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'Da 5 Bloods': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything else about Spike Lee's Netflix film

Four African-American Vietnam War veterans return to the country after decades and there they battle man and nature once again, in search of a treasure they had buried

Imagine a film based on the Vietnam War. There’s plenty of them. Then imagine it being made by Spike Lee. Social commentary, war, and dark (very dark) humor. Now that’s something, isn’t it? Well, it’s not just a hypothetical exercise. Prepare yourselves for ‘Da 5 Bloods’.

Release date:

‘Da 5 Bloods’ will premiere on June 12, only on Netflix.


Per the film’s official synopsis on Netflix, it is the story of four African-American war veterans, Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.), who returned to Vietnam years after the war. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, these four, and Paul's concerned son David (Jonathan Majors), battle both man and nature.


Delroy Lindo as Paul

Delroy Lindo. (Getty Images)

The 67-year-old British actor has been a longtime collaborator of Lee and has worked in his films ‘Malcolm X’, ‘Crooklyn’, and ‘Clockers’. He’s also earned fame and acclaim for films like ‘Get Shorty’, ‘The Cider House Rules’, and ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’.  

Clarke Peters as Otis

Clarke Peters. (Getty Images)

The 68-year-old American actor, singer, writer, and director is best known for his roles as detective Lester Freamon in David Simon’s HBO crime drama series ‘The Wire’ and as Albert ‘Big Chief’ Lambreaux on Simon’s ‘Treme’. His long career in TV includes memorable roles in shows such as ‘Waking the Dead’, ‘Person of Interest’, ‘The Divide’, ‘Chance’, ‘Love Is’, and more.

Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Melvin

Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Getty Images)

The 65-year-old actor is best known for his role as corrupt state senator Clay Davis on the David Simon HBO television series ‘The Wire’. His television credits include ‘The Good Cop’, ‘Atlanta’, ‘Rubicon’, ‘The Mist’, and more.

Norm Lewis as Eddie

Norm Lewis. (IMDb)

The 56-year-old stage actor and singer has titles like ‘Dessa Rose’, ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘The Wild Party’, ‘Porgy and Bess’, and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ to his credit. In fact, Lewis became the first African-American actor to perform in the title role in Broadway's long-running production of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.


Spike Lee

The 63-year-old American film director, producer, writer, actor, and professor is a household name in Hollywood. His films are heavy on social commentary and include titles such as ‘ She's Gotta Have It’, ‘Do the Right Thing’, ‘Mo' Better Blues’, ‘Jungle Fever’, ‘Malcolm X’, ‘25th Hour’, and ‘BlacKkKlansman’.

Talking about ‘Da 5 Bloods’ in an interview with Vanity Fair, Lee spoke of the film’s politics and the cultural junction of one, the Vietnam War, and two, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.: “The United States Armed Forces came close to being torn apart when black soldiers heard that Dr. King was assassinated. They also heard that their brothers and sisters were tearing s**t up in over 100 cities across America. The tipping point came very close; the black soldiers were getting ready to set it off in Vietnam -- and not against the Vietcong either.”


The film’s trailer, that dropped on May 18, begins with a radio announcement made by the members of what looks like the Vietcong. The announcement, it seems, was intended for African-American soldiers in the U.S. Army, urging them to question why they were fighting a futile war for their oppressors. 


The powerful start gives way to four old men, partying, and enjoying life. Till they decide to return to the place where they once fought and almost sacrificed their lives. But there’s more to it than that. They also hid a treasure and they want to get it back. 

The trailer intercuts between flashbacks of the war and the present as the four veterans wonder about their lives, the immorality of the war, and more. One thing’s for sure, Spike Lee really knows how to mix social commentary and absurdities like no one else.

If you like ‘Da 5 Bloods’, you will also like:

‘BlacKkKlansman’, ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Tropic Thunder’, ‘Full Metal Jacket’, and ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’.