Jungle Fever (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jungle Fever (1991)



Critic Consensus: Jungle Fever finds Spike Lee tackling timely sociopolitical themes in typically provocative style, even if the result is sometimes ambitious to a fault.

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Movie Info

The romance between black architect Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) and his white office temp Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) is the subject of director Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, a statement on interracial love and its effects on the society at large.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Spike Lee
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 15, 2001
MCA Universal Home Video


Wesley Snipes
as Flipper Purify
Annabella Sciorra
as Angie Tucci
Spike Lee
as Cyrus
Ruby Dee
as Lucinda
Samuel L. Jackson
as Gator Purify
Ossie Davis
as The Good Reverend Do...
Frank Vincent
as Mike Tucci
Tyra Ferrell
as Orin Goode
David Dundara
as Charlie Tucci
Michael Imperioli
as James Tucci
Michael Badalucco
as Frankie Botz
Debi Mazar
as Denise
Rick Aiello
as Officer Long
Miguel Sandoval
as Officer Ponte
Charles Q. Murphy
as Livin' Large
Averell Curtle
as Young Panhandler
Melvin Bethea
as Drug Dealer
Ewart Lauder
as Drug Dealer
Charlie Murphy
as Livin' Large
Randolph May
as Man in Crack Den
El-Shah Muhammad
as Gentleman in Wheelch...
Suzanna White
as Church Lady
Danielle Coleman
as Woman Panhandler
Marilyn Nelson
as Crack Lady
Bob Adrian
as Man on the Street
Doug E. Doug
as Friend of Livin' Lar...
Scot Anthony Robinso...
as Friend of Livin' Lar...
Joseph Giammarino
as Boy in Candy Store
Shawn Lowenthal
as Boy in Candy Store #...
Curtis Atkins
as Paperboy
Yvette Brooks
as Mouth #1
Charlie Murphy
as Livin' Large
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Jungle Fever

Critic Reviews for Jungle Fever

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (15)

However diffuse the movie's agenda, it is never less than thoroughly involving.

Full Review… | April 21, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Strong and powerful, Jungle Fever dares us to be disinterested, dares us to turn away.

Full Review… | April 21, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It's all too much for Lee to handle. Jungle Fever is overlong, yet he hasn't found the screen time to give each of these people his or her reasons, and even the Snipes and Sciorra characters slip away from him.

Full Review… | April 21, 2015
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It certainly is something to see.

Full Review… | April 21, 2015
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Isn't it refreshing to talk about a thoughtful movie in a summer full of fluff?

Full Review… | April 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Jungle Fever may be a failure, but it is the kind of failure that engenders hope: It finds Lee refining the skills he already possesses and striking out in encouraging new directions.

Full Review… | April 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Jungle Fever


What we have here is Spike Lee's thematic sequel to Do The Right Thing. While ultimately an exploration of inner city life for different cultural, economic, and racial groups, the main focus is on the consequences, repercussions, and attitudes towards interracial relationships.

The film has noble ambitions and aims, but a lot of the strength is undermined primarily by some surprisingly untimely music cues from Stevie Wonder and a really bloated, meandering run time.

I liked how the film explored the issue of mixed dating from different viewpoints, but I found it odd how it neglects to really capture the situation from the perspective of the two main parties: a well to do black architect, and his working class Italian secretary. Aside from mixed dating, the film does take a more general look at big city life, with special attention paid to crack addiction.

The film is extremely well shot, with some well used camera moves (including a ripping long take), and, despite being flawed, does offer a great amount of substance and food for thought. It also contains some terrific performances from a notable ensemble cast, which includes names like Wesley Snipes, Anna Sciorra, Anthony Quinn, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, John Turturro, and briefer appearances from Brad Dourif, Tim Robbins, Queen Latifah, Halle Berry (this being the debut for those latter two), as well as a breakout turn from Samuel L. Jackson as the crackhead Gator.

All in all, the film is kind of a mess, but it does have its moments, so yeah, give it a go.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

This was made before I started sighing during Spike Lee movies. I thought the performances here were fabulous.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

For some reason I don't seem to ever watch a Spike Lee film in one sitting. The only ones I did were Do the Right Thing and Clockers. I did two sittings for this one, it's not a bad thing, but I just feel a lack of concentration when he does extended intimate portraits on his characters. Anyways, this 'joint' didn't feel like it dragged on, nor did it feel too short but I felt by the end of it that the central theme was slightly forgotten about. I think that's because all the supporting characters (especially Samuel L Jackson) are just so much more interesting than the central two.

Hassan Vawda
Hassan Vawda

Super Reviewer

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