Director: F. GARY GRAY

147 minutes, U.S.A., 2015, Digital

One of the most influential groups in the history of hip hop, Niggaz With Attitude was also one of its most controversial. Formed around the core of Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre, N.W.A. articulated the anger building in inner cities in the late 1980s at police brutality and racial profiling, as exemplified by one of their most incendiary early efforts, Fuck Tha Police, in the process becoming a focal point for middle-class America’s increasing discomfort with the rise in hip hop’s popularity in the suburbs.

Straight Outta Compton follows the group from its genesis through its meteoric rise and the internecine conflicts over status and money that eventually tore it apart, facilitated by an unscrupulous manager. A remarkable evocation of the period, the film is perfectly cast, and makes for a story sure to satisfy fans and newcomers alike. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

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