Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★★

You will never leave a theater more fucking pissed at the federal government.

Not only is this movie propelled by ridiculously good performances (seriously across the board, but Daniel Kaluuya in particular is just magnetic like no other actor I’ve ever seen), it also has a phenomenal sense of what makes both physical and narrative action weighty. The way Shaka King films his actors, in a bevy of wavering close ups and accelerating tracking shots, just radiates power, presence, and authority in a way that feels effortless and intense. Something as simple as a shot of Hampton marching up a set of stairs can feel so invigoratingly badass, like every moving moment has a wave of momentum at its back, and you’re waiting (dreading?) for it to all come to a head. It’s intoxicating, inflammatory, and riding fiercely on an ever accelerating tide of outrage and power. You’ll leave the theater feeling like a different person.


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