Justin Turner’s review published on Letterboxd:
As someone who had very little knowledge about the true-life events that this biopic covers, Judas and the Black Messiah is both a gripping and chilling watch, with elements viewed as a topical subject.
I know Daniel Kaluuya is getting a ton of consistent praise for his role as Fred Hampton, and believe me, he deserves it, but I don't think LaKeith Stanfield gets enough acknowledgment here. He gives a knockout performance, and it's his character arc within the narrative that provides a lot of depth.
I was impressed with Shaka Smart's direction and visionary style - looking forward to seeing what he tackles next. The cinematography and lighting are both noteworthy as well.
The script has its issues, where it can feel muddled and unfocused, especially during the middle, but it recovers strongly down the stretch. And the ending is undoubtedly a gut punch that will leave you bewildered and saddened.