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SET IT OFF

Synopsis:
Stony (Jada Pinkett), Cleo (Queen Latifah), Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) and Tisean (Kimberly Elise) are all good friends who have jobs they hate. Frankie's just lost hers at a bank after a robbery and the other three are cleaning ladies for Luther, a sexist, disrespectful boss. Stony's little brother Stevie, has been killed and Tisean's child has been taken away from her by the state. They all feel cheated by "the system" and decide they could rob banks and get away with it, Frankie being familiar with the inner workings of financial institutions. So they begin, and are successful at first, but soon Detective Strode (John C. McKinnley) is on the case and moves closer and closer to catching them. To complicate things, Stony gets involved with investigator Keith Winston (Blair Underwood), and soon wants out of their wild lifestyle. But the other women think they need one big, last score; so they set off for the bank, an encounter with Strode, the police

"This is one of the most refreshing films of the year, a totally satisfying comedy/drama that works so beautifully because of its actors. Normally, the bank robber genre is a male domain, so it comes as a surprise to discover a film which is not only primarily female, but shock, horror, black to boot. Full of energy and a sense of rhythm, Set it Off is a film about black urban America, and the lengths one goes to in order to achieve a better life in a society that has you against the wall. Yet this is by no means a preachy film, but a raw, exciting and invigorating work, skilfully put together and flawlessly acted by an extraordinary ensemble group. Jada Pinkett is a major star in the making: beautiful, sensuous, hypnotic and feisty, her sensitive and heartfelt portrayal of Stony is fine work indeed. But it's the extraordinary Queen Latifah as the gay and rambunctious Cleo that is the soul of this movie. She dominates it at every frame and turn, delivering one of the standout performances of the year. Unpredictable, often hilarious, sexy and smart, Set it Off is a tough film to sell outside of its country of origin, but it's so enthralling, unpredictable and energetic in style and tone, that it deserves the widest possible audience. Try to catch it if you can."
Paul Fischer



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SET IT OFF (MA)
(US)

CAST: Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise

DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray

PRODUCER: Dale Pollock and Oren Koules

SCRIPT: Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Marc Reshovsky

EDITOR: John Carter

MUSIC: Christopher Young

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robb Wilson King

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 5, 1997







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