Down 1,464 this week

New Jack City (1991)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  8 March 1991 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 22,256 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 26 critic

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Juice (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

"Juice" is about 4 inner-city teens who get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as 'the juice'.

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Stars: Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker
Above the Rim (1994)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.

Director: Jeff Pollack
Stars: Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, Leon
South Central (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man is sent to prison for 10 years. Coming out of prison he wants to live a normal life and stop crime but his son has now followed the criminal path of his father.

Director: Stephen Milburn Anderson
Stars: Byron Minns, Glenn Plummer, Lexie Bigham
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In this film, we see the world through the eyes of main character Justice, a young African-American poet. A mail carrier invites a few friends along for a long overnight delivery run.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King
Set It Off (1996)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Desperation drives four inner-city women (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise) to bank robbery in Los Angeles, then they start mistrusting one another.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox
Friday (1995)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two homies, Smokey &Craig, smoke up a dope dealer's weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe the dope dealer by 10:00pm that night. In that time they smoke weed, get jacked, and they get shot at in a drive-by.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long
Sugar Hill (1993)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Hardened, uncomprimising drug dealer Roemello Skuggs decides to quit his scumbag profession so he may start a new life with his girlfriend. However, he soon learns getting out is nowhere ... See full summary »

Director: Leon Ichaso
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Michael Wright, Khandi Alexander
Paid in Full (2002)
Drama | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man from Harlem, forced to cope with the 1980s drug scene, builds an illegal empire, only to have a crisis of conscience.

Director: Charles Stone III
Stars: Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, Chi McBride
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez


Cast overview, first billed only:
Scotty Appleton (as Ice T)
Old Man
Christopher Williams ...
Tracy Camilla Johns ...
Frankie Needles
Reverend Oates


The gangster Nino has a gang who call themselves Cash Money Brothers. They get into the crack business and not before long they make a million dollars every week. A cop, Scotty, is after them. He tries to get into the gang by letting an ex-drug addict infiltrate the gang, but the attempt fails miserably. The only thing that remains is that Scotty himself becomes a drug pusher. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They're a new breed of gangster. The new public enemy. The new family of crime. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug content, sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cidade do Novo Paraíso  »

Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)


$47,624,253 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On Inside the Actors Studio (1994), Chris Rock claimed that for several years following his acclaimed performance as a crack addict, drug dealers would approach him and put crack and cocaine in his pocket; joking that "they thought it was a documentary." He stated that, although he knew people who used crack at the time, he never did and, in his 1997 memoir "Rock This" had only smoked marijuana twice. See more »


At the beginning of the movie, while coming up to the bridge you can hear the news report that Don Armeteo has been gunned down along with other members of his crew. That does not happen until much later in the movie. See more »


G-Money: I had my jimmy waxed every day last week!
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of David Spade (2005) See more »


Written by T. Marie, T. Armstrong, R. Smith, T. Hutchinson & Grandmaster Flash (as J. Saddler)
Produced by Grandmaster Flash
Performed by Essence
Courtesy of Giant Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Idolator! Your soul is required in hell!
13 March 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

New Jack City is directed by Mario Van Peebles (who also co-stars) and written by Thomas Lee Wright and Barry Michael Cooper. It stars Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Judd Nelson, Allen Payne, Chris Rock, Bill Nunn, Bill Cobbs and Michael Michele. Music is by Vassal Benford and Michael Colombier and cinematography by Francis Kenny.

New York City, 1986 and crack cocaine is the drug of choice and Nino Brown (Snipes) and his gang, the Cash Money Brothers, are building a violent empire and cornering the market. Enter streetwise cop Scotty Appleton (Ice-T) and loose cannon Nick Peretti (Nelson), who form an uneasy partnership willing to push the law's boundaries to bring Nino down…

The Black Scarface!

On narrative terms it's basically an urban modernisation of the Scarface story, the themes at work were nothing new back then, never mind in cinema post 1991. That it is predominantly an African American film caused many at the time to call it a Blaxploitation picture for the 90s set, which is unfair, because it has more on offer than that and doesn't shy away from the dramatics available with such a story. True, it isn't pulling up any trees or breaking new ground in the drug/crime order of cinema, but it's incendiary enough to be thrilling whilst never romanticising the lifestyle of the drug gang. It paints a stark world of a drug infested city populated by colourful gang members, hapless addicts and edgy coppers, all sound tracked by pulse pounding hip-hop beats.

This was Van Peebles' first big screen directing outing and it's a hugely impressive debut. So much so it begs the question on why his subsequent directing career has been something of a none event? Here he delves deep into the realm of neo-noir to provide the picture with many visual smarts and techniques. Backgrounds are often showing oblique angles, colour schemes such as garish greens feature in striking compositions, a flashing red light is used adroitly on a character's face as he struggles to hold his rage, a POV shot of a basketball and the opening of the film with a slow zoom in on a crime about to be committed on a bridge, these are just some of the flair tricks showcased by Peebles.

While some of the key characters that form Nino's gang are under developed, Peebles does garner a great performance out of Snipes and very good turns from Ice-T and Nelson. Snipes provides Brown with a sinister swagger, yet a charm exudes from him that makes it believable that people would be willing to be led by him. Ice and Nelson are a cool double act, both Scotty and Nick pulse with machismo but are equally flawed as characters. The other important character and performance is Pookie played by Rock, a reformed crack addict now helping the police. Peebles is unsubtle in his handling of the Pookie situation, but it strikes the requisite emotional chord and puts further dramatic worth into an already tense filled thriller.

It's not as revolutionary as was once heralded, there is some formula familiarity and the finale is telegraphed too easily, but this has energy and style to burn. Making it one of the leading lights of the drug crime sub-genre of neo-noir. It's a damn shame Peebles was never this good again. 8/10

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
don't care much for Wesley but.... ginlover92545
G-Money...crackhead? woodssd9
New Jack City or Scarface exzentriu_18
Chris Rock ElZekito
Nino didn't put up any offense with his fight against Scotty AlphaMale87
'My brother... it's always business. Never Personal' isolated_ions
Discuss New Jack City (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: