A Spike Lee Joint: The Director’s Most Captivating, Most Underrated, And Most Side-Eye Worthy Films Yet

April 10, 2013 ‐ By Clarke Gail Baines

In many ways, Spike Lee is a cinematic genius. He’s covered a wide range of topics that many folks in Hollywood wouldn’t touch with a five-foot pole. And in the process, he’s made some iconic films, some very underrated ones, and a few movies that just didn’t make any damn sense once the credits started rolling. But in the end, where would black films and black filmmakers be without the man? So here are a few of our favorites, a few that deserve more love, and a few that he maybe should have kept under wraps…



She’s Gotta Have It

Most Captivating

To me, Spike Lee was one of the first, if not the first, directors to proudly tell the story of black women (and ladies in general) doing what men have been doing for years, but getting negatively labeled for–having a healthy sex life with no want or need for a relationship. Nola Darling was that character with that story, and with the smooth black and white way the film was shot, the vintage shots of Brooklyn, the style and the dialogue, it was one of those movies that could suck you in and keep you watching. Darling was a very unconventional heroine, and probably because she was so unapologetic about her lifestyle (“I am not a one man woman.”), and I for one, loved that. Even if I wouldn’t dare live the same way…

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • BobbyBrownsUnhingedLowerJaw

    i tell ppl all the time…Nola Darling was Spike Lee in female form…he was telling his life story (up to that point) and do you really think the film would have been made if the central character was a male…think about it, and let it marinate…same old Hollywood…we (Black women) can only get roles when we are playing or pandering to the lowest common denominator…whores (Halle in Monsters Ball) maids (Viola in The Help)

  • Pingback: Dap’s Political Consciousness in Spike Lee’s School Daze | Revolutionary Paideia()

  • I’ve been a Spike Lee fan for years, but that Red Hook Summer was T-RASH! I tried, I really did.. I even went back and re-watched it… the acting was POOR and the message got lost right when the climax hit! It could’ve been so much better! I think Spike was just trying to release something real quick to show he wasn’t spending all his time bashing Tyler Perry, and it came off all wrong. And Bamboozled WAS GENIUS! Smh… ya’ll crazy MN!

  • dee

    i din’t really get Miracle on St. Anna. Couldn’t follow it. Did like He got Game.

    • Miracle on St. Anna was okay, I liked the story involving the war, but there really wasn’t a message. And I loved He Got Game

  • Reese

    Nola Darling is my idol. Her character was boss.

  • eestoomuch

    so many ppl got shes gotta have it WRONG…the story was actually about spike as a young man…he just flipped it and made the character a woman to be more interesting…if he would have presented it as is, with a male as the central character….it wouldve never gotten made! smart move.

  • LMJ82

    I agreed w. everything except for Bamboozled getting the honorable mention side eye.That movie had one hell of a message and was genius. Modern day black face is real! Lol…but I do love me some Spike Lee. Great article. 🙂

  • Chassie

    Still my hero <3