Boyz n the Hood ★★★★

The postscript text at the end is a real unforced error, especially when Singleton gives himself such a potent, easily-understood visual representation of what it's saying. That's the one case of a first-timer second-guessing himself, otherwise this is remarkably assured, letting the breezy dialogue keep things on rails even when it's time for violence or speeches. The big scene of violence is justifiably iconic, but Singleton somehow returning to the tone of the rest of the film in its aftermath is masterful, you never lose the sense of how this community functions even when it's faced with unspeakable tragedy. And the speeches might come off as needlessly didactic if Singleton didn't have his ace in the hole of Laurence Fishburne, an actor who can sell being the voice of God without selling out his humanity in the process.