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Poetic Justice (1993)

R | | Drama, Romance | 23 July 1993 (USA)
Trailer
3:00 | Trailer
In this film, we see the world through the eyes of main character Justice, a young African-American poet. A mail carrier invites a few friends along for a long overnight delivery run.

Director:

John Singleton

Writer:

John Singleton
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Khandi Alexander ... Simone
Maya Angelou ... Aunt June
Ché J. Avery Ché J. Avery ... Thug #2
Lloyd Avery II ... Thug #1
Kimberly Brooks ... Kim
Rico Bueno ... Ticket Taker
Maia Campbell Maia Campbell ... Shante
Jeff Cantrel Jeff Cantrel ... Policeman #4
Michael Colyar ... Panhandler
Kina Cosper Kina Cosper ... Female Cousin (as Kina V. Cosper)
John Cothran ... Uncle Earl (as John Cothran Jr.)
Dina D. Dina D. ... Dina
Joe Dalu Joe Dalu ... Policeman #7
James Deeth James Deeth ... Helicopter Pilot
Norma Donaldson Norma Donaldson ... Aunt May
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Storyline

After witnessing the murder of her first and only boyfriend, young Justice decides to forget about college and become a South Central Los Angeles hairdresser. Avoiding friends, the only way for her to cope with her depression is by composing beautiful poetry. On her way to a convention in Oakland, she is forced to ride with an independent-minded postal worker whom she has not gotten along with in the past. After various arguments between them and their friends, they start to discover that their thoughts on violence, socially and domestically, are the same. Justice may finally feel that she is not as alone as before. Written by <poetic_robert@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Street Romance. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language, and for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 July 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fugir do Bairro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,728,455, 25 July 1993

Gross USA:

$27,515,786

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,515,786
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Regina King, Lloyd Avery II,Tyra Ferrell, Dedrick Gobert and John Cothran all appeared in John Singleton's other film Boyz n the Hood (1991). See more »

Quotes

Justice: Love is a juice with many tastes Some bitter, others sweet A wine which has few vineyards
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Australian Free-to-Air vision. The Film had about 20mins cut out of it. Even though it was show at 11:50pm Jan 2001. Just about all swearing and fight sceens were taken out. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maya Angelou and Still I Rise (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Smoking Sticks
Written by Coolio (as Artis Ivey, Jr.) and Wino (as Bryan Dobbs)
Produced by Wino (as Bryan Dobbs "The Wino") & Andre "Priest" Jackson
Performed by Coolio
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Justice for all
27 September 2011 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

After making the effective tear-jerker Boyz N The Hood, John Singleton returns to the field of film with Poetic Justice. While this one is significantly different from that masterpiece, it still has its perks and a solid message to add to its formula of an urban-drama. It is the second film in what Singleton has branded his "Hood trilogy," but yet, it is definitely the weakest of them all.

The plot: Justice (Jackson) is a young woman who lives in South Central, Los Angeles, and is still grieving over the loss of her boyfriend who was murdered during a silly confrontation. Justice writes numerous poems, and narrates them throughout the film. The actual poem were written by writer Maya Angelou, but the authenticity of the writing is the least of our concerns.

Justice works as a hairstylist, and one day, a mailman named Lucky (Shakur) waltzes in one day trying to flirt with several women, when Justice and her friend play a mean joke on him. Karma has its way of reuniting the mailman and the stylist when Justice's friend Iesha (King) forces her to come along on a trip to Oakland with her boyfriend Chicago (Torry) and his coworker Lucky. Justice needs to go for a hair show, so reluctantly agrees to hitch a ride in Lucky's mail-truck.

From then on, the film plays like a buddy road-trip film lacking the buddies. These characters must tolerate each other to survive the trip, but social and emotional conflicts continue to get in their way. Some of these situations feel genuine, but others feel contrived and meant to happen only so the film can advance.

Poetic Justice is very distant from its predecessor, with the only similarities being the setting and the fact that Lucky's uncle, seen in the end of the film, looks a lot like Laurence Fishburne's character in Boyz N The Hood. I can't quite figure out why this one is inferior to them. Maybe it's because the characters aren't as well developed and dripping with charisma, maybe because each one of the characters can be bitter and selfish at points in the film struggling socially, or maybe it's just because.

In Boyz N The Hood, Cuba Gooding Jr. was extremely developed to the point of almost going overboard. In Baby Boy, Omar Gooding was extremely developed. But in Poetic Justice, about a chunk of Janet Jackson's personality is almost snatched away. Same with the ending being a little perplexing and open for explanation.

But this can all be overlooked by two things; the writing and the acting. John Singleton manages to squeeze the premise dry in terms of character dialog. It feels like real discussions being had by real human beings. And Tupac Shakur's acting talents are definitely the strongest point in the film.

Poetic Justice has three meanings when I look at it. It describes redemption for one's previous actions, the character herself in the film, and what the slick writing achieves in this picture.

Starring: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Joe Torry, Tyra Ferrell. Directed by: John Singleton.


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