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Movie Info & Cast


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.~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide


  • Alfre Woodard
  • Delroy Lindo
  • David Patrick Kelly
  • Zelda Harris
  • Carlton Williams
  • Sharif Rashed
  • Tse-Mach Washington
  • Christopher Knowings
  • José Zúñiga
  • Isaiah Washington

Did You Know?


  • The film is loosely based on lives of Spike Lee and his siblings (who co-wrote the script).
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  • In the store, Troy buys a bag of chips, lemon heads, bazooka gum, licorice, fireballs and Boston baked beans. When she gets home all of the boys pull out all of the candy from the bag and Troy is seen eating a candy necklace, obviously something she did not buy.
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    • Carolyn: Wendell, please close your mouth when you chew!
    • Wendell: Why can't you let me eat in peace for once?
    • Carolyn: Because you disturbing the peace! You eat like a pig and chew like a cow!
    • Woody: Come on, Gem. It's a compliment to your good cooking now.
    • Carolyn: Compliment, my butt. That boy's just plain greedy.
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It's a movie that's so personal, naked and vulnerable that you can understand why some of its humor seems rough, some of its visuals excessive. But Crooklyn has a quality not as obvious in any Lee film since Do the Right Thing: the sense of a whole world opening, rich and real, before your eyes. [13 May 1994, p.A]

Metacritic review by Michael Wilmington
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

This remarkable movie will haunt you for a good long time.

Metacritic review by Peter Travers
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

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.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times