Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

Judas and the Black Messiah is a powerful film.

Kaluuya and Stanfield absolutely dominate the screen and completely disappear into their respective roles. Kaluuya specifically giving one of the best performances I have seen in a long time.

The film is at its best when it is mirroring the biblical story directly alluded to in its title. The tension and conflict here makes for extremely compelling drama and the most interesting character study in the film.

I do think that it wonders too far away from this central conflict from time to time which gives the middle of the film a bit of an awkward stop and start momentum. I get that these detours are made to flesh out other characters which is done quite well. But I do think the conflict antagonizing O'Neal is much stronger material.

Still, the first and third acts of the film focus on this internal struggle enough that it doesn't feel like it did it's material a disservice. Especially the third act which I am sure will stick with audiences long after the film is finished.

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