MovieGoer20’s review published on Letterboxd:
Whenever Daniel Kaluuya is in a film I’m automatically interested so I knew I wanted to see this purely because he was in it. I also wanted to see how they adapted this story to a film because I found the original story quite interesting so I wanted to see how it was portrayed in a film.
What more can I say about Daniel Kaluuya? The man is establishing himself as a powerhouse of an actor with each passing performance he’s in and he’s once again excellent here as the leader of the Black Panther Party. The man just seems to not be able to miss a beat with his performances because he was exceptional in this film like he always is. There’s not enough praise I can put on his performance because it really was awesome. By his side is LaKeith Stanfield who also did a solid job overall as well. The two have great chemistry together as well despite you knowing that Stanfield is not entirely truthful to Kaluuya. Stanfield really comes across as someone who will do anything he feels his right for himself whether that means reporting to the FBI or not. I really found the whole story quite interesting and it was made better that we had two great performances to make this story more interesting. I definitely thought it was a great portrayal of these issues and some scenes get very intense because of this. Portraying these revolutionaries in such a light that made them larger than life is what you could say in this case. I will admit I felt that the beginning of the film was quite dry and lacking for me personally so it took me longer than expected to truly get invested in the film but the second and third act made up for it. I just felt the first act took a little bit too long to establish everything and it dragged because of this. It definitely has a strange pace for the whole movie but it really showed in the first act. However once the first act was done, this film picked up a lot. I thought the portrayal of the battle against the cops in the city was done very well and the shootout scene was intense in the way it should be and it keeps you on edge until it’s done. When Stanfield brings up an insane idea, that’s definitely when you know things are about to get even more interesting. That definitely holds up because the ending is extremely powerful and intense. The way the movie ends too will get a lot of people talking because it was quite the climax but also a subtle way for the film to end. It goes out on a note that will get people to think about what they just witnessed and how it could end that way for this story. I loved it for that honestly because it was something that made the film very interesting and memorable. I’ll definitely be remembering that about this film so it did its job by being so powerful yet so somber. I definitely thought this film will be loved by many for that reason as well.
Conclusion: Did I love this film like I was expecting? Not really. However the performances by Stanfield and especially Kaluuya were fantastic and held this film together very well. First act aside, this film was very interesting and powerful at the same time. I thought it was a solid flick overall for what it was. Not sure about rewatch factor for me personally but it still is worth at least one viewing. Check it out when you get the time because it’s worth your time.