Lucas_237’s review published on Letterboxd:
Well, aside from a fair amount of issues, I enjoyed the hell out of this. The performances are excellent. Daniel knocked it out of the park (especially in the amazing speech scene, where he essentially delivers his lines from his soul, as weird as it sounds) , but I was really impressed with Lakeith, who conveys so much emotion through expressions and makes it look effortless.
Fantastic direction too. It’s his debut! Wow. The soundtrack is great and the film looks good (perhaps a bit too digital?). Borrows a lot from Scorsese movies, particularly gangster ones. Nothing wrong with that. And it’s a very cinematic type movie, maybe too much for it’s own good.
Anyway I think this movie has a lot of issues, and I think most of them are in the script. Particularly the dialogue. Almost every line Fred Hampton says has a “damn bro, thats deep” quality to it.. Some really hideous dialogue, characters will be talking about a certain subject and out of thin air they’ll say something related to racial issues. Like the scene with Jesse Plemons and Martin Sheen. It sounds dumb but you’ll know what I mean when you see the movie.
It is all very straightforward and it seems like they played it safe with the politics and really getting into the characters. Speaking of which, someone please explain why the fuck are we seeing so much about Lakeith’s one note character and his infiltration when there’s no interest for it, and we get relegated with short scenes of Fred and his (horrifically written) girlfriend. I literally couldn’t give less of a shit about this characters, except maybe Fred
The movie also explains everything to the viewer and leaves barely nothing for them to chew on. Very little subtlety or nuance. I don’t think I need 4 minutes of credits scenes explaining me what the lives of this characters continues to be.
Lastly, my god some scenes are really edited like shit. As if there’s zero continuity between them. But it isn’t even as bad as this movie’s ending, which is absolutely awful and incredibly rushed. Won’t get much into it but it very much feels wasted. Something really crucial happens and all of a sudden... it ends. I’m sorry but it’s really bad lol.
Seems like I hated it a lot, but no! It’s really damn good and riveting. I just wished the script was better and they went a bit further into Fred instead of giving us a Bohemian Rhapsody type beat.
Edit: I forgot about Martin Sheen in this movie... jesus christ