It's hard to deny the influence that Spike Lee has had on Hollywood, movies in general and the role of African Americans in both. He's been making movies that millions of people will still pay to watch in an age where we mostly pirate our media, that certainly counts for something.
I am not a huge fan of Spike Lee but I have watched a decent majority of his films. I think his story selection is usually sound and he tends to do a very good job as far as his directing skills. I believe he is one of our more notable directors.
Yes, Spike Lee is a good director, because he is known for his work. I do not always agree with his work, and I certainly do not agree with the comments that he made about gentrification. However, the mark of a director is whether they can make people think, and Spike Lee certainly does that.
Back in the day, he made good films such as He Got Game, 25th Hour and Inside Man (I think he made that film). However, the films he makes these days are not that great. Especially the Oldboy remake. What a colossal and unnecessary mess that movie was. So sad, so sad.
Spike Lee was relevant at a time when racially charged movies were something new, and needed to be made. The world has moved on. Spike Lee hasn't. The mark of a good director is relevancy over time. Clearly, Lee doesn't have that. If you look at the actual quality of the moveis, they rank middle of the road at best.