Movie Review: Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah is a wonderful movie that I certainly recommend you see if you get the chance. The movie follows the story of Bill O’Neil, a black man that is forced to infiltrate the Black Panther party or be put in prison for the theft of a car, and Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton, the leader of the Black Panther sect that O’Neil is forced to infiltrate. The writing for the movie is wonderful, it really makes the characters feel human, showing them as people with vulnerabilities and emotions and personal feelings rather than being a caricature of what people think a civil rights activist should be. I also very much like how the movie doesn’t shy away from some of Hampton’s more revolutionary views, such as his socialist beliefs. I do wish that the movie had gone a bit more in-depth with his beliefs as he was actually a communist (a Maoist to be exact) and I feel like part of his character is slightly watered down in that respect, even if he is portrayed much more truthfully when compared with other movies about similar activists. I think that the writing is expanded upon with the actor’s performances, especially the performances of Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton and Lakeith Stanfield as Bill O’Neil. The movie held my attention better than just about any other movie I have seen recently and has quickly become one of my favorites, though it has a few problems. I really wish the movie had focused more on Fred Hampton than it did Bill O’Neil for example, as I feel he should have been the real main character. Other than that, I very much enjoyed the movie and would rate it an 8.5/10.