Do The Right Thing (1989)

Do The Right Thing has been so high on my List of Shame for so long, but for some strange reason I was never motivated enough to watch it. I’ve even owned the Criterion Blu-ray for months!  It’s just been sitting on my shelf, staring at me and making me feel guilty for ignoring it.  Finally, a few weeks ago, I was directed to watch it as part of a monthly movie challenge I’m doing with other Flickchart members, and I am so, so happy I did.

On the hottest day of the summer, one Brooklyn NY neighborhood lets their hate and bigotry get the best of them, eventually leading to an explosive confrontation so real and sad that it rocks you to your core.

This movie floored me.  For the first half of the film, I was just going along for the ride, following a bunch of people go about their day — which, on paper, doesn’t seem like it would grab your attention, but Spike Lee somehow makes interesting characters that you want to listen to, despite their flaws.  They all have jarring opinions, and while you might not agree with them, you can understand how they came to their own points of view. The reds and oranges were so saturated in this film that I felt the heat for the duration, and it’s within this scorch and sweat that the aggression and tensions slowly boil until reaching an explosive end, where I found myself empathizing with all sides and screaming in my head for all of them to just calm down and talk to each other like adults.  It’s a painful but important watch, because even though this movie was made almost 30 years ago, I feel like it’s still so very relevant.

Do The Right Thing is a well-put-together film and impresses in just about every aspect.  It’s raw and real and so very important.  For some, it might be a tough watch, but it is definitely worth your time.

The stats:

Do The Right Thing landed at #52 out of 1409 movies on my Flickchart.  That converts to a rating of 5 out of 5 stars or 96%.  It is ranked #9 out of 150 films I have seen from the 1980s, and it is ranked #3 out of 23 movies I have seen so far in this challenge.

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