Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    There is mostly sadness and regret at the surface in 4 Little Girls, but there is anger in the depths, as there should be.
  2. 4 Little Girls brilliantly captures a moment in American history and tells an achingly painful story of injustice and family loss.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    This subject demands consummate screen treatment and now has absolutely gotten it from director/producer Spike Lee. [10 Jul 1997, Pg.02.D]
  4. The film's approach is highly instructive, deeply moving, and geared to deploring the racism that breeds violence rather than reactivating old hatreds.
  5. 100
    Director Spike Lee has made some of the most hard-edged and unsettling American films on racism and its effects. Yet none has been as moving as this. [24 Oct 1997, Pg.F2]
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Lee takes a conventional, talking-heads-and-archival-clips approach to the material, but rewardingly establishes an intimate connection with his subjects by devoting considerable time to the personalities and families of the four victims.
  7. 90
    An important act of historical preservation, a focused and effective film that brings back a dark, important moment in history with startling clarity.
  8. 88
    It is Lee's job as a film maker to imbue these images with life, and that's a task he easily accomplishes.
  9. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    83
    Surprisingly, given Lee's penchant for experimentation, there's nothing remotely innovative about this sober, often intensely moving exploration of a community's lingering grief and outrage -- just the usual talking heads, stock footage, montages of stills, and such.
  10. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    80
    The film is artfully made, its occasional excesses of style moderated by the plain force of the content and the passion of the testimony.
  11. Mr. Lee, whose lean, straightforward documentary style loses none of his usual clarity and fire (the film has been exceptionally well shot by Ellen Kuras), summons a powerful sense of Birmingham's past and a galvanizing sense of how this bombing would change its future.
  12. There isn't an ounce of flab or hype, and the story it tells is profoundly affecting.
  13. Reviewed by: David Armstrong
    75
    The movie is strongest when Lee keeps his eye on the prize: the experiences of ordinary people in an extraordinary time.
  14. 75
    Lee occasionally stumbles as a documentarian... But the material is so profoundly moving that it hardly matters.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    There is not a thing went wrong in this exceptionally engrossing documentary from Spike Lee. The story was so personal in a way that it raises such anger for these innocent girls. Magnificent film. Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    A great documentary which possessed an overwhelmingly touching story by representing life of these 4 girls in such great depth that it raises much of a despair yet provoking a sense of compassion and anger to the viewers. A Profoundly Conventional Film. Full Review »
  3. KarinD.
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    This was a powerful movie that drew you into it. This story was mentioned in school, but writer/producer Spike Lee made you feel a part of it.