Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★

An impactful story but feels a bit disjointed somehow. Some scenes are powerful and rage-inducing in the best way, and the whole thing is impressively staged, but it loses track of the central narrative - O’Neal’s undercover activities and his inner conflict - at points. Some of the characters and their relationships felt a bit shallow, particularly Hampton and his relationship with Deborah - both well acted, but not enough is done to develop them meaningfully over the course of the film. The film seems ambivalent regarding O’Neal, ending up fairly damning but still half-attempting to get us to sympathise and use his plight as a source of tension, and I’m not sure this non-committal portrayal ends up working despite Stanfield’s best efforts.

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