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Menace II Society (1993)

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A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors:

Albert Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers), Allen Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers)

Writers:

Allen Hughes (story), Albert Hughes (story) | 2 more credits »
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2,723 ( 933)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrin Turner ... Caine
Larenz Tate ... O-Dog
June Kyoto Lu ... Grocery Store Woman (as June Kyoko Lu)
Toshi Toda ... Grocery Store Man
Samuel L. Jackson ... Tat Lawson
Anthony Johnson ... Tony
Brandon Hammond ... Five Year Old Caine
Glenn Plummer ... Pernell
Reginald Ballard ... Clyde
Khandi Alexander ... Karen Lawson
Eugene Lee Eugene Lee ... Man #1
James Pickens Jr. ... Man #2 (as James Pickins Jr.)
Nancy Cheryll Davis Nancy Cheryll Davis ... Teacher (as Nancy Cheryl Davis)
Jullian Roy Doster Jullian Roy Doster ... Anthony
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Ronnie (as Jada Pinkett)
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Storyline

This urban nightmare chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA. Written by Daniel Bredy <gt3655a@prism.gatech.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the truth. This is what's real.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, drug use and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Straßenkämpfer See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$27,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A-Waxs car is a, 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, the crew is reflected in the mirror over the beer cooler. See more »

Quotes

Pernell: [during a visit to the penitentiary] It's been a long time, Caine. How you doin', man? How come you never come see me?
Caine: [looking down] Man, I don't want to see you all caged up like some animal.
Pernell: Is that what you think? I'm a animal?
Caine: Nah...
[looks up, almost in tears]
Caine: When I was growin' up... you was like my dad, man.
Pernell: [takes the phone away from his ear in disbelief, only to return it] Your letters... in the beginning... it got me through, young bra. Away from my girl, away from my baby, away from you...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK video, LaserDisc, and the initial DVD versions were cut to remove footage of O-Dog unlocking a car door by using a metal strip. The cuts were restored to the 2003 DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Made Men: The 'GoodFellas' Legacy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

KINDA LIKE A GANGSTA
Written by Smooth, C. Stokes
Performed by Smooth
Courtesy of Jive Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Menacingly Powerful, and Gritty Urban Drama
16 September 2005 | by FrankBooth_DeLargeSee all my reviews

Menace II Society is much more than your typical hood movie. It tells the story of young Caine Lawson, a teen growing up in Watts, California.

The opening briefly shows Caine getting caught up in a grocery store shooting with his friend. This was a chilling way to open the movie, as it shows how easy it is for someone in the ghetto to get caught up in the moment and kill someone. During the opening credits, we see footage of the Watts riots that took place during the 60's. Caine narrates the story of his life, explaining how after the riots, drugs came into effect, and affected his home life as a child. After loosing his parents on at the hands of drugs, he was sent to live with his Grandparents. His Grandparents love him, but they struggled to raise him and tried their hardest to keep him out of trouble.

Not too long into the movie, after we learn about Caine's early life, we see him graduate from High School. He hopes to leave the life of violence that surrounds him in his neighborhood. After falling victim to a violent car jacking, he is brought into violence and crime himself. As the story progresses, and things spiral downward for Caine, he ends up in a hell of a jam and tries to make a way out of it all.

This is an incredible movie. It perfectly balances the ugly crime life and murder of tough inner city neighborhoods, Caine's own personal troubles, police brutality, and drugs.

This is a powerful movie with a great story. It has a good message, but in some ways, I thought the film Boyz N the Hood showed the message in a better way. Menace II Society is more focused on the crime involved in inner cities, where as Boyz N the Hood focuses more on the family life of the characters.

This is an excellent film that you should see if you ever get the chance. It has a good message, and it has some very moving moments in it.

If you enjoyed this, I also recommend Boyz N the Hood, and you'll probably enjoy the Wayans brothers' spoof, Don't be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.


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