Mo' Better Blues
Mo' Better Blues (1990)

Trumpeter Bleek Gilliam has many problems: his jazz quintet is troubled by internal rivalry, his manager and friend is deeply in debt to a bookie, and he is torn between two women. Spike Lee's colorful, jazz-fueled drama follows… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
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Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Personal rather than social issues come to the fore in Mo' Better Blues, a Spike Lee personality piece dressed in jazz trappings that puffs itself up like Bird but doesn't really fly.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Mo' Better Blues is not a great film, but it's an interesting one, which is almost as rare.

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Brian Orndorf

It's a burning, feeling film of impulses, bringing out the best in the filmmaker, who used to create miniature moviegoing events with his releases, before He Got Game came along and smothered his good taste.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Though it's full of striking visual ideas and actorly turns, it never fully convinces.

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Caryn James
New York Times

From characters to camera angles, this story of a self-absorbed jazz trumpeter is one long cliche, the kind that might make his most loyal admirers wince and wonder, 'Spike, what happened?'

Charles Shaar Murray
Empire Magazine

It's tight, suspenseful, funny and packed with great music.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Despite stylish camerawork and sturdy acting, this lengthy indulgence succeeds neither as jazz movie nor as cautionary tale.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

For the only time in his remarkable career, Spike Lee has failed to tell it like it is.

TV Guide

Full of wonderful music, grand visuals, and melodramatic plot twists, the movie is laced with very funny moments, as well as interesting insights into the world of jazz and the plight of the dedicated musician.

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More reviews for Mo' Better Blues

Flixster Audience Score: 75% Flixster User Reviews
danny d
what an incredible movie. i dont care for spike lee's themes of racial distinction in most of his films, and some of it that was present in this film were… More
Sean Lass
Middling effort from Spike Lee. It had some good scenes and it was well acted, shot etc. I just didn't really like Denzel's character and I think I… More
John Ballantine
Benefits from the fact that this is Spike Lee's debut and doesn't feature the preachiness that brings down his later efforts.
Anthony Valletta
For Anyone who loves Jazz.
Marcus Woolcott
Plenty of style and energy, but not enough soul.