Clockers Reviews

  • Feb 20, 2018

    Bumped my rating up on this film, as it seems to have matured with me.

    Bumped my rating up on this film, as it seems to have matured with me.

  • Oct 26, 2017

    Spike Lee in Euro-auteur mode. Lots to like, plenty to dislike too, but definitely worth seeing. Keitel is at his very best, with nothing to prove. A pitch perfect performance. The rest of the cast is very good. Delroy Lindo is another standout. The changing film stocks with occasionally blown-out or supersaturated cinematography. The extreme close up on the reflection in an eyeball.... Lee mixes expressionism with the grittiest kind of realism and then gets unapologetically preachy and didactic at moments, and for me, it all worked. Lee's arty moves with the camera are intriguing. He earns his right to preach with the strong realism that lets no one off the hook. Lee creates a sympathetic portrait of a young drug dealer without apologizing for him, or excusing him, or his environment. He creates a portrait of inner city narcotics and homicide detectives that is unsparing, but not unfair. So why not 5 stars? Because for all the brilliance on display around the frame of things -- the story in the center isn't told with real dramatic intensity. Richard Price's book on which the movie is based is a gripping unforgettable read. On the page, Strike and his brother, the other creatures of the hood, you care about them, you sweat their fear with them. Lee doesn't get there. Fans of the book who see Clockers should know that it's set in Brooklyn, not Jersey across the river, and that important characters are altogether missing (no Buddha Hat, for example!) but nevertheless to expect something similar to the book, with as convincing a documentary feel to some of the dialogue and interactions. But they shouldn't expect the same edge of their seat experience that Price's brilliant book provided.

    Spike Lee in Euro-auteur mode. Lots to like, plenty to dislike too, but definitely worth seeing. Keitel is at his very best, with nothing to prove. A pitch perfect performance. The rest of the cast is very good. Delroy Lindo is another standout. The changing film stocks with occasionally blown-out or supersaturated cinematography. The extreme close up on the reflection in an eyeball.... Lee mixes expressionism with the grittiest kind of realism and then gets unapologetically preachy and didactic at moments, and for me, it all worked. Lee's arty moves with the camera are intriguing. He earns his right to preach with the strong realism that lets no one off the hook. Lee creates a sympathetic portrait of a young drug dealer without apologizing for him, or excusing him, or his environment. He creates a portrait of inner city narcotics and homicide detectives that is unsparing, but not unfair. So why not 5 stars? Because for all the brilliance on display around the frame of things -- the story in the center isn't told with real dramatic intensity. Richard Price's book on which the movie is based is a gripping unforgettable read. On the page, Strike and his brother, the other creatures of the hood, you care about them, you sweat their fear with them. Lee doesn't get there. Fans of the book who see Clockers should know that it's set in Brooklyn, not Jersey across the river, and that important characters are altogether missing (no Buddha Hat, for example!) but nevertheless to expect something similar to the book, with as convincing a documentary feel to some of the dialogue and interactions. But they shouldn't expect the same edge of their seat experience that Price's brilliant book provided.

  • Sep 08, 2017

    Some movie are meant to be seen and some only seen once for me.

    Some movie are meant to be seen and some only seen once for me.

  • Apr 26, 2016

    Drug dealer agrees to kill the rival of a local crime lord in this gritty look at New York City's darker side.

    Drug dealer agrees to kill the rival of a local crime lord in this gritty look at New York City's darker side.

  • Apr 16, 2016

    Spike Lee is an unfortunate instance of a very talented filmmaker who's obvious talent in craftsmanship doesn't come across in contemporary mainstream cinema because of issues having nothing to do with cinema itself. I realize that in becoming great at anything in one's life, other things have to suffer, and with him it seems, at least to me, that for everything he has undoubtedly accomplished in the filmic realm, it's created a type of 'idiot savant' (it's simply an existing term--I certainly don't mean it pejoratively)--that is, in social skills, at least pertaining to self-marketing, or getting across one's persona in the field, he is lacking--and it negatively impacts his cinema. And that's a dirty rotten shame, because this was a fine film. He and his excellent approach to cinema remind me of the Heisenberg principle and make me: a) wish Lee could find more happiness in his life, so that he can come across better, and thus have his personality not negatively influence cinephiles like me; and b) wonder, like in 'A Beautiful Mind', if he was happier and more pleasant, if it would negatively impact his filmmaking? Philosophical questions such as this tend to keep me up at night, unless I have some red wine, milk or chamomile tea to wear me out and soothe me. 'Clockers' worked for me. Keitel was really on a roll when he worked in this, with 'Bad Lieutenant', 'Reservoir Dogs', 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Smoke' all around this time. It was certainly a great vintage for him, and a fine time to sample his acting.

    Spike Lee is an unfortunate instance of a very talented filmmaker who's obvious talent in craftsmanship doesn't come across in contemporary mainstream cinema because of issues having nothing to do with cinema itself. I realize that in becoming great at anything in one's life, other things have to suffer, and with him it seems, at least to me, that for everything he has undoubtedly accomplished in the filmic realm, it's created a type of 'idiot savant' (it's simply an existing term--I certainly don't mean it pejoratively)--that is, in social skills, at least pertaining to self-marketing, or getting across one's persona in the field, he is lacking--and it negatively impacts his cinema. And that's a dirty rotten shame, because this was a fine film. He and his excellent approach to cinema remind me of the Heisenberg principle and make me: a) wish Lee could find more happiness in his life, so that he can come across better, and thus have his personality not negatively influence cinephiles like me; and b) wonder, like in 'A Beautiful Mind', if he was happier and more pleasant, if it would negatively impact his filmmaking? Philosophical questions such as this tend to keep me up at night, unless I have some red wine, milk or chamomile tea to wear me out and soothe me. 'Clockers' worked for me. Keitel was really on a roll when he worked in this, with 'Bad Lieutenant', 'Reservoir Dogs', 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Smoke' all around this time. It was certainly a great vintage for him, and a fine time to sample his acting.

  • Mar 27, 2016

    Harvey Keitel steals this but the surrounding story and characters break it up. Turturro and Keitel went well together but didn't have enough scenes together to prove their chemistry.

    Harvey Keitel steals this but the surrounding story and characters break it up. Turturro and Keitel went well together but didn't have enough scenes together to prove their chemistry.

  • Jan 30, 2016

    A great Spike Lee movie with excellent performances from Mekhi Phifer, Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Isaiah Washington and Delroy Lindo make it a thought-provoking film you can't help but watch!!!!

    A great Spike Lee movie with excellent performances from Mekhi Phifer, Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Isaiah Washington and Delroy Lindo make it a thought-provoking film you can't help but watch!!!!

  • Aug 16, 2015

    One of my favorite Spike Lee joints and one of his most underrated. Powerful Stuff!!

    One of my favorite Spike Lee joints and one of his most underrated. Powerful Stuff!!

  • Aug 10, 2015

    one of Spike Lee's most compelling films.

    one of Spike Lee's most compelling films.

  • Aug 07, 2015

    Another power house spike lee joint! Well acted, superbly directed and flawlessly soundtracked this film is one of the high points of Spike Lees work along with Do The Right Thing. Would highly recommend

    Another power house spike lee joint! Well acted, superbly directed and flawlessly soundtracked this film is one of the high points of Spike Lees work along with Do The Right Thing. Would highly recommend