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Straight Outta Compton

"'Straight Outta Compton' is an amazement, an electrifying piece of hip-hop history that speaks urgently to right now." - Rolling Stone

"'Straight Outta Compton' is epic, an explosively entertaining hip-hop biopic that raps home truths about race and police brutality as timely now (think Ferguson) as they were during the 1980s in Compton, California. That's where five black teens — known as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren — channeled their fury into the beats of N.W.A. The band didn't invent gangsta rap, but N.W.A were there in the delivery room, sparked by near-constant rousting from the LAPD.

"The atmosphere is charged. Cube's look-alike son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., does a smashing job playing his dad, blending sensitivity with seething intensity. It's Cube and his buddy DJ Andre 'Dr. Dre' Young (a charmingly sly Corey Hawkins) who persuade drug dealer Eric 'Eazy-E' Wright (Jason Mitchell) to finance a label, Ruthless Records. Mitchell's fierce portrayal of the mercurial Eazy (who died of AIDS complications in 1995) is award-caliber, especially when he haltingly, then thrillingly, lays down vocals on 'Boyz-n-the-Hood.'

"The recording sessions pack the vital spark of live performance. The film's righteous highlight is a Detroit concert where the cops threaten to jail the bandmates and shut the place down if they sing the rap ('F--- tha Police') that has demonized N.W.A to Middle America. Of course they sing it. And the crowd roars. Credit Gray for tracing the group's rise and fall with dramatic vigor.

"'Straight Outta Compton' is an amazement, an electrifying piece of hip-hop history that speaks urgently to right now." - Rolling Stone

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