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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Red Hook Summer tells the story of Flik Royale, a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse, in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster--until he meets Chazz Morningstar, a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined. (Variance Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 7, 2012
    80
    The new drama, best viewed as a church movie, is a return to the kind of corner-chat indie cinema Lee revolutionized, with an emphasis on a towering performance by The Wire's Clarke Peters as a local bishop inflamed with the Word.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Jul 28, 2012
    75
    Ultimately, Lee's clarity of vision hasn't been this sharp or unique since before "Crooklyn," and it's thrilling with Red Hook Summer to witness a return to the technique – and most of all, emotional wallop – that even today continues to give his films an enduring life as both entertainment, and enlightenment.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 22, 2012
    63
    Here is Lee at his most spontaneous and sincere, but he could have used another screenplay draft, and perhaps a few more transitional scenes.
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Aug 8, 2012
    58
    The film's 121-minute running time is similarly cause for concern. Lee can be tight and focused as a gun-for-hire, but he's always viewed personal projects as irresistible invitations to self-indulgence and overreaching. Red Hook Summer is no exception.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    It's painful to watch Red Hook Summer stumble, because the man behind it has tried so hard to get his groove back. However, it's energizing in the fleeting moments when he does just that.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Sep 6, 2012
    40
    There's little drama or sense of progression in the movie until the bombshell hits, and then it just whimpers along for another half-hour until the end.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 10, 2012
    12
    Formerly a maker of bad, but at least angry, movies, Spike Lee now seems to be trying to be the world's oldest student filmmaker. Take out the rookie mistakes from Red Hook Summer, and there'd be nothing left.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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