Chi-Raq (2015)


Critic Consensus: Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.


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Movie Info

Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child 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.

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Critic Reviews for Chi-Raq

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (37)

Lee returns to engaging, enraged form with Chi-Raq, combining social commentary, anger, humour, dramatics and over-the-top style in a sometimes messy mix that uses every trick necessary to put a spotlight on America's poisonous love affair with guns.

Mar 18, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Lee's film is worth seeing for its bombastic excess and camo-clad dance scenes. But if you're looking for tactful visual responses to the Black Lives Matter movement and the effects of police brutality, this isn't it.

Mar 18, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Never subtle, always strident and absolutely necessary.

Mar 17, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's messy in places, as Lee's movies tend to be. But there isn't a moment that Chi-Raq isn't alive. This is a deeply serious, biting picture that also has joy in its heart.

Dec 10, 2015 | Full Review…

You long for "Chi-Raq" to succeed. Sad to report, it's an awkward affair, stringing out its tearful scenes of mourning, and going wildly astray with its lurches into farce.

Dec 7, 2015 | Full Review…

It's sexy, brash, and potent - a powerful weapon in its own right.

Dec 4, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Chi-Raq

An admirable failure. Essentially the problem is that the film clumsily moves between very broad (and mostly unfunny) comedy and really earnest emotional pleas for change without any consistency. It's hard to fault Lee too much for trying something so bold, but this movie simply doesn't work.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer


I guarantee you won't see a movie as unique as this this year. Probably Spike Lee's finest to date. With a very powerful message against US gun crime. With a definite and unique flavour, where everyone raps as they speak, this is very entertaining.

Ian Walker
Ian Walker

Super Reviewer


Am I the only one alive who finds preaching offensive? Is there a secret school somewhere training these jokers, telling them that's its alright? As it is I find that I have to discover ways to politely extricate myself from those pathetically sad presences who rise every day with the idea of lacquering me with their sad thinking. I so disregard them that were they to approach with a sound idea I would not listen. And so the flaw in Spike's new joint: its preaching. Preachy. One stops listening nearly immediately.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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