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A work of mournful maturity that sacrifices little of its director's signature energy, Clockers is an admittedly flawed drama with a powerfully urgent message. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Nineteen-year-old "Strike" Dunham (Mekhi Phifer) is a small-time street drug dealer for Rodney Little (Delroy Lindo), who wants Strike to kill a former dealer who stole from him. When the man turns up dead, Strike is suspected. But before homicide detective Rocco Klein (Harvey Keitel) has a chance to investigate, Strike's brother, Victor (Isaiah Washington), confesses to the crime -- and Klein suspects that Victor, a virtuous family man, is trying to cover up for Strike.

Cast & Crew

Harvey Keitel
Det. Rocco Klein
John Turturro
Det. Larry Mazilli
Delroy Lindo
Rodney Little
Mekhi Phifer
Ronald "Strike" Dunham
Keith David
André the Giant
Pee Wee Love
Tyrone "Shorty" Jeeter
Regina Taylor
Iris Jeeter
Tom Byrd
Errol Barnes
Spike Lee
Director
Spike Lee
Producer
Jon Kilik
Producer
Monty Ross
Executive Producer
Rosalie Swedlin
Executive Producer
Richard Price
Screenwriter
Spike Lee
Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard
Original Music
Malik Hassan Sayeed
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Clockers

Critic Reviews for Clockers

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (17)

  • A story told with mournful, epic vision that rises high above its grim setting.

    April 9, 2020 | Full Review…
  • In many ways, it's better than the book it's taken from: tighter, tauter, with a deeper vein of sadness opening underneath.

    April 9, 2020 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • "Clockers" is as grim as it is good. This is not an"entertaining" popcorn- type movie. It's timely. It's tragic in many ways. And it leaves a provocative and lasting impression.

    April 9, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Clockers may be Lee's strongest film since Do the Right Thing, but he runs into trouble at the end when he tries to tie up all his threads in neat bows...the passion of this raw, mournful urban epic remains in spite of the false moves.

    February 26, 2018 | Full Review…
  • There's no denying the movie's greatness: the depth of the characters, the urgency of its narrative, the nightmarishness of its vision.

    August 16, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Lee has jettisoned most of his trademark technical razzmatazz; it's as if he were trying to burn straight through to the heart of his material.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Clockers

  • Nov 08, 2011
    Delroy Lindo as Rodney Little was amazing, what a manipulative evil fuck, as the movie progresses he goes from being a seemingly caring mentor to a complete monster. He is a crack pusher and Strike played brilliantly by Mekhi Phifer is his best seller. Warnings flags go off in Rodney's head when he sees Homicide detectives questioning his seller and he puts fear into Strike with a gun in his mouth just like Rodney's mentor Errol Barnes did to him and he lets Strike know "I am a bad man." 5 out of 5
    Greg A Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2011
    An excellent film which takes a relatively small scale incident, especially for its environment, and uses it to make larger points about senseless and cyclical violence in the projects. One of Harvey Keitel's strongest roles. It's gritty, authentic, and poignent.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2010
    Based on a novel by Richard Price, who co-wrote the script with director Spike Lee, this is a grim and gritty look at how a police procedural affects the residents of an inner city neighborhood during the aftermath of a murder and the subsequent investigation. There are many players here, but the film predominately follows Strike (Mekhi Phifer)- a "clocker" or street-level drug dealer who works for businessman/supplier Rodney Little (Delroy Lindo). Though Rodney had illegal business dealings, he is also shown to be a mentor to the local youth, and he does give them guidance and opportunities, even if they aren't necessarily the most positive of things. Strike finds himself in deep when he gets involved in the investigation of the murder of one of Rodney's rivals- a man Strike was told to get rid off. While the film does eventually reveal the truth, the bulk of the story probes whether or not Strike actually committed the murder. Besides pressure from Rodney, fellow clockers, and his own conscience, Strike also has to deal with the main cops on the case, played by Harvey Keitel and John Turturro. This seems like a nice, simple, intimate story, and I would have been thrilled had it just stuck to being that. Instead, this small story is blown up, and used as merely a driving force in a broader story about the trials and tribulations of inner city life, specifically the issue of black on black crime. I'm not as thrilled that this film was expanded into a lengthy epic, but I don't think that's a major issue. By having the film become so drawn out and broad, things tend to lose steam and focus from time to time, and the meandering leads to the grit and intensity losing their edge once in a while. But, when the film is on target, it's really on target, and makes for some compelling, well done, and entertaining cinema. It's a decently well shot film, and the art direction and set design are suitably grimy, gritty, and show the plight of people in the inner city. An issue that really gets to me though is the music. Sometimes it's fine, but at others, it really clashes and sticks out. I'm all for ironic uses of music, but it's not really done all that well here, and seems kinda corny. We do get some good performances though, and the themes and ideas are well established, but then again, I'd expect no less from Lee. The film does have its problems, but I don't think they're egregious enough to keep me from giving it the grade that I am. You have to be in the right frame of mind, but if you can tap into this film's groove, and are wanting a broad tale, then sure, give this a look.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2009
    "See, dis is where all da money at, ma lil nigga. how you think i got dat fat-ass train set ova dere?"
    Coxxie M Super Reviewer

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