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She's Gotta Have It (1986)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 26
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 4
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 1


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 6,357



Movie Info

Despite the suggestive title, what "she" has got to have is control over her own body, her own love life, and her own life in general in this breakthrough debut feature by celebrated director Spike Lee. A trio of semi-losers are in one way or another after exclusive control of the heartstrings of Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns). Jamie (Redmond Hicks) is the sensitive but possessive type, while the other two run the gamut between Greer (John Terrell) a narcissistic hunk who models for a living … More

R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Spike Lee
In Theaters:
Jan 15, 2008
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


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Critic Reviews for She's Gotta Have It

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (2) | DVD (8)

All the elements of an interesting yarn are implicit here -- save one: a compelling central figure

Full Review… | March 17, 2008
Top Critic

This delightful low-budget comedy, with its all black cast and black humour, is 100 per cent Lee.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The film probes important and intriguing questions, even if the characters are not explored as thoroughly as they might have been.

Full Review… | May 21, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Made for less than $30,000, Lee's first feature posed him as a mid-80s rival to Woody Allen, nearly equaling him in the psychological authenticity of his characters and perhaps bettering him in grace and virtuosity and sheer creative glee.

Full Review… | April 15, 2002
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Light, scrappy entertainment that flatters everything funky and fresh about Lee, tempting you to forgive what is stunted or abrasive in the film. A major swaying element is his own on-screen persona.

Full Review… | July 11, 2011
Nick's Flick Picks

Combining humor, drama, and documentary techniques, Lee has created an energetic film that takes an unflinching look at modern sexuality -- specifically black sexuality.

Full Review… | March 17, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

From the start, it was less important whether or not you agreed with Lee than if you appreciated him for stirring things up.

Full Review… | January 23, 2008
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

She's Gotta Have It's characters talk into the camera, but they do so in service of a Rashomon-tinged postmortem on how an artistic young woman couldn't make polyamory work in her favor.

Full Review… | January 13, 2008
Slant Magazine

New York Negro neurosis as source material for mirth, amusement and introspection, like a Woody Allen classic, only in blackface.

Full Review… | January 12, 2008

An assured debut, which Spike Lee produced, wrote, directed, edited, and acted in, offers him opportunity to show a slice of black urban life in which white characters don't even exist; the title and heroine's name are deliberately B-porn like picture

Full Review… | January 13, 2007

A good first effort that lacks quality acting and overall polish, but compensates with insightful black man's humor.

Full Review… | November 22, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

She's Gotta Have It is funny, honest and brave, and unafraid to admit to complexities and contradictions within the African-American world it portrays.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Fledgling Spike Lee work. More interesting than good

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Spike Lee's first was good for what it was, a low budget student effort, but as a stand alone film it's lacking in many areas.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for She's Gotta Have It


Spike Lee's debut feature is a racially orientated sex comedy examining attitudes within a love triangle of black suburbanites. Some witty lines but it's a little affected and self-absorbed, and it often feels like an african-american rip off of a Woody Allen film. Not bad though.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

She's Gotta Have It Quotes

Mars Blackman:
Please-baby-please-baby-please-baby-baby- baby. Please!
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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