Crooklyn

1994, Drama, 1h 52m

31 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

A personal project that warmly reflects on director Spike Lee's childhood, Crooklyn is an episodic celebration of family and the indelible facets of one's hometown. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

As her teacher mother, Carolyn (Alfre Woodard), and her jazz musician father, Woody (Delroy Lindo), worry over monthly bills, grade-schooler student Troy Carmichael (Zelda Harris) banters and bonds with her four brothers. Against her will, Troy is sent to her aunt's southern home for a summer visit, but when she returns to her bustling Brooklyn neighborhood, she learns that a family member is gravely ill. Already mature, Troy is forced to face to some very grown-up facts about life and loss.

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Critic Reviews for Crooklyn

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (7)

  • Apart from being the two female presences in the house, Carolyn sees singular fortitude and possibility in Troy. Their scenes together are the heart of the movie.

    January 5, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Lee seems to confuse noise with drama: the bickering Carmichaels create quite a racket, but we're seldom moved by their plight. In his most desperate moment, Lee shoots a long sequence through a distorted lens.

    June 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Lee is a great self-promoter. After all his press releases and all his interviews, we are given films that are sketchy, unfelt and distancing -- incidents in Lee's career, the only drama that really interests him.

    September 23, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The key problem is that the film is simply a ragged series of anecdotal sketches.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • It's the first Spike Lee film with the potential to be turned into a television show. More important, it's the first one to display real warmth of heart.

    May 20, 2003
  • Apart from being the two female presences in the house, Carolyn sees singular fortitude and possibility in Troy. Their scenes together are the heart of the movie.

    January 5, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Lee seems to confuse noise with drama: the bickering Carmichaels create quite a racket, but we're seldom moved by their plight. In his most desperate moment, Lee shoots a long sequence through a distorted lens.

    June 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Lee is a great self-promoter. After all his press releases and all his interviews, we are given films that are sketchy, unfelt and distancing -- incidents in Lee's career, the only drama that really interests him.

    September 23, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Nuanced depiction of a black family in Brooklyn; language.

    September 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • In spite of the flaws of the Virginia interlude I really enjoyed this.

    March 13, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Crooklyn

  • Jun 07, 2016
    Good coming-of-age tale let down by a lack of story and some two-dimensional characters
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2011
    Carolyn: Wendell, PLEASE close your mouth when you chew! Wendell: Why can't you let me eat in peace for once? Carolyn: Because you disturbing the peace! You eat like a pig and chew like a cow! Although not as famous as some of Spike Lees other films like Malcolm X or Do The Right Thing, it still has his signature all over it. Nobody makes an urban movie like Spike Lee. In Crooklyn he gives us a great mix of comedy and family drama, although more drama then comedy. Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo give great performances as the parents of 4 sons and a daughter. Based somewhat on Spike Lee's own life; it is a fantastic look at a tough but struggling family.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2010
    While I commend Spike Lee for trying to make a coming of age story for an African American audience and white audience alike, it does nothing to change the typical hollywood formula. That would be fine if he was going for something like that, but his counterculture attitude suggests otherwise. You can see he was trying to be subtle with his messages, but that's never been a strong suit of his. Even the way it is filmed is bland and uninteresting. The characters are flat and often one noted, giving you no sense of connection or respect for them. It's basically a failed attempt at making a powerful film.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Mar 24, 2008
    A sweet and sentimental look at childhood in 1970's New York City. The 'kinder gentler' side of Spike Lee. A real high-point for his career and a great example of his range as a film maker.
    Robert C Super Reviewer

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