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Shaft Details


This action drama puts a new spin on Shaft, one of the key "blaxploitation" films of the 1970s. John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), the namesake nephew of the legendary private eye (Richard Roundtree), is a street-smart police detective who with his partner Carmen Velez (Vanessa L. Williams) has been assigned to a racially motivated murder case, in which a black college student was killed in front of a restaurant by Walter Williams Jr. (Christian Bale), the sociopathic son of a New York construction tycoon, who then fled the country rather than face prosecution. Diane Palmieri (Toni Collette), a waitress on a smoke break, saw the murder, but she doesn't want to talk to the police. Two years later, Walter is forced to return to New York, but without Diane's testimony, the city doesn't have much of a case. Soon, Shaft, Walter Junior, and Walter Senior's goons are all looking for Diane, with Junior enlisting the help of Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright), a small-time drug dealer who will do anything to move into the big leagues. Shaft and Carmen find Diane, but discover that she had a good reason for being on the lam for the past two years. Amidst all this activity, John gets frequent advice from his uncle, with whom he ponders the idea of quitting the force and opening a detective agency. Shaft was directed by John Singleton, from a screenplay by Singleton, Richard Price, and Shane Salerno. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:June 16, 2000


Awarded by
Toronto Film Critics Association Jeffrey Wright Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner


Samuel L. Jackson
as John Shaft
Vanessa Williams
as Carmen Vasquez
Jeffrey Wright
as Peoples Hernandez
Christian Bale
as Walter Wade Jr.
Busta Rhymes
as Rasaan
Dan Hedaya
as Jack Roselli
Toni Collette
as Diane Palmieri
Richard Roundtree
as John Shaft
Ruben Santiago-Hudson
as Jimmy Groves
Josef Sommer
as Curt Fleming
Lynne Thigpen
as Carla Howard
Philip Bosco
as Walter Wade Sr.
Pat Hingle
as Hon. Dennis Bradford
Lee Tergesen
as Luger
Mekhi Phifer
as Trey Howard
Gordon Parks
as lounge customer
Lawrence Taylor
Angela Pietropinto
as Mrs. Ann Palmieri
Gordon Parks
as lounge customer


John Singleton
John Singleton
Scott Rudin
John Singleton
John Singleton
Screen Story
Richard Price
Shane Salerno
Screen Story
Shane Salerno
Ernest Tidyman
Book Author
Donald Thorin
David Arnold
Composer (Music Score)
Bill Stephney
Musical Direction/Supervision
Isaac Hayes
Composer (Music Score)
John Bloom
Antonia Van Drimmelen
Patrizia Von Brandenstein
Production Designer
Dennis Bradford
Supervising Art Director
Eric Steel
Mark Roybal
Associate Producer
Paul Hall
Executive Producer
Adam Schroeder
Executive Producer
Steve Nicolaides
Executive Producer
Ruth E. Carter
Costume Designer
Danny Michael
Sound/Sound Designer
Bruce Franklin
First Assistant Director
Roy Anderson
Ilene Starger
Danielle Hollowell
Paul Urmson
Supervising Sound Editor
Skip Lievsay
Supervising Sound Editor
Steve Kirshoff
Special Effects Coordinator