What holds the movie together ... is Gibson's broodingly responsive performance.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Baby Boy earns credibility for its insights by moving beyond image and rhetoric and quickly establishing Jody, his friends, lovers and family members as complex, striving, fallible human beings.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
- Guardian [UK]
For the first time since Hood, Singleton is really sailing.
Mike Clark - USA Today
John Singleton must believe the truth will set him free, for he tells it, uncompromisingly, in Baby Boy. You may or may not like what you see, but there it is, indisputably, right in your face.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
Baby Boy is more insistent in its didacticism than Boyz N the Hood, the passion and conviction are no less heartfelt.
Jay Carr - Boston Globe
Without a convincing Jody, Singleton's thesis about a son's absolute need for a father figure is never played out.
Amy Taubin - Village Voice
A bracing film, passionate, frightening, sobering and funny all at once.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
For all of its flaws, [Singleton's] spankin' new Baby Boy still packs a punch.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
[Singleton] He means for this to be r,38p,11p revelatory, but it is instead exhausting.
Steven Rosen - Denver Post
A bold criticism of young black men who carelessly father babies, live off their mothers and don't even think of looking for work.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Baby Boy is a movie that will act like a smack in the face to some audiences, while others may simply laugh in recognition.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
The characters are so full-bodied and the feelings so raw and complex that I'd call this the best thing John Singleton has done to date
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Affecting if sometimes overwrought.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Susan Stark - Detroit News
I felt myself drawn into a vortex of raw emotion from which I could not escape.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Baby Boy sometimes gets repetitive and is slightly overlong. But it's got solid performances and great dialogue, and, most impressively for a summer movie, it actually gives you something to think about.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
If only Singleton had filtered Baby Boy's passion through the ideas of real deep thinkers on this subject, he might yet fulfill the great promise that he showed us back when he was a 23 year-old baby boy wonder himself.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Pootie Tang this ain't.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
- Globe and Mail
[Jody's] lessons on growing up and moving on never ring more than halfhearted and false.
Mary Elizabeth Williams - Salon.com
One of the most entertaining African-American comedies of manners ever made.
David Edelstein - Slate
It almost always seems real (at least until the end) and it addresses meaningful issues.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Highly flawed but hugely fascinating.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Leaves you shaken.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Like its characters, this picture is doing the best it can, and although that may not be everything, it ought to count for something.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
The film is a bold examination of an aspect of African American life. There's no shortage of sex, violence, or urban realism.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Mark Halverson - Sacramento News & Review
- Empire Magazine
This is yet another coming-of-age tale except that the hero is not a teenager but a young man who goes out of his way to be macho but really is a mama boy.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
- Time Out
Recommended mainly to the more devoted Singleton fans, Baby Boy is pretty strong evidence of a filmmaker who still has plenty to say.
Scott Weinberg - DVD Clinic
Alexander Walker - This is London
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
Jim Shelby - Palo Alto Weekly
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
David Poland - Hot Button
- Film Threat
An unfortunate hybrid of Oedipal and Peter Pan complexes, Singleton's film is a mishmash of half-cocked ideas and unrealized sentiments.
Rachel Deahl - Baltimore City Paper
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
...while it's not as gritty as Boyz N the Hood or as compelling as Higher Learning, Baby Boy is certainly worth checking out if only for the superb performances...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
- Boston Phoenix
There's no cuddling this Baby Boy, a profoundly sad commentary on the vicious circle that continues to terminally plague our bewildered, impressionable and disadvantaged young urban black men.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Johnson and Rhames are superb as Jody's charming, hard-working mother and her ex-con boyfriend Melvin.
Jane Crowther - BBC
- Deseret News, Salt Lake City
It's an intermittently powerful but deeply flawed film.
Adam Nayman - eye WEEKLY
To a large degree, its ungainliness is forgivable, as it reflects a breadth of ambition, not a failure of talent.
Joe Leydon - San Francisco Examiner
The director deserves credit for tackling a worthwhile subject, but many will find the film's tone too soft and approving.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
Never rises above the level of a soap opera.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
With a combination of sensitivity and insight, John Singleton presents a fascinating portrait of an African American that goes against stereotypes of 20-year-old men.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
'Baby Boy' is a powerhouse of a film, and so sexy it's like celluloid Viagra.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Baby Boy, for all of its naivete and indulgences, has some humility in it as well, which does its creator good.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
- Ebert & Roeper
"Singleton's thesis is that pervasive racism and a lack of role models have psychologically infantalized Afro-American men."
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Greg Muskewitz - eFilmCritic.com
If nothing else, its thematic originality makes it a unique and groundbreaking work.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Tells it like it is with just a glimmer of how it ought to be.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
A powerful indictment of irresponsibility by the director of "Boyz N the Hood."
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A crowd-pleaser about chronic, multi-generational irresponsibility.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
Fans of Singleton's early work may be disappointed by the shrill, pointless exchanges, directionless nature and tidy conclusions of Baby Boy.
Philip Booth - Orlando Weekly
Singleton just may be challenging us to laugh at the film or with it and then feel extremely uneasy for doing so. If so, that's admirable; if not, he's made a very strange soap opera.
Kim Morgan - Oregonian
John Singleton has every right to be a proud papa.
Louis B. Hobson - Calgary Sun
A meandering, flawed, but electrifying film.
Rob Caley - Jam! Movies
Singleton's take on the world he creates with such verve is so penetrating, so tough-minded and so provocative that you are swept up and held spellbound.
Bruce Kirkland - Toronto Sun
It's full of standard cliches that have plagued black cinema for decades.
Tim Cogshell - Boxoffice Magazine
Veers toward the shapeless and episodic and is marked by radical mood swings.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Comes up with images that are consistently involving, provocative, and instructive.
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
For the most part, though, Baby Boy tells a provocative and original story.
Jay Stone - Ottawa Citizen
Baby Boy has its slow parts, its obvious parts, its egregious parts. But it's also a film that can take you to a place no other summer movie can.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Good acting lends some balance to director's liking for sermons.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
While primarily an examination on the young African-American male, Singleton's social commentary is universal to all men.
Jeffrey Huston - Jeff Huston's Believe Me
The gratuitous violence sucks, and the pat conclusion prompts one to shout don't believe the hope!, but otherwise Singleton has wrangled his characters into a very impressive emotional exorcism.
Gregory Weinkauf - New Times
The companion piece to Singleton's seminal Boyz N the Hood lacks not only the depth of story but also the emotional integrity and thoughtfulness of the 1991 hit.
Renee Lucas Wayne - Philadelphia Daily News
Snoop doesn't even show up until about an hour into the movie, and even then he's a minor, if pivotal, character.
Dave White - IFilm
A movie that's, if you'll pardon the expression, fecund with insight, artistry and the courage to express it all in a most original manner.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Baby Boy's tale may not be the best slice of life to experience, but Singleton delivers it with an authenticity and compassion that slams the serious issues home -- for everyone.
- E! Online
Though it's a daring and commendable message, Singleton has trouble focusing it.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Occasionally becomes too wound up in its overly melodramatic moments and is a bit too uneven in its storytelling approach for its own good or the viewer's ultimate enjoyment.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
... an attempt to confront and challenge the legacy of cultural images based on killers, gang-bangers, and womanizing studs...
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Baby Boy can be tough going, very tough going, but the cast is built to take it.
Bob Graham - San Francisco Chronicle
In addition to being ruthlessly honest, Baby Boy is also Singleton's most cinematic work to date.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
Maybe if Singleton didn't try to repeat Boyz N the Hood with Baby Boy, he would've made a better movie.
John Zebrowski - Seattle Times
The film is emotionally overloaded with confrontations that repeat like a boxing- match replay that refuses to quit: Jody vs. Mom, Jody vs. Yvette, Jody vs. Melvin, Jody vs. the neighborhood thugs, Jody vs. Jody.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
Singleton hammers home his thesis ... with a monotonous single-mindedness that dulls the usual acuity of his perceptions.
Dave Kehr - Citysearch
Superbly acted by everyone involved (Rhames does his best work since Pulp Fiction), the film is really more about character than plot, though frankly, at more than two hours, it could have used a bit more of the latter.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Tyrese may be the marquee name, but Rhames is a man among Baby Boys.
Todd Anthony - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Prairie Miller - WBAI Web Radio
The subject is certainly worthy, but Singleton's script is too repetitive, pedantic, and protracted to do it justice.
Rod Armstrong - Reel.com
'Baby Mama Drama' in da Hood.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Baby Boy is a bold movie, in terms of its ideas and style.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
An intelligent film about love, relationships, family, friendship, maturity and growing up.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
A preachy, monotonous failure.
Kevin Maynard - Mr. Showbiz
If you go into Baby Boy thinking summer relief, and look as much for edgy laughs as thrills, you won't be disappointed.
Nick Carter - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Intermittently strong, often darkly humorous but ultimately uneven.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
While the ensemble from Boyz 'N the Hood felt trapped by their environment, Jody is just lazy and callow.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Singleton's directed one of the year's best ensemble casts.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Showing that maybe baby boy Singleton's done some growing up himself.
Annette Cardwell - Filmcritic.com
When Snoop is the highlight of your film, you've got big problems.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
John Singleton has again succeeded in making a thoughtful and provocative film that long resonates in the mind.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Baby Boy is not a great movie, and lacks the overall realism and intensity of Boyz N the Hood, but it is a good one.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews