Shaft

1971

Shaft

Critics Consensus

This is the man that would risk his neck for his brother, man. Can you dig it?

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 40

68%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,068
User image

Shaft Photos

Movie Info

Shaft, a highly successful film, spawned an industry of sequels and imitations. The daughter (Sherri Brewer) of Bumpy Jones (Moses Gunn), a (white) gangster, has been kidnapped by a rival (black) gang. Bumpy hires private detective Shaft (Richard Roundtree) to find her. Shaft gets some assistance from Lt. Androzzy (Charles Cioffi) of the NYPD, who hopes to avoid a gang war, especially one which could lead to open racial warfare. The other person who helps him is Ben Buford (Christopher St. John), a black militant who also wants to avoid race war. Shaft is tough. Shaft is smart. Shaft succeeds. Isaac Hayes won an Academy Award for the title song.

Watch it now

Cast

News & Interviews for Shaft

Critic Reviews for Shaft

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (6)

  • If Shaft were indeed a hard-hitting, fast-paced, action-packed detective thriller, as it was meant to be, then it would be an acceptable entertainment. But it isn't.

    Jun 25, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Excellent cast, headed by newcomer Richard Roundtree, may shock some audiences with heavy dose of candid dialog and situation.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    A.D. Murphy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Forty years of gumshoe noir collided with black power in this 1971 action classic, the most popular of the blaxploitation pictures.

    Mar 1, 2007 | Full Review…
  • A hip, cool, entertaining thriller.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Parks isn't especially good at action direction, but the heart of a private-eye movie is in the mood scenes, anyway, and he supplies a scene in a bar and another one with the Harlem rackets boss that are very nice.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The attraction to them will be the stylish conversation and attitudes, as well as Richard Roundtree, who lends Shaft the right amount of charisma, swagger and untouchability.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shaft

  • Feb 22, 2012
    This was my first foray into the world of blaxploitation and boy was it an interesting experience. I can see why it was well received in it's day by both black and white viewers. Not only does it fulfill every preconceived notion that potential white viewers may have had about African-Americans, but it also is a movie very focused on blackness. Hell, in one scene Shaft's coffee isn't even black enough for him. It is infuriatingly stereotypical and empowering all at the same time. While this film does feature some rather interesting direction and a fairly engaging story, you cannot help but be mostly entertained by it's charming anachronisms. I mean where else are you going to find classic lines such as: "You got problems, baby?" "Hehe. Yeah, I got a couple of 'em. I was born black... and I was born poor."
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    I understand that this is regarded as a classic blaxploitation, and I respect it for that, but I felt that it was all over the place, switching between plots every ten minutes. By the end, I wasn't really sure what to make of it. One thing about it that was great, and I'm sure everyone else will agree, was the score set by Issac Hayes. Now, that's a classic soundtrack.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2011
    I understand that this is regarded as a classic blaxploitation, and I respect it for that, but I felt that it was all over the place, switching between plots every ten minutes. By the end, I wasn't really sure what to make of it. One thing about it that was great, and I'm sure everyone else will agree, was the score set by Issac Hayes. Now, that's a classic soundtrack.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 11, 2010
    "They say this cat Shaft is a baaaad muther..." "SHUT YER MOUTH!"
    Doctor S Super Reviewer

Shaft Quotes

News & Features