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Set It Off [VHS] (1996)

Jada Pinkett Smith , Queen Latifah , F. Gary Gray  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Deal of the Day: West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition Box Set
While supplies last, save up to 79% Experience every sensational song, dazzling dance number and magical movie moment of West Side Story in sparkling high definition with pure 7.1 digital sound. Offer ends October 20, 2014 at 11:59pm PST as part of Amazon's Deal of the Day. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise, John C. McGinley
  • Directors: F. Gary Gray
  • Writers: Kate Lanier, Takashi Bufford
  • Producers: F. Gary Gray, Allen Alsobrook, Bob Degus, Dale Pollock, Mary Parent
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: October 21, 1997
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780613880
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,938 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

4 young ladies with a plan.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jada,Vivica,Kimberly and Queen set this thing off!! September 20, 2001
Four Black women struggling with trying to keep afloat and fighting off the biting sharks of poverty: One a single mother, another a single woman raising her only sibling: a brother, another who was wrongfully terminated from her position as a bank teller after a robbery-gone-bad, and another just fed up with her position working for Luther, the foul-mouthed owner of his own janitorial company. For each of their own individual reason, they all band together and decide to pull their own bank heist. Disguised in wigs and clear masks, they coolly and calmly walk into banks and demand money. To make matters more complicated, Stoney {Pinkett} meets and begins to fall for a branch manager played by Blair Underwood. While working for Luther, the discover he runs out with their money, and now they have to "hit" the bank one more time. With the police hot on their trail, the ill-conceived robberies fly out of control. This movie is filled with emotion, honesty, and a tragic ending. Guest appearances by Dr Dre as Black Sam and Dub-C as one of the bank robbers. This movie is a real crowd pleaser!!!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DISTURBING BUT POWERFUL October 19, 2000
F. Gary Gray is one of the most talented directors today (not black directors, but director, period!) A film major, I look forward to the day I meet him.
I can't watch this movie when I am down, because it will make me think life just ain't worth living. It has a very very depressing ending. But overall, the narrative was excellent. Each one of the girls had a motive, whether it was directly indicated or not. Black intellects trash this movie because they see it as trapping African Americans in the Boyz N the Hood genre (which was also an excellent film). But they fail to see there are so many stories within the inner cities of African Americans. It is not just about robbing banks, gangs, or drugs, it is out survival, loyalty and frienship. Which I think mainstream America really does not understand and why I think so many black women go to jail for protecting their men involved in illegal activities.
Not to veer off the subject, but set it off is about loyalty and true friendship, (just like waiting to exhale, just a different neighborhood) with a fresh twist. Hats off to F. Gary Gray!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is positivly THE movie of the '90s! July 7, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I thought that the movie would be another 'Waiting to Exhale' and a friend of mine said to me "This movie is great, you have to watch it!" I thought that I would give it a try. Watching it one night the movie made such an impact on me that I was crying from almost the begining credits. I think that the charactors are ones that people can identify with and feel sorry for... I especially thought that Jada Pinkett Smith played her role with brillience and Queen LaTefa played her role stunningly. I was quite moved by Cleo, she had real class. All in all a great movie... a must for all people with hearts!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie I've ever seen October 22, 2007
A great movie with a great cast, this movie shows what can happen when you push a black woman to her last straw. From the beginning to the end this movie shows how easily one can be profiled as a criminal just by the company she keeps. Like how one of the characters were surrounded and killed by the SWAT team just because he had the same hair cut as one of the bank robbers. And he was a soon-to-be college student. There is a lot of emotions shown in this movie when the it takes you into each characters personal life and thier reasons for robbing the bank. Don't get me wrong there are no reasons for committing a crime like a bank robbery but their stories are compelling. The ending is sad, even though there was a bright side to the ending. It kind've teaches you a lesson about friendship and material things.

The acting was fantastic, you almost felt like the characters were real individuals(of course that is the point of acting). Queen, Jada, Kimberly, and Vivic really make this movie come to life. I would watch this movie all day everyday, just because it's so great.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THEY WERE FED UP & SNAPPED April 16, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the best movies. I could understand what everyone of the characters were enduring. I have to give much props to Queen La b/c she has endured much controversy & gossip b/c of her character Cleo. Each women were involved in the life of crime because of different reasons. When you are constantly seen in negative light, never seeming to amount to anything, and always told of what you won't be able to accomplish you think, so what, who cares what I do. That's how Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) and Stony (Jada Pinkett-Smith) both felt. Frankie got involved in robbing banks after she was accused of helping the man that pointed a gun to her head and robbed the bank she worked in just because they were from the same sides of the track. Stony saw her brother gunned down because he was the victim of police violence. It didn't matter that her brother was going to college and that he happen to be friends with the wrong people, all they seen was another black boy that needed to be taken down. All they wanted was a life better than what they had, which wasn't much. You see the life on television that others seem to have, but for you, it's always out of reaching distance. This is a great movie with a really sad ending. I cried out for Stony because she really got the bad end of the deal, even though she's the only one that made it out.
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