Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

Incredibly powerful filmmaking at the time when it may well be needed most. I knew Fred Hampton's story before watching Judas and the Black Messiah, but it's always worth being reminded of the importance of the Black Panther Party (and just a few of the reasons that J. Edgar Hoover is burning in hell as we speak). This dramatisation is incredibly enthralling and well-acted, with Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield both firmly cementing themselves as two of the best and brightest stars in modern Hollywood. Under the direction of Shaka King, Sean Bobbitt's cinematography is also, once again, outstanding: helping to frame everything that happens in the most compelling and emotionally devastating way possible.

As a biopic, the structure feels familiar, and it does fall into genre cliché very occasionally - but between the two gripping lead performances, naturally engaging narrative, and handling of the absolutely crucial theme of racial justice, Judas and the Black Messiah becomes a must-see.

2021: Ranked

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