Biggie and Tupac (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Biggie and Tupac (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: This is a compelling documentary, even for those who aren't fans of rap.

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Movie Info

When rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) died in a hail of bullets outside the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles in March of 1997, it appeared to be the latest salvo in the East Coast/West Coast rap/gang rivalry that had claimed the life of Tupac Shakur six months earlier in Las Vegas. Three years later, however, Los Angeles police Detective Russell Poole, who had been assigned to the Smalls case, went public with a startling accusation: the LAPD's top brass derailed the investigation when Poole began uncovering evidence that tied fellow LAPD officer David Mack to the rap star's murder. What if one of L.A.'s most infamous unsolved homicides involved a cop? Might it furthermore be connected to the city's unfolding Rampart scandal -the worst in LAPD history? Through a series of interviews as well as newly unveiled evidence, the film reveals some shocking details about the still unsolved murder of two of the biggest stars in rap.

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Critic Reviews for Biggie and Tupac

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (16)

Compulsively watchable and endlessly inventive as it transforms Broomfield's limited materials into a compelling argument.

Full Review… | January 10, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

You don't need to know your Ice-T's from your Cool-J's to realize that as far as these shootings are concerned, something is rotten in the state of California.

January 9, 2003
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Broomfield's style of journalism is hardly journalism at all, and even those with an avid interest in the subject will grow impatient.

October 25, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Most of the information has already appeared in one forum or another and, no matter how Broomfield dresses it up, it tends to speculation, conspiracy theories or, at best, circumstantial evidence.

October 24, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Bristles with the sort of passion and bold purpose so often lacking in contemporary nonfiction filmmaking.

Full Review… | October 3, 2002
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Broomfield is energized by Volletta Wallace's maternal fury, her fearlessness, and because of that, his film crackles.

Full Review… | October 2, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Biggie and Tupac

A great discussion brought forward by the film makers from those who knew the rappers well on the potential conspiracy behind their deaths.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Investigative documentary maker Nick Broomfield looks into the murders of the gangster rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. What would look like a retaliation killing, seemingly appears to be much more. Broomfield interviews various people involved in the investigation that never really happened and tries to draw his own conclusion. Similar to the Kurt & Courtney documentary, what he delivers is mostly interesting speculation and the story remains very inconclusive. Also he doesn't actually uncover anything that hasn't been stated already. It feels like a topic he just lost interest in due to not coming up with anything new.

Graham Beilby
Graham Beilby

From the same documentarian that brought you Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam and Kurt & Courtney, comes our favorite conspiracy theorist with some interesting theories and oft-repeated questions about the murders of famous rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Though Broomfield's films definitely have a low quality feel to them, the man also presses issues and asks the uncomfortable questions most people would be afraid to ask if they actually got to face the people who could give them those answers. This man travels into Biggie's and Tupac's childhood neighborhoods with no protection to ask their friends what they were like, what their opinions of the murders were, and even goes to prison to visit Suge Knight himself. Knight even references the Heidi Fleiss documentary, demanding that he not be made a fool like she was. Broomfield brings up an interesting theory: was Tupac murdered by his father figure Suge Knight because he wanted to leave Death Row Records? And did Knight have Biggie murdered to make their deaths look connected? Though only a handful of people agree with/confirm his theory, Broomfield makes a VERY convincing argument that keeps you hooked and helps you overlook the grainy look of his film.

Remi Logan
Remi Logan

Super Reviewer

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