Opened: December 25, 2020
Directed by: Regina King
Starring: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr., Joaquina Kalukango, Nicolette Robinson, Beau Bridges, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli, Jerome A. Wilson, Amondre D. Jackson, Aaron D. Alexander, Christian Magby, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Jeremy Pope & Christopher Gorham
Four modern icons come together for one night and speak about their place in history in this brilliant feature directorial debut from Academy Award-winning actress Regina King.
Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) are sitting ringside at Cassius Clay’s (Eli Goree) – later Muhammad Ali – fight while Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) acts as a commentator. After the fight, the four return to Malcolm’s hotel room for some deep conversations.
The quartet never miss a beat. Ben-Adir and Odom Jr. are masterful in their characters’ clashes. Based on a play by Kemp Powers, King is able to use the actors’ power to make it feel less stagey.
Providing commentary on religion, power and race – especially racial divides within their own community – the film becomes a powerful piece with a storyline that is unfortunately still relevant.
Final say: Legendary. ★★★★★