AFI Movie Club: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON – American Film Institute
Straight Outta Compton Film Still - Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O'Shea Jackson Jr.



AFI recognized STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON with a 2015 AFI AWARD – selecting it as culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image. The film features the work of cinematographer and AFI alum Matthew Libatique.


Click Here to Find Out How to Watch STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Now


Watch producer and rapper Ice Cube in conversation with Shawn Edwards:

Watch cinematic milestones from decades past that have led to today’s story:

In this exclusive AFI “Behind The Scene” featurette, cinematographer Matthew Libatique (AFI Class of 1992) talks about shooting today’s film:


DID YOU KNOW? STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON earned over $60.2 million in its opening weekend and earned over $200 million at the worldwide box office – making it the highest-grossing movie from a Black director at the time.

DID YOU KNOW? The first cut of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON ran nearly three-and-a-half hours. The final cut runs two hours and 47 minutes. 

DID YOU KNOW? The script for STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.

DID YOU KNOW? After the film was released, N.W.A’s hit “Straight Outta Compton” cracked Billboard’s Top 40 for the first time – 27 years after the song’s original release. 

DID YOU KNOW? After STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, director F. Gary Gray went on to helm THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS and became the first Black director to earn over $1 billion worldwide. 

DID YOU KNOW? O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s acting debut was portraying his own father – Ice Cube – in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Jackson did not land the part right away; it took almost two years of acting lessons and going through multiple auditions before getting the role. 

DID YOU KNOW? Director F. Gary Gray had the actors re-record N.W.A’s entire “Straight Outta Compton” album to help them get into character. The movie’s soundtrack uses N.W.A’s original versions of their iconic songs as well as the versions recorded by the actors.  

DID YOU KNOW? Tomica Woods-Wright, Eazy-E’s widow, gave actor Jason Mitchell unseen footage of the late rapper to help him capture Eazy-E’s personality.

DID YOU KNOW? The scene in which Ice Cube smashes up the Priority Records president’s office was almost cut from the film after a rewrite of the script. Producer Ice Cube was so passionate about including the scene that he insisted that it be added back. 

DID YOU KNOW? The continuous scene through the hotel room was filmed in one uninterrupted shot with no edits. It took more than 20 takes to get it right! 

DID YOU KNOW? Despite increases to the production budget, the filmmakers felt it was important to shoot in Los Angeles – and in Compton – for authenticity. 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-How has the societal landscape changed since N.W.A released their first album? 

-What about society today hasn’t changed since N.W.A hit the scene? 

-What did N.W.A want to achieve with their music? Do you think they were successful? 

-Why did N.W.A and their music scare people at the time? 

-Why were the N.W.A considered a supergroup? 

-What is the relationship between money and art? Can they coexist? 

-How would you rate STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON? 


In this exclusive AFI Archive video, cinematographer and AFI alum Matthew Libatique talks about developing the visual style of the film:

New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

In this time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home,” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.

Comments (1)

Tim Gordon

with several bizarre movie club choices, this one might be the worst

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts