This movie scared the [stuffing] out of me! This true-to-life depiction of boys who become men, through gang/street life and subsequent prison life, is horrific. For anyone who wants to try to understand the sociologic horrors of a lifestyle, in which few people survive intact, watch this movie. Then you might be able to begin to understand how once in the life, it is virtually impossible to break out, physically and emotionally. I haven't seen the movie in years but can still vividly remember the scenes and the messages. It's scary to see and learn what some of our youth, even in our own neighborhoods, are dealing with and are exposed to, in their every day lives. And scarier still, to see why most of them, once they get into it, if they are lucky enough to survive, will never be able to lead a "normal" life again. "American Me" is a frightening reminder that we need to catch these kids before they are damaged, because rehabilitation will be too late. Spend the money and the time now, not on prisons but on PREVENTION, before it is too late!