This year I have been determined to watch as many Oscar-buzz movies as possible…or at least the ones that intrigue me and Judas and the Black Messiah was one of those movies.
After having watched civil rights masterpieces like Malcolm X and BlacKkKlansman (both by Spike Lee) Judas and the Black Messiah felt like the generic versions of those films. The story, based on the true story of William O’Neal, an FBI informant who is tasked with infiltrating and spying on the Black Panther party in Chicago, Illinois, moves along in a cliche manner.
There aren’t any surprising revelations, the musical score feels like the type of music you always hear for these types of movies, and honestly, the only thing keeping me at all invested in this film were the performances of Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya.
Stanfield and Kaluuya gave inspired performances as FBI informant O’Neal and Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton, breathing life into a film that could’ve ultimately been pretty stale.
The best part of the movie was the last twenty minutes when the film took a turn for the worse and showed just how ruthless the FBI can be. That was the only portion of the film that I sat in my chair watching the movie riveted.
All in all, while it may garner critical acclaim it feels like The Trial of the Chicago 7; a film whose acclaim is boosted because of its director and actors, not its actual quality.
87 out of 100 and 4 out of 5 stars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a splendid day.