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Clockers (1995)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 14,459 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 77 user | 41 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them.

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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Clockers (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Peewee Love ...
Tyrone 'Shorty' Jeeter (as Pee Wee Love)
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Thomas Jefferson Byrd ...
Errol Barnes (as Tom Byrd)
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Go (as Fredro)
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Horace (as E.O. Nolasco)
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Frances Foster ...
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Storyline

Strike is a young city drug pusher under the tutelage of drug-lord Rodney Little, who, when not playing with model trains or drinking Moo for his ulcer, just likes to chill with his brothers near the benches outside the project houses. When a night man at a fast-food restaurant is found with four bullets in his body, Strike's older brother turns himself in as the killer. Det. Rocco Klein doesn't buy the story, however, and sets out to find the truth, and it seems that all the fingers point toward Strike & Rodney. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When there's murder on the streets, everyone is a suspect.

Genres:

Drama | Crime | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, strong language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clockers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$13,040,603 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's poster, designed by Art Sims, is an homage to the poster for Anatomy of a Murder (1959) which was designed by Saul Bass. Bass was not pleased with the poster and stated in an interview "when anyone steals something, they call it an 'homage'". See more »

Goofs

When Errol is threatening the kid on the trunk of the car, the helmet falls off. When the shot widens, the helmet is back on the kid's head. See more »

Quotes

Ronald 'Strike' Dunham: Why was you so gung-ho about all this shit, man? Most cops... Brothers killin' other brothers aint no big thing. Blasé, blasé. What made you care about me, my brother Victor, Darryl Adams, Tyrone? Huh? What made you give a shit?
Det. Rocco Klein: If I ever see you again... I'll book you on charges of criminal solicitation and conspiracy to commit murder. I'll let Andre beat you down again, then pick up Rodney on the same charges and I'll make sure you two share the same cell, the same fuckin' bed. Do you ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Spike Lee (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Newborn Friend
Written by Seal
Performed by Seal
See more »

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User Reviews

Lee's most underrated film, without a doubt
14 April 2001 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

It angers me how overlooked this film is.

It is not an easy film. It is bleak and at times very off-putting. Actually, if you are a thinking, caring person, this is movie is overall heart-breaking.

But it is brilliant and, for the person who truly tries to understand it, a compelling, insightful look at the problems killing black America today. The only reason for the film's lack of recognition I can imagine is that its subject matter had been examined a number of times before. But the inescapable fact is that this one of the best examinations of the subject matter there has been on screen - on par with "Boyz N The Hood".

And it is FAR from uncreative. In fact, on one level, it is not a "hood" movie, but a whodunit. The mystery aspect of the plot is very interesting. But there are other, more important layers. It is the story of the confusion and crisis of a young man's life. Most importantly, it is a brutal look at drugs, guns, and life in the projects. It is a movie asking why so many young black men are dying in the streets.

The lead character Strike has a stomach problem. It might be an ulcer or something like that. I believe it is a metaphor. Just as heat represented racial tension in Lee's masterpiece "Do The Right Thing", Strike's sickness represents the illnesses plaguing the ghetto: drugs, guns, liquor.

Like DTRT, this film looks at community. The mothers, the cops, the young people, the kids, the men trying to make a living - there is eloquent commentary in "Clockers" on the situations of all. In Spike's movies, paying a little attention is rewarding. A good essay could be written on what I call the Spike Summarization technique. This is when Spike compresses a serious debate or concern in the black community into a few expressive moments of action or dialogue. There are better examples in other movies, but it manifests in "Clockers" a few times. A bunch of kids are sitting in front of Rodney's (Delroy Lindo) shop; one of the kids is rapping while the others pay attention. The two sides to the coin: we feel the artistry and skill of the moment, the continuation of a rich tradition of oral art; we're also struck by the cruelty and coldness in the kid's violent lyrics, and we think about where that comes from.

Stylistically, this movie is a huge success. The cinematography is amazing, and I wonder what must be wrong with my tastes when I'm floored by a film like this and find visually bland a more oft-praised classic. The projects become blinding panoramas, landscapes which add tons of meaning to the poignant ending (I won't reveal it here). The sound is great; many films of this nature use hip hop in the soundtrack to produce certain effects, but "Clockers" does it in a more methodical way which jars some people, but contributes to the film's meaning.

I could say more about the film, but I encourage you to just see it, along with the rest of Spike's oeuvre. He's not a perfect filmmaker, and some of his best films are marred by elements that don't work, but I feel his consistency in terms of delivering brilliance is not below most of the cinema's most celebrated auteurs.


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