CINEMA: AN ANGUISHED RAP OPERA

SPIKE LEE'S CLOCKERS GRIMLY ASSESSES LIFE, DRUGS AND DESPAIR

Strike (Mekhi Phifer) works long hours, enjoys the unswerving loyalty of his admiring employees and conducts his small, prospering business with ruthless efficiency. Aside from a persistent, insoluble public relations problem--certain elements in the community despise him--he is a model of the entrepreneurial spirit that we like to believe made America great, and at 19 he has the ulcer to prove it. Strike is a crack dealer monopolizing the trade in a Brooklyn, New York, housing project.

Rocco Klein (Harvey Keitel) is a homicide detective whose cynicism energizes rather than wearies him. He'll match his street smarts against any neighborhood punk's,...

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