School Daze
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The conflict between light-skinned and dark-skinned African Americans in a traditional black university is the subject of Spike Lee's semi-autobiographical film. This comedy-drama follows its ensemble cast over the course of the initiations week for the school's fraternities and sororities, alternating dramatic moments and fantastical sequences, including a musical number.
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© Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Lee has a small, intimate talent; here, he goes for the big podium and blows it."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Although the film has big structural problems and leaves a lot of loose ends, there was never a moment when it didn't absorb me."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Some of the issues get lost in the mix, but strong performances by Lee and Fishburne make this a watchable and thought-provoking venture."
‑ , Film4
"An uneven but probably necessary stepping stone between "She's Gotta Have It" and "Do The Right Thing""
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Even with all its flaws, School Daze is worth seeing, because Lee gets into areas no director before had even bothered to come near."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"For every tough-minded confrontation between the different student factions, School Daze is apt to offer a love scene less than vital to the plot, or an overlong musical scene whose effect is that of treading water."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Spike Lee had something in mind while he shot School Daze, his follow-up to the cult hit She's Gotta Have It. Unfortunately it's still lodged behind his cranium."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"The film's political issues are far more interesting than its artistic attributes--this messy picture feels as if Spike Lee is just incidentally interested in what makes musical movies work"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Uneven and a little dull, although the ending inspires."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"School Daze, with its pompous patchwork plot, is an arrogant, humorless, sexist mess."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"A shapeless mess that falls far short of the high expectations created by Lee's first feature."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The film's central argument is that black matriculation is undercut by internal divisions."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"ambitious, messy, rowdy comedy-drama, which tosses together fraternity foolishness, campus activism, lusty romance and even a few musical numbers"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
More reviews for School Daze on Rotten Tomatoes