Chi-Raq Reviews

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December 2, 2016
Astonishing. Up there with Lee's very best.
December 2, 2016
Spike Lee's latest is an extraordinary confection: a satire written in verse, set to rap, gospel and hip-hop music, based on an Ancient Greek play moved to Chi-Raq, a nickname for present-day Chicago.
March 18, 2016
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.
March 18, 2016
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.
March 17, 2016
Never subtle, always strident and absolutely necessary.
February 21, 2016
There is no story, beyond this simplest stand-off set up, no character development, no sign of any other life.
December 10, 2015
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.
December 7, 2015
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.
December 4, 2015
It's sexy, brash, and potent - a powerful weapon in its own right.
December 4, 2015
[Lee has] been better at lobbing fireballs than aiming them.
December 4, 2015
Outrageous, gaudy, clumsy, preachy, bawdy, bizarre and certainly topical, Spike Lee's "Chi-raq" is a political protest and a pop-culture explosion.
December 3, 2015
Erupting like a scalding geyser from the ground right beneath our feet, Spike Lee's daring, dizzying, sympathetic, symphonic, vital, vehement Chi-Raq is the most urgently 2015 movie of 2015.
December 3, 2015
Spike Lee's incendiary farce is too uneven to recommend, but its uncanny timing and sense of outrage are worth noting.
Top Critic
December 3, 2015
It's a teeming repository of ideas-by turns somber and profane, whimsical and hectoring, inspired and inexplicable.
December 3, 2015
In-your-face polemic, with nowhere to go once the point has been made. Repeatedly.
December 3, 2015
"Chi-Raq" is a vibrant community mural of a movie, and it stretches to the horizon.
December 3, 2015
Finally, a movie about something important.
December 3, 2015
Here's Spike Lee at his ballsiest. Who else would update Aristophanes' Lysistrata, set in ancient Greece, to violent, present-day Chicago? Spike thrives on raising hell. Preach, brother.
December 3, 2015
Lee has managed to again make a movie worth debating, wrestling with, and maybe even hating, depending upon how you feel about him as a director.
December 3, 2015
Urgent, surreal, furious, funny and wildly messy, the movie sounds like an invitation to defeat, but it's an improbable triumph that finds Mr. Lee doing some of his best work in years.
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