'Straight Outta Compton' Movie Reviews: Biopic Stars O'Shea Jackson, Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and Aldis Hodge

Photo of Ice Cube
(Photo : Philip Litevsky/Wikimedia/CC) A photo of Ice Cube taken on Aug. 2006.

Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella externalize their life experiences of growing up in the dangerous streets of Compton, California by taking their stories straight into the music industry. They form a hip hop group called N.W.A., which stands for “Niggaz Wit Attitudes” and use their gangsta rap as a platform for calling out authorities on police brutality. Their music, though born in the late 1980s, still resonates deeply today. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ hit theaters on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. The biopic was rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America.

“You have brotherhood and betrayal, you have tragedy and triumph, the rags-to-riches element,” said director F. Gary Gray to NPR. “Think about it: Dr. Dre starts in a garage spinning on two turntables. Then he becomes a billionaire? That's crazy."

‘Straight Outta Compton’ stars O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy E, Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, Neil Brown, Jr. as DJ Yella, Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller, Marlon Yates Jr. as The D.O.C., Corey Reynolds as Alonzo Williams, Alexandra Shipp as Kimberly Woodruff, Angela Elayne Gibbs as Doris Jackson, Bruce Beatty as Hosie Jackson, Lisa Renee Pitts as Verna Young, Keith Stanfield as Snoop Dogg, R. Marcus Taylor as Suge Knight, Sheldon A. Smith as Warren G, Carra Patterson as Tomica Woods, Elena Goode as Nicole Threatt, Keith Powers as Tyree Crayon, Mark Sherman as Jimmy Iovine, Camryn Howard as DJ Speed, Cleavon McClendon as Sir Jinx, Rogelio Douglas, Jr. as Chuck D, Steve Turner as Keith Shocklee, Tyron Woodley as T-Bone, LaDell Preston as Shorty, Jordan Can as J-Dee, J. Kristopher as Lay Law, Stephanie Campbell as Charis Henry, Marcc Rose as Tupac Shakur, and Brandon LaFourche as Arabian Prince.

The film was directed by F. Gary Gray and edited by Billy Fox. The producers of the film are Ice Cube, Tomica Woods-Wright, Matt Alvarez, F. Gary Gray, Scott Bernstein, and Dr. Dre/ The screenplay is by Jonathan Herman and Andrew Berloff. The story is by S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, and Andrea Berloff. Music is by Joseph Trapanese and cinematography is by Matthew Libatique. It was produced by Legendary Pictures, New Line Cinema, Cube Vision, Crucial Films, and Broken Chair Flickz. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ was distributed by Universal Pictures.

Dr. Dre Attends Beats Store Grand Opening
(Photo : Commondr3ads/Wikimedia/Cc)
Dr. Dre at the Beats store grand opening on December 2011.

Movie Reviews:

"That kind of topsy-turvy, irony-laden cultural shift makes it possible for a movie like Straight Outta Compton to observe the group through the retrospective lens of success as opposed to reckoning with what it and its peers represented back then to white America: insurrection," wrote Wesley Morris from Grantland.

"Straight Outta Compton is, undoubtedly, a nostalgia trip, but, this being NWA, it’s one you take in a ’64 Impala with height-adjustable suspension," wrote John Swansburg from Slate.

"Though the lives of musical performers have provided material for screenwriters since movies learned to talk, "Straight Outta Compton" is one of the few films to focus on hip-hoppers, in this case the group N.W.A.," wrote Rafer Guzman from Newsday.

"Straight Outta Compton functions as both a compelling, damnably topical political statement and a slickly produced piece of commercial art," wrote John Semley from Globe and Mail.

"All that looks a whole lot different with a quarter-century’s worth of hindsight, and Gray’s film seeks to connect the historical dots somewhat, while varnishing over the less savory details," wrote Andrew O’Hehir from Salon.Com.

'“Straight Outta Compton,” the biopic that tells the story of the “World’s Most Dangerous Group,” doesn’t have nearly the same effect," wrote Adam Graham from Detroit News.

'"Straight Outta Compton," besides, is built on the abiding fierceness of the music, the unlikeliness of their hood-to-Hollywood journey and a talented young cast that handles the heavy weight of playing icons with unusual skill," wrote Jake Coyle from Associated Press.

Tags Straight Outta Compton, Movie Review, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, music, hip-hop

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