Set It Off is a gritty crime thriller combining explosive action and social commentary in a story about four women bank robbers from a housing project in L.A.
“A well-crafted, female-driven action thriller with an astute social conscience and a terrific cast.” – Emanuel Levy, Variety
Ever since her parents’ death, Stony (Jada Pinkett Smith) has had to act as a parent to her little brother Stevie. She works a string of odd jobs to make a future for him at U.C.L.A. Cleo (Queen Latifah) is a boisterous lesbian who wants nothing more than to customize her classic car. Tisean (Kimberly Elise) is a painfully shy single mother to her son Jajuan, struggling to make ends meet. Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) is a stylish bank teller who loses her job and ends up working with the other three at a janitorial service owned by irritating boss Luther (Thomas Jefferson Byrd). With Frankie upset from her unjust firing, Stony angry from the wrongful killing of her brother, and Tisean losing her baby to the child protective services, the four friends are motivated to rob a bank. Looking for thrills, Cleo gets some guns from Black Sam (Dr. Dre), and they pull off their first job without a hitch. Their unexpected success as “criminals with a cause” leads them to armor up and embark on a bank-robbing spree in their neighborhood, but how long can they keep it going before things turn deadly? (Dir. by F. Gary Gray, 1996, USA, 124 mins., Rated R)