School Daze 1988

School Daze

Critics Consensus

School Daze is undeniably messy, but thought-provoking themes, strong performances, and Spike Lee's ingratiating energy help tie it all together.

56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,966

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Movie Info

At historically black Mission College, the activist-minded Dap (Larry Fishburne) immerses himself in a world of political rhetoric and social movements -- one day he hopes to rally the students as a united front. At the other end of the spectrum, Julian (Giancarlo Esposito), the head of the biggest fraternity on campus, is more concerned with maintaining a strict social order. In between, Dap's conflicted cousin, Half-Pint (Spike Lee), spends most of his time rushing the fraternity.

Cast & Crew

Joe Seneca
President McPherson
Art Evans
Cedar Cloud
Ellen Holly
Odrie McPherson
Kyme
Rachel Meadows
Ossie Davis
Coach Odom
Spike Lee
Half-Pint
Spike Lee
Director
Grace Blake
Executive Producer
Spike Lee
Producer
Bill Lee
Original Music
Stevie Wonder
Original Music
Ernest R. Dickerson
Cinematographer
Wynn Thomas
Production Design
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for School Daze

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for School Daze

  • Aug 14, 2014
    Some truly funny scenes and pretty entertaining song-and-dance numbers. But just too slow -- it was about half an hour too long.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2010
    This is producer/writer/director/co-star Spike Lee's sophmore effort: a musical dramedy set at a HBCU (historically black college or university) over the course of homecoming weekend. What I found so engaging about the film is that it never once shows the perspective of white people, and instead looks at various issues (primarily black on black discrimination) solely from various and well rounded African American povs. The film is somewhat dated with specific issues, but the overall messages are still powerful and relevant. I like musicals, but I don't know if that was really a good way to present this material. That, and only one of the numbers really grabbed me. I will say that the stomp competition sequence was well choreographed and executed though. The performances are good, and you can see Lee's innovations and techniques getting better and better, but the film is a little weak structurally and leaves a few too many loose ends. However, it is entertaining, and makes some important contributions cinematically (but most culturally and socially), so I say give it a chance. It's not too bad.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    I think the main problem with this movie is that it doesn't have a wide enough audience. It's audience is pretty much just African Americans who went to college and were in a fraternity around the time the movie takes place. It's very specific and hard to relate to. The actors were very good, but that's all I liked about this movie. The story goes nowhere, and the song and dance numbers annoy me. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it unless you can relate to it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2010
    Crazy movie! Spike Lee's movies always intrigued me, but this one...was a bit too cheesy, yet amusing on his insight of college life amongst the black students of Mission college. Musical numbers were entertaining as well as some bits of comedic attempts of the fraternity rush period. I enjoyed it.
    Donna D Super Reviewer

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