Summer of Sam Reviews

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September 23, 2008
This ultimately disappoints, but it is good to see Lee branch out into subjects which don't immediately lend themselves to his single-minded politicizing.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
September 23, 2008
Like most of Lee's work, this bites off more than it can chew, but the breadth and energy are impressive.
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008
The film is sloppy and ill-formed, its tone lurching drunkenly from turgid soap opera to soft-core porn, descending at times to low camp.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
April 27, 2007
This is trashy exploitation at its clumsiest. Once more, a Spike Lee movie has been undone by the earnestness of being important.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Trouble is, the overlong narrative, however entertaining from minute to minute, is a mess.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
I needed stronger and more balanced characters to really care what happened.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ron Wells
Film Threat
December 6, 2005
Whatever you think of Spike Lee, when he has the faith in his talent and material and is able to be political without the dogma, he's one of the best filmmakers to come out of America in the 1980's.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
April 9, 2005
Lee does capture the terror a serial killer can wreak upon the community, but his concentration on the weak characters hurts in the long run.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
January 15, 2005
The story makes very important points, and shows us a graphic parable of the wages of sin. But the ugliness along the way will be too much for some viewers....
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Dragan Antulov
August 11, 2004
| Original Score: 5/10
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
June 28, 2004
Spike Lee's most ambitious movie, is joltingly inspired at times. It's also offensively redundant and needs editing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Susan Tavernetti
Palo Alto Weekly
May 20, 2003
The cast sizzles.
| Original Score: 3/4
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002
An intelligent, compassionate, adult story told to thrilling, fearsome effect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
August 23, 2002
...tremendous, haunting, multi-textured ...
| Original Score: A
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002
Both beguiling and confounding, an enigmatic blend of banality and brilliance that ultimately manages to overcome its myriad shortcomings through nothing but the sheer force of Lee's visionary direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
William Arnold
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
April 3, 2002
It's easily Lee's most accomplished and satisfying movie since Malcolm X.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 22, 2002
The disappointment with Summer of Sam is not that it's exploitative; it's just difficult to figure out what it's supposed to be about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
March 5, 2002
A riveting and unsettling look at the summer of 1977 when fear and paranoia reigned.
Geoffrey Macnab
Sight and Sound
April 17, 2001
A sprawling, brilliantly acted character study which touches on love, friendship and betrayal, while also managing to recreate the last days of disco without a note of self-parody.
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
February 27, 2001
Everything that is good about Summer of Sam is also bad because Lee pushes every good impulse he has into overdrive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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