Sean Conners’s review published on Letterboxd:
2021 List- Click HERE
Watched via digital screener
An infuriating story edited and scored with a pulse-pounding intensity that keeps you glued to the screen until the final credits roll. King's directing is outstanding, as well as his and Will Berson's writing. Bobbitt's cinematography is fantastic, and his framing is impeccably constructed. I do think William (Stanfield) as a character was a bit underwritten, and I would've appreciated a bit more development for the friendship between him and Fred (Kaluuya.) I also really disliked the aesthetic look of Martin Sheen's J. Edgar, though he did a very good job in that role.
Stanfield is brilliant and humanizes a traitor phenomenally (this might be his best performance, though Sorry to Bother You might have something to say about that.) Kaluuya is unreal, he gives the performance of his career so far and he might be legitimately perfect here, and he will fully deserve the oscar statuette that he will hopefully receive. Fishback is also great and brings a lot of emotional depth to this role. Judas and the Black Messiah is the oscar contender we were hoping for and makes for a great addition to Black History Month.
"You can murder a liberator, but you can't murder liberation. You can murder a revolutionary, but you can't murder revolution. And you can murder a freedom fighter, but you can't murder freedom!"
🔜To All the Boys: Always and Forever