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Da 5 Bloods

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

USA

2020

Rated R • 2h 36m

Director Spike Lee

Starring Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis

Genre War, Drama

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Four African-American Vietnam veterans return to Vietnam. They are in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader and the promise of buried treasure. These heroes battle forces of humanity and nature while confronted by the lasting ravages of the immorality of the Vietnam War.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

42

The A.V. Club by Ashley Ray-Harris

Spike Lee’s cultural messaging for once fails him in the politically muddled Da 5 Bloods. With the film, Lee offers his submission to a history of bloodied, masculine Vietnam War movies. Sadly, he’s more concerned with making a Vietnam movie that looks Black than one that actually takes on the complexities of Blackness, war, and global imperialism.
75

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

A loose, caustic look at the Vietnam war through the prism of black experiences, Da 5 Bloods wrestles with the specter of the past through the lens of a very confusing present, and settles into a fascinated jumble as messy and complicated as the world surrounding its release.
80

Screen Daily by Fionnuala Halligan

Lee is firing off rounds in all directions here. Some land, some distract, some feel like overkill. For cineastes, it’s a provocative redrawing of the canon; Coming Home or The Deerhunter, and even Stone’s so-called “definitive” work including Platoon now seem only part of the picture.
80

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

The tonal shifts can be so abrupt as to induce whiplash, not to mention a kind of moral and narrative chaos, which seems to be very much to the movie’s point. The rich, tumultuous history of Black life over the past century could certainly find a worse cinematic analogue than this heady swirl of wry comedy, seductive music, ferocious argument and devastating carnage.
100

RogerEbert.com by Odie Henderson

Lee has crafted an exciting, violent film that can be enjoyed as strictly that, but what elevates it to greatness is what it says and what it shows about the perception of Blackness, whether in heroic situations or human ones.
100

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It’s all so inventively bizarre that you could treat it simply as a black comedy, but in the final 15 minutes there is an amazing crescendo of emotion.
70

Variety by Peter Debruge

The result is overlong and erratic, but also frequently surprising for a contemporary riff on the classic greed-doesn’t-pay parable “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
100

Chicago Sun-Times by Richard Roeper

Director Lee and the team of writers have created an immersive, violent and sometimes shocking tapestry that plays out like “Deer Hunter” meets “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” with a steady undercurrent of subtle and not-so-subtle social and political commentary.

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