New Jack City 1991

New Jack City

Critics Consensus

Stylishly directed by Mario Van Peebles, New Jack City offsets its melodramatic streak with electrifying action and a cavalcade of effective performances.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 30

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 45,334

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Movie Info

Drug tycoon Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and his minions, known collectively as the Cash Money Brothers, have rapidly risen to the top of the New York City narcotics trade. Under Nino's heartless leadership, the drug operation has grown into a multimillion-dollar empire. Scotty (Ice-T) and Nick (Judd Nelson), two police officers who know their way around the streets of Harlem, aim to bring Nino and his cohorts down. To do so, though, they'll have to play by Nino's rules and go undercover.

Cast & Crew

Ice-T
Scotty Appleton
Judd Nelson
Nick Peretti
Christopher Williams
Kareem Akbar
Thomas Lee Wright
Writer (Story and Screenplay)
James Bigwood
Associate Producer
Suzanne Broderick
Associate Producer
Fab 5 Freddy
Associate Producer
David McHenry
Producer
Dwight Williams
Associate Producer
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News & Interviews for New Jack City

Critic Reviews for New Jack City

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (7)

  • Quote not available.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • Though this often plays like a 70s cop show, it became a prototype for the bling-heavy gangsta melodramas of the 90s.

    October 30, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Filmmakers pull off a provocative, pulsating update on gangster pics with this action-laden epic about the rise and fall of an inner city crack dealer.

    October 30, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It's a superior example of what used to be called blaxploitation, with Van Peebles piling on corruption and carnage for all he's worth.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The movie was advertised (no doubt wisely) as a slam-bang action adventure, but in fact it's a serious, smart film with an impact that lingers after the lights go up.

    August 5, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The film's use of once-imposing, now-crumbling New York architecture is particularly effective in underscoring the story with an air of widespread urban decay.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for New Jack City

  • Jul 15, 2012
    Given the drug-based cop drama/urban crime plot, the interracial partnership of the main cops, and the soundtrack being made up of contemporary urban (black) music, you could be forgiven for confusing this film with being a blaxploitation film. I mean, it IS directed by Mario Van Peebles, and there are some references to films from that genre, but surprisingly, it is not. Mostly because it's played straight, with only some humor, and no camp factor. It is definitely a b-movie, but a competently made high end one. Okay, so the main plot is pretty standard, with two mismatched cops having to team up to take down a powerful drug lord who has taken the streets prisoner with his ultra strong crack. It's still an enjoyable ride though, and it's quite stylish, with some actually pretty decent performances. Okay, so Judd Nelson is underused, but he's good when he's there. Wesley Snipes is fine, but I feel like he's just doing a VERY low-key and subtle take on Tony Montana. The stand outs are Ice-T who, still very much known for his anti-cop songs is great as a tough streetwise cop, and really gets his acting career off to a great start, though after this it wouldn't pick up again until he portrayed another cop on Law and Order: SVU. The other top prize goes to the outstanding Chris Rock, who gives an utterly memorable and gripping turn as an ill-fated ex-junkie turned informer. This is overall a really decent flick. It's ultimately nothing new, but very well played, and far better (both as a directorial debut and in general) than it could have been, so give it a shot.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2011
    If you ever want to start your own criminal empire, Learn the do's & dont's of the drug trade & become a drug kingpin then this is 1 movie you'll want to watch.I never realized how good of a movie New Jack City was until I watched it a couple days ago
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2011
    A classic 90's New York City-based crime drama. Great acting performances by Wesley Snipes as the villain, Ice-T as the protagonist, and Chris Rock as a supporting character. A good, cultural look into the drug empire that emerged in the early decade in big cities across North America. The well-placed Gothic scenery and dark atmosphere should also be mentioned.
    Suneel J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 03, 2010
    Slightly dated drama about the rise of the crack epidemic in New York in the 80's, with Wesley Snipes as the crime lord pushing the stuff and Ice-T as the maverick cop who's going to bring him down. Lots of action keeps it lively..
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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