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Poetic Justice (1993)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  23 July 1993 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 7,715 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 30 user | 12 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Poetic Justice (1993)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Simone
Ché J. Avery ...
Thug #2
...
Aunt June
Lloyd Avery II ...
Thug #1
...
Kim
...
Ticket Taker
Maia Campbell ...
Shante
Jeff Cantrel ...
Policeman #4
Michael Colyar ...
Panhandler
Kina Cosper ...
Female Cousin (as Kina V. Cosper)
...
Uncle Earl (as John Cothran Jr.)
Dina D. ...
Dina
Joe Dalu ...
Policeman #7
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Storyline

After witnessing the murder of her first and only boyfriend, young Justice decides to forget about college and become a South Central Los Angeles hairdresser. Avoiding friends, the only way for her to cope with her depression is by composing beautiful poetry. On her way to a convention in Oakland, she is forced to ride with an independent-minded postal worker whom she has not gotten along with in the past. After various arguments between them and their friends, they start to discover that their thoughts on violence, socially and domestically, are the same. Justice may finally feel that she is not as alone as before. Written by <poetic_robert@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of losing your fear and finding your way. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language, and for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 July 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fugir do Bairro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$27,515,786 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, Justice, played by Janet Jackson, is listening to the Stevie Wonder song "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer". Sixteen years later, Wonder would perform that song at the memorial for Janet's brother, Michael Jackson. See more »

Quotes

Justice: [as Iesha vomits on the side on the road after having drunk too much alcohol] Look at you.
Iesha: [dazed] What's up, J? What's the problem, girl?
Justice: [grabbing wine bottle out of Iesha's hand] *This* is the fucking *problem!*
[smashes bottle on the ground]
Justice: I'm *sick* of this shit! That's all you do. You act like some alcoholic bitch!
Iesha: Why are you calling me a bitch?
Justice: [grabbing Iesha tightly by the neck of her shirt] All you do is get drunk all the time. That's why I never go any place with you, because you're ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in South Park: #HappyHolograms (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Can a Corn
Written by Coolio (as Artis Ivey, Jr.) and Wino (as Bryan Dobbs)
Produced by Wino (as Bryan Dobbs "The Wino") & Andre "Priest" Jackson
Performed by Coolio
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Justice for all
27 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After making the effective tear-jerker Boyz N The Hood, John Singleton returns to the field of film with Poetic Justice. While this one is significantly different from that masterpiece, it still has its perks and a solid message to add to its formula of an urban-drama. It is the second film in what Singleton has branded his "Hood trilogy," but yet, it is definitely the weakest of them all.

The plot: Justice (Jackson) is a young woman who lives in South Central, Los Angeles, and is still grieving over the loss of her boyfriend who was murdered during a silly confrontation. Justice writes numerous poems, and narrates them throughout the film. The actual poem were written by writer Maya Angelou, but the authenticity of the writing is the least of our concerns.

Justice works as a hairstylist, and one day, a mailman named Lucky (Shakur) waltzes in one day trying to flirt with several women, when Justice and her friend play a mean joke on him. Karma has its way of reuniting the mailman and the stylist when Justice's friend Iesha (King) forces her to come along on a trip to Oakland with her boyfriend Chicago (Torry) and his coworker Lucky. Justice needs to go for a hair show, so reluctantly agrees to hitch a ride in Lucky's mail-truck.

From then on, the film plays like a buddy road-trip film lacking the buddies. These characters must tolerate each other to survive the trip, but social and emotional conflicts continue to get in their way. Some of these situations feel genuine, but others feel contrived and meant to happen only so the film can advance.

Poetic Justice is very distant from its predecessor, with the only similarities being the setting and the fact that Lucky's uncle, seen in the end of the film, looks a lot like Laurence Fishburne's character in Boyz N The Hood. I can't quite figure out why this one is inferior to them. Maybe it's because the characters aren't as well developed and dripping with charisma, maybe because each one of the characters can be bitter and selfish at points in the film struggling socially, or maybe it's just because.

In Boyz N The Hood, Cuba Gooding Jr. was extremely developed to the point of almost going overboard. In Baby Boy, Omar Gooding was extremely developed. But in Poetic Justice, about a chunk of Janet Jackson's personality is almost snatched away. Same with the ending being a little perplexing and open for explanation.

But this can all be overlooked by two things; the writing and the acting. John Singleton manages to squeeze the premise dry in terms of character dialog. It feels like real discussions being had by real human beings. And Tupac Shakur's acting talents are definitely the strongest point in the film.

Poetic Justice has three meanings when I look at it. It describes redemption for one's previous actions, the character herself in the film, and what the slick writing achieves in this picture.

Starring: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Joe Torry, Tyra Ferrell. Directed by: John Singleton.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Favorite Scene or Line sweetz4u663
Janet didn't earn enough praise for her role James702283
Chicagos Girlfriend pretty shallow rogerc210
Best film ever? rudytootie2
Janet and Michael. MJJrux
why did singleton make this movie? nikofast
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