Wesley Snipes (“Mo’ Better Blues”) is mesmerizing as Harlem drug lord Nino Brown in this gritty look into the crack cocaine phenomenon. Rapper Ice T makes a credible acting debut as the cop obsessed with crumbling Brown’s legion and growing empire.
Despite some hokey action staging and an overwrought anti-drug message, this sincere film thrives on its solid direction and acting. Also stars Chris Rock, director Mario Van Peebles and Bill Nunn. Rated R.