Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 51


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,798
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Movie Info

The grim realities of drug dealers' lives provides the basis for this gritty drama. The story centers on Strike, a 19-year old drug dealer who lives in the Brooklyn projects. When Strike agrees to help a local drug lord kill one of rivals, he finds himself in serious trouble.


Harvey Keitel
as Rocco Klein
John Turturro
as Larry Mazilli
Delroy Lindo
as Rodney Little
Mekhi Phifer
as Strike Dunham
Isaiah Washington
as Victor Dunham
Keith David
as Andre the Giant
Regina Taylor
as Iris Jeeter
Tom Byrd
as Errol Barnes
Paul Calderon
as Jesus at Hambones
Brendan Kelly
as Big Chief
Mike Starr
as Thumper
Graham Brown
as Mr. Herman Brown
Steve White
as Darryl Adams
Spike Lee
as Chucky
Harry Lennix
as Bill Walker
Bray Poor
as Detective No. 1
Craig McNulty
as Detective No. 2
Christopher Wynkoop
as Detective No. 3
Paul Schulze
as Detective No. 4
Donald Stephenson
as Detective No. 5
John Fletcher
as Al the Medic
J.C. MacKenzie
as Frank the Medic
David Evanson
as Smart Mike
Norman Matlock
as Reverend Paul
Isaac Fowler
as Charles
L.B. Williams
as Bike Cop
Leonard Thomas
as Onion the Bar Patron
Maurice Sneed
as Davis the Bartender
Jeff Ward
as Bike Cop
Calvin E. Hart
as Guard No. 1
Marc Webster
as EMS Technician
James Saxenmeyer
as EMS Attendant
Joanna Gardner
as Corrections Officer
Rick Aiello
as Cop No. 2
Ron Brice
as Dead Man Begging
Anthony Nacerino
as Teen No. 1
Brian Konowal
as Teen No. 2
Carlo Vogel
as Teen No. 4
Harvey Williams
as `Pick Me Up' Kid
Michael Cullen
as Narc No. 1
Tim Kelleher
as Narc No. 2
Skipp Dudduth
as Narc No. 3
Larry Mullane
as Larry the Narc
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News & Interviews for Clockers

Critic Reviews for Clockers

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (16)

  • 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.

    Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • There is a force and focus in Lee's work, an absence of intellectual posturing and a willingness to let his material speak for itself that he has not achieved before.

    Sep 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The performances are strong, but the spectator often feels adrift in an overly busy intrigue.

    Sep 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A study of the urban dope-dealing culture and its toll on everyone who comes in contact with it, the picture has an insider's feel that is constantly undercut by the filmmaker's impulse to editorialize.

    Jun 9, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • The result is a more sober, mournful and meditative expressionism than you'd expect. That's not to say the film isn't suspenseful, but the director's distaste for the inner city's gun culture is clear to see. Superbly acted.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Helping make these points is as strong a cast as Lee has yet worked with.

    Aug 15, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | 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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