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Poetic Justice

4.2 out of 5 stars 205 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

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

Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Torry, Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Billy Zane, Regina King
  • Directors: John Singleton, Peter Levin
  • Producers: John Singleton, Steve Nicolaides, William Shippey
  • 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: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 1999
  • Run Time: 2 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767821955
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Poetic Justice" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The overall pacing and feeling of this film really accurately portrays the process of falling in love. Complete with ups and downs, will they or won't they. Most Hollywood love stories show people either diving in head first or else putting up superficial resistance and eventually succumbing. People are more complicated than that. Love is scary. People often try to protect themselves from the vulnerability of loving someone. This film gets that right.

Definitely in the top 5 "Netflix & chill" films ever made! Both of the leads are incredibly attractive as well ;)
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By me on March 29, 2008
Format: DVD
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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