The best movies directed by Spike Lee

List of the 10 best movies directed by Spike Lee, order based on the average from the IMDB, TMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings
Get on the Bus
10

Get on the Bus

G

et on the Bus follows several Black men on a cross country bus trip to the Million Man March. On the bus are an eclectic set of characters including a laid off aircraft worker, a former Gang Banger, a Hollywood actor, a cop who is of mixed racial background, and a White bus driver, all make the trek discussing issues surrounding the march, manhood, religion, politics, and race.

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25th Hour
9

25th Hour

T

he filmed adaptation from the David Benioff's novel of the same name. Set in New York, a convicted drug dealer named Monty has one day left of freedom before he is sent to prison. Anger, blame, frustration, betrayal, guilt and loneliness are themes on this last day of friends, family, parties, saying goodbye, and setting things straight. A Spike Lee joint.

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Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet
8

Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet

T

en Minutes Older is a 2002 film project consisting of two compilation feature films entitled The Trumpet and The Cello. The project was conceived by the producer Nicolas McClintock[1] as a reflection on the theme of time at the turn of the Millennium. Fifteen celebrated film-makers were invited to create their own vision of what time means in ten minutes of film.

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Inside Man
7

Inside Man

A

n efficient gang enters a Manhattan bank, locks the doors, and takes hostages. They work deliberately, without haste. Detective Frazier is assigned to negotiate, but his mind is occupied with the corruption charges he is facing. With an army of police surrounding the bank, the thief, the cop, and the plutocrat's fixer enter high-stakes negotiations. Why are the robbers asking for a plane, if they are so competent and they know they won't get one? Why aren't they in more of a hurry?

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Malcolm X
6

Malcolm X

Role in movie: Shorty
T

he biopic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.

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Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth
5

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

M

ike Tyson's one-man show is a fascinating journey into his storied life and career. MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH is a rare, personal look inside the life and mind of one of the most feared men ever to wear the heavyweight crown. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Spike Lee, this riveting one-man show goes beyond the headlines, behind the scenes and between the lines to deliver a must-see theatrical knockout.

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All the Invisible Children
4

All the Invisible Children

S

even short films - each one focused on the plight of a different child protagonist.

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The Sorrow and the Pity (Le chagrin et la pitie)
3

The Sorrow and the Pity (Le chagrin et la pitie)

F

rom 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms.

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Bad 25
2

Bad 25

Role in movie: Himself
S

pike Lee pays tribute to Michael Jackson's Bad on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the epochal album, offering behind-the-scenes footage of Jackson recording the album and interviews with confidants, musicians, choreographers, and such music-world superstars as Kanye West, Sheryl Crow, Cee Lo Green and Mariah Carey.

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Do the Right Thing
1

Do the Right Thing

Role in movie: Mookie
O

n 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.

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Spike Lee

Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. His mother dubbed him Spike, due to his tough nature. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating, he went to the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer (1980), a reworking of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- a ten-minute film. Lee went on to produce a 45-minute film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983), which won a student academy award. Lee's next film, "The Messenger," in 1984, was somewhat biographical. In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It (1986), a comedy about sexual relationships. The movie was made for 175,000 dollars, and made seven million. Since then, Lee has become a well-known, intelligent, and talented film maker. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set in a historically black school and focused mostly on the conflict between the school and the Fraternities, of which he was a strong critic, portraying them as materialistic, irresponsible, and uncaring. Lee went on to do his landmark film, Do the Right Thing (1989), a movie specifically about his own town in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed a neighborhood on a very hot day, and the racial tensions that emerge. The movie garnered an Oscar nomination, for Danny Aiello, for supporting actor. It also sparked a debate on racial relations. Lee went on to produce the jazz biopic Mo' Better Blues (1990) which showed his talent for directing and acting, and was the first of many Spike Lee films to feature Denzel Washington. His next film, Jungle Fever (1991), was about interracial dating. Lee's handling of the subject proved yet again highly controversial. Lee's next film was the self-titled biography of Malcolm X (1992), which had Denzel Washington portraying the civil rights leader. The movie was a success, and resulted in an Oscar nomination for Washington. His next films were the comparatively light, Crooklyn (1994), and the intense crime drama, Clockers (1995). In 1996, Lee directed two movies: the badly received comedy, Girl 6 (1996), and the politically pointed, Get on the Bus (1996), about a group of men going to the Million Man March. His next film, He Got Game (1998), proved to be another excursion into the collegiate world as he shows the darker side of recruiting college athletes. The movie, in limited release, yet again featured Denzel Washington. In 2000 came Bamboozled which made a mockery out of television and the way African-Americans are perceived by white America and the way African-Americans perceive themselves. The movie, however, was a resounding critical success. Lee also has produced films like New Jersey Drive (1995), Tales from the Hood (1995), and Drop Squad (1994). He also has produced and or directed movies about Huey P. Newton, Jim Brown, and has commented in many documentaries about varied subjects. With pointed political messages, insightful, different and intelligent films, Spike Lee has become a well known political presence. He looks likely to have further success in the film business. Lee is an obsessive New York Knicks fan. He and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, have two children.
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