The New Yorker closes a glowing review with this:
The transformative, prophetic power of “Da 5 Bloods” is rooted in its overarching sense of a never-ending war—not the Vietnam War, specifically, but the daily war at home that’s waged against black Americans, who are forced to fight for survival, equality, and justice.Roger Ebert's site opens a 4-star review with this:
Spike Lee’s excellent “Da 5 Bloods” opens with Muhammad Ali and closes with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., two legends who are inextricably tied to the Civil Rights movement and Black pride. Lee uses them to highlight another commonality: their strenuous opposition to the Vietnam War. For Ali, the objection cost him several productive years of his career and his heavyweight title; for Dr. King, this new focus was quite possibly the final straw that led to his assassination. The first words we hear are Ali’s famous explanation of why he refused to enlist. The last words we hear are from a speech King gave on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his murder, where he quotes poet Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again.”Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92%.
Between these two bookends is a heist movie of sorts, albeit one with far more on its mind than its plot details would suggest.