Poetic Justice

July 23rd, 1993


Poetic Justice

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In this film, we see the world through the eyes of main character Justice, a young African-American poet. A mail carrier invites a few friends along for a long overnight delivery run.

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 5.2/10 (4,386 voted)

Critic's Score: 51/100

Director: John Singleton

Stars: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King

After witnessing the murder of her first and only boyfriend, young Justice decides to forget about college and become a South Central Los Angeles hairdresser. Avoiding friends, the only way for her to cope with her depression is by composing beautiful poetry. On her way to a convention in Oakland, she is forced to ride with an independent-minded postal worker whom she has not gotten along with in the past. After various arguments between them and their friends, they start to discover that their thoughts on violence, socially and domestically, are the same. Justice may finally feel that she is not as alone as before.

Janet Jackson - Justice
Tupac Shakur - Lucky
Khandi Alexander - Simone
Ché J. Avery - Thug #2
Maya Angelou - Aunt June
Lloyd Avery II - Thug #1
Kimberly Brooks - Kim
Rico Bueno - Ticket Taker
Maia Campbell - Shante
Jeff Cantrel - Policeman #4
Michael Colyar - Panhandler
Kina Cosper - Female Cousin (as Kina V. Cosper)
John Cothran Jr. - Uncle Earl
Dina D. - Dina
Joe Dalu - Policeman #7

Taglines: 1 Woman. 1 Man. 1 Journey 2 Love.

Release Date: 23 July 1993

Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $27,515,786 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Janet Jackson requested that Tupac Shakur have an AIDS test before his kissing scene with her. He refused.

Justice: Don't be callin me no bitch! If I'm a bitch, your mama's a bitch, BITCH!

User Review

An overlooked, intelligently produced and directed film.


I applaud John Singleton for being brave enough to film "Poetic Justice" -- it's a real triumph in presenting a story that looks beyond Hollywood's usual stereotypes of urban youth. If you are looking for a typical gang-bangin' shoot em up angry urban film...look elsewhere, because that genre is miles away from Singleton's storytelling. This film has precisely what black audiences say they are looking for - depth, real characters with a number of real layers....and yet people say they cannot get into this film. I say watch it and simply feel the messages being conveyed through the hearts of the characters. Tupac Shakur's performance saddens my heart....because he had so much potential as an actor as proven with his performance here. I was fortunate enough to actually meet and compliment him on this performance, which is at turns skillful and all his own. He had that quality that film actors envy in that the camera loved him. Janet Jackson gives a skilled performance as well, and the two have a natural chemistry that works here. This film is worth watching...it's one of my favorites.


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