Straight Outta Compton is one of the best group biopics/period pieces I've ever seen. Production credits for Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, as well as having F. Gary Gray at the helm as director give this movie the depth, grit, and mainstream polish and appeal that audiences have come to expect from each of these artists.
The decision to cast O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as his father (Ice Cube) may have caused some overshadowing issues, but the rest of the cast play their parts admirably. Jackson's deep connection with his source gives his performance a lot of personal fire, which may have given him an unfair advantage over the other members of the ensemble.
At two and a half hours, this is a long movie, however the amount of material covered (as well as a raucous, rousing soundtrack) keeps it from dragging. It is at once the story of a budding musical genre (West Coast gangsta rap), the group that innovated said genre (N.W.A.), a sociological commentary about growing up black in the L.A. suburbs of the 1980s and 90s, and, finally, a gut-wrenchingly tragic love letter to Eazy-E, one of the founders of N.W.A., a flawed-but-talented hip-hop pioneer who died tragically in 1995.

smatte's rating:
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