Clockers (1995) / Drama-Mystery

MPAA Rated: R for strong graphic violence, strong language and drug content
Running time: 128 min.


Cast: Mekhi Phifer, Harvey Keitel, Delroy Lindo, John Turturro, Isaiah Washington, Keith David
Director: Spike Lee
Screenplay: Richard Price (based on his book)

Review published October 11, 1996

A man is gunned down outside of a New York fast-food restaurant. The admitted killer is a hard-working and educated man (Phifer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer), who claims it was self-defense. The detective investigating the case (Keitel, Get Shorty) doesn't buy the story, and begins to suspect the man may be covering up for his brother (Washington, Out of Sight), a small-time drug pusher working for a big-time one (Lindo, Mr. Jones), who may also be involved.

Outstanding direction by Spike Lee (Jungle Fever, Mo Better Blues), with brilliant performances that highlight a multi-layered and intense film. Lee gives the film a gritty authenticity and a symbolic underlying meaning that is thought-provoking and resonating.

he biggest weakness happens to be the simplistic plot, but the plot takes a backseat to the compelling side-stories and indictment of the foolishness of a community that is killing itself and the police that care less. Another one of Spike Lee's best.

Qwipster's rating:

1996 Vince Leo