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Shaft (2000)


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 112
Fresh: 76
Rotten: 36

Critics Consensus: With a charismatic lead, this new Shaft knows how to push the right buttons.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: With a charismatic lead, this new Shaft knows how to push the right buttons.


Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 64,229



Movie Info

This action drama puts a new spin on Shaft, one of the key "blaxploitation" films of the 1970s. John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), the namesake nephew of the legendary private eye (Richard Roundtree), is a street-smart police detective who with his partner Carmen Velez (Vanessa L. Williams) has been assigned to a racially motivated murder case, in which a black college student was killed in front of a restaurant by Walter Williams Jr. (Christian Bale), the sociopathic son of a New York construction … More

R (for strong violence and language)
Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
John Singleton , Richard Price , Shane Salerno
In Theaters:
Dec 12, 2000
Box Office:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Shaft

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (36) | DVD (18)

Finally, someone has remembered how to remake a slick, bang-bang action movie.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Is this a good movie? Not exactly; too much of it is on automatic pilot, as it must be, to satisfy the fans of the original Shaft.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

What really clicks are some of the stars.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

doesn't have the same historical impact as the original .... but entertaining

Full Review… | June 3, 2013
Old School Reviews

Packs a ton of style and solid laughs, but in the end, it's mostly a hollow experience...

Full Review… | June 1, 2013
Cinema Crazed

A guilty pleasure for adults and older teens.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Shaft quickly splits into two different movies, and only one of them fully succeeds.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

The primary focus of the film, and the real reason we're here, is to watch Samuel Jackson sink his teeth into the Shaft's trash-talking dialogue.

Full Review… | December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

Samuel L. Jackson, who broke out of the pack in Pulp Fiction, fits the role and his leather Armani coat as though it's tailor-made. He's the man, and we can dig it.

Full Review… | June 28, 2004

Despite a fairly intriguing first hour that captures the original film's leisurely pace and street-smart mood, what finally conks Shaft's afro is a third act that lacks a compelling, forward-moving plot.

Full Review… | November 12, 2002

Jackson strives mightily to unify the story, but the job is too much for him. Once again a studio action movie went before the camera before the script was ready.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

a surprisingly successful update of what many regard as the best of the "blaxploitation" films of the early 1970s. It owes most of its success to Jackson, who hasn't had such a meaty role since "Pulp Fiction"...

Full Review… | June 15, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Se não revoluciona o gênero com suas batidas cenas de ação, Shaft consegue, ao menos, resgatar um personagem interessante.

Full Review… | May 31, 2002
Cinema em Cena

Even with a pro like Samuel L. Jackson in the title role, it has a hard time keeping the balls in the air.

Full Review… | October 24, 2001
Flipside Movie Emporium

A messy, slapdash remake of Gordon Parks' overheated and overrated 1971 blaxploitation cash-in.

Full Review… | March 19, 2001
Matinee Magazine

As an 'in-the-moment' popcorn entertainment, it works wonders.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

We know we are watching a Shaft movie without even looking up at the screen, as we tune into the wah-wah funk sound of Isaac Hayes' exponential title theme ...

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's Giuliani time.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

To paraphrase the title song, that Shaft is one bad ... movie.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Jackson has just shown, black men can also be superheroes.

January 1, 2000
Ottawa Citizen

Audience Reviews for Shaft

Still the man, any questions?

Good Movie! This version is a lot more violent than the original, it didn't seem to be in Shaft's style. The pacing and editing in the first half of the movie were fast and smooth. John Singleton did a great job in establishing Shaft's character and the plot. During the second half of the movie, however, the movie starts to lose it's original slickness. Samuel L. Jackson is truly a great Shaft, he's probably the only actor out there who could pull this off, and he does an excellent job. Don't expect deathless art here but do expect to be entertained. It's one of those movies that is so politically incorrect it makes you gasp while you are laughing. There are lots of explosions, gore, and chases, both afoot and in cars, and it all happens in little more than 90 minutes. It's a lot of fun, highly recommended.

Cool and deadly NYPD detective John Shaft arrests Walter Wade, Jr. in a racially-motivated slaying. The eye witness disappears, Wade jumps bail for Switzerland, and Shaft is livid. Two years later, Wade returns to face trial, confident his father's money and influence (and racial politics) guarantee an innocent verdict. Shaft looks hard for the witness, so Wade wants someone to kill her. He turns to a ghetto drug king, Peoples Hernandez, who's willing to kill for money, use Wade as a route to rich drug customers, and shaft Shaft. Can Shaft find the witness, convince her to testify, and shepherd her through the hail of bullets that Peoples is sure to let fly?

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


This spin off of the classic 70s blaxploitation series is an unfortunately maligned and under appreciated gem.

Samuel L. Jackson is perfectly cast a John Shaft- a tough NYC homicide detective who is the nephew of the John Shaft from the original series. The plot (and there's a lot of it, surprisingly), follows Shaft as he investigates a racially motivated murder at the hands of Walter Wade, Jr.- a racist, sociopath son of a construction tycoon. Wade flees the country after making bail, but return two years later to find and kill the only witness to the crime. Shaft makes it his personal mission to bring Wade down, using whatever means necessary. It sounds simple, but I'm excluding some of the details which involve corruption, a Dominican drug lord, and that sort of thing.

For what should be a relatively simple and straightforward exploitation film, this one has a lot, perhaps too much going on. I liked that they tried to be ambitious, but it wasn't really necessary. And counter to the films it is an homage to, there's little in the way of meaningful subtext and depth, though it does touch upon some stuff a bit.

The film has some decent action, doesn't tarnish the legacy its tapping into, and has some solid performances as well. I don't really get the hate, but I guess it would have to do with being rather unoriginal and having some big shoes to fill.

For what it is, the film is fine. Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's entertaining enough. Jackson is perfectly cast, even if he arguably gives a performance that isn't all that different from many of his other roles, Bale gives a passable, though shallow performance as Wade, Jr., and there's lots of notable people thrown in the mix as well, including cameos from Richard Roundtree and Gordon Parks, Sr. It is odd that Jeffrey Wright is cast as the Dominican, and his performance is odd, but that may be the only thing about this that really actually bothers me.

Give this one a chance. It's really not a bad film at all. Plus, the music is just a nice little topping to this cinematic dessert.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Shaft is who SLJ plays in every movie. He is a constant badass in most of his films. I won't say it's a problem. I mean why fix what isn't broken right? He's good at playing these characters. They suit him well. I didn't love the movie. I thought it was kind of cheesy at times. But the action was OK and the acting wasn't too bad. It reminded me of a movie that would have went straight to DVD. I just wasn't impressed and it's not something I would see again.


Super Reviewer

Shaft is an unimpressive action film that is loosely based on the classic of the same name. I found it quite bad. Shaft didn't thrill me, and frankly, I was disappointed. I felt that the film could have been much better, and that it didn't anything to really entertain you. The thing is, Shaft has a poorly constructed script that is overly vulgar, and relies on that to try and entertain the viewer. Shaft is a pretty bland film and uses cliché upon cliché to create its story. Shaft doesn't differ from other cop films, and offers nothing new to the genre. The film is mediocre that really isn't entertaining. The cast is awful, and they don't do anything that elevates this film into being something really entertaining. The film is dull, boring and unimpressive. Shaft relies on its profanity to be "entertaining", unfortunately, it isn't entertaining. Shaft is a boring action film that is unimpressive to watch and frankly is a waste of time. I did not enjoy this film, and I thought that it was a missed opportunity to do something interesting. This is yet another remake that fails to capture the thrills of the original. The films flaws lies within a poorly written script, a bad cast and overall poor directing. Shaft is a mediocre film that misses the mark, and is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. The film is poorly conceived, and doesn't capture the elements which the original film a good, entertaining viewing experience. This remake fails to entertain and is marred with a bad script that is the film fatal flaw.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Shaft Quotes

John Shaft:
It's my duty to please dat booty.
– Submitted by Jakoporeeno J (2 years ago)
John Shaft:
What's my name?
lounge customer:
I don't know.
John Shaft:
John Shaft!
lounge customer:
John Shaft:
John Shaft! Say it!
lounge customer:
John Shaft!
– Submitted by Zbigniew Z (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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