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10,499 Ratings

Do the Right Thing

Directed by Spike Lee
United States, 1989


Over the course of the hottest day of the year in New York City, a pizza delivery boy navigates through racial, generational, and class conflicts as tensions intensify and reach their boiling point around a pizza joint in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

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Do the Right Thing Directed by Spike Lee

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1990 | 2 nominations including: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

The first time I saw Do the Right Thing, when it was over, I didn’t speak for a while. I was just trying to take it all in. It was a knockout – almost like being in a boxing ring. Sometimes it was brutal, and sometimes beautiful; an attack, done with style, anger and compassion.
August 01, 2019
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Anchored on a history of racial strife that far transcends the late-80s Brooklyn block it’s set in, Do the Right Thing thrives on Lee’s ability to grind antithetical characters onto a magnetic field that concurrently pushes and pulls them apart.
January 29, 2019
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I saw it in a movie theatre when it first came out, with a mostly-African-American audience, on the weekend it opened, and it is, to date, one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had seeing a movie out in public. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. And thinking about the reaction of that crowd.
September 25, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • lbunuel's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    The best analysis of class and race discrepancies in the age of multiculturalism ever put on screen. While many filmmakers are proud of their useless ambiguities, the questions here are urgent and really force us to reconsider what we thought we knew. This is Spike Lee's timeless masterpiece, and fuck Wenders for giving the Palm D'Or to Soderbergh instead of this. What a stupid choice.

  • The Nude Eel's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    With each viewing, this movie only gets more complicated, sadder, & yet more humming, crawling out of its skin with ideas. Lee spends 90 min basking you in human behavior & relationships, then drops a distressing conflict into the mix. In a political climate where every answer is easy, it's now even more painful to watch a film that seems to say "the right thing" isn't so easy to define.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    rewatched. A great example of an urban symphony, in a sense an heir of King Vidor's "Street Scene," a theatrical occupation of a specific décor and of a strict time, socially on the fringe of Woody Allen's usual social stratum. The visual delirium, image and set design, is rare and of an accurate taste - mostly for the recent North-American cinema - which grand finale is a conceptual moment of ideologic discussion.

  • Gabe's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    The characters, the dialogue, the vignettes. It's amazing how well this holds up and how relevant it is today. Unlike the polarized hate fests on social media, this film doesn't present any judgement; instead it forces you to confront the human side of race relations.

  • Alexander Dunkelberger's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    Race is a touchy subject in America. This is not a touchy film. It's a punch. Bloody knuckles, bruised and unabating. The best aspect of the film is it's not an attack on the viewer, politics, or society, really. Well, it is and it isn't. What it isn't doing is taking sides, and it isn't saying what's right or wrong or pointing fingers. It's simply happening, as it is and has across this country.

  • CutTheBlueWire's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    Do The Right Thing' is many things. It is often funny, tragic and most of all brave. It is brave to put such a hot issue onto film in a way that neither condones nor condemns the actions that characters take, there are no clear heroes or villains in the film. Do The Right Thing introduces you to numerous characters and merely asks you to watch, never to judge, only to observe the world Lee has created.

  • Hannah Seitz's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    one of the best screenplays ever. every character in this ensemble cast is richly written and flawlessly casted. spikes direction is wild and stylish. the climax of this story is one of the most intense things I've ever watched. this is truly one of my faves

  • msmichel's rating of the film Do the Right Thing

    The film that should have won the Oscar in '89 and didn't even get a nomination (Driving Miss Daisy...really?). Lee's treatise on modern race relations in America is as powerful a film now as it was on release. The conflict one feels at the mixed messages portrayed are the same that communities feel in day to day life. Characters are exceptional and genuine and the film achieved Lee a space in cinema history.

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