Straight Outta Compton (2015)

What did I like?

I’m not afraid to admit I had no interest in seeing this film, like ever, because the story didn’t interest me. Thanks to the friday night work screening I got to check this out in a very quiet theatre. All the other shows sold out over the weekend, forcing the theatre to cancel other movies (Pixels and Minions) and add more showings of this movie.

NWA’s glory days came at a time in my life when I just discovering my musical taste. I was never really exposed to rap until junior high and high, so this story is relatively new to me. I do know who Dr. Dre and Ice Cube are because of their musical careers over the last decade, not because of their days in NWA. My mind was blown away with this story because now I understand so much more about who the NWA was and how they were trailblazers for generations to come. From their beginning to the bitter end, NWA changed the world and for the better in my honest opinion. Their story is amazing, powerful, and tragic all at once. Even though this story was not for me, I applaud this movie for being so raw and real. It is simply amazing to see the connections of some of today’s biggest rappers and how they would have never been so successful without the NWA.

What didn’t I like?

This movie is two hours and forty minutes long. While you sit there and watch the drama start to unfold you look at your watch only to realize there’s still over an hour and half left! I guarantee they did not cover everything and there was probably so much more of their story to tell, but maybe a two-hour movie would have gone the job. My only complaint is the long run time made for a long night.

Was Straight Outta Compton a good story?

This movie was actually an amazing story about one of the world’s biggest musical acts. When you look back at some music’s greatest acts and their famous problems, no one can touch the struggles and trouble NWA went through on their way to the top. The only thing the NWA story shares with other groups is the personal drama between members and dirty business practices. It’s sad to say that all good things must come to end, but can you imagine a parallel universe where the NWA got back together and continued to build upon their legacy? The world would totally be a different place.

Watching Straight Outta Compton made me spend a lot of time on YouTube this weekend listening to their music and the careers of other rappers they inspired like TuPac, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem, I never realized all the musical connections until Friday night. It is such a small world.

Notable Performances?

It is extremely hard to pick the stand out from the five guys because each had their role in the group. O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre) really steal the show along with Jason Mitchell (Easy E). These three are the stars of the group and despite having supporting roles on-screen and in the group, Neil Brown Jr, (Dj Yella) and Aldis Hodge (MC Ren) form an amazing replica NWA group that would make the original members proud. Of course no review of a movie with Paul Giamatti would be complete without mentioning his performance because he’s always superb. In this one he’s a great double-crossing manager who is all about dollar signs, lining his pockets, and shrugging off personal feelings. Easy E may have been the most polarizing member in real life struggles of the NWA, but Mitchell really brings to life his cocky attitude and no fear lifestyle which caused him more than his career.

Would I recommend it?

I know I don’t have to recommend this movie because you’ve already gone to seen it or plan to watch it within the next few days. Straight Outta Compton made the climb to the box office and will enjoy a reign at the top like NWA did in real life. It wouldn’t surprise me if this movie ended up being the summer’s biggest hit and maybe even scores an award or two. Whether you love rap or the NWA, Straight Outta Compton has something for everyone to like.

my star rating: 8 out 10

imdb: 8.5 out 10 / metascore: 71/100 / rottentomatoes: 88% out 100%

roger ebert: 4 out 4 / richard crouse: 4 out 5

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