is how movies should be made; an excellent blend of both drama and comedy, nicely packaged with great directing and writing. You simply can't ask for more. This film was carefully made with the original members of the NWA and so many others involved to add input. You never get the feeling that this is just some documentary with some Hollywood fluff attached. I got a chance to attend a screening and heard from the cast themselves just how much work and care they put into this movie...and it definitely shows. (Click here to watch the QnA c/o Akisha Lockhart)
It's interesting to see how this film comes out at an coincidental time in our society where police brutality is at the forefront of the news. It's scary to realize that the other highlight of this film is bringing forth the visualization of history repeating itself in our society today. I honestly believe that this will be one of those movies that joins the ranks of Friday, Boyz N Da Hood, and others. If you didn't enjoy those types of films, then obviously this film may not be for you. If you couldn't tell by now, I kinda like this movie...a lot. I think that everyone should go see this movie. Matter of fact, if you're reading this at night, wake your momma up and go see this with her. It's a MUST WATCH in my book.
The Rating: 10/10