Andre Nicolai’s review published on Letterboxd:
Spike Lee really came into 2020 releasing his war epic during one of the most crucial moments in Black Lives Matter. He’s a king. DA 5 BLOODS is the very best of Spike Lee put into one. He doesn’t hold back on numerous themes and racial issues, as a matter of fact he makes sure we are educated by the end of the film.
That’s what I love about Spike Lee the most. Every one of his films feels like a very important lesson. He teaches those lessons in a very entertaining and gripping manner. DA 5 BLOODS is packed full of race, PTSD, forgiveness, loss, brotherhood, greed, and so much more. An important series of topics which Spike Lee manages to execute masterfully.
The cast is stellar, everyone gives a very amazing performance. You really feel the sense of brotherhood between these men and this special war bond they share jumps off the screen. But it is Delroy Lindo who just blew me away the most. Lindo gives a career defining performance, unforgettable and breathtaking. Lindo’s scenes had me shaking in my seat and I could feel every emotion just ooze out of the screen and touch me emotionally.
I also think this is Spike Lee’s best looking film. For sure, without a doubt, this is the crispest joint yet. I love how the aspect ratio, tone, and music changes when we are transported back into the Vietnam War. It felt like we were traveling through time, I thought that was exceptionally well done.
The clips of Black history inserted into this film was also very moving. Seeing various figures such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X give these moving speeches just felt incredibly important. There’s even a moment where they reflect on the assassination of MLK, a very awful moment in history, and, if you haven’t already, you really come to understand why Black people are angry. Even if you’ve been living under a rock, have no education of Black history, you will feel the pain through the emotions presented in this film. That’s important, it’s important for the less educated to understand.
I could go on and on about DA 5 BLOODS all day long. It’s such a breathtaking film. One I will it forget, ever. I can’t wait to rewatch it. This is such an epic war film without having to be about the war itself. It’s more about the war of race, mind, the past than it is about the Vietnam War overall. The Vietnam War serves as the backdrop for much larger topics.
Spike Lee really put out another masterpiece. Is it too soon to call it a masterpiece? No. It isn’t. Without question DA 5 BLOODS is Spike Lee’s most masterful work to date. Everything he’s ever talked about I’m previous films is inserted perfectly into this one. I can’t wait to see what he does next.