New Jack City (1991)

new jack cityBy Scott Goldfine

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.

GRADE: B-

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