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Shaft (2000)

tomatometer

68

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

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

69

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

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

audience

41

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 64,043

My Rating

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

Dec 12, 2000

$70.3M

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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 IconTop 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.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What really clicks are some of the stars.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

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

June 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A guilty pleasure for adults and older teens.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

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

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
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.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
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.

June 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

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.

November 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Pitch.com
Pitch.com

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.

August 16, 2002 Full Review
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"...

June 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

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

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
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.

October 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Flipside Movie Emporium
Flipside Movie Emporium

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

March 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

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

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

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 ...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's Giuliani time.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

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

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

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

January 1, 2000
Ottawa Citizen

Audience Reviews for Shaft

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.
July 10, 2013
cosmo313
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.
April 10, 2013
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

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.
November 4, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Renegade tough guy cop John Shaft sets his sights on an over-privileged racist who murdered an innocent man and skipped bail using his father's influence. The hardest thing to swallow about this film is a bald Shaft, and to be honest it seems like a bit of a cheek to use the name and Isaac Hayes' classic theme tune for what is essentially just another generic cop thriller. However, because of a nice homage to classic Blaxploitation soundtracks and a charismatic performance by SLJ who gamely kicks the ass of racist assholes and smart mouthed gangstas alike, Singleton manages to emulate the flavour of a 70s cop show just enough to make the first half of the film fairly enjoyable. Unfortunately by the end Busta Rhymes and Jeffrey Wright, who are both awful, are afforded far too much screen time and the plot reveals itself to be total garbage. It has enough in the way of decent moments to make it worth watching once, but I certainly wouldn't bother sitting through it a second time.
March 23, 2011
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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

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Foreign Titles

  • Shaft (2000) (UK)
  • Shaft (2000) (CA)
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