Straight Outta Compton 2015

Critics score:
88 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Tyler Daswick, Chicago Reader: This movie about a group of risk-takers should have taken more risks itself. Read more

Christy Lemire, It's very easy to imagine sing-along showings cropping up for years to come. Read more

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: The casting in Straight Outta Compton is universally pitch perfect, including brief cameos by Keith Stanfield as Snoop and Marcc Rose as Tupac that are fantastically spot on. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: Straight Outta Compton is so beholden to the appeasement of so many artists and legacies and estates that none of it coheres as a movie. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: One of the summer's most entertaining and provocative movies ... Read more

Donnell Alexander, TIME Magazine: Despite Straight Outta Compton's energetic acting and Gray's capture of in-studio Eureka! moments, it never manages to transcend biopic hagiography ... Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: Director F. Gary Gray turns the meteoric rise and fractious fall of rap supergroup N.W.A. into a sprawling, exhilarating Los Angeles hip-hop epic. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: There's little to distinguish the movie from any number of overlong hit-by-hit music biopics of the nodding-approvingly-from-behind-a-mixing-console variety. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: "Straight Outta Compton," F. Gary Gray's biopic of pioneering gangsta rappers N.W.A., manages to feel urgent and alive, even as it plays like the coolest episode of VH1's "Behind the Music" ever. Read more

Peter Keough, Boston Globe: Like its subjects, the iconic late rap conglomerate N.W.A., F. Gary Gray's "Straight Outta Compton" starts out strong, peaks quickly, and then gets tangled in complications and compromise and falls apart. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Jackson Jr. artfully evokes Ice Cube's tough-guy charisma. Mitchell's Eazy emerges as the film's most complicated figure, throwing his lot in with a manager who may not have his best interests at heart. Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: Director F. Gary Gray has too big a story to tell, enough for a TV miniseries (or a season's worth of Behind the Music episodes), and you can see him straining to cram everything in even as the film stretches to the two-and-a-half hour mark. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ But as a depiction of a time and place, Straight Outta Compton - from its low-rider Chevys on hydraulics blaring hip-hop to police battering ram vehicles crashing into suspected crack houses - nails it. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: If you're like me, you'll forgive its more melodramatic cliches and just surrender to its raw, brass-knuckle force. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Straight Outta Compton manages to keep its sharp teeth despite its adherence to form. The movie doesn't neuter N.W.A.'s story so much as mold it to a familiar model. Read more

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: Brashly winning and unapologetically self-serving. Read more

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter: It does for the most part fulfill its mission, breathing life into the origin story of a group whose influence is still being felt. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: "Straight Outta Compton" ends up juggling more story lines and moods than it can handle. Read more

Amy Nicholson, L.A. Weekly: It's clear what producers Ice Cube and Dr. Dre are most interested in: the money. Read more

Tony Hicks, San Jose Mercury News: The sheer force of Straight Outta Compton steamrolls its flaws. Director Gray, who is from Compton and made a name for himself directing some of hip-hop's best music videos, has given us a movie that feels honest and urgent. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A riveting film about the birth of not just one rap group but an entire genre. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: The core of the story is business, the object is power, and the quirks of desire and twists of the unconscious are given no place in the struggle-which the movie sharply carries ahead to the present day. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: There's a grittier, grimier story in here, but it needed a different script and probably a different director than the uncritical F. Gary Gray, whose resume is studded with old-school rap videos and Ice Cube projects. Read more

Scott Tobias, NPR: If any film should be forgiven its excesses, it's Straight Outta Compton, which is about the clashes and camaraderie among men whose unruliness sparked a cultural moment that was beyond their ability-and their willingness-to contain. Read more

Jim Farber, New York Daily News: "Straight Outta Compton" goes right to the heart of what made N.W.A. one of the most defiant groups of all time. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: It's a story driven by classic tensions: struggle and triumph, division and conquest, group and individual. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: This movie burns so hot that it's bound to run out of steam. It does. But what stands is an amazement, an electrifying piece of hip-hop history that speaks urgently to right now. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, A sprawling, overstuffed, formulaic but highly entertaining story of pop stardom and its discontents in which the pioneers of gangsta rap are burnished to a high mythological gloss. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: Policemen, journalists who dislike rap and Suge Knight will find little to enjoy in this movie - all are portrayed as villains with zero subtlety. But the film as a whole is critical of its heroes' mistakes. Read more

John Swansburg, Slate: While no one will mistake this for a protest film-there are too many pool parties-the movie's portrait of a militarized police force all too eager to assault young black men can't help but resonate in our own moment. Read more

Tom Horgen, Minneapolis Star Tribune: In the small pool of big-budget hip-hop biopics, "Straight Outta Compton" is near the top. Read more

Kevin C. Johnson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The group members' stories are overly familiar to rap fans, as are portrayals of the big bad music industry in general, but that doesn't take away from the film's dramatic tension. Read more

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

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Straight Outta Compton makes that same thudding power echo in the thrill of a fresh track and the first rhymes from five young men who changed the music landscape nearly 30 years ago. Read more

James Rocchi, TheWrap: Underneath the gunshots and the battle raps, "Straight Outta Compton" is a fairly conventional movie about a music group, somewhere between hero-making and the honest truth. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: There's way too much inside-baseball money talk here, when a simpler plot -- one about a band whose apocalyptic vision comes to pass -- would have been plenty. Read more

Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun: F. Gary Gray's excellent film is as sympathetic as it is bombastic, even when it depicts some of the rough stuff, a lot of the stupid excesses that come with fame, and even some quasi-criminal activities. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Straight Outta Compton aims to cross cultures and sanctify the wisdom of the street-to make a universal underdog story. It succeeds on a visceral level. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: As enlightening as it is entertaining, as sobering as it is exhilarating, "Straight Outta Compton" reminds viewers not only who N.W.A. were and what they meant, but also why they mattered - and still do. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: An explosively entertaining biopic about the hip-hop group that brought gangsta rap into the mainstream of popular culture in the 1980s. Read more