Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The biopic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.
If the montage at the end of this film doesn't make you well up, you may just be dead inside.
Yes, it's manipulative. Yes, it's largely working with the traditional conceits of a biopic. Yes, it has an agenda.
I could not give less of a shit.
This is transcendent cinema. This is one of our greatest directors, and one of our greatest actors, telling a truly epic tale. It's grandiose. It's full of emotion and heart. It's utterly captivating throughout. It feels like eight movies in one, and yet never feels disjointed.
I honestly am lacking some of the words. It's just great. Watch it. I know it's over 200 minutes long, but it shoots by, trust me. It's worth it. Lord knows it's worth it.
Film #27 of Project 90
”No, we've never seen democracy! All we've seen is hypocrisy! We don't see any American Dream. We've experienced only the American Nightmare!”
Malcolm X is all about its central character, although it is portraying some iconic moments of civil rights movement but at the center of that movement is a man whose revolutionary character change is the main focus of the film. In this epic depiction of the life of one of the most influential and of course controversial figures of contemporary America, director Spike Lee portrays a restless soul who is searching for ultimate peace and harmony, a man who never lived a quiet life, from his early gangster days as Malcolm “Red” Little…
Director: Spike Lee (Third Film)
Growing up, I don't think I really heard much about Malcolm X - the subject of this biopic. Rather the attention every Black History Month (an obtuse month in my opinion) would likely be focused on Martin Luthor King, or Nelson Mandela or one of those depicted as saintly characters. In regards to those two anyway, I never really heard anything other than the positives they contributed to society in general but also for civil rights/anti-apartheid movements.
What I never knew about these characters was in-fact that they weren't so saintly. The latter in particular; of course he was a great man in hindsight but like Malcolm X, he produced both great deeds;…
This is what Spike can achieve when he is focused. This is what happens when he is absolutely so passionate about telling a story that he doesn't allow himself to become sidetracked with too many issues. It helps of course that he has an actor truly hitting his stride in Denzel Washington. This displays a director bringing together all of his varied work tools to create a piece of work that will stand the test of time.
As with many of his early films the energy behind this biopic could be sourced from within the hip-hop community at the time. With artists such as Brand Nubian, Paris, KRS-One and Public Enemy…
Really a shame that this movie hasn't aged particularly well, nor is it currently relevant to 2014. Yep, real shame.
When discussing Malcolm X people talk about Denzel Washington's performance, the scope of the film, and the importance of the subject matter. All those things are there and are great, but I was not at all aware how weird this movie is. The first third, in Malcolm's (or Red as he calls himself) "gangster" days, is almost cartoonish in its costuming, colors, theatrical acting and sets. It draws on the nightmarish/dreamlike quality of a film like Night of the Hunter and the raw spontaneity of Black musicals like Stormy Weather. I'm sure those who are more film literate than me could uncover a litany of influences and references.
The film also uses discontinuous editing at times, drawing attention to a…
Lee feels a tad hamstrung here, his more out-there touches sticking out like a sore thumb against the backdrop of a pretty traditional biopic. Still, the script's sheer scale is impressive and Lee's handling of it on a scene-to-scene basis showcases a director that can move between seemingly different films with a seamless grace and fluidity.
Watched for his 50th death anniversary. This one is a hidden masterpiece of the 90's- at three and a half hours long it commits many sins of the biopic, but if there was ever a figure deserving of such a massive treatment, it's Malcolm X. And Denzel Washington gives him 100% justice in a performance for the ages. What an incredible life, an incredible journey.
The last Spike Lee film I had seen going in was the god-awful remake of Oldboy so I was slightly hesitant so surrender so much time to the somewhat infamous director.
That being said, I have no regrets because Malcolm X is excellent.
It's not just a traditional biopic either, Lee directs with an edge and twang, conveying the full scope of a life lived by a legendary figure who is too often reduced to being only the antithesis of MLK.
Denzel Washington commands the part like he was born for it and is helped by a host of talent.
It's a film that is captivating, smart, complex, and deeply resonant, succeeding by acknowledging its central figure's faults as much as it raises him up for the good that outweighed the bad.
Overall score: 7/10
Only Spike Lee can begin a film on Malcolm X by burning an American flag into the shape of the letter X and intersperse that burning with footage of the Rodney King beating. I remember folks being really pissed about that opening but wow did it get your attention and it was totally fitting given the words Malcolm X was saying as those images were flashing across the screen.
I don't remember how old I was when I first read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, I was probably in 7th or 8th grade, but I remember being in absolute awe of every word on the page. Malcolm X was forty years old when he was assassinated and he lived about…
Rewatched for my religion and ethics in film class; really enjoyed rewatching this one after about two years. Still a hugely captivating film; really shows how a sole performance can really influence the quality of everything in the film. A lesser performance would've brought out some more rote and conventional biopic tropes, but Denzel Washington and Spike Lee's strong depiction of Malcolm's speeches and struggles with self-loathing and the eventual self-respect he gains for himself is handled in a surprisingly convincing manner. Some really strong stuff going here; may be Denzel's finest hour and that's saying something.
As a film it's far too long at 3hrs20mins but the length is useful as an educational tool. The second half, where Malcolm X becomes Malcolm X as history knows him, is well worth the wait.
With the archival footages of the real McCoy at the end, I wonder if a slimmer version of Lawrence Fishburne would have the gravitas and the face as Malcolm.
That said it was a tour de force for Denzel, still a fledgling in his acting career but already had an Academy Award to his name.
Playing Malcolm Little whose family was distraught after the travesty towards them and ultimately towards his father, it was quite incredulous to see Washington, a highly respected actor these days, doing that sort of flashy pimping in the 1940s prior to his staunch allegiance to Muslim and fighting for the rights of the Afro-Americans.
It was certainly enjoyable to see Denzel playing a conniving devil-may-care…
I love Denzel, and this is a film of his I have been meaning to watch for years. At over 3 hours long, it is an extensive biopic. I was probably not in the best headspace when I sat down to watch this, so I should revisit it one day.
I did find the story got more interesting after about the first hour. Not that the first hour was boring, but it is from then we start to see how he began to change his life, and those of others.
Washington is superb. Spike Lee's direction is pretty spot on. I think with another viewing one day, I may appreciate this film more.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game