Shaft (2000)



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

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

Rating: R (for strong violence and language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: John Singleton, Richard Price, Shane Salerno
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 12, 2000
Box Office: $70.3M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


as Carmen Vasquez

as Peoples Hernandez

as Walter Wade Jr.

as Diane Palmieri

as Det. Jack Roselli

as Uncle John Shaft

as Carla Howard

as Walter Wade Sr.

as Judge Dennis Bradfor...

as Curt Fleming

as Lt. Kearney

as Lenox Lounge Patron

as Mr. H

as Bored Cop with Coffe...

as Alice

as Lt. Cromartie

as Harrison Loeb

as Mike Palmieri

as Big Raymond

as Bonehead

as Tattoo

as Dominican

as Trey Howard

as Cornbread

as Uniform Sergeant

as Mrs. Ann Palmieri

as Assistant D.A. Hecto...

as D.A. Andrew Nicoli

as Malik

as Member of Malik's Cr...

as Member of Malik's Cr...

as Member of Malik's Cr...

as Member of Malik's Cr...

as Aunt Toni DeCarlo

as News Anchor

as Trey's Friend

as Trey's Friend

as Walter's Friend

as Walter's Friend

as Walter's Friend

as Walter's Friend

as Desk Sergeant

as Uniform Cop In Metro...

as Abused Woman

as Pistolero

as Pistolero

as Pistolero

as Young Blood

as Young Blood

as Fighting Boy

as Fat Man

as Construction Worker

as Bystander at Metrono...

as Bystander at Metrono...

as Bystander at Metrono...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Shaft

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (31)

[Covers] too many bases.

January 1, 2000
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

Its sheer balls-out bravado is often brutally funny.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

The potency of [Jackson's] performance is almost enough to save this Y2K update of the black private dick from erectile dysfunction, but not quite.

January 1, 2000
Mr. Showbiz
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

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 Quotes

– Submitted by Jakoporeeno J (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Zbigniew Z (3 years ago)

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