Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 115


Audience Score

User Ratings: 64,711
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Shaft Photos

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 tycoon, who then fled the country rather than face prosecution. Diane Palmieri (Toni Collette), a waitress on a smoke break, saw the murder, but she doesn't want to talk to the police. Two years later, Walter is forced to return to New York, but without Diane's testimony, the city doesn't have much of a case. Soon, Shaft, Walter Junior, and Walter Senior's goons are all looking for Diane, with Junior enlisting the help of Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright), a small-time drug dealer who will do anything to move into the big leagues. Shaft and Carmen find Diane, but discover that she had a good reason for being on the lam for the past two years. Amidst all this activity, John gets frequent advice from his uncle, with whom he ponders the idea of quitting the force and opening a detective agency. Shaft was directed by John Singleton, from a screenplay by Singleton, Richard Price, and Shane Salerno. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Vanessa L. Williams
as Carmen Vasquez
Jeffrey Wright
as Peoples Hernandez
Christian Bale
as Walter Wade Jr.
Toni Collette
as Diane Palmieri
Dan Hedaya
as Det. Jack Roselli
Richard Roundtree
as Uncle John Shaft
Lynne Thigpen
as Carla Howard
Philip Bosco
as Walter Wade Sr.
Pat Hingle
as Judge Dennis Bradford
Josef Sommer
as Curt Fleming
Daniel von Bargen
as Lt. Kearney
Gordon Parks
as Lenox Lounge Patron
John Singleton
as Bored Cop with Coffee
Peter McRobbie
as Lt. Cromartie
Zach Grenier
as Harrison Loeb
Ron Castellano
as Mike Palmieri
Freddie Ricks
as Big Raymond
Sixto Ramos
as Bonehead
Andre Royo
as Tattoo
Richard Barboza
as Dominican
Mekhi Phifer
as Trey Howard
Gano Grills
as Cornbread
Philip Rudolph
as Uniform Sergeant
Angela Pietropinto
as Mrs. Ann Palmieri
Joe Quintero
as Assistant D.A. Hector Torres
Mark Zeisler
as D.A. Andrew Nicoli
Henry G. Thomas
as Member of Malik's Crew
Brian Oswald Talbot
as Member of Malik's Crew
Preston Thomas
as Member of Malik's Crew
Marshall T. Broughton
as Member of Malik's Crew
Ann Ducati
as Aunt Toni DeCarlo
Lisa Cooley
as News Anchor
Elizabeth Banks
as Trey's Friend
Scott Lucy
as Trey's Friend
Chris Orr
as Walter's Friend
Evan Farmer
as Walter's Friend
Will Chase
as Walter's Friend
Jeff Branson
as Walter's Friend
Jerome Preston Bates
as Desk Sergeant
John Elsen
as Uniform Cop In Metronome
Nadine Mozon
as Abused Woman
Louie Leonardo
as Pistolero
Tony Rhune
as Pistolero
Fidel Vicioso
as Pistolero
Myron Primes
as Young Blood
as Young Blood
Travis Brandon Rosa
as Fighting Boy
Luis Torres
as Fat Man
John Wojda
as Construction Worker
Ahmed Al-Khan
as Bystander at Metronome
Amer Al-Khan
as Bystander at Metronome
Rashid Feleyfel
as Bystander at Metronome
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Critic Reviews for Shaft

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (26)

Audience Reviews for Shaft

  • Nov 29, 2011
    Certainly not a great movie, for it as its flaws, but as far as remakes go -- and this technically is a remake -- it's pretty good.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2011
    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.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2011
    Certainly not a great movie, for it as its flaws, but as far as remakes go -- and this technically is a remake -- it's pretty good.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2011
    WIll update this with a proper review...for now how about "Nostalgic charm," "Retro look at Prejudice,"...
    Teresa S Super Reviewer

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