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New Jack City

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

New Jack City

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne, Chris Rock, Mario Van Peebles
  • Directors: Mario Van Peebles
  • Writers: Barry Michael Cooper, Thomas Lee Wright
  • Producers: Doug McHenry, Dwight Williams, Fab 5 Freddy, George Jackson, James Bigwood
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 1998
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305047480
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,478 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "New Jack City" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dorrie Wheeler on August 31, 2005
Format: DVD
The two-disc special edition of New Jack City is a great investment for fans of the classic hip-hop drama. Released in 1991, New Jack City was the first feature film Mario Van Peebles released. The film also was a breeding ground for actors who went on to have very successful careers. The music of the "New Jack" movie is almost as memorable as the movie itself. Ice T stars in the film as a "New Jack" cop who goes undercover to break down the "CMB" crime mob. Crack was running rampant. Wesley Snipes starred as Nino Brown and Allen Payne starred as his right hand man "G-Money." It's a great film and Chris Rock appears in the film as a crack head named Pookie. "New Jack City" is the first hip-hop gangsta movie classic. It wasn't just a shoot em' up bang bang movie, it really captures the essence of those mafia/organized crime movies. The DVD's packaging is very nice.

The Road To New Jack City-
This is hands down the best featurette on the special features.
Usually when you see these behind the scenes features, at lease one of the main actors is missing. Not so with New Jack City. Mario Van Peebles (actor/director), Ice-T, Chris Rock, Wesley Snipes, Allen Payne and Judd Nelson speak on the film. It's really interesting to see the actors express their feelings about the film. Nino Brown is such a memorable character and Wesley Snipes seems very upbeat in reminiscing about the film. This featurette is really amazing because they get inside of every major character involved in the film. They even discuss certain scenes. This is great.

NJC-A Hip Hop Classic
Fab Five, Nappy Roots, Truth Hurts, A DJ from Power 106, Ed Lover, Ice T, Warren G, and a few others speak about the film and the films soundtrack.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 15, 2006
Format: DVD
Mario Van Peebles directed and co-stars in this influential and well filmed urban crime saga that surprisingly still holds up today. New Jack City, like King of New York, Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society, has spawned a host of immitators to this day, but it's Peebles heartfelt message that sets New Jack City apart from others. Peebles stars as one of the honest cops (along with pimp turned rapper turned actor Ice-T and Judd Nelson) trying to nail ruthless drug czar Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and bring down his empire of drugs and murder, to little avail. A young Chris Rock stars as a recovering addict who Ice-T and co. look upon to help them nab Nino, but it soon proves to be something that is much easier said than done. Unlike the "gangsta" films that followed, New Jack City offered a glimmer of hope under the violence and pounding hip-hop soundtrack, and it helped launch the career of the charismatic Snipes who would become an action star as the decade progressed. The rest of the cast does great as well, and it's nice to see that the film gets the Special Edition treatment it has deserved. All in all, New Jack City remains a near classic of the genre, and still manages to hold up to this day.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By EJ Macheyo on April 29, 2009
Format: DVD
I grew up on a staple of spaghetti westerns (Terence Hill), kung-fu (Bruce Lee & Jacky Chan) and action (Bruce Willis) flicks but as a young black man growing up in Kambuzuma, Harare, Zimbabwe I did not identify myself with any ONE genre. Kine 1000 was a typical urban cinema goer's paradise.
Enter Wesley Snipes in 1991's New Jack City and my whole world changed. Here was a despicable villain, vicious, arrogant and totally self-serving an individual as you ever will see, yet he was charming ang very likeable at the same time. I identified with him, I hated his politics (so to speak) but in the same breath I knew a 1000 like him who corrupted nations and enriched themselves while so doing. The movie was set in America but it could have been enacted in any urban city in the world.
Happening, relevant and totally and brutally believable! Snipes is excellent, Allen Payne, Ice T, Judd Nelson & Chris Rock not far behind this movie set the the tone for all drug related movies to follow. Brilliant movie, brilliant acting this film turned me off drugs for life!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles J. Rector on December 20, 2005
Format: DVD
This motion picture is about the crack cocaine epidemic and the devastating impact that it had on life in the inner city. This is a tough and uncompromising movie.

The main character in New Jack City is Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes), the leader of the Cash Money Brothers (CMB) gang that is one of the biggest crack cocaine trafficking outfits in New York City (NYC). Together with his partner Gee Money (Allen Payne), Brown lives a glamorous life of luxury, fast cars and hot chicks. To put it mildly, Brown is a poor role model for inner city youth.

As Brown's CMB empire grows, he becomes ever more arrogant. The CMB takes over an apartment building and evicts the inhabitants, including an elderly World War II veteran. The CMB is becoming big, fat and out of control. The CMB is hell bent on contaminating the NYC inner city scene. Brown even dreams of taking down the Mafia so that the CMB can become the dominant organized crime gang in NYC. Brown initiates action against the Mafia and scores some success. The shootouts between the CMB and the Mafia are very well done.

Eventually, the top brass at the New York Police Department (NYPD) wake up to the CMB menace and resolve to do something about it. Two of its best detectives, Scotty Appleton (Ice-T) and Nick Peretti (Judd Nelson) are assigned to the case. The detecting duo get a big break when they come in contact with a druggie named Pookie (Chris Rock). The detectives put Pookie on the road to recovery and Pookie agrees to infiltrate the CMB for the NYPD.

New Jack City is a most interesting movie. On the surface, it is just another cops and drug dealers movie, but it is really more than that. It is a tough, realistic portrayal of the damage wrought to the inner city by the crack cocaine epidemic.
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