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New Jack City

Laser Disc
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Some pundits called it a flawed, exploitative action film that glamorized drug dealing and the luxury of a lucrative criminal lifestyle, spawning a trend of films that attracted youth gangs and provoked violence in theaters. Others hailed it as a breakthrough movie that depicted drug dealers as ruthless, corrupt, and evil, leading dead-end lives that no rational youth would want to emulate. However you interpret it, New Jack City is still one of the first and best films of the 1990s to crack open the underworld of cocaine and peer inside with its eyes wide open. It's also the film that established Wesley Snipes as an actor to watch, with enough charisma to bring an insidious quality of seduction to his role as coke-lord Nino Brown, and enough intelligence to portray a character deluded by his own sense of indestructible power. Director Mario Van Peebles stretched his otherwise-limited talent to bring vivid authenticity and urgency to this crime story, and subplots involving a pair of tenacious cops (Ice-T, Judd Nelson) and a recovering coke addict (Chris Rock) provide additional dramatic tension. Although some critics may hesitate to admit it, New Jack City deserves mention in any serious discussion about African American filmmakers and influential films. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Drugs ain't a black thing, or a white thing. It's a death thing. Death don't give a s*** about color."-Nick Perrti

I first saw this in 1993 and was totally blown away by the directing, cinematography, script and acting and so I was really looking forward to seeing it again after an absence of almost thirteen years. But after seeing this a second time, I could scarcely believe I was watching a film I had remembered very well. In 1994 I would have given this film 5 out of 5 but instead I've given it a 4 due to its frail ending.

New Jack City (1991) is an interesting movie that aims to please. This film marks the first time Mario Van Peebles directed a theatrical released film (that his father helped co-write) and he co-stars in the film as well. The movie follows a small time hood Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) who builds up a vast criminal empire by flooding the streets with crack cocaine. Ice-T and Judd Nelson co-stars as well as two unorthodox cops who want to lock up Nino Brown. Allen Payne (Gee Money) and Mario van Peebles himself (Stone) has also giving some approved performances in here.

The acting is not the strongest part of this film but to me, three men made this film worthy of attention which is Wesley, Ice-T, and Rock. Chris Rock is unforgettable in this movie and he shines in his role as the "crack-head" Pookie. He has so many one-liners that are hysterical funny. The real winner is truly Wesley Snipes, who plays a role we don't usually identify with him, and does so with considerable spirit. He is utterly believable; the scene where he describes first killing someone while high on drugs scared the crap out of me - this is not someone I want as a friend! - Which happens to be a central theme of this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Are you your brutha's keepa?? March 1 2004
Fool, this film be the bomb, and I don't mean it bombed. Few movies touch me, but in New Jack City, the message was loud and clear, 'Keep it real and don't get caught'. Nino Brown had it all, and I mean he ruled the school. The problem was he got greedy. He makes deals with undercover cops, he wants to take down the mob, and his gang is falling apart. Plus he drops a decent looking ho for a real skanky looking ho.
It funny to see the size of cell phones back then, but the hair styles were pretty ridiculous too. Ice T is no Slash, but he can wear a top hat in the rain just as easily. Judd Nelson has a race problem in this movie, He can't tell the difference between himself, a white cop, and Pookie, a black crackhead. He finally settle the matter buy proclaiming he is 'Poor White Trash Pookie'.
In the end though, the message is clear. "If you've lost everything, you might as well cut loose and run. You never know, the libraian you shot may have a son coming to take you down." Or another moral of the story is "Avoid crazy old men on the stairs when you leave the courtroom."
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I love hood movies and as far as acting, writing, characters and sheer believeability go, this movie ranks way below films such as Boyz n the Hood, Juice, Clockers, ect.
Besides Ice T's (Scotty) and Snipes (Nino), all the other characters seemed so false. Even though those are the two main characters, if all your other characters arent believeable, the whole movie falls apart. The chief of police is like someone out of a cartoon. Chris Rock (Pookie) isnt funny and does his part no justice. Mario Van Peebles is a joke
Apparently a drug syndicate is able to take over and entire apartment building in NYC...for years!! Its amazing isnt it. They can ride up in a drop top jeep and shoot people point blank in the head in broad daylight and not get caught. The story is just so hard to swallow.
Also the cinematography is really sub par. There is no artistry in any of the shots even in the dialogue. It also seems like the entire movie moves too fast for the events that are supposedly taking place. There are no subtle nuances at all in this film. I would say dont waste your time, the movie isnt really exciting at all, the performances are boring as is the plot. Go watch Juice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars After all these years... Aug. 23 2003
of being angry at weak gang movies, like Belly, and state property, I realy didn't know what to expect when I saw this last year, when my brother brought it over. I was hoping it didn't turn out to be a horrible black crime movie, and tank God it wasn't. Wesley Snipes plays Neno Borwn, who's just Undeniebly one of the evilest characters in movie history. This guy doesnt' care who he sells dope to, kids, wemon, his boys, as long as he's sitting on a pile of money, and having the world in his hands. It also has Ice-T, who does real good in this this movie, so far his best performance, you got Allen Payne, playing Neno browns brother G-Money, and Chris Rock, in one of his early, less comidec films, as pookie, a crackhead. Well this movie does deliver some messages, and some good ol' shootouts. This and King of New York are my favorite black crime movies. They may not be another Scarface, but there the only black movies that can come close to it. So if you like Scarface, go check this out, and if you love Movies like Belly or State Property, this will make you forget about them, and throw em' in the garbage.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie!!!
New Jack City is a classic gangster movie and is based on a true story. I highly recommend it for anyone's collection, or just for anyone who likes 90's ganster movies. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2011 by sha
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
I know some people did not like this movie, but I loved it. The film had me hating some characters and loving others. Ice-T played his role well in this film. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by S. M. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a good movie.
I like the pace at which the story in this movie was told. It's not blazing fast so you pick up on all the little things. The acting from all is done very well. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2004 by J. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars ALOTTA FUN
Now I don't ignore the fact that at times this a serious and dark
movie with the junkie played by Chris Rock(believable and scary)
and other mentions of crack babys. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003 by kyle sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie
If you liked Scarface, you'll probably like this movie too. It gives u a first person perspective of how the crack game works and the consequences of getting involved. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2003 by "sir_tokes_a_lot_420"
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This film is one of the best "Scarface remakes" I have seen. the action and the drama kept you on the edge of your seat. It sends out a powerful message at the end. Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2003 by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars After all these years...
of being angry at weak gang movies, like Belly, and state property, I realy didn't know what to expect when I saw this last year, when my brother brought it over. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2003 by Samario C. Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars ''ALWAYS BUSINESS, NEVER PERSONAL''
Published on July 17 2003 by MICHAEL TAYLOR
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Wesley Snipes performance.
The story is not very unique - you have seen it before in "scar face" and you can clearly anticipate what's going to happen next. Read more
Published on June 9 2003 by Tsila Sofer Elguez
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