Bamboozled - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bamboozled Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
October 26, 2015
Spike Lee's sharp, riotous satire, from 2000, zeroes in on the grotesque misrepresentation of blacks in American media-and their underrepresentation in the corporate offices that control it.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
September 23, 2008
This is basically sloppy, all-over-the-map filmmaking with few hints of self-criticism and few genuine laughs.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
April 27, 2007
If Mr. Lee meant to bring back blackface entertainment as a metaphor for the current black performers he finds obnoxious, he has miscalculated.
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Lee's satire on American TV is an intriguing failure.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 19, 2002
At his best, Spike Lee is too brave to be subtle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 4, 2001
You won't look at race onscreen the same way again.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2000
Nothing Lee has done is as flashy or as mucked up as Bamboozled.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Mike Clark
USA Today
January 1, 2000
Visually drab and ultimately done in by a heavy- handedness no prettier to ponder.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
January 1, 2000
A rousing, vital, important experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
People's feelings run too strongly and deeply for any satirical use [of blackface] to be effective. The power of the racist image tramples over the material and asserts only itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 1, 2000
It's been a long time since I've seen a movie that made me feel, think, laugh and cry -- often simultaneously.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
January 1, 2000
Savage, abrasive, audacious and confrontational, Bamboozled is the work of a master provocateur.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Michael Atkinson
Mr. Showbiz
January 1, 2000
Unfunny scarcely covers it; Lee's ideas are cherry bombs indiscriminately thrown, and the resulting mess is arduous.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 1, 2000
Great set-up. Lousy follow-through.
| Original Score: C+
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
January 1, 2000
A movie destined to educate, infuriate, shame and galvanize all who see it.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 1, 2000
It's a movie that both entertains and provokes -- would we expect anything less from Spike Lee?
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 1, 2000
Features scenes that are strong, confrontational and flat-out brave enough to salve the frustration of sketchy characters and a narrative that spirals out of control.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
January 1, 2000
Bamboozled may not be the year's best movie, but it's undoubtedly the most important.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 1, 2000
Bamboozled is startling and uncomfortable.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
January 1, 2000
The work of a filmmaker completely in control of his craft and determined to say things not everyone wants to hear.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 1, 2000
Certainly provocative, but the movie smacks mostly of sour grapes.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
What the movie lacks in clarity, it makes up for in honesty, toughness, relentlessness and passion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
January 1, 2000
The shortfall in Bamboozled stems from Lee trying to encompass too much, with too many subplots and a far from optimum choice of targets.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
Lee's heavy-handed approach turns Bamboozled into a tedious and overlong polemic. This is sledgehammer satire.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Emanuel Levy
Variety
January 1, 2000
Occasionally biting but excessively melodramatic.
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Louis B. Parks
Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Only sporadically entertaining, always uncomfortable, but arguably as important and brilliant as Do the Right Thing or Malcolm X.
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 1, 2000
The fact that Lee has some compelling and interesting points to make can't make up for the movie's sluggishness, artlessness and lack of anything like originality.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 1, 2000
Poor Mantan Moreland and Hattie McDaniel and all the rest are made to take the rap in this movie for contributing to a legacy of racist degradation. One would think, given what they were up against, that a bit more sympathy might be shown to these people.
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
Film.com
January 1, 2000
What makes Bamboozled so exasperating ... is the hypocrisy and muddled thinking that eventually turn the film into an endurance test for the audience.
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John Anderson
Newsday
January 1, 2000
Subtlety, thy name is not Spike Lee.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 1, 2000
A near masterpiece ambiguously balanced between brilliance and incoherence.
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Robert Philpot
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
January 1, 2000
For all its messiness and meandering ... Bamboozled is impossible to dismiss.
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Dennis Michael
CNN.com
January 1, 2000
Glover is remarkable. His performances are fiery and charismatic, and the internal conflicts he brings to the blackface act are visible both in his acting and dancing performances.
Top Critic
Amy Taubin
Village Voice
January 1, 2000
A seriously schizophrenic work made up of two incompatible movies.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 1, 2000
The most outrageous and disturbing movie Spike Lee has made to date, Bamboozled works only about half the time, perhaps even less.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
January 1, 2000
Its shelf life may not be long, nor will it probably be a big hit, since the laughter it provokes is the kind that makes you squirm. But that's what good satire is supposed to do.
| Original Score: 3.5/5