Jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I am a revolutionary"
Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya turn in career defining performances as incredibly complex historical figures. Judas and The Black Messiah is in fact a political and breathtaking film.
Harkening back to the 60s civil rights movement. A movement that was heavily criticized and abused by the police and law enforcement. The film takes all sides of the story. From the viewpoint of the FBI, KKK chapter, and the local city gangs.
The movement itself was criticized for being too radical, too terroristic, too socialist. Buzzwords that are continued to be thrown at our current Black Lives Movement. Like Mangrove, this continues to ask the question about "How do we protest?" "How do we get our point across?". "Is it through violence or peace?". Fred Hampton's message was in theory violent yet, he did not want to harm people. It makes you think about all sides of the story. Especially, Willam O'Neil played by Lakeith Stanfield. How he was constantly at odds with supporting the movement yet, being emotionally truamatized by the FBI.
Shaka King emulates his contemporaries like Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese. He creates an immersive and slow paced film that begs to be paid attention to. Easily one the best studio films to depicted a black movement.
Daniel Kaluuya is a lock for Best Supporting. I can see this get nominated for Best Picture. I want Lakeith Stanfield to be nominated for Best Actor. He deserves it.
It comes out on HBO Max next week.