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Malcolm X

by

Roger Davidson

Malcolm X
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One of the few films that garnered immense controversy before it was even released, Spike Lee's elaborate biography of the famed Muslim leader is actually quite restrained compared to his other films. It follows the controversial minister's life, from poor childhood, to his time in prison, to his well-known journey to the city of Mecca, etc.

Denzel Washington is powerful as the late minister. He is so good and so convincing, it seems that Malcolm X has been brought back from the dead. Angela Bassett (What's Love Got To Do With It) is nothing less than a pillar of strength as Malcolm's wife Betty Shabazz. But, out of the supporting cast, Al Freeman Jr. is the most impressive as the minister Elijah Muhammad, which is as equally well done as Washington's performance as Malcolm. The sets, cinematography, costume and score are all excellent (after the cast members of course). Although it's a tad overlong, Lee has been able to show us many sides of Malcolm's life, while making it consistently cinematically interesting. It evokes audience sympathy for Malcolm's plight, and in many cases, you can see where he's coming from with his feelings toward racism. I've always found Malcolm X to be one of the most influential and most amazing individuals of the 20th century. Much more so than any of his compatriots. Put this on your must-see film list.

My Rating = Four Stars


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