7.9/10
66,909
435 user 106 critic

Do the Right Thing (1989)

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,487 ( 262)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.

Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, Alex Henderson
Crooklyn (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly
Repos (Video 2006)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In this extremely hilarious comedy, Tea (Master P) and Coffee (Michael Blackson) are two repo men who work for Mr. Henderson (Katt Williams) at Banks Repo. While trying to break their "repo... See full summary »

Directors: Sal Martino, Master P
Stars: Michael Blackson, Master P, Katt Williams
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Wall Street investment banker who has been set up as the linchpin of his company's mob-backed Ponzi scheme is relocated with his family to Aunt Madea's southern home.

Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy, Denise Richards
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Four friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them.

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart
House Party (1990)
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Kid decides to go to his friend's house party, but even he can't predict what's in store for him.

Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Christopher Reid, Robin Harris, Christopher Martin
Barbershop (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop.

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.

Director: Robert Townsend
Stars: Robert Townsend, Craigus R. Johnson, Helen Martin
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Inspired by his fiancée (who dumped him), a man publishes a break-up hand-book for men, becoming a best-selling author in the process.

Director: Daniel Taplitz
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut
Hair Show (2004)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Peaches, a hair stylist from Baltimore, and her estranged sister, Angela, the owner of an upscale salon in Beverly Hills, get reacquainted when Peaches decides to attend a celebration for ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Small
Stars: Mo'Nique, Kellita Smith, Gina Torres
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Terry is an up and coming comedian, but believes politics will get him the big breaks and more time at the popular Dukie's Comedy Club. Just so happens that Terry is 'sleeping' with Ruby ... See full summary »

Director: Topper Carew
Stars: Martin Lawrence, John Witherspoon, Lance Crouther
Houseguest (1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In hot water with the mob over an unpaid debt, a con man poses as a family friend in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb.

Director: Randall Miller
Stars: Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Kim Greist
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sal
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Paul Benjamin ...
ML
...
...
...
...
Officer Ponte
...
...
Edit

Storyline

This film looks at life in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn on a hot summer Sunday. As he does everyday, Sal Fragione opens the pizza parlor he's owned for 25 years. The neighborhood has changed considerably in the time he's been there and is now composed primarily of African-Americans and Hispanics. His son Pino hates it there and would like nothing better than to relocate the eatery to their own neighborhood. For Sal however, the restaurant represents something that is part of his life and sees it as a part of the community. What begins as a simple complaint by one of his customers, Buggin Out - who wonders why he has only pictures of famous Italian-Americans on the wall when most of his customers are black - eventually disintegrates into violence as frustration seemingly brings out the worst in everyone. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heatwave  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$27,545,445
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Spike Lee wrote the script in two weeks. See more »

Goofs

When the kids are getting the scraped ice treats: The brick of ice goes from 1/8 of an inch to about three inches scraped between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mister Senor Love Daddy: Wake up! Wake up! Up you wake!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Zombie Nightmare (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

My Fantasy
Music and Lyrics by Teddy Riley
Performed by Teddy Riley featuring Guy
Cal-Gene Music, Inc., Virgin Songs, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Spike Lee's best work! A mind-blowing masterpiece of cinema! @
30 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

"Do the Right Thing" is a powerful, uplifting, visually stunning masterpiece. It's a movie that I can watch over and over again, and deservedly takes the Number 7 Spot of My Favorite Movies Of All Time. This was one of Spike's debut efforts, and until this day--the best one. Spike gives us an honest, unflinching look at the Bedford-Stuyvestant area of Brooklyn on the hottest day of the summer. He perfectly displays the racial tensions that go on between everybody from blacks to whites to Koreans. Yet he never gets preachy, which is one of the brilliant things about this movie. Some of Spike's best work is demonstrated in his shots of Radio Raheem, played excellently by Bill Nunn. RR doesn't say much, but he has this violent gaze which sums up his feelings without a word being said. Spike gives us some great angles of his face, demonstrating the pure rage brewing inside of him. He also has a great scene in which he sums up the meanings of love and hate, in Spike's trademark poetry-in-motion style. RR constantly carries around a boombox, playing the same song "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy. That song is one of the best musical themes in movie history, perfectly summing up racial tension among inner cities. This movie doesn't tell its audience that black people are better than others, nor does it say that Hispanics are, or whites, or Asians. It just gives us a raw look at what happens when we let racial quarrels get out of hand. We learn how sometimes it's appropriate to preach against racism, and sometimes we're just overreacting.

The cast is terrific, and they deliver memorable performances. I really wish Danny Aiello picked up the Oscar for his role as Sal, because that is definitely the pinnacle performance of his career and one of the best I've ever seen. Other noteworthy performances are by John Turturro, Ossie Davis and Giancarlo Esposito.

The film is put together with such fast-paced editing that it doesn't once get boring, doesn't have any low points. This is a gritty, memorable film that I wish can be considered more prominent in the eyes of the average moviegoer, because it really deserves great recognition for its unique, unforgettable style.

Spike definitely knows how to do the right thing.

My score: 10 (out of 10)


77 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 435 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

The Most Anticipated Shows of 2018

"The IMDb Show" looks ahead at some of the most compelling new shows in 2018. Plus, we challenge "This Is Us" star Chris Sullivan to guess the actors behind their movie makeup.

Watch now