Director: Shaka King

126, R

Screenwriter: Will Berson & Shaka King

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Lil Rel Howery, Dominique Thorne, Martin Sheen.


In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd (and more), writer/director Shaka King plunges us back into another turbulent time: the chaos that followed murders of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. With complexity and fearlessness, his new film explores the truth about the killing of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), who tried to unite Blacks, Puerto Ricans, and Leftist Southerners to rebel. Recent evidence has exposed the truth of his murder, as Hampton and his cause are betrayed by an ambivalent undercover Panther (Lakeith Stanfield), who is under orders from an FBI agent (Jesse Plemons) and J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) himself. The quartet of brilliant actors (plus Dominique Thorne) makes Judas and the Black Messiah a must-see, but it is the lack of a soft sell to white audiences that feels like something new in American filmmaking.

African American Film Critics Association Awards: Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya) and Best Supporting Actress (Dominique Fishback) “Daniel Kaluuya is electrifying…It’s a towering performance: all coiled power, oratorical savvy and meticulously-researched authenticity. Four stars” – P. De Semlyen, Time Out London.