Spike Lee and his siblings Cinque Lee and Joie Lee co-wrote this nostalgic but unglamorized look at a family growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s, inspired by their own childhood. Woody Carmichael (Delroy Lindo) is a jazz musician whose career is in a slump; he once made a good living as a session musician, but he has moved away from it to devote himself to more serious music, a choice that has not worked out well from a financial standpoint. His wife Carolyn (Alfre Woodard) works as a school teacher to keep food on the table. The Carmichaels have five children, a bright and introspective daughter named Troy (Zelda Harris) and four sons with a habit of causing trouble, and they all share an apartment in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Crooklyn follows the Carmichaels as the kids learn the funny and painful lessons of growing up, Mom and Dad balance their love for each other against the financial and personal difficulties of the creative life, and they all try to get along with the often eccentric neighbors on their block. Crooklyn's soundtrack is enlivened by classic 70s R&B hits, including selections by Sly and the Family Stone, The Jackson Five, Curtis Mayfield, The Staple Singers, and The Chambers Brothers.
"This remarkable movie will haunt you for a good long time." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Modulating from heavy to light, from angry to lyrical, and so on, the movie's an enjoyable, emotional symphony." Desson Thompson, Washington Post
"A winning work whose charms far outweigh any pitfalls." Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Crooklyn is not in any way an angry film. But thinking about the difference between its world and ours can make you angry, and I think that was one of Lee's purposes here." Roger Ebert
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