Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Red Hook Summer

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Complex Spike Lee drama starts hopeful, turns very dark.

Movie R 2012 121 minutes
Red Hook Summer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Red Hook Summer is a strange, meandering, complex movie more along the lines of a minor movie like Lee's Crooklyn than one of his masterpieces. Director Spike Lee calls RED HOOK SUMMER the latest chapter in his "Chronicles of Brooklyn" series, and his famous Do the Right Thing character, pizza delivery man Mookie, makes a cameo appearance. There are no clear character arcs and no three-act dramatic structure, but the movie's messiness comes close to the rhythms of real life.

Lee conjures up a very definite mood, using color filters to emphasize yellows and underlining the New York heat. On the soundtrack, raw hymnals mix with the spare piano music of none other than pop star Bruce Hornsby. And the movie's climax comes as a huge shock after the relative gentleness of the first section. But overall it demonstrates that true faith may be the result of suffering (Flik hasn't known suffering and therefore hasn't needed religion) and that no religious experience comes without some wreckage.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 10, 2012
  • On DVD or streaming: December 18, 2012
  • Cast: Clarke Peters , Jules Brown , Toni Lysaith
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Black actors
  • Studio: Variance Films
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 121 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: brief violence, language and a disturbing situation
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate