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Set It Off Reviews

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FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

December 24, 2007
Pretty decent heist movie.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2007
chicks rob banks and then they die
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2006
Good movie. I love Queen Latifah.
Ina S

Super Reviewer

August 30, 2009
Surprisingly good film - fast-paced, emotional and with highly likeable female characters and cast.
iLeo
iLeo

Super Reviewer

December 12, 2007
A great film!
JennabGreat
May 24, 2011
I was bored as hell & I saw this on tv, & I decided to watch it. Wow. Definitely wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. The four actresses were pretty great & overall, it was a sweet heist movie.
brandankurtis
September 20, 2010
My first impression was "Gangsta flick with chicks." And, to some extent, that's what I got. But there was a lot more, and I was deeply impressed with the realism, with one exception. The exception comes near the end and I won't give it away, but it involves police officers taking shots at a suspect with a bus full of people in the background.

One of the recurring themes of this film is how innocence and good intentions can turn into a nightmarish reality.

A bank teller is confronted by a robber that she knows from childhood. She can hardly believe what is happening, and she doesn't react in the manner in which all bank tellers are trained. A hostage dies, and she loses her job. A slow reaction leads to a death, accusations, and the loss employment.

A bright young man gets a haircut that is identical to a robbery suspect's. The police surround him. He has a champagne bottle in his coat that he doesn't want to break and tries to pull it out. They think it is a gun. An innocent mistake leads to a death.

A loving mother can no longer afford a babysitter. She has to bring her child to work, and he gets into some cleaning supplies. A mother's good intention turns into a hospital trip and a custody battle.

There were other instances where one mistake led to dire consequences, but I found them all believable, and none of them gave me the impression of being mere vehicles to advance the plot.

I enjoyed some of the other representations of Life as it is. One being the inclusion of a lesbian (Latifa) in the cast without making a big deal out of it. Although exhibiting some stereotypical lesbian traits (denim overalls for example,) she wasn't overly "butch." And homosexuality wasn't used as a plot device to include nudity either. Speaking of which, the sex in the movie was pretty well done. When there was love, the sex was passionate. When Stony was doing it for money, she looked ready to burst into tears. For the most part, the sex came without nudity: disappointing in some ways, but adding credibility to the movie in others.

I did have a few problems with this movie. One is a failing that I see in many movies. When a character's friend or family member is killed, he or she expresses initial shock and pain, but later on exhibits no outward mental stress. There is also the "I would have done it differently" factor. I felt this a few times, the first being the opening scene where Frankie (Fox) is being held up. Or when Cleo (Latifa) is stealing get away cars and tossing the previous owner's CDs out the window. Both of these are cases in which one needs to move fast and do what is needed to move on. You don't have time to stare blankly at your old friend. You don't have time to select the proper driving ambience. But these flaws didn't take too much from the general feeling.
jam233
April 23, 2010
Good cast, Queen Latifah is particularly good. It also has a fine score. The plot has some holes in it, but overall it does what it intended, it entertains. There are some very exciting action scenes in it and the characters are well developed. Good movie.
jjkljlk
November 1, 2009
Great Movie. Gripping tale of 4 women who turn to robbing banks to make it out of ghetto life. The 4, played by Jada Pinkett, (Not married to Will Smith at time of filming) Vivica A. Fox, Dana Owens (Better know as Queen Latifa) and newcomer at the time, Kimberly Elise all work legally until they figure that crime will pay them more than honest work. Blair Underwood is excellent as the love interest for Stoney (Pinkett) with his Harvard education mixed with a street knowledge. Pace of the movie is good, and it all flows very well. Excellent movie.
RachelJezel
October 20, 2009
Good film, just barely staying plausible. The build-up is sow, but the final few minutes are worth everything.
June 4, 2009
angry tate donovan was better at the bank robber catching game here than he was back in his fbi surf bandit days.
Dimples876
May 27, 2009
I saw this movie when I was younger and I still watch it from time to time today and I have it on DVD.
mrstjaye
March 18, 2009
They are some baaad girls. I dont condone stealing but this movie was the bomb. The soundtrack was great also.
adoreac
May 15, 2007
This movie showed the emotional range of Jada Pinkett. Queen Latifah was a little too believable in her role. Kimberly Elise and Vivicia Fox gave stellar performances as well.
November 16, 2008
I watched Set it Off for a class, a class about the ways in which sexuality, gender, and race intersect within our society. The film was screened, papers were written, and the roles of characters were discussed at length in class, based on how they were portrayed in the film and how it reflects on society. At one point, while the teacher was trying to analyze why the director chose to pan from one end of a tunnel to the other, in the climax of the film when the ladies are trapped by two police helicopters, a student raised her hand and explained that it was most likely just an easy way to show that they were trapped from both sides, and didn't mean anything. Later, this same student said to me the extremely profound words, "It's hard to analyze a movie for hidden meanings when the movie fucking sucks." So true. No matter how in depth you want to get into Set it Off, no matter how important it is that yes, there is a masculine lesbian character, and yes, it does portray and tackle various gender and race stereotypes in society, none of these facts give the movie a free pass out of sucksville. The problem is that no matter how pure the message is, the delivery is rotten. The movie is overridden with melodramatic slow motion (like Stony's brother's epic "WAIITTTTT" as he hits the pavement in the parking lot), by the books acting (especially from John C. McGinley), stupid dialogue (whatever the fuck it is that Stony spouts out in the dinner reception with her new boyfriend), and just all around laughability at every turn. When Doctor Dre's cameo is the legitimate best part of your movie, granted it's a blessing for the audience, but it definately speaks something to the quality of the film you're engaged in making. Set it Off deserves a little bit of credit for attempting to portray a race and gender struggle in modern day L.A., but it does it by villainizing EVERYONE, and in the end, there's no clear message, even a lack of message, portrayed about anything; just a complete void of emotional involvement and an hallelujah that the film has ended.
jeannetteg
September 16, 2008
This movie is about 4 women who are tired of thier lives and decided to rob a bank. It's pretty good, but sad.
teddycat649
September 6, 2008
this moive was so good. i was on the verge of crying so hart felt. what the banks had to go through. the most saddest part was when three of em died. and the brother. but at the end, the ending was kinda weird was she on her way back to america or was she goin sumwhere else; that didnt sit well wit me.
September 5, 2007
great movie ...Queen Latifah turned this mutha out....so very sad throughout the movie....but it was worth watching.....
mist3rdavid
May 26, 2008
Another one of my all-time favorites. I definitely give this 5 stars. When I first saw this movie I was sooooo surprised at how things ended. There were no boring scenes. Excellent from start to finish. To me this is one of the best movies made in the 90's.
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