- From L: Toni Lysaith, Clarke Peters, and Jules Brown of Red Hook Summer
Spike Lee's films range from undeniable masterworks (Do the Right Thing
, Inside Man
) to flawed but intriguing efforts (Summer of Sam
) 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. Screening times here.