Review: 'Straight Outta Compton' entertaining, if limited

August 14, 2015 5:00 PM

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Review: 'Straight Outta Compton' entertaining, if limited

(The Hollywood Reporter)Biopics about bands consisting of equals are far rarer than those about solo artists, and for good reason: Try doing justice to even three performers' rise from obscurity to fame, especially if they then veer in different directions, and you hardly have time to develop the stars as human characters. So Straight Outta Compton, about the fractious career of gangsta-rap doorbusters N.W.A., turns into a bio-epic, running well over two hours without even mentioning the competing strands of hip-hop (from Public Enemy's righteous anger to the feel-good vibes of De La Soul) that, by contrast, made N.W.A.'s furious sound so upsetting to so many people.

Produced by former N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre (among others) and directed by F. Gary Gray, who started his career with an Ice Cube video and went on to direct his comic outing Friday, the result is a self-portrait that predictably softens the edges of careers that generated even more contro...

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