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George Tillman Jr (2009)

15 Certificate


Our Score
In this rags-to-riches true story, newcomer Jamal Woolard fits snugly into the extra-large shoes of Brooklyn-born rapper Christopher Wallace, better known to hip-hop fans as The Notorious BIG. The singer's mother Voletta co-produced the film with, among others, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, the man who gave the ex-drug dealer a record deal and sang a chart-topping tribute to him following his murder in 1997. The fatal shooting was seen as reprisal for the gunning down of LA rapper-turned-actor Tupac Shakur months earlier in a much-hyped East Coast/West Coast rivalry. Unfortunately, director George Tillman Jr doesn't get to the root of the trouble between one-time friends "Biggie" and Tupac (Anthony Mackie). Instead, he focuses on the former's bling lifestyle, which conforms to every bed-hopping, hip-hop "player" cliché. Combs (sharply portrayed by Derek Luke) appears to take credit for helping Wallace grow up and "be a man". This shallow film could likewise have done with showing a bit of maturity.


Biopic of Notorious BIG, whose rise to fame took him from being a Brooklyn street hustler and crack dealer to become a respected and influential rap artist, before he was brutally murdered at the age of 24. Starring Jamal Woolard, Derek Luke, Dennis LA White and Angela Bassett.

Cast & Crew

Voletta Wallace Angela Bassett
Christopher "Biggie" Wallace Jamal Woolard
Sean "Puffy" Combs Derek Luke
Tupac Shakur Anthony Mackie
Faith Evans Antonique Smith
Lil' Kim Naturi Naughton
Cease Marc John Jefferies
Suge Knight Sean Ringgold
Wayne C Malik Whitfield
Mark Kevin Phillips
Director George Tillman Jr
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Feb 2009