As so much of wide-released American film subsides into a smiling stultification, Lee remains as forthright and critical as ever; it’s appropriate that our era of living under a New York real-estate huckster gets one of its most powerful responses from an elbows-out, indefatigable Brooklynite.
Reclaiming cultural touchstones has been a career motif for Lee, who first crossed swords with The Birth of a Nation in his 1980 student film, but here he manages to wrest the very grammar of filmmaking from Griffith in the film’s bravura climactic montage.
January 02, 2019
Lee made the didactic BlacKkKlansman to move audiences, which he succeeds in doing despite the feeling that the film has been stitched together from everywhere.
A very moving story, and this is probably Spike Lee's best in years, but without the cinematography of Ernest Dickerson, Lee doesn't have much pizzazz as a filmmaker. Or even a distinctive style; it felt like this film might have been made by anyone, and if I hadn't known that this was a Spike Lee film, I never would have guessed. 3.5*
4.5 Every time I see Spike Lee's joint, I'm surprised by how raw and direct his joint is. "Blackkklansman" is the delightful example of this tendency which shake audiences in palvarizing way. The cutback between white supremarist enjoning "Birth of a Nation" and black people sharing with their heartbreaking pain is one of most impactful critiques on America's racistic sickness I've ever seen. Bombastic as fuck.
I was expecting the offensively simplistic, black & white (no pun intended) politics, since it is a Spike Lee film. What I wasn't expecting was the lack of style or anger that usually accompany Lee's films, which are usually a fault of them. But here, having gone completely in the opposite direction, it makes for a generic and bland movie. It's a shame given the solid performances by Washington, Driver, and Grace.
This is tough material Spike Lee is dealing with, and yet, he makes it an easy, pleasant watch. A word of praise for the energetic performances from Washington and Driver and the awesome score by jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard. (3.5 stars)
BlacKkKlansman is a great audience picture and a fascinating one from the legendary Spike Lee. About a black cop infiltrating the KKK, the film is engaging and entertaining. It is also refreshing to see a film make no qualms about racism and the evil that is white supremacy. In a career that's largely been focused on personal pictures, it's interesting to see Spike Lee take on a Hollywood crowdpleaser again. [cont.]
Digital. Irony: who would say that in the contemporary North-American cinema would be precisely its 2 most irreducible iconoclasts that undermine the film industry, Lee and Tarantino, those who would come up with the most "classic" look on their society, playing with their paradigms and representations? This film composes, in parallelisms, some of the brighter moments of fictional film's structure of recent times.
Grand Prix winner at Cannes. Lee's latest may not be as politically astute as his recent 'Chi-raq' or 'Da Sweet Blood of Jesus' and is a little heavy handed or obvious at times but still reps an achievement in today's political climate. Lee's script does achieve moments of brilliance and his directorial style is evident and impressive here. Washington good in the lead role but Driver makes the most impression.
Aside from a comedy, a thriller, and the best script Lee has had in years, this is something else: a movie about movies, from the open racism of Birth of a Nation to the Confederate nostalgia of Gone with the Wind to the rumblings of blaxploitation. If you take it as a straight movie, it has its slips. As a pastiche, it's brilliant. And its message for 2018 is that laughing at an Alec Baldwin sketch isn't enough.