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Poetic Justice (1993)

Khandi Alexander , Maya Angelou , John Singleton  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Khandi Alexander, Maya Angelou, Ché J. Avery, Lloyd Avery II, Kimberly Brooks
  • Directors: John Singleton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • 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: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 1999
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767821955
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,342 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Poetic Justice" on IMDb

Special Features

Interactive Menus
Scene Selections
Theatrical Trailers
Director John Singleton's Commentary
Bios & Filmographies

Editorial Reviews

Director John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood, Rosewood) made an earnest effort in this, his second, film to say a great deal that is true and relevant about living and loving in a violent, difficult time in American history. Janet Jackson plays a beautician and poet who withdraws into herself after her boyfriend is murdered by gangsters. The late Tupac Shakur plays a postman who tries to get through to her, and the two travel on a course through urban America, connecting with family and community. Singleton has so much on his mind that the film comes out a terrible muddle, but there is a certain integrity peeking through the fog. Shakur makes a startlingly good impression in his film debut, and Jackson strips away her star veneer to play something like a real person--and entirely succeeds. Maya Angelou wrote the poems that pass as those penned by Jackson's character, and she also appears in the film. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Superstar Janet Jackson makes her stunning film debut in director John Singleton's (Boyz N the Hood) street-smart love story, Poetic Justice. A mismatched pair pushed together on a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland, Justice (Jackson) and Lucky (Tupac Shakur) have only one thing in common: they can't stand each other. But as their friends Lesha and Chicago (Regina King and Joe Torry) fight and make up in the back of the van, Justice and Lucky find themselves reluctantly drawn together. After a surprising detour toward romance, the two travelers are confronted once again by the shocking violence they thought they'd left behind. Featuring the music of Naughty by Nature and Tony! Toni! Tone! and the poetry of Maya Angelou, Poetic Justice is every bit as intense, original and unforgettable as Boyz N the Hood.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Un-Poetic misinterpretations !! April 4, 2005
Originally , I wasn't going to write an online review about this film. Mainly because it came out , over a decade ago. However , I feel the need to defend it , from most of these other reviews.Therefore , I will explain two important points. 1) Alot of people dislike this film for the dialog. The film is based on people who are frustrated with the directions of their lives and the deterioration of their envioronment ( aka:hood ). The profanity might be abundant in the script , but it was coming from characters who vented their frustrations, that way.Not everyone in the hood cusses. But John Singleton's characters, do. Nobody protested Martin Scorcese's Goodfellas. I'm sure not every Italian cusses. 2) Alot of people say that there's too many things going on , in the movie. John Singleton said , in the commentary , that he deliberately , filmed that way. He was trying to cappture the realism of everyday life and exemplify the fact that things are still happening , irregardless of the problems of our central characters. Personally , I think John Singleton, did a phenominal job of juggling other delimas, from the side characters, without sacrificing the importance, of the dynamics between Justice and Lucky. Another director would've totally blown the task , altogether. As for the dvd , it offers a director's commentary ( which some reviewers , obviously didn't watch ) and previews of other Singleton, films. The film's theme is simple : Love can conquer all. All acting performances are excellent and the soundtrack is good ( old and new school , atleast in '93 ). * The featured cameo appearances, of Mayu Angelo, The Last Poets,and the dedicated acting from Tupac Shakur and Regina King, cement "Poetic Justice",into a significant and unforgettable film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic Justice: A Street Romance May 27, 2011
By rmcrae
Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

- Maya Angelou

Life's been anything but easy for Justice (Janet Jackson), a 20 something hairdresser living in South Central. She lost her alcoholic mother to suicide at the age of 12 and the recent gang-related murder of her boyfriend has spiraled the young woman into a deep depression. She only wears black, is in a constant state of morose with a touch of sarcasm, and expresses herself through her poetry (written by Maya Angelou who appears as a critical, gossipy aunt in a brief scene). However, a road trip to a hair show in Oakland with a postal worker named Lucky (Tupac Shakur) forces Justice out of her loneliness and despair.

It makes me laugh when people get all new about Janet's acting career. She was an actress before she was a singer. Hello, lil' Penny from Good Times? Charlene on Diff'rent Strokes? Her performance in Poetic Justice is convincing and moving and I'm not just saying that because she's my girl. There were many moments where I forgot that she was Janet Jackson the superstar and instead saw Justice, the wistful, angry woman covering her pain with a gum smacking tough exterior. One scene in particular always gets me of her sitting in front of a mirror making different facial expressions before breaking down into tears while Stevie Wonder's I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer plays in the background. How eerie is it that Stevie himself would sing that very song at Michael's memorial service 16 years later?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie. Period. April 15, 2003
This money is great. It shows a woman healing from the pains of her boyfriend being killed my gangsters. Also Tupac Shakur plays in this movie and does a great job. You see a side of him that you wouldn't see anywhere else. Instead of the gangster routine, Tupac plays a postman that meets Justice one day and the story unfolds from there. Great movie :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful March 29, 2008
By me
This movie is highly under-rated. It is a "love conquers all" story that is beautifully written. The film is a surprise which covers the break-up of a seemingly cute-and-cuddly couple Iesha and Chicago and the coming together of the mis-matched Lucky (2pac) and Justice (Janet Jackson). While many love stories are unrealistic, this story speaks the truth and includes many heart-breaks,deaths, arguments, and hurdles along the path to happiness. Additionally, this film speaks to the true talent of the late Tupac Shakur. Some of the background story lines (such as the focus on the salon owner, Jesse) are a bit lame, distracting, and a waste of time, but if you forget them and focus just on the 4 main characters you'll see how powerful this movie is.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good March 16, 2002
All I ever remember hearing about this movie when it came out is how bad it was overall, or how Janet and Tupac didn't act very well. Come to find out, they were wrong. This movie is very well made, and Janet and Tupac work wonderfully together. The film is very sad at parts, then can turn around and be "abrasive" because of the language and subject material -- but don't be mistaken, the movie more accurately depicts the people and places where the movie occurs because of this "abrasiveness."
The poems that Justice (Janet) reads/writes throughout the film were all done by Maya Angelou, who makes a cameo in the movie too (I was sort of shocked to see her in it). Poetic Justice is a very good film, but be warned there is language, "sexual situations" (pretty mild though), and violence. If you like Jan. or Tupac, then you'll most likely really enjoy the film, and even if you don't have a thing for either, you will still be thoroughly entertained. It's a wonderful movie if you can handle the subjects involved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I saw this movie years ago, and did not know anything about it. But it came on T.V a few weeks ago in I watched the whole movie. I loved it. It was really funny. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Patrise
5.0 out of 5 stars Always loved it
I loved this movies since I watched it years ago I have been searching until now I found it in amazon . Read more
Published 6 months ago by adriana
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an all-time favorite movie.
This is an all-time favorite movie. I had to purchase this movie. This movie is a must see for everyone.
Published 7 months ago by Dyan L.
5.0 out of 5 stars just poetic
Tupac and Janet Now that's movie can not get enough of this got it on VHS only, now DVD hey Blu ray is next ... LOL
Published 7 months ago by ignacio a. llanos jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Such great quality. I watched it immediately after I got it and plan to watch it even more times again
Published 8 months ago by Jesus Angel Lugo
4.0 out of 5 stars classic
Old school movie classic with PAC and Janet takes me back of my days in Detroit finding a way in those streets
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Hustle
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD MOVIE
Published 9 months ago by Orlando Brian Anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
We both did enjoy this movie and its theme. The Casting was well done and sone incisesive ideas were
Published 10 months ago by Lauren Brightwell
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Loved the product, accurately described, great to add to any collection and would buy again if for some reason I lost it!
Published 10 months ago by B. Frans
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I definitely enjoyed this movie! It speaks to you! Life isn't over when one door closes. Sometimes you lose a spouse or a mate but life goes on. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Samantha
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