Do the Right Thing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Do the Right Thing Reviews

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Top Critic
Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News
July 7, 2015
In the final analysis, the best thing one can say for Lee is that he takes risks, like all true artists. For unlike most of today's film makers, he's not afraid to really challenge a movie audience to do some serious thinking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 3, 2015
[Do the Right Thing is] an exceptional film, a movie that wisely deprives you of the cozy resolutions and epiphanies so often manufactured by Hollywood. Like the film's principals, you are left feeling that you have been torched where you live.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
March 3, 2015
This might sound like a depressing story, but the level of performance and filmmaking is so high that Do the Right Thing becomes a most entertaining warning.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2015
Do the Right Thing is complex, bravura movie making. It is also hugely entertaining, since fortunately for us, Lee's seditious method is to use humor to carry his biting message.
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
March 3, 2015
If you see only one movie in this season of blockbusters, make it Do the Right Thing.
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
March 3, 2015
Do the Right Thing is Lee's most complex, heartfelt and disturbing film to date, a drama about racism that is more shockingly outspoken than any I've seen since David Mamet's great, and neglected, Edmond.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 3, 2015
Its characters are often abrasive; its language is consistently foul; and it takes a complicated view of race-related violence. Yet it's an attractive and even beguiling film in many ways, too, with large resources of humor and intelligence.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 3, 2015
There's only one way to do the wrong thing about Do the Right Thing: that would be to ignore it.
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
March 3, 2015
The movie has a tone and a perspective of its own. But all too often, the tone is tiresome and the perspective banal.
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
March 3, 2015
The movie's volatile subject has overshadowed the fact that Do the Right Thing is quite funny and a technically superb picture that easily ranks as the best movie Lee has made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Ralph Novak
People Magazine
March 3, 2015
If Lee is saying that racism is profoundly painful, frustrating and confusing, no one will argue. But this film states the case without offering any insight.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
March 3, 2015
It's depressing to see how much credit Lee has been given simply for painting his characters in shades other than the purely good and the purely evil, as if the gesture reflected anything other than an appreciation for a basic human truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Joe Leydon
The Moving Picture Show
July 18, 2014
[A] movie that gives us the vitality of urban street life and the viciousness of racism in a single, brightly bedecked, booby-trapped package.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Odie Henderson
Movie Mezzanine
February 4, 2014
My rowdy audience at Do The Right Thing did not cheer the riot, nor did one break out at the end. Like me, they left having seen a reflection of their own lives onscreen.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
July 24, 2012
Captures a sense of black pride in the late '80s that's caught between essentialism and pop-culture commercialism. Trash-talking racism, distrust, and males' insistence on respect blaze the story along a path that LA would burn with its 1992 riots.
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
August 1, 2011
The many joys of the film are equaled only by the fiery injustice it bears witness to in the apocalyptic third act.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
September 21, 2010
Sure, the movie opens up the racial problems of everyday life in New York, but it also has a very forgiving tone to what one could label as the oppressed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Brian Orndorf
August 26, 2009
It's perhaps one of the greatest summer movies of all time. Do the Right Thing is as perfect as a film can get.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Bill Gibron
July 8, 2009
Lee shows us both sides of the situation, and lets us decide for ourselves. The results are devastating.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Sean Axmaker
July 2, 2009
[Spike] Lee doesn't attempt to answer the complicated questions of racism, misunderstanding and simmering anger as much as confront them with a hard clarity.
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