"Directors Albert and Allen Hughes ("The Book of Eli") and screenwriter Tyger Williams were barely into their twenties when they sent shockwaves through American cinema and hip-hop culture with this unflinching vision of life and death on the streets of Los Angeles in the 1990s.
There, in the shadow of the riots of 1965 and 1992, young Caine (Tyrin Turner) is growing up under the influence of his ruthless, drug-dealing father (Samuel L. Jackson, in a chilling cameo) and his loose-cannon best friend, O-Dog (Larenz Tate), leading him into a spiral of violent crime from which he is not sure he wants to escape.
Fusing grim realism with a stylishly propulsive aesthetic honed through the Hughes Brothers’ work on rap videos, MENACE II SOCIETY is a searing cautionary tale about the devastating human toll of hopelessness." (--- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema)
"Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, Albert and Allen Hughes' directorial debut, MENACE II SOCIETY is seemingly yet another hood film arriving after "Boyz N The Hood". MENACE II SOCIETY is a view from the other side, however. More indebted to cinema with fast-paced, MTV-style editing, Hitchcockian camerawork, exacting framing, and expressionistic use of color to mark time and tone, in comparison to other hood films, Caine's story is about the one who did not get out and the violent, self-destructive appeal and embrace of L.A. gang culture. The film boasts a musical score by Quincy Jones and a cast including Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Khandi Alexander, Vonte Sweet, Too Short, Bill Duke, and Charles Dutton." (--- American Cinematheque)