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Judas and the Black Messiah Review

Valentine's Day has come and gone, social media was full of memes and posts about the holiday, when it should have been all abuzz about Shaka King's Judas and the Black Messiah.

Continuing the trend started late last year, HBOMax has delivered another film to audiences, and in this case I can gladly say, the third time's the charm. I want to start out by sharing my thoughts on what the film should really be called: Judas and the Oscar-Worthy Performances, as this cast gives absolutely mind-blowing performances.

The first performance I would like to give praise to is that of Daniel Kaluuya (Best Supporting Actor? I think so), for his portrayal of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther party. Kaluuya gives such a fiery and passionate performance as Hampton, every moment he appears on screen is an absolute delight.

Lakeith Stanfield also shines as Bill O'Neal, an informant for the FBI tasked by Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemmons) to infiltrate the Black Panther party and get close to Hampton. Stanfield really brings a sense of self-conservation to his portrayal of O'Neal even in the scenes where he feels guilty for being Mitchell's CI. Other performances to bring to attention are Dominique Fishback as Deborah Johnson, Plemmons, who always brings a great performance and Martin Sheen as FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Based on a true story, the film follows the attempts of the FBI, at Hoover's behest, to infiltrate and end the Black Panther party, whom they see as a threat to the national security of America. Hoover and his men finally find their way in with Bill O'Neal, a man who was recently arrested for an attempted carjacking. The film continues to focus on O'Neal as he slowly gets closer to Hampton, showing the internal struggle as he slowly starts to believe in the cause.

If you are looking for a truly memorable movie to watch at home, I cannot recommend Judas and the Black Messiah, enough. Whether it be the stellar acting, the great direction or the phenomenal script, there truly is so much to take from this movie, I look forward to the coming awards season and what this film will accomplish.

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