The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
Log in with Facebook
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your account. Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified.
Please reference “Error Code 2121” when contacting customer service.
Spike Lee offers intense visuals but his storytelling feels crowded and overambitious.
All Critics (99)
| Top Critics (28)
| Fresh (50)
| Rotten (49)
| DVD (4)
Summer of Sam, for all its flash and well-crafted fury, is only superficially disturbing. It's a nightmare stroll down memory lane: feel-bad nostalgia.
Like most of Lee's work, this bites off more than it can chew, but the breadth and energy are impressive.
This is trashy exploitation at its clumsiest. Once more, a Spike Lee movie has been undone by the earnestness of being important.
Trouble is, the overlong narrative, however entertaining from minute to minute, is a mess.
The disappointment with Summer of Sam is not that it's exploitative; it's just difficult to figure out what it's supposed to be about.
Lee is a powerful filmmaker who certainly knows how to have an impact on an audience, but those who survive his ministrations are likely to wonder if in this case the battle was worth the bruises.
One of Spike Lee's most dynamic pictures, so electric and overflowing with energy it's damn near exhausting.
A deliberately overblown MEAN STREETS parody
This ultimately disappoints, but it is good to see Lee branch out into subjects which don't immediately lend themselves to his single-minded politicizing.
The film is sloppy and ill-formed, its tone lurching drunkenly from turgid soap opera to soft-core porn, descending at times to low camp.
I needed stronger and more balanced characters to really care what happened.
Whatever you think of Spike Lee, when he has the faith in his talent and material and is able to be political without the dogma, he's one of the best filmmakers to come out of America in the 1980's.
A thrilling, often bizarre film, Summer of Sam is a bigger triumph than its general critical reception would make it seem due to a great ensemble and a strong screenplay.
I am usually one to dislike Spike Lee's work due to his knack for starting fights and complaining about more talented directors. Even I can admit however that Lee can at times make a good effort. Although Summer of Sam is not a great piece of cinema, this is much better film than most in Spike Lee's filmography. The cast really elevate the material, and for what it is, this is an engaging thriller from start to finish that will certainly appeal to viewers looking for a well acted movie with effective thrills. The film could have been better as well, and though Lee tries to craft something quite different from his other work, he at times feels uncertain on how to really make this a standout feature. Spike Lee has made a good film here, and though I hate the guy, I quite enjoyed this dramatic thriller. If only he would change his outlook and shut his mouth, he would be more respected. With this film, he crafts something compelling and worth seeing. This is quite different and even if it's not perfect, it's one of his better films. The film is mixed in terms of what it tries to be, but it's always engaging due to its varied cast and well thought out characters. I will be honest, I wanted to avoid this film, and I thought it wouldn't be good due to the fact that Lee's films tend to be preachy and packed with racial tension, but Summer of Sam is different and refreshing. The cast and plot are compelling and elevate Spike Lee sometimes lacking direction. I did enjoy the film, and along with Malcolm X is Spike Lee's second best directorial effort. Even Lee's haters, like me can admit that this is an entertaining film and it works due to well written characters and standout performances. You can only imagine how much better the film would have been better if someone else would have helmed the project. This is a flawed film, but better than what I initial thought.
Know what? I bet that Spike Lee would make a really brilliant zombie movie. He really excels at crafting stories about groups of characters caught in circumstances that bring out the worst in everyone. This movie reminds me a lot of Do The Right Thing, but it's made twelve years after and set ten years before. I was surprised (though perhaps I shouldn't have been) that this movie spent so little time with David Berkowitz himself and so much more with all the characters made paranoid and hostile to each other in the wake of his insane and random murders. The Son of Sam murders have fostered an atmosphere of suspicion that leads former friends and people who've grown up together to mistrust each other, form vicious little in-groups and turn on other people to make themselves feel more secure. Not unlike in The Walking Dead. These characters seem really three-dimensional and real to me, and everyone's motivations, while sometimes despicable, are at the very least understandable. I really like the way Ruby and Ritchie get into the burgeoning CBGB's punk scene and come together, and I really liked Vinny and Dionna as the profoundly unhappily married couple trying to repair their strained relationship. Are they even compatible? I love this movie. It's so human and so big, and Spike Lee tells the story with a real sense of flair and zeitgeist.
On a scene by scene basis this film is alright, but it is a mess when taken as a whole. It's like the filmmakers came in with twenty ideas and a clumsy script that does not fully develop any of them. This leaves confusion as to what message Spike Lee was trying to convey. There are moments of brilliance in this movie, accompanied by some good acting. The most noteworthy performance is Adrien Brody. Yet for every moment of brilliance, there are tedious elements that prevent the film from being great. The relationship sub-plot with John Leguizamo's character feels like a very bad soap-opera that is only related to the Son of Sam killings by sheer coincidence. This sub-plot is a time-killer that doesn't add to the overall story. Plus there are some characters that are too cartoonish to be taken as real people, which counteracts the gritty realism Spike Lee is trying to achieve. If Spike Lee had taken the time to refine the script and made it less crowded this movie could have been really great. As it is, it is a mixed bag.
There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.