Do the Right Thing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Do the Right Thing Reviews

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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
June 26, 2007
A powerful and persuasive look at an ethnic community and what makes it tick -- funky, entertaining, packed with insight, and political in the best, most responsible sense.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
The film -- at once stylised and realistic -- buzzes throughout with the sheer, edgy bravado that comes from living one's life on the streets. It looks, sounds, and feels right.
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Mr. Lee's movie is anything but minimalist. It is bursting with character, color, incident and music, including a militant rap number performed by Public Enemy.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
February 13, 2001
Spike Lee combines a forceful statement on race relations with solid entertainment values.
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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
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Are you covering your soft parts? Spike Lee is about to drag you into a sizzling kitchen called "Do the Right Thing."
Top Critic
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
A movie made by filmmaker working in sync with his times -- an exciting, disturbing, provocative film.