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Mo' Better Blues

4.4 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington gives a riveting performance in Spike Lee's breathtaking film on music and love. Talented trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Washington) is obsessed by his music and indecisiveness about his girlfriends Indigo (Joie Lee) and Clarke (Cynda Williams). But when he is forced to come to the aid of his manager and childhood friend (Spike Lee), Bleek finds his world more fragile that he ever imagined. Stunning cinematography, a rousing score and superlative performances come together in this unforgettable feast for the senses.

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Recommendations

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris
    • Directors: Spike Lee
    • Writers: Spike Lee
    • Producers: Spike Lee
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
    • Run Time: 130 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0000549B2
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,529 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Mo' Better Blues" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: VHS Tape
    You don't have to be a musician who has found himself grappling with the same fundamental spiritual issues as the main character (and similiar romantic dilemma) to enjoy this movie. MO BETER BLUES is one of my favorite feel good/life lesson movies because of the sheer nobility that underlies and underscores every nuance of character, plot, situation, and every note of the music. Denzel Washington as a self-absorbed, brilliant trumpeter and band leader, discovering the fragility of his life and the unrealized strength of his heart; Wesley Snipes as his ambitious, equally brilliant- and equally alpha male- saxophonist who, though on the surface a seemingly ungrateful rival ready to break and emerge with his own band, loves him more than he loves himself; Turturro as the fundamentally disinetersted producer, an archtype of the music business; two women- one who loves the music more than him, the other him more than the music; a score by Spike's father, musician and composer Bill Lee; performances by terrance Blanchard and Branford Marsalis... deft screenwriting by Spike- in one of the few movies he's made where his presence as a character doesn't take away from the ensemble product... what's not to like in this beautiful film? If you are not a jazz fan, trust me, you will become one after seeing this. A feel good movie that does not let you down; MO BETTER is, "Mo' better".
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    Format: VHS Tape
    This is a masterpeice. Bleek Gilliam is a talented musician and the leader of the Bleek Gilliam quartet, a famed jazz band in New York. Bleek has a problem. He has three loves in his life. He is forced to choose between his two worshipful lovers - Indigo and Clarke, and his true baby - his music. Further complicating his life are his lifelong freind and mooch - Giant, and his bandmate, Shadow. Giant is in and out of trouble, and Shadow longs to move out of Bleeks shadow to form his own band.
    This is a visually stimulating film. Spike Lee's uses of colors and lighting creates a mood that is essentially Jazz. The ambiente atmosphere of the film is highlighted by outstanding music composed by Branford Marsalis.
    Mo-Better blues is an urban tale that will strike at the heart of all. Those who are new to Spike Lee's brand of photography are in for a treat. Also be sure to check out other Lee classics Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, and He Got Game.
    1 Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: VHS Tape
    Like that means anything to you, but it is. Mo' better blues is about a brilliant musician battling his inner and outer demons. It's also a love story of sorts. Denzel Washington once again gives and effortless performance as Bleek Gilliam the talented and tourchred musician. Fine support work comes from Wesley Snipes, Newcomer Cynda Williams and Joi Lee. Once again veteren Cinematographey Ernest Dickerson shines his brillian photography.The score by Terence Blanchard is also excellent. Like I said this is my favorite Spike Lee movie. This may not be spikes best work (do the right thing) but this is the first film where spike seeems most comfortable behind the camera. MO better has a real 'im a porfessional'look to it. This movie really has the feel of a jazz movie, with it's bright colors and even better soundtrack makes this movie a pleasure to watch.
    Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By A Customer on August 1, 2003
    Format: DVD
    This is one of the most visually beautiful film with African-American actors I've ever seen (another that comes to mind is Devil in a Blue Dress, also starring Denzel Washington). The opening credits are a masterful combination of music and shadows.
    Overall, an enjoyable contemporary story of young, single African-Americans filmed in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a rarity for its time. They're making more of this type of film today . . . but the actors are getting younger and younger!
    Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    EXCELLENT FILM DEALING WITH MUSIC AND CULTURAL CONFLICTS. THE FILMS ACTORS AND ACTRESS DEVELOP THEIR PARTS IN A SENSITIVE AS WELL AS SERIOUS AND COMEDIC EXCELLENCE. SPIKE LEE'S DIRECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PLOT AND CHARACTERS IS ONE OF SENSITIVITY AND BRINGS AN AMERICANA THEME TO ALL ASPECTS OF THE FILM.
    Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    I would give this movie 5 stars for the music alone and seeing Jeff Tain Watts play the drums and actually act in the movie was amazing. Terrance Blanchard, and BrandFord Marsalis were on fyah!
    That said, I would give it 2.5 stars for how the roles the women were reduced to in this movie. Bleek was a playa, a dog, and the women knew it, yet they put up with that anyway. Nothing Mo betta about that. Women with low self esteem allowing a man to dog them out and in the end, one woman ends up saving Bleek. The message sent to women is that she must put up or shut up. That she can't walk away from a man who is mistreating her. I wish one of those women, would have told Bleekk where to go. But No.. they continued to pander to his philandering ways. So 2.5 stars for that story line. 3.5 stars for the interaction between the musicians, and as for Giant's character? Ugh, that little gnat played by Spike Lee, Ugh, I wish I had a fly swatter to swat him out of the movie like the leech sucking gnat he was.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Though this work impresses me as a low budget production, the story comes through loud and clear. The music can be pretty good - its the reason I got this DVD. You won't believe the way Denzel Washington sings the title cut - it's great!
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