Do the Right Thing
Do the Right Thing (1989)

Set in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Spike Lee's thought-provoking and powerful comedy/drama chronicles the events that lead up to a race riot between the residents. The action takes place on the hottest day of the year and… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: June 14, 1989
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts -- and one of the most important films of the 1980s.

Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News

In the final analysis, the best thing one can say for Lee is that he takes risks, like all true artists. For unlike most of today's film makers, he's not afraid to really challenge a movie audience to do some serious thinking.

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Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times

Do the Right Thing is complex, bravura movie making. It is also hugely entertaining, since fortunately for us, Lee's seditious method is to use humor to carry his biting message.

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Sean Burns
The ARTery

The richest and most thorough cinematic exploration of an American ailment I fear may eventually be the end of us.

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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

[Do the Right Thing is] an exceptional film, a movie that wisely deprives you of the cozy resolutions and epiphanies so often manufactured by Hollywood. Like the film's principals, you are left feeling that you have been torched where you live.

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Its characters are often abrasive; its language is consistently foul; and it takes a complicated view of race-related violence. Yet it's an attractive and even beguiling film in many ways, too, with large resources of humor and intelligence.

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Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

If you see only one movie in this season of blockbusters, make it Do the Right Thing.

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Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune

This might sound like a depressing story, but the level of performance and filmmaking is so high that Do the Right Thing becomes a most entertaining warning.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

There's only one way to do the wrong thing about Do the Right Thing: that would be to ignore it.

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Stuart Klawans
The Nation

Do the Right Thing is Lee's most complex, heartfelt and disturbing film to date, a drama about racism that is more shockingly outspoken than any I've seen since David Mamet's great, and neglected, Edmond.

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More reviews for Do the Right Thing

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A remarkable film that offers a very funny slice of life in a black neighborhood of Brooklyn before reaching an explosive ending that forces us to consider the… More
Mark Walker
Remember the days when Spike Lee's "joints" has a real edge and potency to them? Nowadays, he's rolling out more generic, Hollywood tripe… More
Letitia Lew
A mixed bag for me. The topic and actual plot events were fascinating, but I found it a little tedious to watch. The movie has this very static quality where… More
Spencer S.
I have heard varied opinions on what people seem to take away from this Spike Lee helmed indie, which became a conversation starter in the world of race… More
Eugene Bernabe
Artful, humorous, gritty and powerful. Spike Lee's joint Do The Right Thing executes with an unorthodox cinematic scope that is effective in highlighting a… More
Kevin M. Williams
Spike Lee's impressionistic love letter to Bed-Stuy, NY, NY, has plenty of head scratchin' moments, but ultimately wins over with this… More