Critic Reviews

48

Metascore

Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
The new drama, best viewed as a church movie, is a return to the kind of corner-chat indie cinema Lee revolutionized, with an emphasis on a towering performance by The Wire's Clarke Peters as a local bishop inflamed with the Word.
80
Red Hook Summer begins as a gentle character comedy and then erupts into a sudden reversal that is possibly the most powerful and disturbing sequence Lee has ever created. It's a film that makes you laugh, weep, rage and gasp, and, love it or hate it, you will definitely talk about it afterward.
75
The seamless juxtaposition of faith and pain, innocence and guilt, allows the film to transcend Spike Lee's occasional bombastic moments and become a strong examination of internal suffering.
63
Here is Lee at his most spontaneous and sincere, but he could have used another screenplay draft, and perhaps a few more transitional scenes.
63
It's a scramble, marked by the unruly variety of visual strategies Lee prefers.
60
Although the film features a powerhouse performance by Clarke Peters as Da Good Bishop Enouch Rouse, it's saddled with a sloppy story.
42
Red Hook Summer has some fantastic gospel numbers, but as drama it's a casserole that never comes together.
40
We have little to hang onto once the film falls apart. Between the ongoing sermonizing and that final, sharp shock - which is gravely mishandled - we feel cowed into submission, rather than led towards enlightenment.
30
Lee's latest rambles through almost two hours of unfocused drama, burdened with endless didactic editorializing, before lurching out of nowhere into ugly revelations and violence.
25
How many doubts can Lee possibly cram into one motion picture? Red Hook Summer has almost too many to count: moments that go clunk, followed by others that go clang; actors who talk as if reading their lines off cue cards or rehearsing them for the first time; and set pieces that lie there.
12
Formerly a maker of bad, but at least angry, movies, Spike Lee now seems to be trying to be the world's oldest student filmmaker. Take out the rookie mistakes from Red Hook Summer, and there'd be nothing left.

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