The biopic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.
The biopic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.
Denzel Washington Angela Bassett Albert Hall Al Freeman, Jr. Delroy Lindo Spike Lee Theresa Randle Kate Vernon Lonette McKee Tommy Hollis James McDaniel Ernest Lee Thomas Jean-Claude La Marre Peter Boyle Karen Allen Christopher Plummer Larry McCoy Maurice Sneed Debi Mazar Phyllis Yvonne Stickney Scot Anthony Robinson Sonny Jim Gaines Joe Seneca LaTanya Richardson Jackson Wendell Pierce Michael Guess Leland Gantt Giancarlo Esposito Leonard L. Thomas Show All…
When the white girl at the college asks Malcolm X what she can do to help his people, he responds with a blunt "Nothing." Though Malcolm X would later come around on this idea, the context of that girl's question stands out. She precedes it by asserting that she's not a bad person despite what her ancestors did, and... it's not that simple. If your parents killed someone and stole their wealth, I would not argue that you stand trial for their crimes, but I would argue that the wealth they stole should be returned. That girl (and myself) have both benefited from the white supremacist world we live in, and though we are not guilty of enslaving people or…
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.
I'm honestly surprised at how fast this film went for me. Never did I feel the 3 hours and 22 minutes of this epic of a biopic. Malcolm X is one of the most intricate and in depth biopics I've seen. A film that goes in depth with one of the most interesting, important, and influential people of the 20th Century. Visually stunning and intricate in its plotting, Malcolm X shows us the construction of a man who would shape the foundations of discussion of race. The library scene is amazing in how they dissect the inherent racism placed in the word just through text, how the world is constructed to think of black as inherently lower or evil…
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…
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…
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;…
Had to get the taste of the inauguration out of my mouth. This film is both an indictment of America and a testament to its good, for if a young black man on the wrong side of the law can grow into one of the most incendiary, intelligent, charismatic, and powerful men in the world, we must be doing something right. On this rewatch, some flaws begin to show; while the film clips along at a fantastic pace for a three-and-a-half hour movie, and Spike Lee's penchant for operatic melodrama is well-served in turning Malcolm's fascinating and deeply personal story into a sprawling epic that is as much a morality play about America as it is a biopic, the third act passes over crucial character moments that perhaps deserved some more screen. My misgivings, however, were washed away as soon as "A Change is Gonna Come" started up. A fantastic finale.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This is 3 hours and 22 minutes of engaging, essential cinema bolstered by Denzel Washington's absolutely riveting performance and Ernest Dickerson's iconic cinematography. Honestly, the movie is utterly captivating and I don't think there's a bad frame. Of course beautiful biopics exist. But so few have the same vibrancy and realness. It lets the audience dive into every scene, simultaneously aestheticised and lived-in. It's masterfully crafted.
I would describe the last hour of the film as torturous, in that it made my heart sting and my soul weep for the flawed, fraught man that was carefully and sensitively portrayed. He became more than the historical figure that's constantly divisively depicted. Even though the film runs for such a long time,…
It's too long. Gave me emotional chills and very thought provoking.
honestly, thank you spike lee. thank you for creating a film experience unlike any other. thank you for this time capsule and the words of one of the most influential leaders of all time. thank you.
This is just Denzel's all the way, you're with him for 3 hours and he's riveting the entire time. It's not quite a 5 banger simply because some of the other performances (thinking mainly bit parts like journalists and such) don't measure up. There's something off at times with deliveries and pieces of dialogue that feel a little bit over the top.
Malcolm X is a labor of great love and admiration from Spike Lee. At 202 minutes, the film was clearly an enormous undertaking and Lee fills out the details of Malcolm's life (basically from birth to death) with great care.
Being indulgent as he often is, Lee probably could have benefitted from cutting the film down a bit, but the substance of what we see on screen is largely compelling and necessary in comprehensively conveying the weight and significance of this person's transformation from a thief and skirt-chaser to a powerful ideological leader. I think Lee's ability to inspiringly portray that gradual change in character is the film's greatest asset.
The cast is uniformly strong. Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo Albert…
Spike Lee's Malcom X is one of the best epics I've ever seen, the ending where Lee cuts to Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come is one of the best uses of music in a film I've seen and that's coming off a week of exclusively watching critically acclaimed musicals, it's like Spike and Malcom's wife Betty wanted you to feel a sense of closure by cutting to various leaders and groups of people around the world mourning for him as his eulogy was delivered and then closing it with a classroom of children being told "You're Malcom X." and them all responding by proudly yelling it back to the camera and a cut to a song that feels like Malcom himself was delivering it to the viewer post mortem
A perfect movie, from beginning to end. Was this Denzel Washington's definitive role? Also, I love how the movie breaks format after the chilling assassination sequence, when the teacher appears onscreen to inform the kids that they're all Malcolm X, which is used by Spike Lee to jump to African kids saying the same, emphasizing Malcolm X's own panafricanism. And holy shit, Nelson Mandela was there!!!!
A truly perfect bio pic if there was ever one. I've never watched Do The RIght Thin, so this is my favorite of Spike Lee's movies.
By the way, I HAVE NEVER seen this movie for sale, rent or stream here in Mexico. I had only watched the last 3/4 of the movie on TV. The Benjamin Franklin Library (which I guess is dependent on the American Embassy in Mexico) played it here, which is awesome but also I guess the last time this kind of movies by such a place.
So.... almost great. And then, not.
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