Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton

While it came out almost a month ago, I urge anyone who has yet to see the film Straight Outta Compton to take the time to go see it.  I am a huge moviegoer and saw well over ten movies this summer, and this one was by far my favorite.  I walked into the theater not really sure what to expect, and with little knowledge of the film’s story.  Like most people, I knew who Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were, but other than that I knew very little about their story.  Two and a half hours later I not only understood their story, but I was opened up to things I certainly was not aware of prior to walking into the theater.  With many terrific performances, and an inspiring central theme, Straight Outta Compton will engage you throughout the entire movie, and you will leave captivated by the entire story.

Straight Outta Compton tells the story of a group of friends who form a controversial rap group, N.W.A., who beat the odds and uncover many of the vast flaws in society during the 1980’s and 90’s. The group was formed by Dr. Dre., played by Corey Hawkins; Ice Cube, played by his real life son, O’Shea Jackson Jr.; and Eazy-E, played by Jason Mitchell. The performances by all three of these actors is one of the main reasons I found the movie to be so engaging.  As the movie progresses, the performances becoming increasingly gripping, and you start to feel as if you know the characters. Little character traits such as tone of voice, body language, and apparel make the characters extremely believable, and the groups message is one no one could ignore.

A huge issue the movie uncovers is law enforcement during the time period, an issue some people see as being currently relevant. N.W.A. was a group that designed itself to exploit what was wrong with society, and perhaps their biggest message, and definitely their most controversial song, lashed out at police.  Many of the scenes in the movie are disgusting to watch, as the group is threatened, thrown to the ground, and ridiculed strictly based on their appearance and background.  People are randomly searched or stopped in the streets simply because police assumed they might have drugs because they were of color.  These horrors were real during the time, and the movie does a spectacular job opening viewers up to the reality that was the 1980’s.

Obviously, the movie will have a different effect on those who were alive during those times, but as someone who wasn’t the movie was extremely eye opening, while remaining entertaining.  I enjoyed every minute I was in the theater, and it is a movie I think people can learn a great deal from.  The dedication, competitiveness, determination, and loyalty the film highlights are messages we can all apply to our everyday life.  It shows us we don’t have to come from much to become who we want to be. It’s about who we are, who we want to be, and how hard we want to work for it.  Straight Outta Compton tells the story of young men who were thought to be lost causes, but they discovered their identity and gave it all they had to reach their goals, and it’s a theme we can all appreciate, no matter our age or backgrounds.

 

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