User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23

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  1. Tom
    Aug 3, 2002
    10
    Brilliant! IT really makes you think.
  2. AndrewH.
    Mar 25, 2007
    10
    This is the most moving film I've seen in years. We had a party at my college where students wore "blackface" and, you know, I couldn't figure out what to think about it. On one hand, they were well meaning kids just going for yucks and trying to have fun - and it was funny. On the other, it seems like they, like the white tv producers in this film, perhaps love hip-hop culture This is the most moving film I've seen in years. We had a party at my college where students wore "blackface" and, you know, I couldn't figure out what to think about it. On one hand, they were well meaning kids just going for yucks and trying to have fun - and it was funny. On the other, it seems like they, like the white tv producers in this film, perhaps love hip-hop culture themselves but as a joke they don't seem to quite even understand - and there's a certain horror in that. Lee is criticized for not having a clear answer to his problem, well, and for not being clear in general. I disagree. There are certainly ambiguities along the way - Wayans' character development could've gone smoother. But Lee's great strength in dealing with race, and what made Do the Right Thing so great, is that he portrays all the nuanced positions in the debate in relation to each other, so that all the truths and all the absurdities of positions you actually identify with come through. The film is actually best (not worst) at its finish (although the action sequence is agreeably a bit much - perhaps fashioned after Natural Born Killers). In the very end, the tone we are left with is mournful. Lee profoundly asks, "What would it take to grieve our past so that its ghosts no longer haunt us?" Those reviewers who felt the film was confused just think there ought to be easy answers. Do the Right Thing, one of the greatest films ever made, did much of what this film did better - but this is as close as Lee has come to repeating himself as prophetic, bittersweet, funny, charming, greek tragedian. Underneath all the vitriol that gets tossed around is still the profound humanity of that film - but only in the end and "backstage". Is there a filmic sequence more poignant than when various members of the audience of the minstrel show, in black face (at first you are horrified they are in black face at all, and using the word nigger) stand and announce that they too are "niggers." You start thinking, well, it's not demeaning to black people then; it's a white fantasy and people are really joining together. But then that romanticized dream of universal-niggerdom comes quickly crashing down, when you remember the horror of what "niggerdom" actually means, when you realize the most authentically unique character in the film will be erased as a person by this movement. It's just so heart rending you can't help but join Lee in quietly letting go of the judging anger, the tittering glee, the capitalist free-for-all, the romantic conformism and you just have to sit still and watch and allow yourself to feel grief. He's got it nailed. Expand
  3. Stephen
    Jun 7, 2008
    9
    It boggles my mind how a film like "You don't mess with the Zohan" can have a metacritic score higher than that of Bamboozled. How does that even happen? If anything, it shows the current state that we are in as a society -- where a quick fix of laughter is more "enjoyable" than a brooding dark comedy/tragedy. For all the reservations I have of Spike Lee as a director and a It boggles my mind how a film like "You don't mess with the Zohan" can have a metacritic score higher than that of Bamboozled. How does that even happen? If anything, it shows the current state that we are in as a society -- where a quick fix of laughter is more "enjoyable" than a brooding dark comedy/tragedy. For all the reservations I have of Spike Lee as a director and a spokesmodel for everything that is "colored", this film was excellent in almost every way. I am fully aware that Lee fails to answer his own questions on race. Unfortunately, that is the problem with the whole notion of race. It being a social construction, there really is no "solution" for it. Using a rather postmodern approach, Lee explains this in an eloquent manner. Expand
  4. RyanM.
    May 25, 2001
    10
    Brilliant. A staggering media piece turns into a genuine masterpiece.
  5. Spongeee
    May 29, 2006
    10
    Top 10 movie of all time. So many layers to enjoy this film on. Captures the struggle of African Americans in a white world, esp. when it involves billions of dollars, the media, and our culture as a country.
  6. LynneH.
    Dec 19, 2001
    10
    This film is brilliant on so many levels that it leaves one gasping for breath. Lee asks questions about assimilation, about striving, about survival, about selling out, and, especially, about negative stereotypes. He is vicious, but he skewers both black and white culture. His greatest point to me deals with negative, derogatory, stereotypes and why people to this day traffic in them.
Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. 27
    If Lee's intention was to cement our loathing of blackface comedy, he's succeeded all too well.
  2. Nothing seriously detracts from the film's overall brilliance.
  3. The film's as chaotic and heavy-handed as "Summer of Sam" without the same sense of harsh reality.