CHI-RAQ This is a bad movie and you should not watch it.
  • CHI-RAQ This is a bad movie and you should not watch it.

Film critics are pretty solitary people. We silently file into dark theaters with our notepads and pens and watch a screening, then we nod at the studio rep on our way out, perhaps giving a vague quote, like "interesting" or "nice soundtrack" when asked for a first impression. Then we go home, write our 700 words, and collect our commission. It's a good job for people who like to watch others interact without ever having to do so in real life.

As I walked out of Chi-Raq last night and was asked for my first impression, I started with my usual response, "It was... interesting." But then I stopped and added, "And it was bad." Then I nodded. "Yes, it was very bad."

"Oh, thank God," said a voice behind me. "I was worried I was the only one."

Another critic walked up. "I almost walked out halfway through," he said.

"How does a movie like this even get made?" asked another.

Here we were, the most antisocial people in the writing world, reaching out to share the pain we had just experienced. The pain of Chi-Raq, Spike Lee's ambitious new film tackling inner-city Chicago violence through the power of the pussy (I wish I was exaggerating). A film so bad that even after 20 minutes of commiserating with other reviewers, and even after bitching about it on my date later in the evening for another 20 minutes, I don't know how to pour all my hate for this film into one review.