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Worth A Look: 25.71%
Just Average: 20%
Pretty Crappy: 2.86%
Sucks: 2.86%

3 reviews, 17 user ratings

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by Chef ADogg

"The Spiker's best"
5 stars

The first time I watched "Clockers," I didn't like it. I rented it a few days after completing the book (by Richard Price), which constituted something of a spiritual journey. I was prejudiced against the film from the very beginning, for no real reason other than it wasn't the book.

I decided to give it another try earlier this year--and boy was I glad. My imagination was no longer hemmed in by the novel--it was more of a faint memory than anything else. What I found sticking with me more were images from the picture (particularly the flashback to Rodney's first murder), and that's why I finally gave it another chance.

"Clockers" burns itself into your brain with clockwork precision--Spike never lets go of the reins here, delivering a somewhat simple storry gussed up and tricked out not with plot mechanics but with emotional complexities--a rarity in the world of cinema.

Tight and passionate, this is a film that once delivers both the visceral, rushing visuals of all Spike Lee joints AND a trickily layered moral question. The material is handled with finesse and skill; never before has Lee combined pop brain candy and mature artistry so successfully or seamlessly.

As always, there's style up the wazoo, but there's also a story to keep those fickle viewers watching. This should have served as a wake up call to those who had abandoned Spike after his post "Do The Right Thing" mishaps--too bad nobody bothered to see it.

Contributing to the effect are great performances by Harvey Keitel, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, Isiah Washington, and Thomas Jefferson Byrd (and, yes, some nice bits from John Turturro). The performers nail their roles perfectly, particularly Keitel--this is the best he's been in years. He doesn't seem as aloof as he has in recent roles--he focuses his energy and slow burn anger on the matters at hand and shines through brilliantly.

Also of note is Phifer--after this film, he quickly did as many shit movies as possible to effectively kill his career ("I Still Know What You Did Last Summer," anyone?), but "Clockers" stands as his moment of greatness.

Great performances, brilliant direction--the most powerful film I've ever seen. Congratulations to Spike Lee--you're all grown up, big boy. There's no juvenalia to be found here; just a really good story done to excellence by a cinematic master.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2061&reviewer=123
originally posted: 08/09/99 17:20:57
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell raw & entertaing but corny 4 stars
7/09/11 conley dark movie, with good performances, Keith David kicked ass as brutalizing cop. 4 stars
5/23/09 Jeff Wilder Very well-made and well acted. Spike Lee's most underrated film. 4 stars
9/24/08 BigRussian Great film which made me wan to read the book. Spike's adaptation stands out. 5 stars
5/19/08 jointz Spike shows talent for gritty filmmaking. A must-see urban drama. 5 stars
11/18/06 Steve Newman A great film recently watched on sky - did the series The Wire copy some of the characters? 4 stars
1/16/04 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) Great music and cinematography. They stand out the most. 5 stars
10/09/03 R.W. Welch Watchable chaos-in-the-ghetto pic tho a bit artsy and preachy. 4 stars
3/31/03 Jack Sommersby Incomprehensible adaptation of a superlative novel. Good acting, though. 2 stars
8/03/02 daniboy spike lee is a great director, but this is too preachy to bare 3 stars
9/24/01 Phillson You are blind, if you can't see this ia a masterpiece. 5 stars
5/03/01 BrainPan Spike is so hit and miss. Fortunately, this one hits. 4 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L spike lee is the most overrated director - he only has shock value. 1 stars
6/26/00 Robert Baum Unforgettable. An urban masterpiece 5 stars
4/21/00 JonnyAngel Often overlooked, but solid. 4 stars
6/28/99 Steve Bashakus Spike redeems himself after "Girl 6" with this tense look at the inner city. 4 stars
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  13-Sep-1995 (R)


  02-Feb-1996 (M)

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