Biggie & Tupac

Genre: Documentary; Director: Nick Broomfield; Runtime (in minutes): 108; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Lions Gate Films

For a guy being implicated in murder (which he has long denied), rap mogul Suge Knight comes off as an awfully big pussycat when he appears at the gutsy climax of Nick Broomfield’s absorbing documentary exploration into who gunned down hip-hop’s most famous martyrs. Courtney Love, the villain in Broomfield’s previous Kurt & Courtney, was scarier; that film also built up a more spine-tingling atmosphere of conspiracy and dread. But Broomfield, dryly self-mocking and likable in spite of his necessary shamelessness on camera, is uncannily good at coaxing both smoking-gun testimony from shady characters and affecting testimonials from the bereaved, including Biggie’s proud but heartbroken mother, Voletta.

Originally posted May 2 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT

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