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New Jack City (1991)

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

Director:

Mario Van Peebles

Writers:

Thomas Lee Wright (story), Thomas Lee Wright (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wesley Snipes ... Nino Brown
Ice-T ... Scotty Appleton (as Ice T)
Allen Payne ... Gee Money
Chris Rock ... Pookie
Mario Van Peebles ... Stone
Michael Michele ... Selina
Bill Nunn ... Duh Duh Duh Man
Russell Wong ... Park
Bill Cobbs ... Old Man
Christopher Williams Christopher Williams ... Kareem Akbar
Judd Nelson ... Nick Peretti
Vanessa Williams ... Keisha
Tracy Camilla Johns ... Uniqua
Anthony DeSando ... Frankie Needles
Nick Ashford ... Reverend Oates
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cidade do Novo Paraíso See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,039,622, 10 March 1991, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$47,624,253
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leo O'Brien - who played one of the kids, loitering on the stairs, (who recognised that Ice-T, was a cop), actually starred alongside Mario van Peebles as his younger brother, in the movie Rappin' (1985) See more »

Goofs

When Nino stabs Kareem, the dagger is in Kareem's hand in one shot, but next to his hand in another. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Old Man: Idolater! Your soul is required in hell!
[Shoots Nino]
See more »

Alternate Versions

German VHS & first DVD releases were edited for violence in two scenes (Nino kills a cop by cutting his throat/Scotty beats Nino at the end of the film), probably to secure a "Not under 16" rating. On TV the film was broadcast uncut. On the 2006 Special Edition DVD the film was released uncut. See more »


Soundtracks

LIVING FOR THE CITY
Written by Stevie Wonder
Performed by Troop and [lonk=nm8145406]
Rap by Queen Latifah
Troop and Levert appear courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
Queen Latifah appears courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast paced ghetto gangsta fantasy with an important message
31 July 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Van Peebles directs a great cast in this detached-from-reality film about a truly evil drug-lord with a head for business and murder (Snipes), and a tough, street-wise pair of cops (Ice-T and Judd Nelson) hell-bent on bringing him down. The message is an important one - slogans are not going to win the war on drugs, and the way the message is carried in the film is more subtle than you might expect. The end of the film makes the point very clear, and I won't discuss it because I do not write spoilers. Like many of the more intelligent films made in the early 1990s, New Jack City is also an indictment of the euphoria of the Reagan years - telling the true story of what that time was like for those living from paycheck to paycheck, or trying to live without one, and dealing with the invisible "war on drugs" which had little to no effect on anybody in our inner-city neighborhoods.

Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne and Chris Rock give stand-out performances, and the rest of the cast provide excellent support. The film also stars New York City, and definitely has an NYC flavor (seasoned with more than a pinch of Hollywood). The cinematography is a little breathless - not unusual for the genre but in this case a bit extreme. The script is good, but perhaps too dense with rich plot details. And the editing provides a few pacing problems toward the middle of the film which, combined with the over-abundance of subplots, detract from the development of the main themes. The soundtrack is excellent - including a nice mix of hip-hop, rap, contemporary soul, and dance music - all blended nicely with the imagery of the film. Van Peebles style is well developed in this film, but I felt that some aspects of the plot were a little too outrageous for the seriousness of the film's message, and I fear that the message may have been lost on many of the film's viewers.

Overall, this is a good film. Entertaining and thoughtful, but definitely not for everybody.


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