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8.3
/10
1,582 Ratings

Crooklyn

Directed by Spike Lee
United States, 1994
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

The day-to-day joys and frustrations of Troy, a young girl living in 1970s Brooklyn with her four older brothers and her loving but complicated parents. Spike Lee’s semi-autobiographical tale recalls a season of jump rope games, Knicks super-fandom and the burgeoning influence of Soul Train.

Our take

Spike Lee returns to the old Brooklyn stomping grounds of his adolescence with this dazzling film co-written with his two siblings. Realized with a magic vibrancy that only the Lee family can conjure, Crooklyn is one of the wisest and most sincere films on the eternal subject of childhood.

Crooklyn Directed by Spike Lee

Critics reviews

Lee’s filmmaking is as exuberant here as it was in SCHOOL DAZE, with the director trying out all sorts of cinematic devices as though he were a kid first discovering the medium. At the same time, CROOKLYN is as vivid a depiction of poverty as you’ll find in mainstream American cinema of the 1990s—one memorable episode revolves around the main character (a nine-year-old girl presumably based on Joie) experiencing embarrassment over having to pay for groceries with food stamps.
January 19, 2018
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Foremost among the stereotypes undone by Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn” is the usual idea of a Spike Lee film. . . . Instead, “Crooklyn” is so mild that it’s the first Spike Lee film with the potential to be turned into a television show. More important, it’s the first one to display real warmth of heart.
May 13, 1994
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What are people saying?

  • Ethan's rating of the film Crooklyn

    Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo give knockout performances in this gem of a film from the great Spike Lee. With a killer soundtrack and Spike's unique approach to filmmaking, you feel like you are right there with this family and it is chocked full of powerful emotions.

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Crooklyn

    A humanistic and emotive film that harkens to a lost time gone by and does not insult one's intelligence. A poignant and moving family film that provides great insight into city life and childhood. A beautiful film all in all. Can we just give Spike Lee all the Oscars already? He's one of the best filmmakers we've got in America.

  • Renton47's rating of the film Crooklyn

    A great slice-of-life music video, a nice representation of nostalgia through artifice. The soundtrack is so far past overkill that it succeeds in showing us how film revives memory; the soundtrack adds to the essence of experience rather than the realism. Buoyed by Harris' performance, Lee aces the atmosphere of a family dynamic where both love and toughness are equally educational.

  • Malik Dowdy's rating of the film Crooklyn

    I think the decision to make this Troy's film was brilliant, she offered a unique perspective that the others could not. Lee had an ability to attack urban life/issues with style, sensitivity, and grace like no other in the 90s. It was pure gold, and we haven't seen anything like it since Lee.

  • Justin Senkbile's rating of the film Crooklyn

    This is so major. Overflowing with life and energy. Almost 2 hours and not a single inessential shot. Spike at his most confident. How have I not seen this before?

  • BENJAMINTO's rating of the film Crooklyn

    A classic childhood mixtape that's stuck with me since I was younger than most of the kids in the film. It falters here and there (the anamorphic lens stuff is more distracting than anything else), but the camerawork is fantastic, the bickering is perfectly-orchestrated, and it features what's easily the greatest pop soundtrack ever assembled for a film.

  • Laura G.'s rating of the film Crooklyn

    "I'll slap the black out of you!". Oh moms. What can't they do? This is an essential film on everyday life. All families have problems. Parents fight, brothers fight, things happen and people you love die. It's incredibly touching and full of life. This childhood lived on the streets with friends is almost everywhere no more, sad reality of our times. Regardless, this is a film about people like you, like me.

  • Tutu888's rating of the film Crooklyn

    Not as urgent and radical as Do the Right Thing but a heartfelt portrait of childhood in a neighborhood where gluesniffers are not yet replaced by crackheads. Another (and underrated) masterpiece by Spike Lee!

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