Mo' Better Blues

Watch Mo' Better Blues

  • R
  • 1990
  • 2 hr 9 min
  • 6.7  (13,532)
  • 61

Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 Jazz musical drama film written, directed, and produced by Spike Lee, who also stars in the film. The movie revolves around the life of a talented jazz trumpeter named Bleek Gilliam, portrayed by Denzel Washington, his tumultuous professional and personal relationships, and his quest for artistic excellence.

The movie is set in the contemporary period of jazz when traditional jazz is facing tough competition from the emerging fusion and rock genres. Bleek, the leader of his own jazz group "The Bleek Quintet," is deeply invested in his art and struggles to balance his personal life with his intense passion for music. He hits a crossroad when he begins to date two women at the same time; Clarke, played by Joie Lee, and Indigo, played by Cynda Williams. The struggle for love and career take a toll on him as he is forced to choose between the two women and is later involved in a near-fatal incident.

The film also delves into the complex dynamics of Bleek's relationships with his bandmates, including composite figures Shadow Henderson (played by Wesley Snipes) and Left Hand Lacey (played by Giancarlo Esposito). While Shadow is a hot-headed saxophonist who constantly challenges Bleek, Left Hand Lacey is a pianist who is virtually a musical extension of Bleek.

The film's title, Mo' Better Blues, pays homage to the jazz originator, Mo' Better Blues Band, and artist, Moe Better, who played with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Lester Young.

Throughout the film, the audience is treated to dazzling performances by Bleek and his band, which is made up of some of the best musicians of the time, including Branford Marsalis, who also provided the score for the movie. The soundtrack perfectly captures the essence of jazz music and is a definitive highlight of the film.

Mo' Better Blues addresses several themes, including the relationship between art and commerce, the sacrifice of personal relations for artistic achievement, and the vicissitudes of modern jazz. As with many Spike Lee films, it's also an insight into the African American experience.

Overall, Mo' Better Blues is a superb and engrossing film that captures the essence of jazz music in a way that many other films have failed to do. It is proof of Lee's undeniable talent as a director and writer, and of the exceptional talent of the actors, musicians, and crew that brought this film to life. If you're a fan of jazz or quality films in general, Mo' Better Blues is a must-see.

Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 9 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 61.

Mo' Better Blues
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Where to Watch Mo' Better Blues
Mo' Better Blues is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Mo' Better Blues for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
    1990
  • MPAA Rating
    R
  • Runtime
    2 hr 9 min
  • Language
    English
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (13,532)
  • Metascore
    61