Straight Outta Compton
2015
Bringing the raw reality of South Central Los Angeles to vinyl in the 1980s, N.W.A.'s electrifying debut album upped the social ante for rap music. This pull-no-punches portrait of the band's brief career traces their dramatic rise and fall.

Samir Mehta: “It ruled.”

I always preferred Public Enemy to NWA. NWA seemed angry and cool. Public Enemy was the nerdy, political companion (and predecessor, really). But Straight Outta Compton does more to reform my thinking than concerts, articles, and interviews.

It's not a perfect movie - it does the things biopics do. It sanitizes some ugly moments, it consolidates complex narratives into simple ones, and it relegates major players to the sidelines. But if you want to understand why millions of young people were captivated by Eazy E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube, this movie does it. And more to the point, the movie makes you understand that NWA had a lot of serious thoughts in their minds alongside the chaos.

It's hard to discuss the strength of the movie without also discussing the band, but I'll try. Great performances from all the leads. One of the best openings I've seen to a movie in years (and one I'll remember for a long time). And given that the movie has to follow the lives of three people closely, it handles the balance well.

− December 28, 2015 • more by Samirlog in or create an account to reply

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