Poetic Justice


Poetic Justice (1993)



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Movie Info

R&B star Janet Jackson made an impressive film debut in Poetic Justice as Justice, a hairdresser at a small salon in South Central Los Angeles. Justice uses her poetry to deal with her grief after her boyfriend is killed in a shooting incident at a drive-in. Hired to work at a hair stylists' event in Oakland, Justice is stranded when her car breaks down, until she remembers that her friend Ieasha (Regina King) was going to hop a ride down to Oakland with her boyfriend Chicago (Joe Torry), a postal worker who is heading there with a truck full of mail. Justice tags along to discover that Chicago's driving partner is Lucky (Tupac Shakur), the postman who delivers mail to her shop and keeps asking her out. Ieasha and Chicago have to deal with their own rocky relationship while Justice has to decide if she's ready for a new love -- and if Lucky is the man she's waiting for. Along with strong work from Jackson, Poetic Justice features a surprising turn from Shakur, whose nuanced performance as Lucky is in strong contrast to his "Thug Life" public persona. Justice's poems were written by Maya Angelou, who also appears in a small role. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Poetic Justice

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

Nno single performance can hold together this scattered, rambling, pseudo-poetic excursion up the California coastline.

Apr 24, 2018 | Full Review…

John Singleton's follow-up to his stunning debut, Boys N the Hood, is a major disappointment--a sophomore jinx.

Apr 28, 2012 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

The two leads are raw but completely intriguing, and Poetic Justice offers a slice of the urban story that we generally don't get to see.

Dec 21, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

A quiet, personal story that should have been louder, bolder.

May 25, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Poetic Justice


I had recorded this on dvr to watch. The times were out, so I missed the last 15 minutes. I wasn't overly disappointed about it. Is okay, but not my type of thing.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

an engaging movie with a messed up ending. one forgets how good shakur was as an actor until you realize that he was a huge chunk of the good films of this genre in the early 90's.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer


Not one of Singleton's best, but the story was ok. The actors/singers placed to play the lead characters were a bit annoying, but Regina King was the best whom always get's into her role, and stole the show from the two main characters. Mayo Angelou's poems are great, which is quoted by Janet Jackson in this ok movie. I liked it and it was amusing, but they just did not bring out the roles as they should have.

Donna Dawson
Donna Dawson

Super Reviewer

=) I like this movie a lot....I love the song at the end by Janet Jackson, she did well in here as well as the late Tupac. =) They were cute.

Nani Vang
Nani Vang

Super Reviewer

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