John Lawless’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a slow burn, with tensions steadily rising right from the very beginning. You can definitely tell this was adapted from a play, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. The limited, indoor sets give a sense of claustrophobia and unease, and it makes you feel like you’re right in there with everybody. The script was very well-written and the chemistry between the characters was very evident. That’s a good segue into what really elevates this film, which is the performances. Chadwick Boseman delivers an Oscar-worthy final performance, and the rest of the cast stepped up their game too. Definitely a must-watch to see Boseman in one of his most three-dimensional roles of his too short career.