Lawrence O'Toole
January 28, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Poetic Justice

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Maya Angelou, Joe Torry, Regina King
director
John Singleton
distributor
Columbia Pictures
author
John Singleton
genre
Drama

We gave it a D

The Jackson family racked up enough bad memories last year without needing any help from Poetic Justice, Janet’s movie debut. As a hairdresser who writes poetry (actually penned by Maya Angelou, and voiced-over on the screen without mercy) and takes off with a mailman (Tupac Shakur) she at first loathes but soon finds cool, the sweetly charismatic Jackson isn’t to blame for this mess. That falls squarely on the shoulders of John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood), who has made an idling, aimless road movie about random outbursts of violence in our society. He has not said anything new, and he hasn’t even done a good job of being unoriginal.

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