49 user 35 critic

Crooklyn (1994)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 13 May 1994 (USA)
Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.


Spike Lee


Joie Lee (story) (as Joie Susannah Lee), Joie Lee (screenplay) (as Joie Susannah Lee) | 2 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfre Woodard ... Carolyn
Delroy Lindo ... Woody
David Patrick Kelly ... Tony Eyes / Jim
Zelda Harris ... Troy
Carlton Williams Carlton Williams ... Clinton
Sharif Rashed Sharif Rashed ... Wendell
Tse-Mach Washington Tse-Mach Washington ... Joseph
Christopher Knowings Christopher Knowings ... Nate
José Zúñiga ... Tommy La La (as José Zuniga)
Isaiah Washington ... Vic
Ivelka Reyes Ivelka Reyes ... Jessica
Spike Lee ... Snuffy
N. Jeremi Duru N. Jeremi Duru ... Right Hand Man
Frances Foster Frances Foster ... Aunt Song
Norman Matlock ... Clem


Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Cinqué Lee and Joie Lee originally wrote the script as a pilot for Nickelodeon. A test pilot was screened for inner city children who disliked it. The Lees converted their idea into a screenplay. See more »


In the beginning of the movie, Troy is playing stick ball wearing moccasin shoes, in the next scene, she is still wearing the moccasin shoes. See more »


Carolyn: Wendell, please close your mouth when you chew!
Wendell: Why can't you let me eat in peace for once?
Carolyn: Because you disturbing the peace! You eat like a pig and chew like a cow!
Woody: Come on, Gem. It's a compliment to your good cooking now.
Carolyn: Compliment, my butt. That boy's just plain greedy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits play over old footage of several episodes of "Soul Train". See more »


Referenced in Adventures in Moviegoing: Josh and Bennie Safdie (2020) See more »


Theme from 'Shaft'
Written by Isaac Hayes
Used by permission of Irving Music, Inc.
Performed by Isaac Hayes
Courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

GREAT except for Distortion effect
8 May 2013 | by kimbakatSee all my reviews

The distortion doesn't complement anything...and certainly doesn't communicate the blatant literal attempt it tries to. It just takes away from the wonderfully acted and designed set that captures living in the midwest 1970s so well...that now the distortion takes away from it.

The distortion is a really bad idea because your audience is immediately distracted by the first thought as to 'What is wrong with the projectionist?" Next thought is you are now well aware you are in a theatre watching a possible technically error. Thanks for reminding me I'm in a movie...watching a movie....because that's the goal of all filmmakers. At that point, your train of thought has taken you away from the action happening in wonderful detail in the actors expression and set design you fail to miss this "blatant literal" attempt to tell your audience that they can't possibly understand this change in the character's environment so now "I'm going to help you because you are too stupid by the 40 minutes of Brooklyn living to see the difference between the two environments!" Either Spike felt his actors were so bad or his audience to stupid to get it. Sorry Spike...most of us were exposed to slumber parties in other households as children where the culture and environment was vastly different from our own. We didn't need distortion glasses then to know our environment changed...trust me..your audience get's it and would've better appreciated your art departments, wardrobe's work and the actors performance better without the distortion. Do you really need to be that literal? Are Brooklynites that stupid to get and you put it in there for them? Or do you think people in the suburbs would be too stupid to get it? Really? Any chance of releasing a "Fixed Crooklyn" version so that every time I see that scene....I don't feel like I'm being spoon-fed a narrow viewpoint of a Brooklynite that never got out of their house for a slumber party in the 70s or couldn't fathom other lifestyles? I'm sorry..I don't know about the Brooklyn school system but we had geography and social studies in Middle School. We were taught about other cultures way back in the 70s. I would have expected you would've known about the other world outside your neighborhood by the time you made this movie.

The distortion effect is an epic fail on really one of your best family drama films. It's like a turd in the middle of this great Brooklyn experience of a story.

Other than that...it's a great movie with a lot of replay value. If you ever watch Soul Train back in the 70s or been to a slumber party.....this movie captures the period in a very realistic way! Too bad the distortion takes away from the reality of the suburb scene. I wonder why he didn't distort any of the reality of the Brooklyn scenes? I would think someone coming to Brooklyn from the burbs would expect to see all their movies shot in Brooklyn to have a distorted effect in their local theatres. Hmmm...call me stupid!!!

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English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

13 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crooklyn See more »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,209,475, 15 May 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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