Boyz n the Hood ★★★★

What a debut — not just by Singleton, for whom this is his greatest achievement, but for Cuba Gooding Jr., Regina King (!), Ice Cube, and Morris Chestnut. That so many talents converged in this story is nothing short of incredible. 

And what a story. Full points to Singleton for deftly exploring not just a coming of age, but a full exploration of how systems established by white/corporate America serve to trap people and all but bind them to cycles of violence through gentrification, police injustices, and even city planning. Having Fishburne (who’s terrific here) spell it out explicitly mid-film is a touch hamfisted and drains some of the subtext by making it full-on text, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of the story.