Grant Paulsen’s review published on Letterboxd:
“America's on fire right now and until the fire is extinguished don't nothin' else mean a goddamn thing.”
Man J. Edgar Hoover was such a racist piece of shit.
I’ve seen this film twice already, but wow. This movie slaps like a motherfuckin sledgehammer, the themes in this movie are more important than ever right now, because the world is so fucked up. It’s such an affective and captivating story. Of all the movies like this one that have been released in recent years, this is easily the best one. It’s one of the most genuine and profound pieces I’ve seen in a while, it has so much to say, it’s such a powerful picture.
The director of photography for this movie is the same guy who has worked with Steve McQueen on all his projects, so unsurprisingly this film has a ton of flare and style to it. The cinematography and shot composition are excellent, creating a consistent visually stunning piece of filmmaking. The script is booming with sparse and powerful dialogue. This is Shaka King’s first time directing a big project like this, and if he can produce this level of quality consistently, then he’s got a very promising career ahead of him.
“Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.”
Every actor in this movie gives the peak performance of their career, everyone is at the top of their game. Daniel Kaluuya kills it in this movie, such an adrenaline fueled powerhouse performance. He absolutely deserved his Oscar win. Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, and Martin Sheen are all excellent.
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) is easily one of the best films of the year. I’m shocked that a film this good came out as early in the year as it did. I don’t think it was quite as good, nor do I think it deserved the Best Picture win at the Oscars more than The Father (2020) deserved it. But this is still worthy of the title nonetheless. And it’s absolutely pathetic that Nomadland (2020) beat out these two excellent films.
“A badge is scarier than a gun. Any guy on the streets can get a gun. A badge is like you got the whole damn army behind you.”
In the words of poor old Socko: “And the FBI killed Martin Luther King!”
2021 Films Ranked (So Far)