Bruce Fretts
May 09, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Get on the Bus

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
120 minutes
performer
Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Ossie Davis, Deaundre Bonds, Charles S. Dutton, Hill Harper, Bernie Mac, Wendell Pierce, Isaiah Washington
director
Spike Lee
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

The intimacy of video only increases the power of Spike Lee’s ensemble piece, Get on the Bus, about a group of African-American men on a journey from South Central L.A. to the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. The phenomenal cast includes Homicide‘s Braugher (as a homophobic thespian) and Richard Belzer (as a Jewish bus driver) and Waiting to Exhale‘s Wendell Pierce (as a cigar-puffing Republican). The standout performance, though, comes from Thomas Jefferson Byrd (whose face looks like a road map of his character’s hard life) as a long-absent father struggling to reconnect with his juvenile-delinquent son (DeAundre Bonds). With its grainy cinematography and loose-jointed structure, this is Lee’s scrappiest film since She’s Gotta Have It — and a trip well worth taking home. A-

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