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Red Hook Summer

Red-span-thumbstandard Flik's summer vacation is upended when he's sent from suburban Atlanta to stay with his preacher grandfather in the projects of Brooklyn. As the old man tries to get religion into his grandson, Flik befriends a mischievous girl from the congregation.
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Netflix Rating: 3.3
NYT Review
The Two Halves of a Neighborhood's Soul, Bared for All to See
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Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
59%  
34%
 
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all Red Hook Summer Reviews

 
For the most part it's all rather pleasant, if somewhat aimless.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic  full review
 
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.
Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader  full review
 
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.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
 
When Spike Lee fails he fails big, and he goes down in flames with "Red Hook Summer."
Adam Graham, Detroit News  full review
 
Lee's latest film feels like several intriguing ideas in search of an over-arching story.
Claudia Puig, USA Today  full review
 
This coming-of-age portrait provides one more instance of Lee as one of this country's finest cinematic regionalists.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post  full review
 
In truth, the film fizzles as much as it fumes. There is a kind of lassitude that sets in, even as it builds toward some kind of reckoning.
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times  full review
 
It's a scramble, marked by the unruly variety of visual strategies Lee prefers.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune  full review
 
Here is Lee at his most spontaneous and sincere, but he could have used another screenplay draft, and perhaps a few more transitional scenes.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
 
This is an illustrated lecture - a jumbled, rushed cinematic rant. The ideas are there. The story is not.
Robert Levin, The Atlantic  full review
 
A movie that's alive and spontaneous and surprising is a rare enough thing to encounter-especially one that manages to address subjects as divisive and painful as inner-city black poverty without getting maudlin or preachy.
Dana Stevens, Slate  full review
 
Welcome back, Spike. It's good to see you again.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger  full review
 
Spike Lee now seems to be trying to be the world's oldest student filmmaker. Take out the rookie mistakes from "Red Hook Summer," and there'd be nothing left.
Kyle Smith, New York Post  full review
 
Peters brings a magical energy to the movie's most laggard moments, infusing a so-what drama with a must-see performance.
Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine  full review
 
From a storytelling perspective, Red Hook Summer is an absolute mess.
 
Lee grapples with a number of urgent themes, but his approaches are often either too direct (we are repeatedly pummeled by the bishop's fiery preaching) or too circuitous (the verbal and visual meanderings are sometimes valuable, and sometimes not).
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News  full review
 
A clear failure, yet Lee is getting at things that mystify him.
David Denby, New Yorker  full review
 
Spike Lee's messy, meandering, bluntly polemical "Red Hook Summer" has one crucial ingredient: a raw vitality.
Stephen Holden, New York Times  full review
 
[The movie] isn't a smooth slow jam... but one doesn't go to Spike Lee pictures in order to solicit a complacent experience anyway.
Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies  full review
 
Potently expresses, both aesthetically and narratively, a sense of inclusiveness and diversity.
Nick Schager, Village Voice  full review
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