Straight Outta Compton: a Go-See Movie


Artwork based on the film “Straight Outta Compton,” by Gabriel Mafra.

Artwork based on the film "Straight Outta Compton," by Gabriel Mafra.
Artwork based on Eazy-E, a member of NWA, by Gabriel Mafra.

It’s rare that a biopic comes and along manages to live up to the hype. This year Straight Outta Compton is that film. “Straight Outta Compton” is one of the few films that doesn’t fall into those pits of highly dramatized, sub par writing and comes out a very well put together film.

Straight Outta Compton is about the formation, rise, downfall, and eventual disbanding for the gangster rap group NWA (N****z Wit Attitude). The film follows Eazy E played by Jason Mitchell, Dr. Dre played by Corey Hawkins, Ice Cube played by Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr, and veteran actor Paul Giamatti as their manager Jerry Heller.

The film focuses on how the band started, relationships between the people in NWA, debaucheries that happened before and after concerts, and the passion they had for their craft

It is worth noting that the actors do a great job of portraying their characters. Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. all do great jobs in making their characters, distinct, three dimensional, and flawed rather than just portraying them as imperfect.

The soundtrack in the film is fantastic. The soundtrack is filled with many great rap classics, like Straight Outta Compton, Everyone Loves The Sunshine, Jam-Master Jay, and Talking To My Diary.

While Straight Outta Compton is a great film, it’s not a flawless film. While the film does a good job at making presenting the characters of the film, the film glosses over certain, well-known subjects.

The film never addresses Dr. Dre’s extensive history of violence against women. Dre has talked about how appalled he is by his actions and wishes he could take it back, and it’s troubling that the film didn’t even bother to mention this.

The second half of the film falls short, whereas the first half of the film starts off with bang. It starts to wane down which makes it dull rather than interesting.

Finally, the film does not give credit where credit is due.

Throughout the film fellow rappers Yella and MC Ren are more like extras than characters. NWA rapper MC Ren tweeted how he even though he happy with how the film told the story of N.W.A, he was displeased with not having a big part in the film.

He tweeted, “True fans know my role in the group as far a lyrics are concerned, don’t let the movie fool you about my contribution to the group.”

In the end, despite the few downfalls, Straight Outta Compton is a very solid film. While not a perfect film, it does a great job at telling the stories of NWA with a great script, performances, and soundtrack. Definitely a go-see movie!