CHI-RAQ

 (5,673)5.82 h 6 min2016X-RayHDRUHDR
Directed by the critically acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.
Directors
Spike Lee
Starring
Nick CannonWesley SnipesTeyonah Parris
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
EnglishEnglish [CC]العربيةČeštinaDanskDeutschΕλληνικάEspañolSuomiFrançaisMagyarIndonesiaItaliano日本語한국어LasNorsk BokmålNederlandsPolskiPortuguêsRomânăРусскийSvenskaไทยTürkçe中文(简体)中文(繁體)
Audio languages
English

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Supporting actors
Jennifer HudsonSteve HarrisHarry LennixD.B. SweeneyAngela Bassett as "Miss Helenwith John Cusackand Samuel L. Jackson
Producers
Spike Lee
Studio
Amazon Studios
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Drug usefoul languagenuditysexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

5673 global ratings

  1. 39% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 10% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 26% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

Mardy BumReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsLower ratings don't know what they watched
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A lot of the low ratings here seem to miss the fact that this is depiction of a Greek play. Aristophanes was known for his comedy in his plays. Maybe people need to educate themselves on these things first, instead of writing low rated reviews about how they didn't get it because that's more on you than the film lol.

The film had no lack of serious but also comedic elements. Very highly enjoyable, and it's clear what the message was. I just wish they talked a bit more about how White America contributes to these issues, but overall a well made film. The writing was great, it was cool to see a rap take on a Greek play. Music was apt, good lyrics too. Was weird to see Nick Cannon of all people as a gangster, but he played the part amazingly. Teyonah Parris was wonderful as Lysistrata, because she a strong actor and nice for the role, and it made me want to see more of her films. Samuel L. Jackson was perfect as Dolmedes, I really couldn't picture anyone else for that role. Ultimately a very fun film to watch and it was interesting to see a somewhat absurdist perspective on a serious topic. The last point of including "Wake Up" at the end is very much needed for this nation to understand what these communities are going through. However, it's definitely a kind of a comedic take on it rather than explaining it properly, so don't take it so seriously. The social justice message was well made though, and it gave me a lot to think about. Highly recommend just for Spike Lee, but it's well worth it to watch for the others in the film and for how awesome it is.
69 people found this helpful
EKReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2019
1.0 out of 5 starsIgnorance
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Honestly, this is rather pretentious. I understand that it is based upon Lysistrata, an ancient Greek play, but that play was made in times where women had little power. Therefore, refusing sex until peace was achieved was truly powerful, as it gave the women control that they did not have before. This is set in modern times, making this a huge stretch and somewhat disgusting.

This movie implies that refusing sex is going to solve the issues of gang violence in one of the most violent parts of Chicago. It's sexist to assume this and makes women having sex the root of an unrelated issue. The movie even states the fact that most of the violence in the area is male on male violence, yet there is an expectation that women are to fix the problem? That would never actually work on the south side. In reality, it would cause domestic violence. Again, I understand what this is based off of, but how can one make this movie without seeing the full implications of everything in it? Women are described in crude sexual detail, and they are shown as sexual beings. Whenever they talk as a group of women, they talk about sex and little to nothing else. As a woman from the south side, this is beyond degrading. Clearly, the writer of this movie doesn't have a full understanding of the issues and how they can be solved, even if he was from the area.
31 people found this helpful
eclectic listenerReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsbad reviews don't know what they watched
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amazing. one review's only words are about 'blaming violence on good gun owners'... even though there is a single reference to the NRA and a few references to school shootings... that's it. an entire masterful film reduced to 'blaming gun violence on good gun owners'. LOL. somebody is a bit obsessed... and sensitive.

I'm guessing most bad reviews just couldn't get into the swing of how to listen to the dialogue being in couplets. they probably don't like any shakespeare either.
23 people found this helpful
JB AdamsReviewed in the United States on March 9, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsOpen Your Mind BEFORE You Press Play
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This movie is not just something for the screen, it is a complete work of art. Wrap your head around those you see on screen and listen to EVERY word that is in this movie. Not only did it bring me to tears, it moved my heart in a way that I have never been moved before. The poetry that runs through this film is similar to the works from that of Maya Angelou and others. Not only do I recommend that all those of African decent watch this, I invite those of all races to watch this movie to get a deeper understanding of the problems that face the African diaspora.
Thank you Spike Lee and all actors for this masterpiece!
18 people found this helpful
Linda M.Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2020
1.0 out of 5 starsThis was one of the worse spike lee movies ever made
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First of all the worse side of Chicago isn't Englewood there are plenty of areas of Chicago where there is violence, trust me I know. I am a native of Chicago. With that being said Spike Lee has had some horrible movies, but this is the worse. I mean he did have Chicago natives in the movie which is good but to degrade Englewood like he did was irrelevant. I didn't see my friend in the movie (she lives in Englewood) but it was the worse movie ever! I mean all they were doing was screwing, cursing and rhyming. REALLY spike. I mean they had heavy hitters from Chicago like my boy John Cusack, and Jennifer Hudson. I love Angela Bassett-Vance. This was the worse movie ever made though.
11 people found this helpful
Colin Munro WoodReviewed in the United States on October 31, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsA Spike Lee Masterpiece!
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This has to be one of the greatest films ever written, filmed, acted, and sung. From start to finish it is the perfection from someone who has spent decades honing his craft, and his message, and together with an amazing cast trounce out hate, bigotry, racism, and everything that is harming the world, black communities, and Chicago itself. The truth couldn't be lain out any plainer, and clear than what Spike Lee has prepared for the entire world to see. It needs to be seen. It needs to be understood completely, and objectively.

It is a Black Shakespearean-style script and tragedy/comedy like nothing I've seen before, and although the language and sexual connotations are abundant, those choices give it the realism, truth, and simplicity of how easy it should be to want PEACE, everywhere.

Peace among ourselves, peace within the cities, peace around the world. There is already so much beauty around us all that we are ignoring, and the power of women and their being creators and healers of this world is not a mistake or a joke.

Listening to the power of the female message of love in CHI-RAQ is beyond just human, it is a soulful, and spiritual look at what humans are and what we are really meant to be. We are all meant to love and to share in the Earth's riches equally. To put down our armor, and raise our hands in praise for each other and all that creation provides.

It isn't black and white. It isn't rich and poor. It isn't power and weakness. It is love.

Jesus didn't walk among those who controlled the world, he lived among the meek and the weak and the hopeful and the peacemakers. The real Jesus is not what man has turned Christianity, and judgment, and white power in to. The true and naturally felt Jesus was about love, acceptance, sharing, giving, and hope.

So, go ahead, if you have the guts. Everyone throw on chastity and use it to throw down hate. Put down the guns, and pick up someone's heart. Stop the inner fight, the hate, and the need to prove yourself. No one needs to prove themselves, because no one is better than anyone else in the eyes of creation.

Spike Lee and CHIRAQ better dominate the awards season. Lee has struck a diamond and gold asteroid with his greatest work of art to-date!
5 people found this helpful
amazon customerReviewed in the United States on December 12, 2020
1.0 out of 5 starsUneven & not serious about gang problem
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This could have been a great movie about gangs in Chicago. Instead it was a hodgepodge of gangsta rap, weak attempts at comedy, endless rhymes, & blaming NRA & Indiana gun shows where legal sales occur. It never really comes to grips with the serious killings, despair & pain in the Englewood community. And the killings occur all over Chicago including the Westside, not just Englewood.
The movie centers on a silly premise of women denying the men of their sexual encounters until they stop the killing. I don’t care if it’s based on some Greek play, there is a real generational problem with gangs in Chicago, and shouldn’t be made light of. Every weekend we have 20-40 shot and maybe 3-15 killed. No joke. The film shoulda focused on the internal problem of family breakdown, single parents trying to work and can’t spend time raising the kids while they need attention. Kids go on the street to get love & attention and are easily seduced into the gang mentality. Some parents are afraid of their own kids. Plus if you testify against a gang member, you have to worry about the other members threatening you before court with drive by shots, sitting on your porch, fire bombs, etc. it is NO JOKE. Film never takes the condition seriously for more than 15 minutes. Would not recommend.
5 people found this helpful
RhiannonReviewed in the United States on August 17, 2020
4.0 out of 5 starsI wanted to give this 5 ⭐s...
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...there is so much to LOVE about this film. I live near Chicago, yet, I still learned a lot...or took it all in in a broader sense, I should say. Those informative parts, plus, the work we need to put in to make REAL change in Chicago & the US, I pray we find a way to make these solutions real because it is NOT impossible!
However, women alone cannot fix it with our lady parts. It's going to take BIG systematic, institutional, fundamental change. We have to first SAVE our damn democracy from a fascist! We have to mobilize our asses from Twitter to fighting for true progressives for every office who won't promise, then sell out, but our "soldiers" who WILL bring about TRUE, MEANINGFUL CHANGE! Because we're all running low on hope. But the flicker of hope still burns inside of us & if we want it we're gonna have to come together with LOVE in our hearts, FIGHT for our life & liberty to pursue our happiness, & CLAIM that CHANGE we were promised!
This film shows us (even if it's in that Shakespearean-[Pre-Shakespeare] way, that is comedy & tragedy) an over-the-top, oversimplified way these changes can begin, but these are real things that really need to happen. It may seem unattainable, but it's not.
I recommend everyone to watch Chi-Raq.
I beg everyone to vote. 🙏🇺🇸🌊
4 people found this helpful
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