Set It Off (1996)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  6 November 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 9,408 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 29 critic

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.



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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lida 'Stony' Newsom (as Jada Pinkett)
Vincent Baum ...
Van Baum ...
Stevie Newsom (as Chaz Lamar Shepard)
Luther (as Thom Byrd)
Nate Andrews (as Charlie Robinson)
Detective Waller
Ms. Wells
Samantha MacLachlan ...
Samuel Monroe Jr. ...


Four Black women, all of whom have suffered for lack of money and at the hands of the majority, undertake to rob banks. While initially successful, a policeman who was involved in shooting one of the women's brothers is on their trail. As the women add to the loot, their tastes and interests begin to change and their suspicions of each other increase on the way to a climactic robbery. Written by Robert Drake <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Deal with this. The only breaks you get are the ones you take. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, pervasive language, some sex and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy dobás  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,807,451 (USA) (8 November 1996)


$36,049,108 (USA) (28 February 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Banker Party's Scene Was Film At The Biltmore Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. See more »


When T.T has just died and Stony is kissing her forehead to leave her in the SUV, you can see her still breathing as the door is being closed. See more »


Lida 'Stony' Newsom: [singing on the roof] Frankie wanna blow-up a bank, UH! Frankie wanna rob a bank, UH!
See more »


References Reservoir Dogs (1992) See more »


Days of Our Lives
Performed by Bone Thugs and Harmony
Written by Tim Middleton, Terry Lewis, Bryon Mccane, Jimmy Jam, Steven Howse,
Charles Scruggs, Anthony Henderson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The S.W.A. (Sistaz With Attitude)
18 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Set It Off" is about four African-American women(Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise) who decide to go out and rob a few banks. They don't rob banks for sheer enjoyment or because they have nothing better to do. No, they rob them because they are getting back at "the system" that they feel has screwed them over in their lives. Here are the reasons: in the opening bank robbery sequence, Frankie(Fox), who was at the time a teller, was fired simply because she knew the suspect who robbed it; Stony's(Smith) younger brother, Stevie was killed by police after being mistaken for the robbery suspect; Cleo(Latifah) joins them simply because she is p***ed off at society; Tisean(Elise) is a single mother who is barely able to support her son and when he is accidently poisoned and taken away by child services, decides she has no other choice. I feel I must point out that up until that point, she is reluctant to join the other three women.

This is a really good movie that is definitely Oscar-worthy material. Maybe not for the Best Picture category, but definitely Oscar-worthy. The performances are excellent especially from all four of our young stars. Queen Latifah should definitely should have gotten an Oscar or Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her portrayal of a fiery lesbian is right on key. F. Gary Gray, who also directed Ice Cube and Chris Tucker in "Friday", is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. I don't think you should really call "Set It Off" an action movie since there isn't really action until the ending.

A line from the movie, "if that crackhead Darnell can rob a bank, then so can we." This quote outlines the main message that the movie is trying to tell: the social standing of women in our society, saying that they have rights too. The movie says that women can basically do anything men can do (and probably better) and they must be applauded for their efforts. Now I'm not saying that women should all go out and round up their friends and start robbing banks. Director F. Gary Gray definitely should be praised for his smart casting choices.


P.S.: Now from the sound of this review, I've probably got you thinking I'm a woman. Wrong! I'm just a 16 year-old boy from Virginia.

16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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