Walt Disney Studios courtesy Everett Collection
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios courtesy Everett Collection)

All Spike Lee Movies Ranked

Since making his feature debut with She’s Gotta Have It in 1986, Spike Lee has blazed a trail for himself as one of Hollywood’s most vibrant — and defiantly original — filmmakers. Lee has challenged audiences to confront their expectations, assumptions, and prejudices while delivering some of the most memorable films of the last several decades. Even when critics don’t warm to his movies, they still acknowledge his work is thoughtful, ambitious, and bold. With comedies (Do the Right Thing), dramas (Malcolm X), and documentaries (When the Levees Broke) to choose from, there’s something for everybody here, especially if you like your pictures full of energy and attitude. With his latest films, BlacKkKlansman and Da 5 Bloods, among his most vital and celebrated, we’re ranking all Spike Lee movies by Tomatometer!

#30

She Hate Me (2004)
19%

#30
Adjusted Score: 21.381%
Critics Consensus: She Hate Me can't decide if it wants to be a commentary on corporate greed or a sex farce.
Synopsis: Harvard-educated biotech executive John Henry "Jack" Armstrong gets fired when he informs on his bosses, launching an investigation into their... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#29

Girl 6 (1996)
33%

#29
Adjusted Score: 34.234%
Critics Consensus: Girl 6 has a compelling star, a Prince soundtrack, and Spike Lee's vivid style - and, unfortunately, a story that's never as compelling or insightful as it needs to be.
Synopsis: An African-American actress, out of luck and needing cash, takes a job as a phone sex operator in this explicit,... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 37.052%
Critics Consensus: Miracle at St. Anna is a well-intentioned but overlong, disjointed affair that hits few of the right notes.
Synopsis: "Miracle at St. Anna" chronicles the story of four African-American soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army as part... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#27

Oldboy (2013)
40%

#27
Adjusted Score: 45.349%
Critics Consensus: Suitably grim and bloody yet disappointingly safe and shallow, Spike Lee's Oldboy remake neither surpasses the original nor adds anything new to its impressive legacy.
Synopsis: OLDBOY is a provocative, visceral thriller that follows the story of Joe Doucette, a man who is abruptly kidnapped and... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 47.805%
Critics Consensus: Da Sweet Blood of Jesus has no shortage of style, but it isn't enough to make this horror-tinged Spike Lee joint one of his best -- or worth recommending.
Synopsis: A Spike Lee Joint, DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS is a new kind of love story, one that centers on... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#25

Bamboozled (2000)
52%

#25
Adjusted Score: 55.352%
Critics Consensus: Bamboozled is too heavy-handed in its satire and comes across as more messy and overwrought than biting.
Synopsis: Pierre Delacroix is a hip, young, Harvard-educated writer who is the sole person of color working for an upstart network... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#24

Summer of Sam (1999)
51%

#24
Adjusted Score: 55.194%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee offers intense visuals but his storytelling feels crowded and overambitious.
Synopsis: New York City's infamous summer of 1977 was a scene of disco divas and the culture clash between fashionable patrons... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 26.518%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Spike Lee's documentary on the football star, movie actor, and social activist is a no-frills examination of a man who... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#22

Red Hook Summer (2012)
58%

#22
Adjusted Score: 59.701%
Critics Consensus: Red Hook Summer is just as bold and energetic as Spike Lee's best work, but its story is undermined by a jarring plot twist in the final act.
Synopsis: Red Hook Summer tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#21

School Daze (1988)
56%

#21
Adjusted Score: 57.211%
Critics Consensus: School Daze is undeniably messy, but thought-provoking themes, strong performances, and Spike Lee's ingratiating energy help tie it all together.
Synopsis: Much of School Daze is based on director Spike Lee's experiences while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Laurence... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#20

Clockers (1995)
71%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74.453%
Critics Consensus: A work of mournful maturity that sacrifices little of its director's signature energy, Clockers is an admittedly flawed drama with a powerfully urgent message.
Synopsis: The grim realities of drug dealers' lives provides the basis for this gritty drama. The story centers on Strike, a... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#19

Mo' Better Blues (1990)
71%

#19
Adjusted Score: 72.855%
Critics Consensus: Mo' Better Blues is rich with vibrant hues and Denzel Washington's impassioned performance, although its straightforward telling lacks the political punch fans expect from a Spike Lee joint.
Synopsis: Trumpeter Bleek Gilliam has many problems: his jazz quintet is troubled by internal rivalry, his manager and friend is deeply... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#18

Crooklyn (1994)
77%

#18
Adjusted Score: 78.294%
Critics Consensus: A personal project that warmly reflects on director Spike Lee's childhood, Crooklyn is an episodic celebration of family and the indelible facets of one's hometown.
Synopsis: Spike Lee and his siblings Cinque Lee and Joie Lee co-wrote this nostalgic but unglamorized look at a family growing... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#17

25th Hour (2003)
78%

#17
Adjusted Score: 82.901%
Critics Consensus: An intelligent and well-acted film despite the usual Spike Lee excesses.
Synopsis: The clock is ticking on Monty Brogan's freedom--in 24 hours he goes to prison for seven long years. Once a... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#16

He Got Game (1998)
81%

#16
Adjusted Score: 84.06%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee near the top of his game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.
Synopsis: Denzel Washington does some of his best work as a prison inmate trying to earn himself an early release by... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#15

Jungle Fever (1991)
81%

#15
Adjusted Score: 84.206%
Critics Consensus: Jungle Fever finds Spike Lee tackling timely sociopolitical themes in typically provocative style, even if the result is sometimes ambitious to a fault.
Synopsis: The romance between black architect Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) and his white office temp Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) is the... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#14

Chi-Raq (2015)
82%

#14
Adjusted Score: 87.127%
Critics Consensus: Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.
Synopsis: Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#13

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#13
Adjusted Score: 93.058%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: The volatile showdown between a determined cop and a perfectionist bank robber is sent spiraling toward disaster when a scheming... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#12

Get on the Bus (1996)
89%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90.978%
Critics Consensus: Get on the Bus finds Spike Lee pulling a page from history with fervor and flair, offering a strong, stirring fact-based drama further elevated by an array of solid performances.
Synopsis: Eighteen African American men board a bus in South Central Los Angeles bound for the Million Man March in Washington... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#11

Malcolm X (1992)
88%

#11
Adjusted Score: 92.116%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by a powerful performance from Denzel Washington, Spike Lee's biopic of legendary civil rights leader Malcolm X brings his autobiography to life with an epic sweep and a nuanced message.
Synopsis: Writer-director Spike Lee's epic portrayal of the life and times of the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X begins with... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 93.454%
Critics Consensus: With She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee delivered his bracing first shot across Hollywood's bow -- and set the template for the groundbreaking act to follow.
Synopsis: Spike Lee's breakthrough independent feature, shot in fifteen days on a budget of $175,000, ushered in (along with Jim Jarmusch's... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#9

Da 5 Bloods (2020)
92%

#9
Adjusted Score: 104.402%
Critics Consensus: Fierce energy and ambition course through Da 5 Bloods, coming together to fuel one of Spike Lee's most urgent and impactful films.
Synopsis: From Academy Award Winner Spike Lee comes a New Joint: the story of four African-American Vets -- Paul (Delroy Lindo),... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 99.436%
Critics 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.
Synopsis: This powerful visual feast combines humor and drama with memorable characters while tracing the course of a single day on... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#7

Bad 25 (2012)
92%

#7
Adjusted Score: 45.175%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Chronicles the making of Michael Jackson's iconic, record-breaking Bad album and Michael's first world tour as a solo artist. Spike... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#6

Pass Over (2018)
93%

#6
Adjusted Score: 60.638%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Academy Award nominee and Honorary Oscar winning Spike Lee captures the poetry, humor and humanity of this urgent and timely... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#5
Adjusted Score: 55.469%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: One morning, a television set broke down in a living room in Gary, Indiana, leaving a large family of children... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#4

BlacKkKlansman (2018)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 114.933%
Critics Consensus: BlacKkKlansman uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events -- and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way.
Synopsis: From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It's the early 1970s, and Ron... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#3
Adjusted Score: 97.324%
Critics Consensus: When the Levees Broke offers a heart-rending elegy for an American city overflowing with culture, beset by natural disaster, and betrayed by institutional indifference.
Synopsis: Controversial filmmaker Spike Lee explores the U.S. government's response to the disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina in this made-for-television documentary... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 34.62%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: BLACK STARZ!, a Starz Encore channel will premiere this spring an original production, A Huey P. Newton Story (AHPNS), in... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#1

4 Little Girls (1997)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100.938%
Critics Consensus: 4 Little Girls finds Spike Lee moving into documentary filmmaking with his signature style intact -- and all the palpable fury the subject requires.
Synopsis: Spike Lee's first documentary is a simultaneously wrenching and provocative account of the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham, AL church... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

Tag Cloud

comedies Toys crossover Marathons Kids & Family canceled foreign FX on Hulu Star Wars 45 2020 Paramount GoT documentaries Super Bowl Walt Disney Pictures Mary Poppins Returns APB Travel Channel Sundance Now Family psychological thriller comics dc Ghostbusters Brie Larson Pirates ABC Family Calendar Reality Competition Mystery 2019 cancelled TV shows zombies Spectrum Originals romantic comedy Certified Fresh Hallmark Christmas movies Mary poppins concert Paramount Network YouTube Red anime Holidays Rocketman nature rotten FOX 2018 Spring TV Trailer romance 20th Century Fox sequel children's TV Sci-Fi batman docudrama The Witch TLC VICE Interview Amazon Prime Video documentary dogs anthology CMT rotten movies we love renewed TV shows SundanceTV Pixar parents MSNBC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cults Academy Awards Binge Guide Cosplay Classic Film Funimation Food Network The CW Winter TV TruTV Awards natural history Baby Yoda laika IFC Films films Arrowverse obituary Universal Disney streaming service CNN Black Mirror Apple TV Plus Nominations NYCC Anna Paquin Comedy Central The Arrangement movies streaming zero dark thirty jamie lee curtis Fantasy Song of Ice and Fire toy story social media dark Film Festival ABC thriller Comic Book war Disney Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Musical golden globes CBS All Access worst casting DirecTV psycho American Society of Cinematographers singing competition blockbuster zombie Crackle 4/20 Video Games slashers Polls and Games Extras VH1 YA TV Land Television Critics Association First Look Amazon Prime Mindy Kaling stand-up comedy Stephen King cancelled television PaleyFest TCA 2017 Discovery Channel Cannes Dark Horse Comics Horror book nbcuniversal talk show Turner aliens Fall TV Podcast Western RT History Character Guide Cartoon Network Peacock mission: impossible critics directors Bravo 2015 game show Sneak Peek 2016 chucky MTV The Purge WGN game of thrones 21st Century Fox Lifetime Christmas movies Showtime spider-man discovery reboot emmy awards VOD Teen police drama stoner kids Crunchyroll Best and Worst Logo Hulu Adult Swim Rock Watching Series Netflix Christmas movies SXSW binge LGBTQ Acorn TV TIFF TV renewals Women's History Month PBS National Geographic latino DC Comics Comedy adventure Trophy Talk technology BET Awards Television Academy criterion hollywood E! Hallmark biography Countdown El Rey Tarantino science fiction crime thriller TNT Ellie Kemper cancelled TV series Reality Writers Guild of America elevated horror sag awards based on movie ratings Rom-Com Sundance Syfy Hear Us Out CW Seed Mary Tyler Moore YouTube Disney Channel Apple TV+ revenge green book Valentine's Day all-time BBC America Lionsgate festivals Musicals period drama richard e. Grant movie screen actors guild name the review Heroines tv talk X-Men Pet Sematary spain comic halloween History TBS HBO Go Fox News A&E fast and furious serial killer christmas movies DC Universe CBS miniseries SDCC dceu LGBT hispanic DC streaming service TCA Awards Marvel Studios werewolf Elton John Drama politics Amazon USA Network screenings Awards Tour disaster news Tubi Apple Superheroe FXX space Freeform ITV universal monsters Pop cancelled Nat Geo sitcom cartoon Comics on TV crime transformers a nightmare on elm street historical drama sequels spinoff Disney+ Disney Plus stop motion Netflix superhero Sundance TV 72 Emmy Awards twilight DGA Film sports BAFTA blaxploitation cooking Biopics Black History Month AMC satire series OWN Infographic Chernobyl Rocky Tomatazos Marvel 007 MCU Vudu Nickelodeon hist BBC San Diego Comic-Con Election Ovation Starz asian-american Schedule true crime Lucasfilm Oscars Thanksgiving Endgame Columbia Pictures indie breaking bad cats Masterpiece justice league FX President dragons doctor who Country OneApp reviews USA medical drama Martial Arts Warner Bros. HBO cops Creative Arts Emmys TCA Winter 2020 Premiere Dates composers Opinion free movies TCA E3 Action Esquire Emmys Trivia supernatural Animation mockumentary mutant Avengers TV Epix harry potter Shudder Winners franchise scary movies Tumblr facebook See It Skip It Grammys HBO Max TCM diversity child's play finale Christmas dramedy Sony Pictures RT21 IFC Spike YouTube Premium BET NBC PlayStation teaser 24 frames Holiday 71st Emmy Awards vampires First Reviews Disney Plus unscripted Turner Classic Movies political drama cinemax GLAAD Photos WarnerMedia Pop TV crime drama video theme song Superheroes A24 Set visit independent Emmy Nominations witnail quibi travel ESPN classics strong female leads die hard The Walking Dead Red Carpet canceled TV shows joker award winner Captain marvel New York Comic Con spy thriller adaptation cars video on demand Marvel Television Mudbound ghosts spanish language Star Trek Lifetime 2017 Shondaland robots Box Office Summer Music Year in Review what to watch Pride Month Quiz GIFs Amazon Studios BBC One animated comiccon Britbox indiana jones south america television versus best boxoffice