I've been writing reviews for IMDb for ten years, and I think something fishy is going on here. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON is getting very, very high reviews from the vast majority of IMDb reviewers -- but the nine and ten- star reviews are all getting pelted with "negative" marks, earning scores of "1 out of 15" likes.
So what's the problem? The problem is that this movie wasn't supposed to be a hit. The mass audience wasn't supposed to respond to the story of young black men facing oppression and coming out on top. The American people were not supposed to see the real truth about how their police treat minorities every day.
Quick, let's bury the good reviews! Let's spawn a phony backlash! Let's discredit Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on the basis of things they did twenty years ago. Oh, and let's all get sentimental about Eazy E because he's dead, and young black men are okay once they're dead. The dead ones are no longer scary and threatening.
The problem with this movie is that the people who made it actually dared to portray young, angry black men as heroic, not as criminals or predators. It's okay to glamorize white criminals, because Hollywood was built on that. From PUBLIC ENEMY to THE GODFATHER, white audiences have always loved to sentimentalize their own criminals. But you can't do that with black men who rap about crime, even when they aren't actually criminals themselves. When Cagney postures like a thug in some ancient piece of crap that's cool. But when black men do it today that's dangerous and irresponsible!
There are very powerful elements in this country that are terribly frightened by this movie. They're frightened because this movie gets white audiences to see young black men as something other than dangerous criminals. The scenes of NWA being roughed up by police are a terrible threat to the powerful elements in our society, who stay in power only by keeping white people scared of black men. They can't tolerate the idea of black male victims, so they instantly start a media backlash portraying the victims as criminals.
I say this is a good movie, a powerful, exciting film that presents a side of American life that is almost never seen on the screen. I know I'm not going to get many likes for this review, but what the hell.
I've got enough already.