Red Hook Summer (2012)

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Movie Info

Red Hook Summer tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather's constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik's summer appears to be a total disaster - until he meets Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith), a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he'd ever imagined. -- (C) Variance
Rating:
R (for brief violence, language and a disturbing situation)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Clarke Peters
as Da Good Bishop Enoch Rouse
Jules Brown
as Flik Royale
Toni Lysaith
as Chazz Morningstar
Heather Alicia Simms
as Sister Sharon Morningstar
Colman Domingo
as Blessing Rowe
De'Adre Aziza
as Colleen Royale
Steve Henderson
as Deacon Yancy
Jonathan Batiste
as Da Organist TK Hazelton
Tracy Camilla Johns
as Mother Darling
Spike Lee
as Mr. Mookie
Turron Kofi Alleyne
as Butter Turron
Fred Tolliver, Jr.
as Born Knowledge
Lillie Marshall
as Miss Marshall
Arthur French
as Mr. Curtis
Sincere Peters
as Blessing Rowe (at 12)
Isiah Whitlock Jr.
as Detective Flood
Al Palagonia
as Detective Haggerty
Eve Lora
as Box's Lady
Louanne Harris
as Donna/Kayak Instructor
Jackson Lee
as Kayak Kid
Tyheim Smith
as Kayak Kid
Nesean Smith
as Lil' Buddha
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Critic Reviews for Red Hook Summer

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (26)

For the most part it's all rather pleasant, if somewhat aimless.

Full Review… | September 13, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Lee's typically paradoxical statements on race and religion muddle the narrative, and his old stylistic tricks -- saturated color schemes, characters addressing the camera -- aren't exactly inspired.

Full Review… | August 31, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The story is static for about 90 minutes, then rises to action, but in a way that seems impromptu, either made up on the spot or ill-considered.

Full Review… | August 30, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

When Spike Lee fails he fails big, and he goes down in flames with "Red Hook Summer."

Full Review… | August 30, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Lee's latest film feels like several intriguing ideas in search of an over-arching story.

Full Review… | August 23, 2012
USA Today
Top Critic

This coming-of-age portrait provides one more instance of Lee as one of this country's finest cinematic regionalists.

Full Review… | August 23, 2012
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Red Hook Summer

½

spike shines a light on another part of black culture the born agains and jesus freaks but this pic is a hodge podge of other better lee flicks like 'do the right thing' and 'crooklyn" even spike reprises his role as mookie the pizza delivery guy from 'do the right thing'

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

As much as I enjoyed Clarke Peters's performance, this was a movie that felt like a pale imitation of Lee's groundbreaking early work. It could easily have been half an hour shorter, and it would have been more powerful for it--too much needless exposition in the early going. The child acting was barely competent and the pacing was off; the plot twist didn't feel earned. Still showed decent flashes of the old Lee's thematic territory--disillusionment with the American dream, particularly in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis--and had some stellar stylistic flourishes near the end, but these pluses just weren't enough to save the film.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

In "Red Hook Summer," Colleen(De'Adre Aziza) drops her thirteen year old son Flik(Jules Brown) off in Brooklyn to spend the summer with her father, Enoch(Clarke Peters), a Baptist preacher and boiler repairman. None of which is to Flik's liking, starting with the accommodations. And then there is the lack of air conditioning, the non-vegan food and most importantly the lack of television. All of which he records faithfully with his Ipad 2. At least, there are the sunday school snacks which he consumes with his new friend Chazz(Toni Lysaith). Even with a shocking third act plot twist that is more Old Testament than New Testament, "Red Hook Summer" is more often than not an evocative look at a boy's expanding his boundaries, both physically and mentally. And a very good performance from Clarke Peters certainly helps matters. But like with other of his recent movies, Spike Lee has a lot easier time with what he wants to say, than in how he says it which is usually just as important, even with the occasional directorial flourish.(It should come as no surprise how little difference there is between a rant and a sermon.) An example of this is on the subject of gentrification as the neighborhood of Red Hook does not come alive on screen like it should have.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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