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Poetic Justice


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

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


Tupac Shakur


Khandi Alexander


Ché J. Avery

Thug #2

Maya Angelou

Aunt June

Lloyd Avery II

Thug #1

Kimberly Brooks


Rico Bueno

Ticket Taker

Maia Campbell


Jeff Cantrel

Policeman #4

Michael Colyar


Kina Cosper

Female Cousin

(as Kina V. Cosper)

John Cothran Jr.

Uncle Earl

Dina D.


Joe Dalu

Policeman #7

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


Gross: $27,515,786

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


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


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
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