By Karen Benavides
Breaking box office records, Straight Outta Compton has been one of the most talked about movies of 2015. Set in Compton, California, in the 1980’s, the movie tells the story of five guys and how their music had an impact on pop culture and society. Using their experiences from growing up in the hood, they created songs that expressed the horror and abuse that comes with growing up in Compton. Straight Outta Compton showcases the formation, breakup, and legacy of hip-hop group N.W.A and carries the audience from the past to present in order to portray the history that defined the group and the time period.
To begin, the acting was incredible. Every actor gave such an engaging performance that it made it nearly impossible to direct your attention away from the screen. The cast consisted of Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., and O’Shea Jackson Jr., and directed by F. Gary Gray. In addition, Ice Cube’s son portrayed the role of his father, adding further realness to the movie.
In a short period of time, Straight Outta Compton dominated the box office by grossing $120,886,175 in its first two weeks. It’s also been rated an 89% on the world famous critic website “Rotten Tomatoes” and remained at #1 in the box office for two consecutive weekends in a row.
Peter Travers from Rolling Stone stated, “But what stands is an amazement, an electrifying piece of hip-hop history that speaks urgently to right now.”
With the topic of police brutality hastily making it’s way back into society, the movie helps bring insight into how history has a habit of repeating itself. In Straight Out Of Compton there were perfect examples of how minorities were treated with disrespect. For instance, this film highlighted the 1990’s case of Rodney King, where a clip was made public of 4 LAPD officers beating King up using excessive force with batons. The officers’ acquittals caused an uproar, resulting in the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Altogether, the release of the film came out at perfect timing with the Black Lives Matter campaign dominating the news.
George Esdile, an African American that grew up with the story of N.W.A states, “the most powerful message of the movie was do your thing and don’t let anybody squeeze you about doing your own thing. As well as to just be good in your talent.”
Alexis Mejia-Garcia, a teen that knew nothing about N.W.A was highly impacted by the movie. She says, “The impact this group had on society was unbelievable. They spoke out what they truly believed and encouraged people to let their voices be heard. With the whole issue of Sarah Bland just happening and the brutality of police still an on going topic, this movie helps to bring it all together. Truly an eye opener.”
With little to no negative reviews, Straight Outta Compton has been one of the most talked about movies of 2015. All in all, I strongly encourage everyone to witness this film in theaters. Not only is it dramatic, heartfelt, and funny, but it also provides a glimpse into history.