Running time 2h 6m | Directed by Spike Lee | USA | Drama
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Set during one sweltering summer day on a block of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Do The Right Thing follows the initially casual interactions among Mookie (Lee), Sal (Danny Aiello), Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson), Tina (Rosie Perez), Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito) and Pino (John Turturro). But tensions rise along racial fault lines as locals demand a black person’s photo be added to the Italians-only Wall of Fame at Sal’s Pizzeria, and heated, profane confrontations ultimately explode into violence. (c) Universal
Lee’s writing and direction are masterful throughout the movie; he knows exactly where he is taking us, and how to get there, but he holds his cards close to his heart, and so the movie is hard to predict, hard to anticipate. After we get to the end, however, we understand how, and why, everything has happened.
Roger Ebert | Full review [June 30, 1989]
[T]his is a complex, multilayered movie, and the in-your-face attitude supplies only the movie’s powerful, thumping bass line. The story as a whole — the melody — is sweeter, mellower, and Lee orchestrates the mixture of elements masterfully, first letting one dominate, then the other…. an exciting, disturbing, provocative film.
Hal Hinson | Washington Post | Full review [June 30, 1989]