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Running Time:
2 hours, 20 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for language throughout, drug use, violence, some nudity and sexuality

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Despite Demetrius Shipp Jr.'s fine lead performance, this is mostly a surface-skimming, by-the-numbers biopic of Tupac Shakur a larger-than-life icon.

Additional Info:
Demetrius Shipp Jr. ... Tupac Shakur
Danai Gurira ... Afeni Shakur
Kat Graham ... Jada Pinkett
Hill Harper ... Interviewer
Annie Ilonzeh ... Kidada Jones
Lauren Cohan ... Leila Steinberg
Keith Robinson ... Atron
Jamal Woolard ... Biggie
Dominic L. Santana ... Suge Knight
Cory Hardrict ... Nigel
Clifton Powell ... Floyd
Jamie Hector ... Mutulu
DeRay Davis ... Legs
Chris Clarke ... Shock G
Ronald Brooks ... Money B

All Eyez on Me
Black activist Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira) is released from prison just weeks before she gives birth to her first son, Tupac. Years later, the family has moved from New York to Baltimore to Oakland, and Afeni becomes a drug user. The well-educated Tupac (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) realizes that he must support the family and lands a job performing with hip-hop group Digital Underground.

This quickly leads to his own mercurial solo career, but despite many huge hits, he never seems to have any money. There are many brushes with the law and legal fees keep climbing. In prison for a sexual harassment charge, he signs with Death Row records, run by the notorious Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana). Suddenly Tupac has freedom, but at a price. A new kind of violence enters into his life, and September of 1996 is fast approaching.

Director Benny Boom is a maker of music videos and has directed one other feature, the terrible "Next Day Air." Working from a screenplay by three writers, he frames the movie with Tupac giving an interview to a journalist while in prison. It's an old device, and it allows the filmmaker to smooth over, or ignore, the more challenging aspects of Shakur's life.

All Eyez on Me named for Shakur's 1996 double-LP — proceeds through chunks of time, showing what happened, but not especially how or why. Some events are covered so lazily, and some characters are so poorly introduced, that only die-hard fans that already know the story can fill in the blanks.

On the plus side, the music sequences are dynamic and truly come alive thanks to Shipp's dynamic performance, and with Tupac's actual recordings used. But this is only a mediocre movie, and viewers would be better off checking out his "Live at the House of Blues" video, or his performances in movies like Juice or Gridlock'd.

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