Red Hook Summer | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 121 minutes · 2012

Spike Lee's films range from undeniable masterworks (Do the Right Thing, Inside Man) to flawed but intriguing efforts (Summer of Sam, Clockers) to outright failures (Miracle at St. Anna, Malcolm X). This drama, about a 13-year-old boy from suburban Atlanta (Jules Brown) who spends a summer in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood with his preacher grandfather (Clarke Peters of The Wire), falls into the middle category: its sights and sounds evoke Lee's best New York stories, and there are some noteworthy performances, particularly from Peters as the charismatic holy man with a dark past. But Lee's typically paradoxical statements on race and religion muddle the narrative, and his old stylistic tricks—saturated color schemes, characters addressing the camera—aren't exactly inspired.
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Director: Spike Lee
Producer: Spike Lee
Cast: Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Heather Alicia Simms, Colman Domingo, James Ransone, De'Adre Aziza, Kimberly Gregory, Stephen Henderson, Jonathan Batiste, Spike Lee and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

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