Do the Right Thing (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Do the Right Thing1989

Do the Right Thing (1989)



Critic Consensus: Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts -- and one of the most important films of the 1980s.

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Movie Info

This powerful visual feast combines humor and drama with memorable characters while tracing the course of a single day on a block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. It's the hottest day of the year, a scorching 24-hour period that will change the lives of its residents forever.

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Spike Lee
as Mookie
Danny Aiello
as Salvatore 'Sal' Fragione
Ossie Davis
as Da Mayor
Ruby Dee
as Mother Sister
Bill Nunn
as Radio Raheem
Frankie Faison
as Coconut Sid
Robin Harris
as Sweet Dick Willie
Miguel Sandoval
as Officer Ponte
Rick Aiello
as Officer Long
John Savage
as Clifton
Samuel L. Jackson
as Mister Senor Love Daddy
Gwen McGee
as Louise
Joel Nagle
as Sargent
David E. Weinberg
as Plain Clothes Detective
Chris Delaney
as Stevie's Friend
Angel Ramirez
as Stevie's Friend
David Weinberg
as Plain Clothes Detective
Sixto Ramos
as Stevie's Friend
Nelson Vasquez
as Stevie's Friend
Yattee Brown
as Double Dutch Girl
Mecca Brunson
as Double Dutch Girl
Shawn Stainback
as Double Dutch Girl
Soquana Wallace
as Double Dutch Girl
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News & Interviews for Do the Right Thing

Critic Reviews for Do the Right Thing

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (27)

For all its apparent roughness, Do the Right Thing is aesthetically very sophisticated, particularly in the first half. But at the end it collapses both aesthetically and politically.

January 16, 2020 | Full Review…

White people are at war with black people, who are in turn at war with Latinos, but Lee extends to each faction a vibrant pop-culture identity.

August 2, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The film-making technique is that of an expert sharpshooter: finding and targeting the enemies of freedom and brotherhood; in between, perforating expectation with witty asides and scripted satire set pieces.

July 31, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Lee's oft-maligned scattershot style of storytelling works to perfection here, creating irreplaceable parts of a neighbourhood collage that feels truly alive, with all the messiness that entails.

July 30, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Any way you judge it, Thing reaffirms Lee's position as a filmmaker with audacity, courage and ideas.

July 1, 2019 | Full Review…

[You] need to see it for yourself. It's a very unusual movie experience -- two hours of bombardment with New York-style stimuli.

September 6, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Do the Right Thing

A remarkable film that offers a very funny slice of life in a black neighborhood of Brooklyn before reaching an explosive ending that forces us to consider the implications of racism and violence in American society (even if the conclusion is too ambiguous for its own good).

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A mixed bag for me. The topic and actual plot events were fascinating, but I found it a little tedious to watch. The movie has this very static quality where actors tend to stand in one spot when they're delivering their lines, instead of moving around naturally, which makes it feel at times like an amateurish stage play. (Perhaps most of it was filmed single-camera?) The only character I felt for was Sal, Danny Aiello is a superb actor. I'm not sure if we're supposed to like the main character Mookie, tbh. Some of the dialogue (especially by Mister Senor Love Daddy and the three old men sitting around) is hilarious with great flow, but a lot of times, for example when tempers run hot, the lines people yell at each other are clichéd and carry no meaning.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

Artful, humorous, gritty and powerful. Spike Lee's joint Do The Right Thing executes with an unorthodox cinematic scope that is effective in highlighting a boom of a new generation. The film's overall tone and driving message tells a tale that resonates with all generations. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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