Get on the Bus (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Get on the Bus1996

Get on the Bus (1996)



Critic Consensus: Get on the Bus finds Spike Lee pulling a page from history with fervor and flair, offering a strong, stirring fact-based drama further elevated by an array of solid performances.

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Movie Info

Eighteen African American men board a bus in South Central Los Angeles bound for the Million Man March in Washington D.C. Though representing a wide variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, these men gradually form a strong fraternal bond over the course of the long cross-country journey.

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Ossie Davis
as Jeremiah
Thomas Jefferson Byrd
as Evan Thomas Sr.
Harry Lennix
as Randall
Joie Lee
as Jindal
Frank Clem
as Jefferson
Bob Orwig
as Rodney
William Barillaro
as Officer Mike
Susan Batson
as Dr. Cook
Guy Margo
as Khalid
Randy Quaid
as Tennessee State Trooper
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News & Interviews for Get on the Bus

Critic Reviews for Get on the Bus

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (14)

The wonder of this funky, heartfelt film is that its humanity easily eclipses its didacticism. Working fast and cheap, Lee seems revitalized by the urgency of the endeavor.

February 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a simple, appealing premise and filmmaker Spike Lee uses it to full comic advantage.

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…

A vital regeneration of a filmmaker's talent as well as a bracing and often very funny dramatization of urgent sociopolitical themes...

September 24, 2008

Though Lee's deft expertise keeps things pacy and (mostly) plausible, the material can't avoid a certain predictability and, in the end, a preachy sentimentality.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

While the film assembles a full array of black male stereotypes and conines them to what is essentially a talky one-set play, Mr. Lee stylistically jump-starts this small, earnest film in every way he can.

May 20, 2003

It's two hours of men sitting on a bus talking, but the talk is alive. Lee keeps the scenes short, so that nothing ever resolves completely.

June 18, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Get on the Bus

Here Spike Lee tackles black history as always, but this time presents more rounded arguments and opinions.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

A cross-section of African-American men travel cross-country by bus to the Million Man March. There are films that rise above their politics, films that promote a particular political ideology but also tell an intimate, human story. In literature, I think of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as a representative example. This is not one of those films. Spike Lee's Get on the Bus is so pat and obvious in its politics that it doesn't get a chance to breathe on its own and its characters never rise above the types they represent. Lee's talent keeps the film afloat, and his camera tricks give the film an energy that we've come to expect from a "Spike Lee Joint," but the real problem remains in the script. This is not Lee or writer Reggie Rock Bythewood debating with himself; if you're confused about the film's politics, Charles S. Dutton lays it all out at the end for you. Overall, I don't have a lot of opinions about the political statements themselves, but I can say that the film is confined by its message.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Preachy Spike Lee rather than stylish Spike Lee spoils an otherwise decent film.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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