IMDb > Poetic Justice (1993) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Poetic Justice
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Poetic Justice More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 4:[1] [2] [3] [4] [Next]
Index 32 reviews in total 

28 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

An overlooked, intelligently produced and directed film.

Author: frank56 (frankimages@hotmail.com) from Los Angeles, California
31 December 1999

I applaud John Singleton for being brave enough to film "Poetic Justice" -- it's a real triumph in presenting a story that looks beyond Hollywood's usual stereotypes of urban youth. If you are looking for a typical gang-bangin' shoot em up angry urban film...look elsewhere, because that genre is miles away from Singleton's storytelling. This film has precisely what black audiences say they are looking for - depth, real characters with a number of real layers....and yet people say they cannot get into this film. I say watch it and simply feel the messages being conveyed through the hearts of the characters. Tupac Shakur's performance saddens my heart....because he had so much potential as an actor as proven with his performance here. I was fortunate enough to actually meet and compliment him on this performance, which is at turns skillful and all his own. He had that quality that film actors envy in that the camera loved him. Janet Jackson gives a skilled performance as well, and the two have a natural chemistry that works here. This film is worth watching...it's one of my favorites.

Was the above review useful to you?

18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A John Singleton movie that's a lot better than reviews would suggest.

Author: macnjnc from Cincinnati, Ohio
21 May 1999

Poetic Justice is the type of film that will sneak up on you. Some parts of the movie are a little slow, but as a whole the movie is very good. Director Singleton is able to bring a certain mood to this film; wavering between dark, funny and compassionate. Justice (Janet Jackson) is a directionless and lost female who expresses her wants and sorrows through poetry. Because of deaths in her family she is alone.

She reluctantly agrees to go on a mail trip with a friend (Regina King) and her male comrads. Little does she know that she would find her diamond in the rough in Lucky (Shakur). Although Lucky has a very hard exterior, Justice; through many trails and tribulations locates the good in him. It turns out that they (Justice and Lucky) are just what each other needs. Some may not be able to relate to this film, but if you can chances are you will really like the movie. This movie was not really made for mainstream audiences, just for certain people. I am one who was taken in by it, and it is one of my favorites. Great movie which probably appeals more to demographically urban viewers. Regina King and Joe Torry do a good job of providing support to the lead actors throughout.

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

not bad at all...

Author: whoTheFuqRyou from NYC
28 June 2004

Poetic Justice is an urban film but within this catgory it stands out from alot of them in its own way. The movie uses some very interesting elements that I was familiar with and like most urban films they use realistic characters. The camerawork is nothing new but some of it is really good to look at. Janet Jackson is good as the somewhat uptight poet/hairdresser who is mourning the loss of her lover while on a night out with him as is Tupac in a rather different role from the ones he has in Juice, Bullet and Above The Rim. Not only is the role different but as a man it's impossible to not relate to him as you see his struggles in his life including one powerful scene in which he catches his baby's mother smokin' crack and having other men in his daughter's presence - I thought this worked great because I know how I'd feel if I had a kid and my baby's mother is bringing other men around my kid: I wouldn't be too happy. The road trip is where you begin to see all the characters(Pac Shakur, Janet Jackson, Regina King and Joe Torry) develop and John Singleton wastes little time doing that during that time...

Poetic Justice is a movie deserving alot more credit than it's getting but too bad there are people out there with stupid stereotypical assumptions so idiotic it can get someone angry

8/10

Was the above review useful to you?

13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the truly excellent films of the 1990's!

Author: josh-hall from United Kingdom
12 May 2005

I saw this film after becoming addicted to 'Boyz n the hood'and 'Higher learning', I think John Singleton is one of the greatest filmmakers working today and Poetic Justice is a great example of a truly dedicated and talented filmmaker. The story starts off with Justice (played brilliantly by Janet Jackson, what a surprise)who witnesses the slaying of her boyfriend at a movie, justice becomes very depressed with life and feels nothing but loneliness. She expresses this by writing poems in a notebook to reveal her pain for her lost love and for the pain of living in America's South central l.a district. Lucky (again played greatly by Tupac Shakur in i feel his most personal and greatest role from 'Juice' right up to 'Gang Related')is a postman with nothing to look forward for in his life except to look after his daughter and a dream of rapping his pain for the hood. Together they go on a road trip with two other friends and learn on how to live again and to find their way in life. The performances are great, Singletons direction is wonderful. If your a fan of other 'hood' movies than this you might find a little different from the others. But nonetheless a deep hearted gem. 9/10

Was the above review useful to you?

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Worth a look!

Author: nadia-31 from Denmark
11 November 2004

I read the other review and simply had to comment on it. This was a great movie. Perhaps not filled with action. But it takes the poetic point of view and happily surprises you. It's in my DVD - shelf at home. Janet is showing a great acting and so is Tupac. My boyfriend weren't that crazy about it, so I've come to realize that it take a special kind of person to want to see and understand the movie at it's fullest. Since i write poetry in my spare time maybe that explains my passion about this movie. In all, I think you should rent it if the review at the back cover tempt you, it's pretty much what you get.

Was the above review useful to you?

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A good street romance

Author: DunnDeeDaGreat from Woodbridge, VA
4 November 2001

Poetic Justice is a great movie. It's not the follow up that wasn't as strong as it should have been for someone of Singelton calibar but it's still a good movie. Jackson and Shakur made their mark in this movie and keeps your attention. Check this out with Sineglton's other films in the ghetto trilogy, Boyz N The Hood &Baby Boy.

Was the above review useful to you?

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Justice for all

8/10
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
27 September 2011

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.

Was the above review useful to you?

9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as some think

Author: cupcake-6
20 April 1999

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that this is nowhere near as good as Boyz in the Hood, however, it's not as bad as some make it out to be. The acting is somewhat lacking, but the story as a whole is moving. If you're a diehard Singleton fan, or are just in the mood for a pretty decent movie, go for it, you've got nothing to lose.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

good flick!

8/10
Author: tmanbball from United States
29 January 2011

the only reason i don't rate this film higher is because i always thought it was a tad long. john singleton, i love your work! like spike lee ( with a lot of his films) and ice cube (with 'friday' and 'barbershop') you've caught a time and place that's only clear to those that have lived it, or at least have knowledge of its existence. all of you capture black young'uns (east and west coasts) as they were lived during the times depicted in the films. wonderful stuff! great acting, solid story, everything is more heartfelt than not, it's why i go to the movies! i hope u and spike and ice cube and tyler perry (silly as he can b!) and the whole slew of other black filmmakers continue for many years to come. i love your work, your honesty and your sincerity. this is good movie-making, maya angelou's poetry is a plus and a bonus!!!

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not my taste but worth seeing

Author: vchimpanzee
11 February 2014

I am a white man over the age of 50, so this film wasn't really made for me. That doesn't mean there wasn't anything here, and I could see that this was a quality production.

This film had occasional laughs, which was good because it could get very depressing at times.

I really liked the family reunion, where the movie's main characters pretended to be part of the family just to get some free food and found themselves being accepted rather than questioned. I got the impression they might come back someday just because they liked being with these people. This is also where Maya Angelou delivered an elegant performance. Yes, this film was worthy of her, and she added something to it.

As for her poetry, not my style. Janet Jackson did a great job reading it offscreen, but again, not by sort of thing. For many people, this will be a wonderful part of the movie.

One of my favorite parts of the film was the scene at the gas station/convenience store, one of the few places I heard recorded music that appealed to me (Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man").

Actually, a lot of the background music was smooth jazz with violins or synthesizers that pass for violins. It was actually kind of pleasant compared to the rap and other styles the main characters liked.

Family was important here. Although Jackson's character didn't seem to have anyone except her cat, at least she had friends and a job. I did like the cat and its friends, in the one scene.

Chicago was probably my favorite character. He was funny and likable, most of the time.

Janet Jackson has a nice smile and she can have a nice personality when it is called for. Sometimes here, she had to be depressed or angry. That's fine. She did it well.

And this is my third or fourth time seeing the talents of 2Pac, who was taken away too soon. Although it was not necessarily his finest work, he did a good job here.

I mostly know Regina King from "227". Has it really been that long? She was so much older even here, but she did a good job.

Beautiful mountains and magnificent bridges added to the scenery. Some scenes, and not necessarily pleasant ones, let us enjoy these longer.

These people live hard lives and have tragedy all around them. That's why this is not an easy movie to watch. But having family around means a lot.

It may not be for you, but if you need to get outside your comfort zone, this will be a worthwhile experience.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 4:[1] [2] [3] [4] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards External reviews Parents Guide
Plot keywords Main details Your user reviews
Your vote history