There are films. And then there are films that are so electric, they blow you away and leave you with goosebumps.
Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah is one of those rare films whose poignance and power are evident from the first frame until the credits begin to roll.
The historical drama follows the betrayal of Black Panther Party chairman, Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), at the hands of FBI Informant, William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield).
It is so fascianting to watch filmmakers peel back layers in our country’s history that are so crucial and hold so much contemporary relevance.
This devastating and powerful story is handled with such authenticity and care by King’s masterful direction. Judas and the Black Messiah is razor-sharp, gripping, exceptionally crafted and showcases some of the most inspiring performances of this awards season.
Kaluuya is magnetic as Hampton. Already a trailblazing actor, he embodies this historical figure in an emotional, authentic, and captivating way that blew me away. This performances establishes him as one of the finest actors of our generation.
If he doesn’t sweep this awards season for supporting actor, I will be infuriated. Probably moreso than when Green Book took home Best Picture — but that’s another story.
Kaluuya’s milestone performance is joined by other incredible feats in acting, including his fellow Get Out cast member, Stanfield, whose internal struggle and vulnerability as O’Neal is brilliantly captured. As well as Dominique Fishback’s heartfelt performance as Hampton’s lover, Deborah Johnson, and Jesse Plemons impassive special agent, Roy Mitchell.
It is a POWERHOUSE of an ensemble…in one hell of a powerhouse of a film.
Final Thoughts: Utterly electrifying, Judas and the Messiah is one of the finest films of the year.