Aldo’s review published on Letterboxd:
y'know for the longest time I was told that the black panther party was some sort of terrorist organization. I don't know if it was my school or if it was just media in general but nevertheless, I did. It wasn't until about sophomore year when I actually came across media that told me otherwise, it was the first time I think in my life where I realized that I had a very misty and sanitized learning of black activism from school. I always had been worried since then that were would be some people who would never learn what the black panther party actually was. And Judas and the Black Messiah is one of the first somewhat popular media from what I've seen that paints the black panther party and Fred Hampton accurately.
I love it when people try new formats with biopics because most of them are becoming very stale to watch and Shaka King, instead of making a movie that outlines Fred Hampton's entire life, decides to make a movie only about the FBI infiltration and assassination of him. While I can see why people are a little turned off by the fact that the movie focuses on the informant, Bill O'Neal, instead of Fred Hampton. Don't get me wrong, we do spend a lot of time with Fred Hampton but not as much as you would think. But I feel this thriller format for a BioPic could attract bigger audiences and it just leads way more people to be engaged in the plot.
Shaka King is also a very very very talented director, from his work in this movie, he seems to have a LOT of range. It has a lot of stunning and breathtaking shots, especially in the climax. He managed something very engaging and very accurate at the same time which I can't really say for other historical drama (I'm looking at you Trial 7 -_-). I don't think I have much to say about this other than please watch this, it's informative and it's worth watching for the performances alone.