Critics 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.



Total Count: 143


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,173
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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 (143) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (26)

Audience Reviews for Chi-Raq

  • Nov 23, 2016
    WIldly standoffish, incoherent and glitzy for the sake of being glitzy, Chi-Raq stands by a top form idea of political thrust only to fall lacklustre around a quarter of the way through. A film that definitely won't appeal to mainstream audiences, its artfulness is tremendous in approach to a seriously bleak issue that needs to be addressed. It's definitely one of the smartest films I've seen all year, it's just a shame that it's so hard to enjoy. Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Basset are both great in their roles and both maturely frame the story. It's similar to Baz Luhrrman's Romeo + Juliet in its style and Shakespearean in its epicness of story, however for enjoyment purposes I'd recommend other Spike Lee stuff.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2016
    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 W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2016
    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. W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2015
    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 B Super Reviewer

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