New Jack City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

New Jack City Reviews

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March 17, 2017
Five stars hands down!
September 11, 2016
An often overlooked minor classic of the gangster genre. Stylish and self-consciously over-the-top, it's a lot of fun while making a serious point. There are some weaker performances (Ice T) but Wesley Snipes is great as the villainous Nino Brown. There's also a decent performance from a young Chris Rock. It's sometimes silly but always entertaining. A great Sunday afternoon movie.
September 11, 2016
the movie that made Wesley Snipes' and Ice-T's careers.Gritty,harsh and violent....a must see.
June 16, 2016
Ice-T cant act and we all know that by now, but then he was a hot new rapper turned actor. Wesley Snipes plays Nino Brown and nails it. The them of the movies is good, even though the clothes are all out of a Color Me Badd video.
½ October 18, 2015
Takes me back to being teenager, not that I used crack or anything!
August 7, 2015
Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and his gang, the Cash Money Brothers, become the dominant drug ring in New York City once crack cocaine is introduced to the streets during the late 1980s. His gang consists of his best friend, Gee Money; enforcer Duh Duh Duh Man; gun moll Keisha; Nino's girlfriend, Selina, and her tech-savvy cousin, Kareem. Nino converts the Carter, an apartment complex, into a crack house. Gee Money and Keisha kill rival Fat Smitty, the CMB throws out the tenants, and Nino forces the landlord out onto the streets naked. Undercover detective Scotty Appleton (Ice T) attempts to make a deal with stick-up kid Pookie (Chris Rock), but Pookie runs off with the money. Scotty chases Pookie and shoots him in the leg, but the police let him go. When Detective Stone (Mario Van Peebles) comes under pressure to solve the growing drug problem in the city, he contacts Scotty and partner him up with loose-cannon Nick Peretti (Judd Nelson). Both having knowledge of the street and its environments is the key. Will Scotty and Nick be able to stop Nino and his gang?

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three and a half stars out of four, writing: Truffaut once said it was impossible to make an anti-war movie, because the war sequences would inevitably be exciting and get the audience involved on one side or the other. It is almost as difficult to make an anti-drug movie, since the lifestyle and money of the drug dealers looks like fun, at least until they're killed. This movie pulls off that tricky achievement. Nino, who looks at the dead body of Scarface and laughs, does not get the last laugh. Time Out London described the film as "a superior example of what used to be called blaxploitation. "New Jack City" was the highest grossing independent feature of 1991. I saw "New Jack City" at the movies in 1991, and judging from my memory I did like this anti-drug action flick. I remember vividly the bicycle chase between Scotty and Pookie and the general NYC vibe coming from the screen with Ice Tīs great "New Jack Hustler" pumping in the background. I just bought the DVD to re-see it and I must say that it hasnīt maybe aged that well in my mind. The filmmaking style of the 90s is truly vivid with tilted angles, strong colours and too many close ups plus the terrible clothing styles that was seen in many films from that era. The acting is unbalanced I would say. Ice T, Chris Rock (despite some strong scenes) and Mario Van Peebles are hardly top actors while Snipes does an ok portrayal of Nino Brown. The cinematography has its moments, while the script has maybe a bit too much going on with too many characters and subplots which Van Peebles doesnīt manage to handle fully in the end. Van Peebles fails in the editing as well, itīs a bit everywhere which loses the red thread in the scene construction and plotline. It becomes incoherent and patchy. In many ways "New Jack City" is a standard affair when seeing it today and I didnīt like it as much today as I did in 1991. But, thereīs also a strong anti-drug/anti-crime message thatīs clear, which is weaved into the story and thatīs a plus.
½ July 15, 2015
great 90's gangster film. A lot pop culture adopted from this film.
½ June 28, 2015
it's no menace or boyz and comes across real Gotti sumtimes like a 90s gangsta rap video. but solid flick Ice T pulls it off as a street wise cop and Chris Rock is real as Pookie the basehead
April 1, 2015
Slick,gritty gangster movie with a great performance from Snipes leading the way.
February 28, 2015
One of my favorite movies in the 90s and definitely one of the most influential. This movie-making style actually was the one that busted open the door for many imitators even being used today. Snipes was aggressive at being a greedy gangster and was complimented by both his own associates as well as Ice-T's character plotting against him.
February 17, 2015
i will want to see the movie
February 15, 2015
WOW......WOW.....WOW.....WOW.....GRIPPING.......AMAZING.......FANTASTIC.......MAN I HAVE JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS SUCH A GREAT MOVIE 2 WATCH.....its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie.....I think that Wesley snipes, Mario van pebbles, judd nelson, chris rock, allen payne, play good roles/parts throughout this movie......I think that the director of this drama/action/adventure/thriller movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....




Production

The film is based on the crack cocaine war in the US. It was the first theatrically released film for director and co-star Mario Van Peebles. The film was based upon an original story and screenplay written by Thomas Lee Wright who had previously penned a draft of The Godfather Part III and would go on to write, direct and produce a seminal documentary of American gang life, Eight Tray Gangster: The Making of a Crip.

The screenplay was co-written by journalist turned screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper, who also scripted 1994's Above the Rim, and Sugar Hill, which also starred Snipes. Cooper is the first African American screenwriter in history to have two films produced in one year: Sugar Hill was released on February 25, 1994 by Beacon-20th Century Fox Pictures, and Above The Rim was released on March 23, 1994 by New Line Cinema.

Barry Michael Cooper's rewrite was based on a December 1987 The Village Voice cover story written by Cooper titled "Kids Killing Kids: New Jack City Eats Its Young". The story revolved around the 20th anniversary of the 1967 riots in Detroit, and in its wake, Nicky Barnes, rise of crack cocaine gangs in the late 1980s, such as Young Boys Inc., and the Chambers Brothers.

It is set and filmed in New York City between April 16 and June 6, 1990.






Reception


New Jack City received a favorable reception by film critics for its cast, storyline and soundtrack. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three and a half stars out of four, writing:

Harlem's real life Graham Court, known in the film as the "Carter".
New Jack City received a favorable reception by film critics for its cast, storyline and soundtrack. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three and a half stars out of four, writing:


Truffaut once said it was impossible to make an anti-war movie, because the war sequences would inevitably be exciting and get the audience involved on one side or the other. It is almost as difficult to make an anti-drug movie, since the lifestyle and money of the drug dealers looks like fun, at least until they're killed. This movie pulls off that tricky achievement. Nino, who looks at the dead body of Scarface and laughs, does not get the last laugh.

Time Out London described the film as "a superior example of what used to be called blaxploitation."

New Jack City was produced with an estimated $8,000,000 budget. The film initially premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 1991, before being released nationally on March 8, 1991; it grossed $7,039,622 during its opening weekend. It became the highest grossing independent film of 1991, grossing a total of $47,624,253 domestically. The film holds a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes.

American Film Institute Lists
AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills - Nominated
AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Gangster Film





Home media

DVD was released in Region 1 in the United States on August 25, 1998 and Region 2 in the United Kingdom on July 26, 1999, it was distributed by Warner Home Video. DVD was re-released as a Two-Disc Special Edition in Region 1 in the United States on August 23, 2005 and Region 2 in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2006.

Special Edition DVD features:
1.Commentary by: director and co-star Mario Van Peebles
2.New Jack City: A Hip-Hop Classic
3.Harlem World: A Walk Inside
4.The Road to New Jack City
5.Original music videos: "New Jack Hustler" (Nino's Theme) by Ice T, "I'm Dreamin'" by Christopher Williams, and "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd
6.Original theatrical trailer

Cultural impact

The New Orleans based Rap label Cash Money Records is named after the Cash Money Brothers gang. Cash Money Records rapper Lil Wayne has a series of albums titled "Tha Carter" after The Carter Complex, and Lil Wayne and Tyga have referred to themselves as Young Nino. Wrestler New Jack got his name from this movie.





man this is such a gripping movie 2 watch, its got such a good cast throughout this movie....man this is such a thrilling movie 2 watch, its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.....I think that Wesley snipes was brilliant throughout this movie as the bad guy......man this is such a great movie 2 watch, with a great cast throughout this movie......
February 8, 2015
It's basically Scarface with a hip-hop mentality.
November 15, 2014
good and cool and not a week ago week ago
½ July 20, 2014
Though slightly dated, it's an entertaining, at times even moving crime thriller about the crack cocaine epidemic which ravaged a once proud city, and the efforts of NYPD's finest to clean up the streets.
½ July 16, 2014
a new classic, it could be improved, but it is a seedbed
July 11, 2014
New Jack is one of the best action-packed films that stands out to be a masterpiece. All actors did an outstanding job. It's story is just as unique like any other gangster film. A classic that can never be forgotten or replaced.
July 8, 2014
A black cinema classic that can never be forgotten.
July 8, 2014
I wanted to like this more, but like Robocop, it has not aged well.
½ June 14, 2014
Great movie. Funny, suspenseful, sad in moments, stylish, great action, great performances from Snipes, T, and Rock, and a great directorial debut from Pebbles.
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