The hottest film of 2021 came out today! You can see Judas and the Black Messiah in theaters or on HBO Max right now. With a star-studded cast, led by proven young talents in Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, this film elucidates a dark part of U.S. history that was neglected for far too long. It is the story of Fred Hampton—a black activist who fought against gang violence and promoted social change—and his assassination by the FBI, a crime for which the bureau was never prosecuted. Having followed Stanfield’s career since his first film, Short Term 12 (2013), and also taken up a keen interest in activism, I’ve been looking forward to this film for a while. Still, I didn’t expect Shaka King’s breakout work to be nearly as powerful as it is. Stanfield and Kaluuya are fantastic—as usual. But the experimental narration and meticulous storytelling also help in creating a film whose delivery is worthy of its message. Judas and the Black Messiah is an important, socially relevant drama that will potentially go down as one of the greatest films of the year.

Rating: 8/10