Do the Right Thing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Do the Right Thing Reviews

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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.
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
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
April 24, 2009
Lee cagily provides a litmus test for racial attitudes in 1989, but he does so by destroying the integrity of his characters, black and white.
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
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.
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
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.
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+
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
June 16, 2009
Like Rear Window to Alfred Hitchcock, like Nashville to Robert Altman, like Playtime to Jacques Tati, Lee's Do the Right Thing is an undiluted representation of its creator's artistic command.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Comes closer to reflecting the current state of race relations in America than any other movie of our time
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
April 17, 2003
The movie confronts racism head-on, with the kind of clear-eyed and unflinching attitude that is rarely seen in major motion pictures. Lee does not pander to political correctness, nor does he sermonize.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
January 15, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
January 1, 2005
Spike's greatest film to date. Shame on the Academy for not recognizing it.
| Original Score: 5/5
Scott Weinberg
July 26, 2002
I think it's Spike's best. Loud, honest, angry entertainment.
| Original Score: 5/5
Kam Williams
Sly Fox
June 29, 2009
A riveting drama which remains just as intense as when it debuted in 1989.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Clint Morris
March 31, 2005
A tour-de-force for Spike Lee
| Original Score: 4/5
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
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
Mark R. Leeper
January 1, 2000
This may not be the best film of the summer, but it is the most ambitious.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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.
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