Spike Lee

Filmmakers

Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee (March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, writer, actor, and professor. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced more than 35 films since 1983. He studied film at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, with fellow future filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver, Tom DiCillo, and Harold Brookner.

He made his directorial debut with She’s Gotta Have It (1986). He has since written and directed such films as Do the Right Thing (1989), with Danny Aiello and John Turturro; Mo’ Better Blues (1990), which marked his first collaboration with Denzel Washington; Jungle Fever (1991), with Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, and Samuel L. Jackson; Malcolm X (1992), with Washington and Angela Bassett; He Got Game (1998), with Washington, Milla Jovovich, and Rosario Dawson; 25th Hour (2002), with Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Brian Cox; Inside Man (2006), with Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, and Christopher Plummer; Chi-Raq (2015), with Nick Cannon, and Teyonah Paris; and BlacKkKlansman (2018), with John David Washington and Adam Driver. Lee also acted in ten of his films.

Lee’s work has continually explored race relations, colorism in the black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. He has won numerous accolades for his work, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Student Academy Award, a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and the Cannes Grand Prix. He has also received an Academy Honorary Award, an Honorary BAFTA Award, an Honorary César, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

Lee’s films Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, 4 Little Girls & She’s Gotta Have It were each selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • The Last Hustle in Brooklyn (1979) -short
  • The Answer (1980) – short
  • Sarah (1981) – short
  • Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983) – student film
  • She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
  • School Daze (1988)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989)
  • Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
  • Jungle Fever (1991)
  • Malcolm X (1992)
  • Crooklyn (1994)
  • Clockers (1995)
  • Lumière and Company (1995) – directed with Merzak Allouache, Gabriel Axel, Vicente Aranda, Theo Angelopoulos, Bigas Luna, John Boorman, Youssef Chahine, Alain Corneau, Costa-Gavras, Raymond Depardon, Francis Girod, Peter Greenaway, Lasse Hallström, Michael Haneke, Hugh Hudson, Gaston Kaboré, Abbas Kiarostami, Cédric Klapisch, Andrei Konchalovsky, Patrice Leconte, Claude Lelouch, David Lynch, Merchant Ivory, Claude Miller, Sarah Moon, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Arthur Penn, Lucian Pintilie, Jacques Rivette, Helma Sanders-Brahms, Jerry Schatzberg, Nadine Trintignant, Fernando Trueba, Liv Ullmann, Yoshishige Yoshida, Jaco Van Dormael, Régis Wargnier, Wim Wenders, & Zhang Yimou – anthology
  • Girl 6 (1996)
  • Get on the Bus (1996)
  • 4 Little Girls (1997) – documentary
  • He Got Game (1997)
  • John Leguizamo: Freak (1997) -TV stand-up
  • Summer of Sam (1999)
  • The Original Kings of Comedy (2000) – stand-up concert documentary
  • Bamboozled (2000)
  • A Huey P. Newton Story (2001) – TV movie
  • Jim Brown: All American (2002) – TV documentary
  • Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002) – anthology, directed one segment
  • 25th Hour (2002)
  • She Hate Me (2004)
  • Sucker Free City (2004) – TV movie
  • All the Invisible Children (2005) -anthology, directed one segment
  • Inside Man (2006)
  • When the Levee’s Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) – documentary miniseries
  • Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
  • Passing Strange (2009) – TV movie
  • If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise (2010) – documentary miniseries
  • Red Hook Summer (2012)
  • Bad 25 (2012) – documentary
  • Oldboy (2013)
  • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)
  • Kat Williams: Priceless: Afterlife (2014) – TV stand-up
  • Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Store (2014) – TV special
  • Chi-Raq (2015)
  • Michael Jackson’s Journey from Mowtown to Off the Wall (2016) – documentary
  • Rodney King (2017) – Netflix special
  • She’s Gotta Have It (2017-2019) – Netflix series; creator
  • Pass Over (2018) – co-director
  • BlacKkKlansman (2018)
  • Coach: Words Matter (2019) – short
  • Da 5 Bloods (2020)