Movie Review for Red Hook Summer

Red Hook Summer  

Starring: Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Nate Parker


Directed by Spike Lee


Rated: R

Run Time: 121 mins

Genre: Drama


Opens September 14th


By Lisa Minzey


Calling all Independent Film Fans of Spike Lee!  The new Spike Lee Joint, “Red Hook Summer”, was an Official Selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, now coming to a theater near you.


When a middle class kid from Atlanta gets dumped off to his overly religious grandfather’s house for the summer, he is in for a culture shock. Cylus “Flick” Royal (Jules Brown) would rather be making films on his iPad2, skateboarding with a friend or watching T.V. These are all activities that his estranged grandfather Deacon Zee (Thomas Jefferson Byrd) is keeping him from by having him shadows his daily activities and meting the neighborhood.  Nothing can be more tiresome for Flick, as he has to work with his Grandfather doing the “Lord’s Work”.


Back at home in Atlanta, Flick being raised by his single mother, Colleen (De’Adre Aziza) is not an easy feat. He is a 13 year-old-boy without a strong male presence in his life, so pushing buttons has become part of his forte. For the most part, he is accustom to a certain lifestyle; one where he does not have to attend church, eats vegan cuisine and has every modern convenience, that most kids take for granted. Now, that he is spending his summer in Red Hook, the days drag on for Flick; being constantly embarrassed by his grandfather, and now, stuck hanging out with annoying projects girl, Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith).


The more that Flick and Chazz hang out, the closer they become; the closer they become, the further Flick drifts from his grandfather, creating a deeper rift. Deacon Zee’s problems with Flick are just one of the many challenges he is facing; from the neighborhood gangs to people from his past to challenging his own beliefs; will Flick and his grandfather make it through the summer or will it be their first and last together?


“Red Hook Summer” is one of those films that take a while to develop a clear understanding of what direction the story is taking. A viewer may walk away either loving or hating the film, due to the nature of some mature content of the film. I do not suggest bringing young children to this film as the film takes a darker turn towards the end 30 minutes of the film.  If you are a fan of Writer/ Director Spike Lee and his past work, you may thoroughly enjoy this film. You decide when it opens in Phoenix starting September 14th.