BlacKkKlansman ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Given its subject matter -- a real-life police infiltration into the human dregs of the KKK in the 1970s -- this is surprisingly fun, with a lot of messiness and unexpected abstraction to remind you a real artist is behind the camera even as you enjoy the fusion of true-crime with abrasive comedy. Said comedy isn't flippant at all, because Spike Lee's characters are so well-rounded, intricately layered and believable, even the most cartoonish among them. He's aware of the irony of getting intrigue and pleasure out of such dark material, so at three points -- two revolving around racist cinema of the past -- he undercuts the narrative with out-of-time reminders of where all this idle hatred from easily manipulated losers and assholes inevitably leads. The last time he interrupts the story to do this, the story never returns; instead we are thrust violently into the present day, and I can't recall the last time a film throttled me quite like the last few minutes of this one did. After permitting the catharsis of a happy ending for his characters, Lee must pull the curtain aside and alert us to the world we're now still living in... and I think that's not only moving, and necessary, and relevant, it's also responsible.

Once again I'm forced to ask the question: Green Book -- how??? I was in the tank for Roma and it's still my favorite, but given what did win, this is Macklemore winning a Grammy over Kendrick Lamar levels of tomfoolery.