Noah Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Increase the peace.
I know I have said something along these lines in other reviews before, but this time I truly mean it: I really wish I had seen this sooner. Despite having only seen Poetic Justice before he passed, and not even being the biggest fan of it, I was saddened when John Singleton passed away. Even from that movie, I could tell that he had such a unique voice, the kinds that we have film for to speak their truth. Now that I have seen his most acclaimed feature? I'm even more saddened. After the "special" experience I had with Crash last night, this was what I needed to be reminded of how moving a great story can be. Boyz n the Hood offered me a very similar experience that I had to Glass last year. For most of the movie, I was absolutely behind it. It's really well-written, you can tell the level of passion that's coming from behind the camera, the characters and the performances are all on-point, and the structure is admirable. We get time to get to know Tre, Doughboy, and Ricky, and despite their flaws which result from any amount of factors, they're all good men trying to get by. (Though not a main character, Laurence Fishburne as Furious is fantastic, this maybe even immediately being my favorite performance from him.)
I wasn't being blown away by the film, but I really admired it. Then came the big emotional moment of the film. That's all I'll say about what it is, because it has power in seeing it happen itself without knowing it's coming. It was a moving, incredibly upsetting moment. And then the aftermath. It kept going. We see how it affects those around it. There's furious anger and some of the most passionate crying I have seen in any movie. Eventually, I caved in. I joined them. It's been a while since I've seen a movie new to me that not only made me emotional, but left me having to keep myself from becoming a sobbing mess. This got me there, and beyond anything else, I thank it for that. You can tell that this is a movie that knows what it's going through. It's not only well-made even if it isn't perfect filmmaking, but it's moving and penetrating in a way few other films I've seen are. It's even hard to articulate my full feelings about Boyz n the Hood, which is why I'm being vague in my descriptions towards it. I am as far removed from the world in this movie as I think someone can be, and yet here I am being so touched by it. I won't bullshit anything else, just know that I loved this, and I think it's required viewing for anyone and everyone. (Can you) Do the right thing.