Do the Right Thing
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Director Spike Lee dives head-first into a maelstrom of racial and social ills, using as his springboard the hottest day of the year on one block in Brooklyn, NY. Three businesses dominate the block: a storefront radio station, where a smooth-talkin' deejay (Samuel L. Jackson) spins the platters that matter; a convenience store owned by a Korean couple; and Sal's Famous Pizzeria, the only white-operated business in the neighborhood. Sal (Danny Aiello) serves up slices with his two sons, genial Vito (Richard Edson) and angry, racist Pino (John Turturro). Sal has one black employee,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Lee cagily provides a litmus test for racial attitudes in 1989, but he does so by destroying the integrity of his characters, black and white."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"Mr. Lee's movie is anything but minimalist. It is bursting with character, color, incident and music, including a militant rap number performed by Public Enemy."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"[A] movie that gives us the vitality of urban street life and the viciousness of racism in a single, brightly bedecked, booby-trapped package."
‑ Joe Leydon, The Moving Picture Show
"The many joys of the film are equaled only by the fiery injustice it bears witness to in the apocalyptic third act."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Lee shows us both sides of the situation, and lets us decide for ourselves. The results are devastating."
‑ Bill Gibron,
"A powerful and persuasive look at an ethnic community and what makes it tick--funky, entertaining, packed with insight, and political in the best, most responsible sense."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Spike Lee combines a forceful statement on race relations with solid entertainment values."
‑ , Variety
"My rowdy audience at Do The Right Thing did not cheer the riot, nor did one break out at the end. Like me, they left having seen a reflection of their own lives onscreen."
‑ Odie Henderson, Movie Mezzanine
"Sure, the movie opens up the racial problems of everyday life in New York, but it also has a very forgiving tone to what one could label as the oppressed."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"[Spike] Lee doesn't attempt to answer the complicated questions of racism, misunderstanding and simmering anger as much as confront them with a hard clarity."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"The film -- at once stylised and realistic -- buzzes throughout with the sheer, edgy bravado that comes from living one's life on the streets. It looks, sounds, and feels right."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Comes closer to reflecting the current state of race relations in America than any other movie of our time"
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Captures a sense of black pride in the late '80s that's caught between essentialism and pop-culture commercialism. Trash-talking racism, distrust, and males' insistence on respect blaze the story along a path that LA would burn with its 1992 riots."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"It's perhaps one of the greatest summer movies of all time. Do the Right Thing is as perfect as a film can get."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"A riveting drama which remains just as intense as when it debuted in 1989."
‑ Kam Williams, Sly Fox
More reviews for Do the Right Thing on Rotten Tomatoes