Time Out New York

By Joshua Rothkopf
The new drama, best viewed as a church movie, is a return to the kind of corner-chat indie cinema Lee revolutionized, with an emphasis on a towering performance by The Wire's Clarke Peters as a local bishop inflamed with the Word.
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Boxoffice Magazine

By Ray Greene
Red Hook Summer begins as a gentle character comedy and then erupts into a sudden reversal that is possibly the most powerful and disturbing sequence Lee has ever created. It's a film that makes you laugh, weep, rage and gasp, and, love it or hate it, you will definitely talk about it afterward.
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Slant Magazine

By Glenn Heath Jr.
The seamless juxtaposition of faith and pain, innocence and guilt, allows the film to transcend Spike Lee's occasional bombastic moments and become a strong examination of internal suffering.
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Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
It's a scramble, marked by the unruly variety of visual strategies Lee prefers.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Here is Lee at his most spontaneous and sincere, but he could have used another screenplay draft, and perhaps a few more transitional scenes.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Red Hook Summer has some fantastic gospel numbers, but as drama it's a casserole that never comes together.
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New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
We have little to hang onto once the film falls apart. Between the ongoing sermonizing and that final, sharp shock - which is gravely mishandled - we feel cowed into submission, rather than led towards enlightenment.
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The Hollywood Reporter

Lee's latest rambles through almost two hours of unfocused drama, burdened with endless didactic editorializing, before lurching out of nowhere into ugly revelations and violence.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
How many doubts can Lee possibly cram into one motion picture? Red Hook Summer has almost too many to count: moments that go clunk, followed by others that go clang; actors who talk as if reading their lines off cue cards or rehearsing them for the first time; and set pieces that lie there.
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New York Post

By Kyle Smith
Formerly a maker of bad, but at least angry, movies, Spike Lee now seems to be trying to be the world's oldest student filmmaker. Take out the rookie mistakes from Red Hook Summer, and there'd be nothing left.
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48 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.