Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

Astounded that this is only Shaka King's second feature film, it is so confident yet delicately handled. The way he tackles the ripple effect of violence is really stirring.

Daniel Kaluuya is getting all the glory here (deserved), but Dominique Fishback and Lakeith Stanfield give my two favorite performances in the film. They are the thematic backbone of this story, from a now pregnant Deborah's questioning of Fred's demeanor and how that may fuel this "war zone" even further, to William O'Neal's internal crisis between what he believes and what he was led to believe. It's in Bill's story that this becomes a tragedy, and where the biblical title comes from.