Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A "clocker" is a 24-hour drug dealer, and Strike (Phifer) is the hardest-working one on the streets. But for Strike, time is running out. When the local drug kingpin (Lindo) tips Strike off about an opportunity for advancement, a rival dealer ends up dead, and Strike suddenly finds himself caught between two homicide detectives. One is Mazilli (Turturro), who's only looking for an easy bust. The other is Rocco (Keitel), who's looking for something much harder to find - the truth - and when Strike's law-abiding brother confesses to the murder, Rocco vows not to rest until he's sure the real shooter is behind bars. (Universal) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. A work of staggering intelligence and emotional force -- a mosaic of broken dreams.
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin McManus
    As always, Lee fills his story with bold, vivid, glib characters who manage to be entertaining even as they flail at one another.
  3. Clockers, Lee's eighth feature in nine years, demonstrates how accomplished a filmmaker he has become, securely in control of plot, actors and imagery.
  4. While the result is visually brilliant, it's oddly disjointed and packs less emotional force than Richard Price's novel.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff(Not Credited)
    Spike Lee's adaptation of a solid, if overpraised, crime novel by Richard Price is slickly made and well acted. But with most of the novel's subplots stripped away, it emerges as just another polemic about the scourge of drugs in the African-American community.
  6. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Not Lee's finest but intriguing nonetheless.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A study of the urban dope-dealing culture and its toll on everyone who comes in contact with it, the picture has an insider's feel that is constantly undercut by the filmmaker's impulse to editorialize.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 24, 2012
    Clockers is, without a doubt, the most underrated movie of all time. One of the few instances where the movie is just as good as the book, if not better. The movie is as perfect as a movie can be; not a bad line to be found, characters perfectly cast and 100% believable (I think I've seen a million kids like Scientific since I became a journalist in Baltimore), and a deep, thought provoking message. It's a movie that should be seen by every aspiring director, every inner city kid of promise, every inner city politician and homicide detective, and every citizen who is unaware of the problems that people like Strike, Tyrone, and Victor face every day. It is a documentary masquerading as a murder mystery, and because of that, I applaud Misters Price and Lee on this masterpiece of cinema and storytelling. Expand
  2. Jul 31, 2014
    Overall, Clockers is quite the disappointing film. The acting from Mekhi Phifer, John Turturro, and Harvey Keitel is good, as well as some good supporting players here make this a very good look at life in the projects, murder, and drugs. The message about black-on-black violence is also very poignant and hard hitting. However, Spike Lee just cannot help himself and his racism here, as every single non-black character is the most racist pig ever to hit the planet Earth. I get it, cops in the projects are racist, but he hits us over the sledgehammer with it repeatedly as if we are some kind of idiot who does not get it. On top of that, many elements of the plot do not stick together very well and there are some plotholes for sure, as well as some things that are added in for really no reason, and things that are just very much unlikely to ever happen in real life. Minus the forced commentary on racism, some iffy plot elements, and Spike Lee's direction of those elements, Clockers is an interesting drama that could have been so much more with a different director. Expand