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New Jack City Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    61

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It’s got some talented actors and a certain jagged inner-city atmosphere, yet this first feature directed by Mario Van Peebles (son of the veteran black director Melvin Van Peebles) is little more than a sketchy exploitation melodrama.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Michael Wilmington

    Bad as the overall design remains, individual scenes keep sparking alive, partly because the dialogue, or delivery, seems fresh, and improvisatory; partly because Van Peebles, in his directorial debut, figures out unusual or athletic camera designs for every scene. It's obvious he has talent, equally obvious there's no way this story can work right, no matter how strenuous the staging.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    The movie has no sense of temptation and no real taste for revolt-it's a good little film that knows its place. Van Peebles' direction has a by-the-numbers competence but no discernible personality.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety

    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. Strongest element is the anger and disgust directed squarely at drug dealers.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    City loses some bearings in its second half, becoming a ragged collection of punchy action scenes. Big deal. It's also one of the most enjoyably ragged examples of fuzz vs. scuz since 1972's Across 110th Street. [8 Mar 1991, p.2D]

  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    The film's flamboyant portrait of Nino may be stereotypical, but Mr. Snipes makes it chilling.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie isn't a comic book that's been assembled out of the spare parts from other crime movies; it's an original, in-depth look at this world, written and directed with concern—apparently after a lot of research and inside information.

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  • See all New Jack City reviews at Metacritic.com

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