The Menace U Society Copycat Murder Case and Thug Life: A Reception Study with a Convicted Criminal
Menace II Society garnered accolades from numerous film critics who found the film's depiction of Black ghetto tribulations, including the frequent and gruesome violence, as particularly realistic. The Hughes brothers, reared in an upper-middle-class home far from the ghetto, were hailed for possessing great acumen. Noted film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and the movie review television program Siskel and Ebert at the Movies awarded the film a perfect four stars in his column and a "thumbs up" on the show. Ebert (1993) wrote: "Menace II Society is as well-directed a film as you'll see from America this year, an unsentimental and yet completely involving story of a young man who cannot see a way around his fate-If Menace II Society shows things the way they often are-and I believe it does-then the film is not negative for depicting them truthfully." Other arbiters agreed on the film's quality as, in 1994, Menace II Society was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award's Best First Feature and Best Male Lead awards. It won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematographer and M T V Movie Award for Best Movie.