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Chi-Raq (2015)

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A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.


5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Chi-Raq
... Lysistrata
... Cyclops
... Miss Helen
... Dolmedes
... Father Mike Corridan
... Irene
... General King Kong
... Mayor McCloud
... Morris
... Old Duke
... Commissioner Blades
... Chief Riptide
... Rasheeda
... Marcy


After the shooting death of a child hit by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago's Southside creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is an Emergency!!! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official site



Release Date:

2 December 2016 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Чирак  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,198,356, 6 December 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,647,377, 24 January 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Wake up" is the first line of dialogue in both Spike Lee films Do the Right Thing (1989) and Chi-Raq (2015). See more »


At the end when the peace signing ceremony is being conducted all the parties involved are on one side of the signing table which is in front of them between the seats of the amphitheater with all the visible seats empty. See more »


Lysistrata: Repeat after me: I will deny all rights of access or entrance.
See more »


References Punk'd (2003) See more »


Written by Kortney Pollard, Sunny Ibrahim, and Jhené Aiko (as Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo)
Published by Mali Music Notes/6 Kolbert Drive/Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP), Stellar Songs Ltd/Sony ATV Music Publishing and Songs of Universal Inc (BMI)
Performed by Mali Music
Produced by Sunny Ibrahim for Avant Guard Music
Used courtesy of ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

School Daze revisited

I really enjoyed the film, but I readily admit that it is probably hit or miss. First, many people don't like satire, African-American satire, the black lives matter movement or Spike Lee's directing style. If you count yourself among any of these groups, you won't find this film entertaining. Stop reading now. Otherwise, here are some really nice features of the film.

1. Teyonah Parris! OMG. She is beautiful inside and out. Her role is challenging. On one hand, her character reveals the very real role of minority women in the modern US civil rights movements. This aspect of the role requires a certain amount seriousness to avoid disrespecting the inspirational work of say Alicia Garza. On the other hand, her character is saving Chicago by withholding sex from her boyfriend (Nick Canon). It's a comedy!

Ms. Parris does an excellent job of balancing these competing aspects of the film. While there is plenty of needless booty slapping, her scenes with Jenifer Hudson and Angela Basset are moving. The explanation of black lives matter movement should be mandatory watching by some republican presidential candidates.

Did I mention that Ms. Parris is beautiful? This movie could spark her career as a Hollywood diva. She reminded me of a young Halle Berry in Boomerang.

2. The supporting actors are great. First and foremost, John Cusack is masterful. He delivers a fiery spirit-filled sermon as a local Catholic pastor. He does great and highlights the multi-cultural aspect BLM by frequently and poignantly invoking the term "us" to describe those affected by violence in Chicago. Second, Samuel L. is hilarious. Whenever the movie seems to get too serious or dull, his lyrics makes you laugh. Angela Basset and Dave Chappelle also have nice bits.

3. The premise is nice. Not only is the film based on a Greek play, it highlights a real movement of similar context in Liberia. For some reason, the real story has been overlooked in the press.

4. You will never watch another feature length film that is wholly in rhyme. That may make you happy, but enjoy the uniqueness.

The movie also had downsides, including: Nick Canon can't act, Jenifer Hudson can't act and there is silly/dull ode to sex-inducing R&B music. However, those issues are forgivable. I would watch this again. I have recommended it to everyone I know.

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