Part of our “Pandemic Rewind” series of films that were robbed of the theatrical experience.
FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). A career thief, O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback). Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) commands? Inspired by true events, Judas and the Black Messiah is directed by Shaka King, marking his studio feature film directorial debut.
2021 Oscar Winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Daniel Kaluuya
2021 Oscar Nominee: Best Picture, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Actor in a Supporting Role, Original Song
“This is a scalding account of oppression and revolution, coercion and betrayal, rendered more shocking by the undiminished currency of its themes.” David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Between its genre know-how and furious anger, King’s biopic makes damn sure you feel the weight of Hampton’s loss – and the need for his legacy to be honoured.” Kevin Harley, Total Film
“As Hampton, Kaluuya gives the best performance of his career. He embodies what it meant to be a Panther, the simultaneous sacrifice and gratitude of carrying such militant devotion to liberation everywhere from the podium to the bedroom.” Selome Hailu, Austin Chronicle