Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

Exceptional historical film-making. I'm not often one for biopic films, but Judas and the Black Messiah does a wonderful job at forming a character narrative around the history rather than being truly beholden to the timeline. In this respect, the bulk of the film is focused on character and the emotional duress of Lakeith Stanfield as Bill O'Neill, contextualized across a few years in the history of the Black Panthers. Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya are as fantastic as their previous work has guaranteed, completely engulfing the film in their presence. I can't sing both of their praises enough, they are genuinely our greatest emerging actors at the moment.

I also have to shoutout the small but impactful scene with Lil Rel Howery. In his small appearance, he embeds the film's final act with an air of dread and inevitability that shows the spread of the FBI's activity in such a terrifying way leading up to the climax. Howery absolutely nails it. Basically every element of this film was on song, just terrific to watch.

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