An inner-city point man is on the run from both the cops and the crooks in this streetwise blaxpolitation drama. T (Robert Hooks) is a combination pool shark, private detective, and all-purpose ghetto fixer who operates out of a billiards parlor in South Central Los Angeles. T has done well for himself -- he drives a fancy new car, wears expensive suits, and lives in an upscale apartment -- but he also looks out for folks on the block, and knows how to tell the good guys from the bad guys on either side of the law. T is approached by Chalky (Paul Winfield) and his partner, Pete (Ralph Waite), who run a floating dice game in the neighborhood. Chalky tells T they've been ripped off by a band of thieves several nights running, and they want him to find out who the masked stick-up men are. T is willing to do the job for the right price, but it turns out Chalky and Pete are trying to take down rival crime kingpin Big (Julius Harris), and when one of Big's underlings turns up dead, T is blamed for the crime by both Big and corrupt police captain Joe Marx (Bill Smithers). Trouble Man also stars Paula Kelly's as T's love interest, and features an original score by Marvin Gaye.
by Mark Deming synopsis