Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

Tense, sleek, uncompromising, and dense tragedy of a critically important American figure too often ignored by our popular history. 

Kaluuya’s performance here is his kingmaker. He’s been good ever since Skins, but he really is the heart of this film. Lakeith Stanfield is always good, but this wasn’t anything unexpected for him. Kaluuya had to convince the audience that Hampton really could unite all the poor proletariat of Chicago in one Rainbow Coalition. Great plotting draws a nuanced and intimate tension between his love and his work, but doesn’t let this overtake his mission, he has no great flaw, other than trusting Judas. 

Unfortunately, Judas and the Black Messiah ends it’s theatrical run on HBO Max the day I write this review, so that means that you’ll likely not be able to watch it for awhile, until it hits home video. But if you haven’t already, this is a great film.

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