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6 Degrees Entertainment

Judas and the Black Messiah [BR + Digital]
(Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / 2021 / Warner Bros. Pictures)

Overview: FBI informant William ONeal infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton.

A career thief, ONeal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell. Hamptons political prowess grows just as he is falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson.

Meanwhile, a battle wages for ONeals soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover commands?

Blu-ray Verdict: As a lead into this movie review, you should know that Daniel Kaluuya (as Chairman Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah) last night won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for his portrayal and fully deserved to also!

In point of fact, bolstered by two powerhouse performances from two of the brightest acting talents working in Hollywood today, Judas and the Black Messiah is a potent and provocative slice of American history.

From the off it renders the life and legacy of Fred Hampton on film with endless zeal, charged intensity and bracing authenticity, and definitely ranks amongst the first cinematic gems of 2021.

Co-written and directed by Shaka King, this biopic is crafted with as much restraint as it seethes with rage and King does a brilliant job at placing and highlighting the issues of the present in this dramatization of the past.

The plot stays compelling, the script retains its sharp edge and Kings direction exhibits deft composure from start to finish, plus neat work in other aspects help uplift the narrative even more.

The finest aspect, however, and as aforementioned, are the performances. Daniel Kaluuya has an undeniable aura about him and his screen presence here makes his commanding performance as Black Panther Parties deputy chairman all the more convincing.

Lakeith Stanfield plays the informant whose betrayal leads to Hamptons assassination at the hands of the FBI and his input is just as impressive as Kaluuya. Jesse Plemons is always reliable and he is no different here.

Overall, Judas and the Black Messiah packs a raw power and vicious energy which it channels through its sophisticated imagery and skillful storytelling to offer a biopic that not only honors the life of Fred Hampton, but also emboldens everything he stood for.

In closing, the movie is sincerely, well crafted and skillfully performed, and although (as one would fully expect given its subject matter) Judas and the Black Messiah has many strong moments scattered between some scenes of loose and meandering storytelling, and sure, it may well take a while to build its compelling narrative, but come the tragic end and you will realize just how close to the edge of your seat you now find yourself!

An incisive indictment of the oppression and injustice of minorities in America and its corrupt systems incessant need to silence any voice of reason and revolution that rises from the subjugation, Judas and the Black Messiah comes highly recommended. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Fred Hampton for the People
Unexpected Betrayal

Academy Award-nominated dramatic thriller Judas and the Black Messiah arrives on Premium Video on Demand (PVOD), Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on April 27th, 2021.

On May 4th, 2021, Judas and the Black Messiah will be available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Amazon Purchase Link

Judas and the Black Messiah @ Facebook