Get on the Bus


Get on the Bus

Critics Consensus

Get on the Bus finds Spike Lee pulling a page from history with fervor and flair, offering a strong, stirring fact-based drama further elevated by an array of solid performances.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,135
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Get on the Bus Photos

Movie Info

Eighteen African American men board a bus in South Central Los Angeles bound for the Million Man March in Washington D.C. Though representing a wide variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, these men gradually form a strong fraternal bond over the course of the long cross-country journey.


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Critic Reviews for Get on the Bus

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (5)

  • The wonder of this funky, heartfelt film is that its humanity easily eclipses its didacticism. Working fast and cheap, Lee seems revitalized by the urgency of the endeavor.

    Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • It's a simple, appealing premise and filmmaker Spike Lee uses it to full comic advantage.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A vital regeneration of a filmmaker's talent as well as a bracing and often very funny dramatization of urgent sociopolitical themes...

    Sep 24, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • Though Lee's deft expertise keeps things pacy and (mostly) plausible, the material can't avoid a certain predictability and, in the end, a preachy sentimentality.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • While the film assembles a full array of black male stereotypes and conines them to what is essentially a talky one-set play, Mr. Lee stylistically jump-starts this small, earnest film in every way he can.

    May 20, 2003
  • It's two hours of men sitting on a bus talking, but the talk is alive. Lee keeps the scenes short, so that nothing ever resolves completely.

    Jun 18, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Get on the Bus

  • Jun 17, 2016
    Here Spike Lee tackles black history as always, but this time presents more rounded arguments and opinions.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2014
    A cross-section of African-American men travel cross-country by bus to the Million Man March. There are films that rise above their politics, films that promote a particular political ideology but also tell an intimate, human story. In literature, I think of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as a representative example. This is not one of those films. Spike Lee's Get on the Bus is so pat and obvious in its politics that it doesn't get a chance to breathe on its own and its characters never rise above the types they represent. Lee's talent keeps the film afloat, and his camera tricks give the film an energy that we've come to expect from a "Spike Lee Joint," but the real problem remains in the script. This is not Lee or writer Reggie Rock Bythewood debating with himself; if you're confused about the film's politics, Charles S. Dutton lays it all out at the end for you. Overall, I don't have a lot of opinions about the political statements themselves, but I can say that the film is confined by its message.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2010
    Preachy Spike Lee rather than stylish Spike Lee spoils an otherwise decent film.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2007
    I thought this would be the ususal...oh how we are hard done by' sort of movie but I did laugh out load several times...
    Barry L Super Reviewer

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