From the Chicago Reader (October 4, 1991). — J.R.
HANGIN’ WITH THE HOMEBOYS **** (Masterpiece)
Directed and written by Joseph B. Vasquez
With Doug E. Doug, Mario Joyner, John Leguizamo, Nestor Serrano,
Kimberly Russell, and Mary B. Ward.
Sometimes wonderful movies just don’t have a chance. Hangin’ With the Homeboys is more truthful, more fully realized, and more densely felt than Jungle Fever, Up Against the Wall, Straight Out of Brooklyn, Boyz N the Hood, and Livin’ Large. But it’s turned up after these others, and it has fewer calling cards: no stars, no violent deaths, no preachy slogans, no film-festival hoopla or media hype. And it has a lousy title to boot, one that sounds like a movie you’ve already seen but remember only vaguely. (I wanted to give this movie a better chance by making it a “Critic’s Choice” last week, but the paper was already loaded with them.)
After Dave Kehr’s rave review in the Tribune a week ago, however, I had some hopes for the film’s chances. And wanting to take a second look, I caught the late show at the Broadway the same night. The others who were there seemed to love the movie as much as I did, but there weren’t very many of us.… Read more »