Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 100
    I can't single out a performance. This is a superb ensemble, conveying hat joy actors feel when hey know they're good in good material. This is not a traditional feature, but it's one of Spike Lee's best films.
  2. 91
    Lee doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel when it comes to filming live theater, but he moves the camera artfully and edits with an energy that matches the music.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    90
    In directing the film, Lee allows the show's inherent vitality to carry the doc, relying on Stew's charismatic stage presence, the cast's absorbing performances and the production's effective combination of minimal staging and impressive lighting design to convey the musical's energetic celebration of artistic discovery.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    Passing Strange conjures a rare kind of theatrical magic with its emotionally raw, frequently euphoric portrait of the artist as a young man.
  5. 90
    A show not simply preserved by Mr. Lee’s camera, but brought, somehow, to its fullest, strangest, most electrifying realization.
  6. 88
    As for Lee, he clearly relates to this material and the questions of political, musical and family identity he himself raised in films as diverse as "Malcolm X," "Mo' Better Blues" and "Crooklyn."
  7. Rousing, devastating, invigorating, painful, joyful, soulful--all those adjectives don’t even begin to describe Passing Strange, but it’s a start.
  8. The cutting is hyperkinetic, yet Lee is always in synch with the cast’s phenomenal energy. He’s in their thrall--and so are we.
  9. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    80
    This first-rate multicamera transcript of a terrific show should delight musical fans (and many who think they aren't) as a niche broadcast item.
  10. 75
    Basically canned musical theater, but this is one Tony-winning Broadway show that's well worth preserving and seeing.
  11. The beginning is awkwardly earnest, but the play matures considerably while retaining its youthful energy and enthusiasm

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